Sunday, December 14, 2008

Aimless Reading: The A's, Part 5.1

Adorno, Theodor W.
Horkeheimer, Max
Dialectic of Enlightenment

Ah, grad school. All I can honestly say I remember of this book that it contains a great essay on the relationship of myth and enlightenment, vis-a-vis the Odyssey. I can't for the life of me recall the argument of the essay or of the book. Here's an excerpt that I highlighted from the essay, "Odysseus or Myth and Enlightenment:"

Eloquent discourse itself, language in contradistinction to mythic song, the possibility of retaining in memory the disaster that has occurred, is the law of Homeric escape, and the reason why the escaping hero is repeatedly introduced as narrator. The cold distancing, which still represents horror as if it were a conversational topic, also allows the horror as such for the first time that in song is solidly represented as fate. Reticence in narrative, however, is the sudden break, the transformation of what is reported into something long past, by means of which the semblance of freedom glimmers that since then civilization has not wholly succeeded in putting out.

Adorno always seems to be talking about poetry.

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