on “In Our Time”

“I can appreciate that for specialists in whichever field it is that Bragg and his guests are tackling in a given week In Our Time must be a torment. Far from losing themselves in the amiable excursus, they presumably sit at home bellowing at their radios, furious at this irrelevant point, or that partisan analysis. But for us dilettantes, who have only flipped through ‘The Jargon of Authenticity’, and read Hashish in Marseille 20 years ago, while actually smoking hashish in Marseille, a brisk trot from Felix Weil and Carl Grünberg’s founding of the Institute for Social Research in 1923, through the formulation of critical theory, to the exile of Horkheimer and Adorno, the suicide of Benjamin, and Adorno’s eventual repatriation to serve as the Janus-faced figurehead of the 1977 German Autumn, well … it was exactly what I needed.”

Will Self

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