Dr. Camelia Raghinaru
Concordia University Irvine
This paper seeks to engage Carl Schmitt’s political theology his use of the two figures of Prometheus and Epimetheus in developing his counter-modernity and eschatological theories. In the conflict between political theology and myth, Schmitt’s counter-mythical employment of the figures of Epimetheus and the katechon are also a way of countering the mythicization of technology in modernity, which is also an attempt to replace politics and the law with the religion of technicity and modern technological progressivism. In Ernst Junger’s post-apocalyptic novel Eumeswil, the figure of the anarch circumvents the ideology of domination by escaping into a fantastic forest that places him “beyond history,” and which reimagines a place of mythic thought in the postmodern, post-apocalyptic age. In this paper I will argue that Junger’s anarch reimagines Schmitt’s figure of Epimetheus as a rejection of the counter-figure of the anarchist, its Promethean counterpart. As Russell Berman argues, the anarch is not for, or against, the law, but rather understands the provisional status of all political meaning, and strives of legitimacy, rather than legality. Through the mythic figure of the Naglfar, the ship of the apocalypse, and the mythic forest, the novel offers a counter-modernist mythic alternative to political ideologies, although not a reassuring metaphysics of redemption. Its existentialist emphasis on inner freedom closely approximates Schmitt’s legitimation of suffering as a redeeming feature of this world into the world to come, as well as the genuine faith of the Epimethian as a dissident to Prometheanism.
Camelia Raghinaru holds a PhD in English from the University of Florida, and she currently works as an Associate Professor of English at Concordia University, Irvine. Her research interests focus on utopian studies, modernism, Irish literature, and popular culture. Her articles on Conrad, Lawrence, Joyce, Woolf, and Bréton have been published in various academic journals (Studies in the Novel, [sic], Forum, etc.) and edited collections (Great War Modernism and Critical Approaches to Joseph Conrad). Currently she works on a book project focused on periodizing modernism.