No poetry after Auschwitz  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

"Writing poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric" or "no poetry after Auschwitz is an oft-quoted dictum by the German philosopher Theodor Adorno, first published in Cultural Criticism and Society in 1951.

"Writing poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric." [“Kulturkritik findet sich der letzten Stufe der Dialektik von Kultur und Barbarei gegenüber: nach Auschwitz ein Gedicht zu schreiben, ist barbarisch, und das frißt auch die Erkenntnis an, die ausspricht, warum es unmöglich ward, heute Gedichte zu schreiben.”]

The quote is more famously known in the form of the dictum "No poetry after Auschwitz," or the question "Can there be poetry after Auschwitz?" Sometimes a more specific proscription is made, such as "No lyric poetry after Auschwitz." The influence of the underlying idea can be seen in such derivative statements as "No history after Auschwitz" and "Ironic humor is no longer possible after 9/11."

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "No poetry after Auschwitz" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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