Sanity Assassin, 49–64


The Thanatosis Of Enlightenment


Myth and Enlightenment

Myth is already enlightenment; and enlightenment’s destruction of superstitionmerely reinstates myth: such is the speculative thesis proposed by Adorno and Horkheimer’s Dialectic of Enlightenment. This dialectic of myth and enlightenment is structured around an entwinement of mimicry, mimesis, and sacrifice which not only underlies the book’s ‘excursus’ on Odysseus and its chapter on anti-Semitism, but arguably also furnishes it with its fundamental conceptual core. Though each of these concepts are undoubtedly complex, and mobilized for distinct purposes in different parts of Adorno’s oeuvre in particular, their deployment in Dialectic of Enlightenment seems to harbour the key to this speculative thesis…