Modernist Mythopoeia: The Twilight of the Gods by Scott Freer

By Scott Freer

Modernist Mythopoeia argues that the experimental modernist kind of mythopoeia used to be directed in the direction of expressing quite a number metaphysical views that fall among fabric secularism and dogmatic faith. The ebook is a well timed addition to the 'post-secular' debate in addition to to the 'return of religion' in modernist reports.

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46 Here Nietzsche perceives his own Fall myth – the gradual decline from an ancient form of poetic truth to a less open form of truth that conceals the original illusory nature. 47 In other words, in rejecting language that grounds us in ‘reality’ in favour of textual play, Nietzsche seemingly supports an anti-metaphysical perspective – for there is no certainty of knowledge or transcendent referent outside of metaphoric discourse. 48 However, rather than reiterating the ‘reductive’ claim, one should read the essay as Nietzsche giving credence to the genesis of metaphoric thinking, before poetry became ‘fixed, canonical and binding’ – when logos was not the rule and metaphorical transference was freely accepted as tentative and an open exposition of being.

Eliot hopes to provoke the secular reader to see beyond the failing patterns of nature and myth and to embrace the doctrinal concept of atonement. The Waste Land gives an explicit indication of Eliot’s doctrinal principles. Yet even though The Waste Land upholds a dualistic view (‘God is in heaven, and thou art on earth’), and which aligns myth with a fallen nature, Eliot’s religious perspective is not asserted in dogmatic terms. Eliot always stops the underlying biblical narratives short before the affirmative resolution and invites the reader to complete the story.

However, for Nietzsche, the psychological causality is also an affirmative genesis – it is the ‘eternal yes’ of a continuous transformative aesthetic. ’63 For Nietzsche, Christianity is guilty of hardening temporal poetic truth into the logos of metaphysical belief. With a fixation on the ‘death on the Cross’, Paul repositioned Jesus into a sacrificial hero who can redeem humanity through objective faith alone. The resulting politicized message meant that the original ‘mythos’ was and continues to be treated as a makeshift ‘destined to be superseded by logic’.

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