- By Judith Filc
In Minima Moralia, Adorno reviles U.S. highways. They represent the irruption of capitalism in nature: “the more impressively smooth and broad they are, the more unrelated and violent their gleaming track appears against its wild, overgrown surroundings.” They are artificially devoid of marks—neither foot nor wheel can leave a trace on them, just as their manufacture is devoid of the impress of the hand. “It is as if no one had ever passed their hand over the landscape’s hair. It is uncomforted and comfortless.”
The highway as a landscape removed from human hands recalls the feeling of inaccessibility linked to the sense of foreignness and uprootedness. Does his refugee status color his view? And he’s not just...