Rolling The Bones With Adorno

PLSJ has introduced me to Roll_The_Bones, a blog of "Research, Reflections, and Speculation concerned with Risk, Play, and Chance", which features an excellent series entitled Theodor Adorno on Art and Play (Parts I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII). A sample is included here:

Whereas all art sublimates practical elements, play in art ? by its neutralization of praxis ? becomes bound up specifically with its spell, the compulsion towards the ever-same, and in psychological dependence on the death instinct, interprets obedience as happiness. In art, play is from the outset disciplinary; it fulfills the taboo on expression that inheres in the ritual of imitation; when art exclusively plays, nothing remains of expression. Secretly, play is in complicity with fate, a plenipotentiary of the weight of the mythical, which art would like to throw off; the repressive aspect is obvious in such phrases as that of the rhythm of the blood, with which the formal playfulness of dance is so readily invoked. If games of chance are the opposite of art, as forms of play they nevertheless extend into art. The putative play drive has ever been fused with the primacy of blind collectivity. Only when play becomes away of it?s own terror, as in Beckett, does it in any way share in art?s power of reconciliation. Art that is totally without play is no more thinkable than if it were totally without repetition, yet art is nevertheless able to define the remainder of horror within itself as being negative (Adorno AT 317).


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