Paranoid comedy in the Black Notebooks

Then something came to the philosopher that well-nigh revolutionized his thinking: a narrative. 1

We do not have myth, myth has us. 2

Richard Hofstadter denied using the term ‘paranoid' in the sense of psychopathology, claiming instead to speak of ‘the paranoid style' “much as a historian of art might speak of the baroque or the mannerist style. It is, above all, a way of seeing the world and of expressing oneself.” In this way of seeing and expressing—of self-interpreting and self-articulating 3 —“the feeling of persecution is central, and it is indeed systematized in grandiose theories of conspiracy.” Hofstadter marks a key distinction between the paranoid spokesman in politics and the clinical paranoiac: “although they both tend to be overheated, oversuspicious, overaggressive, grandiose, and apocalyptic in expression, the clinical paranoid sees the hostile and conspiratorial world . . . as directed specifically against him; whereas the spokesman of the paranoid style finds it directed against a nation, a culture, a way of life whose fate affects not himself alone but millions of others.” 4

In Hofstadter's account the central conception of the paranoid style is “the existence of a vast, insidious, preternaturally effective international conspiratorial network designed to perpetrate acts of the most fiendish character;” the central image one of “a gigantic and yet subtle machinery of influence set in motion to undermine and destroy a way of life.” The distinctive feature of the paranoid style

“is not that its exponents see conspiracies or plots here and there in history, but that they regard a ‘vast' or ‘gigantic' conspiracy as the motive force in historical events. History is a conspiracy, set in motion by demonic forces of almost transcendent power, and what is felt to be needed to defeat it is not the usual methods of political give-and-take, but an all-out crusade. The paranoid spokesman sees the fate of this conspiracy in apocalyptic terms—he traffics in the birth and death of whole worlds, whole political orders, whole systems of human values. He is always manning the barricades of civilization. He constantly lives at the turning point: it is now or never in organizing resistance to conspiracy. Time is forever running out. Like religious millenarians, he expresses the anxiety of those who are living through the last days and he is sometimes disposed to set a date for the apocalypse.” 5

Hofstadter notes a second key distinction, one between nineteenth-century American movements and the mid-twentieth-century right wing which was his special concern:

“The spokesman of those earlier movements felt that they stood for causes and personal types that were still in possession of their country—that they were fending off threats to a still well-established way of life in which they played an important part. But the modern right wing, as Daniel Bell has put it, feels dispossessed. America has been largely taken away from them and their kind, though they are determined to try to repossess it and to prevent the final destructive act of subversion.” 6

Heidegger scholars have documented the pervasiveness of the paranoid style in the Black Notebooks. From his editorial scrutiny of these texts Trawny concludes that “Heidegger's being-historical Manichaeism, which increases at the end of the 1930s, his narrative of a history of the world and the homeland threatened by the un-history of worldlessness and homelessness (Heimatlosigkeit), formed a milieu in which his anti-Semitism, long latent to be sure, could now take on its own being-historical significance.” 7 On the evidence of the Black Notebooks, Trawny wonders, must we diagnose “an anti-Semitic paranoia?”8 Krell believes it is impossible to deny “that Heidegger's rhetoric in the Schwarze Hefte is both choleric and confused—unrelievedly repetitive paraphrasis gone to paranoesis.” Adding, “If earlier on, in Daimon Life, I devised an ontological application of paranoia for Heidegger's thinking of beyng, a thinking of beyng in the utter absence of all beings, I feel now, after reading the Schwarze Hefte, that an additional diagnosis is needed. Heidegger's Black Notebooks may well be paranoetic, as I argued the Beiträge were, but they are also and above all an expression of the repetition compulsion.” 9

Returning now to Hofstadter:—from his survey of cases he concludes, “The recurrence of the paranoid style over a long span of time and in different places suggests that a mentality disposed to see the world in the paranoid's way may always be present in some considerable minority of the population.” He goes on to argue “the fact that movements employing the paranoid style are not constant but come in successive episodic waves suggests that the paranoid disposition is mobilized into action chiefly by social conflicts that involve ultimate schemes of values and that bring fundamental fears and hatreds, rather than negotiable interests, into political action. Catastrophe or the fear of catastrophe is most likely to elicit the syndrome of paranoid rhetoric.” 10

Hofstadter thus conceptualizes the phenomenon of paranoid style as the exposure of a latent characteristic in response to certain kinds of stress. Vallega-Neu proffers the related notion of mentality's embodiment, wondering “Is it not the case that, prior to all concrete relations to things, attunements or dispositions dispose us toward thinking and acting in ways that may turn out to be destructive or distorting?” 11 How then get from Stimmung to style, “a way of expressing oneself”? Vallega-Neu frames the issue this way: “lived bodies are not simply ecstatic and relational; they are also dense and bear sedimentations of past experiences that mostly escape our awareness. People are not only prone to be overcome by attunements; their bodies bear attunements with them as well. This is mirrored, for instance, in the particular style and character of a thinker or text.” 12

Somehow the flesh is made Word, and the Word so made is far more mythos than logos. “Man lives,” says Northrop Frye in orthodox Heideggerian fashion, “not directly or nakedly in nature like the animal, but within a mythological universe, a body of assumptions and beliefs developed from his existential concerns. Most of this is held unconsciously, which means that our imaginations may recognize elements of it, when presented in art or literature [or philosophy], without consciously understanding what it is that we recognize. Practically all that we can see of this body of concern is socially conditioned and culturally inherited.” 13

In the case at hand Heidegger's anti-Semitism disclosed in the Black Notebooks was certainly socially conditioned and culturally inherited. “Indeed,” Trawny writes, “it has long been known that Heidegger shared banal anti-Semitic stereotypes with the majority not only of Germans, but perhaps even of Europeans.” Moreover, “The thesis is probably not untenable that the (Christian-) conservative strand of German philosophical history as a whole, from German idealism, through Nietzsche, and on to Ernst and Friedrich-Georg Jünger, Carl Schmitt, and Martin Heidegger, was more or less latently anti-Semitic.” 14

What was not known before publication of the Black Notebooks, however, was that Heidegger “transformed these stereotypes into the history of being.” 15 The history of being — Seinsgeschichte (or Seynsgeschichte) — is the narrative that “came to the philosopher,” as Trawny says, once the project of Being and Time had stalled. Yet that narrative was not altogether new. It was in fact the narrative embedded in Being and Time itself, which Heidegger reworked into the Seinsgeschichte. 16 As told in Being and Time Dasein irrupts among beings, and for the first time beings are disclosed as beings. Yet for every case of Dasein its ownmost possibility of being, eigensten Seinkönnen, is thrown into the world of ‘the one,' das Man, where it perforce must dwell as ‘they' do. Seinkönnen nevertheless calls to itself through this waste land, summoning itself out of its lostness in the one. Rarely and randomly this works to full effect; Seinkönnen finds itself in Angst (or some other Grundstimmung) through which it experiences the groundlessness of its existence. This experience grants release, a liberation with attendant joy. Thus ‘unlocked' Seinkönnen is poised to ‘choose its own fate.'

The story is a variant of what Frye calls ‘the myth of deliverance;' the emotional arc of which is rise-fall-rise, as in the tale of Cinderella and the career of Jesus Christ. “The action of comedy moves toward a deliverance from something which, if absurd, is by no means invariably harmless. . . . the crudest of Plautine comedy-formulas has much the same structure as the central Christian myth itself, with its divine son appeasing the wrath of a father and redeeming what is at once a society and a bride.” 17 Vonnegut sketches the emotional arc: “The [rising] steps, you see, are all the presents the fairy godmother gave to Cinderella, the ball gown, the slippers, the carriage, and so on. The sudden drop is the stroke of midnight at the ball. Cinderella is in rags again. All the presents have been repossessed. But then the prince finds her and marries her, and she is infinitely happy ever after. She gets all the stuff back, and then some. A lot of people think the story is trash, and, on graph paper, it certainly looks like trash.” 18 As for what later came to the philosopher — the Seinsgeschichte — Sheehan mocks people he calls Right Heideggerians for believing a narrative that “goes something like this:

In sixth century BCE Italy Parmenides did in fact know of this ‘Being' under the title Ἀλήθεια. That constituted der erste Anfang, the first onset of authentic philosophy. But starting with Plato, ‘Being' was forgotten for some 2400 years until Heidegger fortunately rediscovered it in Parmenides's poem and thereupon launched der andere Anfang, the second onset of real thinking, thereby restoring to philosophy its greatest omission. And not only that: Heidegger also discovered — for the first time in the history of Western philosophy! — that the real meaning of Being-as-Ἀλήθεια is (drum roll) Ereignis! The Right Heideggerians claim Ereignis is ‘just another name' for ‘Being,' but they are unable to explain what Ereignis means and why it has to be the thing itself. Instead they keep repeating their now expanded mantra, Ἀλήθεια = Φύσις = ‘Being' = die Sache selbst = Ereignis! Contrary to the Latin maxim rem tene, verba sequentur, they cling to the sacrosanct terms as precious gifts from the Master Himself. Long forgotten but now happily recovered, the philosophical treasure that these terms contain is the fragile possession of a fortunate few whose only task is to safeguard them against the depredations of metaphysics and the attacks of analytic philosophy.” 19

The myth of deliverance is replicated in the Seinsgeschichte's tri-stage erste AnfangMachenschaft—andere Anfang. Elsewhere Sheehan has abstracted this triadic structure of generic salvation-history qua Seinsgeschichte :

“There are three structural moments to the mythical narrative: (a) Insofar as it recounts paradisal beginnings (sacred time), it is a theology of divine origins, (b) Insofar as it narrates the alienated in-between (sinful time), it is a hamartiology or doctrine of the sinful fall from those origins, (c) Insofar as it prophesies the apocalyptic end (redeemed time), it is a soteriology of return to the sacred origins. If we formalize these three moments in quasi-philosophical categories, we may say that mythical narrative represents: (a) an ontology of essential Being; (b) a phenomenology of the loss of Being (the terror of history); and (c) an eschatology of the reconstitution of essential Being.” 20

Heidegger's Seinsgeschichte has the same structure as Christian Heilsgeschichte. (Ereignis might then map to the salvation-event, Heilsgeschehen. 21 ) And both have the ternary structure of comedy. For whereas the theme of comedy is “the integration of society, which usually takes the form of incorporating a central character into it” (“in Christian literature it is the theme of salvation”)—the total mythos of comedy

has regularly what in music is called a ternary form: the hero's society rebels against the society of the senex and triumphs, but the hero's society is a Saturnalia, a reversal of social standards which recalls a golden age in the past before the main action of the play begins. Thus we have a stable and harmonious order disrupted by folly, obsession, forgetfulness, ‘pride and prejudice,' or events not understood by the characters themselves, and then restored. Often there is a benevolent grandfather [ Seyn?], so to speak, who overrules the action set up by the blocking humor and so links the first and third parts. . . . The ternary action is, ritually, like a contest of summer and winter in which winter occupies the middle action; psychologically, it is like the removal of a neurosis or blocking point and the restoration of an unbroken current of energy and memory.” 22

Trawny writes that in the Black Notebooks “Heidegger appears to take a quite banal anti-Semitic description (a ‘marked gift for calculation') and give it a being-historical transformation—and in this figure of thought his anti-Semitism is anchored. It is the figure of the ‘haggling Jew' (Schacherjude), who represents one of the most common figures of Judaism in all of anti-Semitism.” ( Cf. the Grimms' tale of Der Jud' im Dorn, collected along with Aschenputtel.) Trawny further observes that, in general,

“the opposite of everything Heidegger sought to save philosophically—'rootedness,' ‘homeland,' what is ‘one's own,' the ‘earth,' the ‘gods,' ‘poetry,' etc.—appears to be transposable onto ‘world Judaism.' Consequently this receives a kind of paradigmatic status. . . . The narrative topography of Heidegger's thinking displays a being-historical unity of ‘Americanism,' ‘England,' ‘Bolshevism,' ‘Communism,' ‘National Socialism,' and ‘Judaism,' more specifically, ‘world Judaism.' All of these protagonists of the history of being are determined by a ‘marked gift for calculation,' a gift, admittedly, that Heidegger explicitly ascribes to the Jews. . . . They are perhaps the (in-) authentic agents of machination.” 23

As Frye mentions in his description of the ternary structure of comedy this paradigmatic figure is the ‘blocking humor,' so-called after Ben Jonson's use of the theory of humors. Shylock in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice is a blocking humor, obstructing the hero's desire and thus forming the action of the play. And in Molière's oeuvre “we have a simple but fully tested formula in which the ethical interest is focused on a single blocking character, a heavy father, a miser, a misanthrope, a hypocrite, or a hypochondriac.” 24

Importantly for the Seinsgeschichte, “The humor's dramatic function is to express a state of what might be called ritual bondage. He is obsessed by his humor, and his function in the play is primarily to repeat his obsession.” The blocking humor is “intimately connected with the theme of the absurd or irrational law [Machenschaft/Ge-Stell] that the action of comedy moves toward breaking;” the rule of, say, “a sham Utopia, a society in ritual bondage constructed by an act of humorous or pedantic will.” Thus ‘definition and formulation' “belong to the humors, who want a predictable activity [ technik/rechnende Denken].” So the movement

“from pistis to gnosis, from a society controlled by habit, ritual bondage, arbitrary law and the older characters to a society controlled by youth and pragmatic freedom is fundamentally, as the Greek words suggest, a movement from illusion to reality. Illusion is whatever is fixed or definable, and reality is best understood as its negation: whatever reality is, it's not that [not the Unwelt]. 25

In other terms,

“At the beginning of the play the obstructing characters are in charge of the play's society, and the audience recognizes that they are usurpers. At the end of the play the device [das Rettende des Seyns] in the plot that brings hero and heroine together causes a new society to crystallize around the hero, and the moment when this crystallization occurs is the point of resolution in the action, the comic discovery, anagnorisis or cognitio. 26

The resolution of the action in Heidegger's being-historical comedy was to be, in Trawny's phrase, ‘the completed apocalyptic reduction,' “there where the ‘enemy' no longer exists, the enemy who, in whatever way, threatens the 'Dasein of the people.'” Which apocalyptic reduction “proves to be the self-annihilation of technology.” 27

Symmetry in any narrative, Frye tells us, “always means that historical content is being subordinated to mythical demands of design and form, as in the Book of Judges.” 28 That book,

“a collection of stories about heroes who were originally tribal leaders, has been edited to present the appearance of a history of a united Israel going through a series of crises, all of much the same shape. Israel, in whom the spirit of apostasy appears to be remarkably consistent, deserts its God, gets enslaved, cries to its God for deliverance, and a ‘judge' is sent to deliver it. Here there is a series of different contents, along with a repeating mythical or narrative form which contains them. The heavy emphasis on the structure, where because of the moral interest we are being told the same story over and over again, indicates that the individual stories are being made to fit that pattern.” 29

The narrative structure of the episodes in the Book of Judges is “roughly U-shaped, the apostasy being followed by a descent into disaster and bondage, which in turn is followed by repentance, then by a rise through deliverance, to a point more or less from which the descent began.” 30 The pattern of the Book of Judges as a whole can then be graphically depicted, by connecting (via ⁀) U to U to U, as a sinusoidal wave, rise-fall-rise. Frye shows that the Bible exhibits this same translation-symmetry (the circle's rotation-symmetry mapped to the horizontal axis) at larger scale — across books — by choosing seven of the “falls and rises of the Biblical history” and diagramming them as a sinusoidal wave on page 171 of The Great Code.

Indeed “The entire Bible, viewed as a ‘divine comedy,' is contained within a U-shaped structure of this sort, one in which man . . . loses the tree and water of life at the beginning of Genesis and gets them back at the end of Revelation.” The Bible is a self-similar structure in that this large-scale U is repeated at different scales throughout the Scriptures, as in the episodes of the Book of Judges, the whole of the Book of Job, the story of Jesus, the parable of the prodigal son, etc. The myth of deliverance is repeated at each scale. The central myth of the Bible is a myth of deliverance. 31

“There are and remain,” Frye claimed, “two aspects of myth: one is its story-structure, which attaches it to literature, the other is its social function as concerned knowledge, what it is important for a society to know.” Again: “Certain stories seem to have a peculiar significance: they are the stories that tell a society what it is important for it to know, whether about its gods, its history, its laws, or its class structure.” Accordingly ‘mythical,' in this latter sense, “means the opposite of ‘not really true': it means being charged with special seriousness and importance.” Frye calls these special stories ‘myths of concern;' to which the ‘quality of repetition' is essential; for “A society, even one equipped with writing, cannot keep its central myths of concern constantly in mind unless they are continually being re-presented.” 32 Frye came to believe that the myth of deliverance “seems to be at the core of every major myth of concern.” 33 ‘Didactic' would then be too weak a characterization of myths of concern; ‘kerygmatic' more like it.

After quoting from the I-am-not-a-Christian passage in Anmerkungen II34 Trawny expresses annoyance at “the position [which] has stubbornly persisted for decades that Heidegger's deliberations regarding, for example, the ‘last god' (and the ‘gods') can still be understood in a ‘Christian' manner.” Whereas it would have been Christian, Trawny says, “to regard them as targeted blasphemies.” 35

But the accidents of mythological tradition, Frye teaches, “are not real mythology, the central line of which is re-created in every age by the poets.” 36 And by the content-providers. The TV executive refers not so much to the Gospel as to the generic myth of deliverance when he says, “Everybody loves a redemption story. And you know why, because everybody's done shit and they wanna be redeemed.” 37 The structure of myth is conserved across re-tellings. Moreover, “dramatic structure is a permanent and moral attitude a variable fabric in literature;” such that “Comedy ranges from the most savage irony to the most dreamy wish-fulfilment romance, but the structural patterns and characterization are much the same throughout its range;” a fact evidencing the principle of “the uniformity of comic structure through a range of attitudes;” 38 i.e., symmetry. The example of Heidegger's Seinsgeschichte shows that the structure of the comic mythos is conserved even under radical refashioning; even after purported destruktion the structure still stands .

Frye was aware that “a unified mythology is a powerful instrument of social authority and coercion, and it is accordingly used as such.” 39 That is, a unified mythology can function as a blocking humor. Yet I can find no text in which Frye explicitly acknowledges that the myth of deliverance itself may function as a blocking humor. Whereas Heidegger does imply something of the kind in the passage quoted above from Anmerkungen II, when he says Aber es gibt kein christliches Denken, das ein Denken wäre; i.e., Christian Denken is no Denken. Any ostensible ‘Christian thinking' blocks Heidegger's Denkensweg. That one of his major constructions along the way was the Seinsgeschichte, however, suggests the heuristic that a myth of deliverance is displaceable only by another myth of deliverance.

DCW 03/01/2023

1 Peter Trawny, Heidegger and the Myth of a Jewish World Conspiracy (tr. Andrew J. Mitchell 2015) 8.

2 After Martin Heidegger: Nicht wir haben die Sprache, sondern die Sprache hat uns. Gesamtausgabe Band 39: 23.

3 “Dasein itself is a self-interpreting, self-articulating entity.” Martin Heidegger, History of the Concept of Time: Prolegomena (tr. Theodore Kisiel 1985) 302. das Dasein selbst ist sichauslegendes, sichaussprechendes Seiendes . GA 20: 418.

4 Richard Hofstadter, The Paranoid Style in American Politics and Other Essays ([1965] reissued in Library of America Series No. 330 ed. Sean Wilentz 2020) 503-504. Original published version here.

5 Id. 512, 525-526.

6 Id. 520.

7 Heidegger and the Myth of a JWC 92.

8 Id. 89.

9 David Farrell Krell, “Heidegger's Black Notebooks, 1931-1941,” 45 Research in Phenomenology 127; 130, 148 (2015). Frye notes “the principle that incremental repetition, the literary imitation of ritual bondage, is funny. . . . Repetition overdone or not going anywhere belongs to comedy . . .” Northrop Frye, Anatomy of Criticism: Four Essays ([1957] 2020) 168. Insofar as certain thoughts — ‘Americanism,' ‘Bolshevism,' ‘world Judaism,' etc. — reliably provoked him into angry rants Heidegger was inadvertently scripting himself into the part of the senex iratus of Roman comedy or, in our time, the raging man of ‘Slowly I Turned' (‘Niagara Falls').

10 The Paranoid Style 533-534.

11 Daniela Vallega-Neu, Heidegger's Poietic Writings: From Contributions to Philosophy to The Event (2018) 98. The biological concept of reaction norm supports an affirmative answer, but that concept will not be reviewed here.

12 Id. 191.

13 Northrop Frye, The Great Code: The Bible and Literature (1981) xviii.

14 Heidegger and the Myth of a JWC x, 132 n. 14.

15 Id. x.

16 A fact which Trawny himself points out: “Already in Being and Time the philosopher had elucidated what he understood by ‘destiny' (Geschick). ‘Destiny' would be the ‘historizing [Geschehen] of the community, of a people.' In ‘our Being with one another in the same world and in our resoluteness for definite possibilities,' the life paths of these individuals ‘have already been guided in advance.' ‘Only in communication and in struggling, does the ‘power of destiny become free.' This would be the ‘sole authority which a free existing' could have. For Heidegger ‘authentic Dasein' was constantly exposed to such a destiny. Were this destiny to remain outstanding, it would entail the fallenness of Dasein.” Id. 8-9.

17 Anatomy of Criticism 178, 185. Frye first used the designation ‘myth of deliverance' in The Great Code and as that book was in press composed the lectures published as The Myth of Deliverance: Reflections on Shakespeare's Problem Comedies (1983). “Domestic comedy is usually based on the Cinderella archetype, the kind of thing that happens when Pamela's virtue is rewarded, the incorporation of an individual very like the reader into the society aspired to by both, a society ushered in with a happy rustle of bridal gowns and banknotes.” Anatomy of Criticism 44. Pamela was a constitutional text of the Enlightenment. See Gary Kates, The Books that Made the European Enlightenment: A History in 12 Case Studies (2022) ch. 6, ‘Richardson's Pamela (1740).' Taking Pamela as diagnostic prompts the question of whether the central myth of the Enlightenment was yet another myth of deliverance, one more Cinderella story.

18 Kurt Vonnegut, Palm Sunday (1981); as quoted in Andrew J. Reagan et al., “The emotional arcs of stories are dominated by six basic shapes,” arXiv: 1606.07772v2 [cs.CL] 26 Sep 2016.

19 Thomas Sheehan, “Heidegger and the Right Heideggerians: Phenomenology vs. crypto-metaphysics,” 6 Kronos 78 (2017). Latest version (parrot-picture omitted): “Heidegger and Professor Capobianco: Phenomenology vs. Crypto-Metaphysics,” 11 Maynooth Philosophical Papers 21, 24 (2022).

20 Thomas Sheehan, “Myth and Violence: The Fascism of Julius Evola and Alain de Benoist,” 48 Social Research 45; 69-70 (1981).

21 Heilsgeschehen explicated in Rudolf Bultmann, Theology of the New Testament (tr. Kendrick Grobel 1951, 1955) Vol. I, § 33. Cf. “a faith which is self-surrender to the grace of God and which signifies the utter reversal of a man's previous understanding of himself—specifically, the radical surrender of his human ‘boasting'” ( Id. 300) with “out of the experience of being thrown into being, we experience a disclosing event in which we first find also our own being; we experience our being as er-eignet, ‘appropriated' in the event that—in turn—first discloses in this appropriation” (Daniela Vallega-Neu, “Ereignis”).

22 Anatomy of Criticism 43, 171.

23 Heidegger and the Myth of a JWC 20, 34, 77.

24 Anatomy of Criticism 167. In the New Testament's divine comedy the hero's desire is to free humankind from its bondage to sin, the blocking humor is the alazon Satan, and those — in particular the σπέρμα Ἀβραάμ, a bio-racial designation — who don't believe Jesus is the Son of God and Savior are ‘(in-) authentic agents' of Satan; viz .: “I know that ye are Abraham's seed, but ye seek to kill me, because my word [ὁ λόγος ὁ ἐμὸς] has no place in you. . . . If God were your Father, then would ye love me, for I proceeded forth, and came from God, neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my talk [τὴν λαλιὰν τὴν ἐμήν]? Because ye cannot hear my word [τὸν λόγον τὸν ἐμόν]. Ye are of your father the devil [ὑμεῖς ἐκ τοῦ πατρὸς τοῦ διαβόλου ἐστὲ], and the lusts of your father ye will do [καὶ τὰς ἐπιθυμίας τοῦ πατρὸς ὑμῶν θέλετε ποιεῖν]. He hath been a murderer from the beginning [ἐκεῖνος ἀνθρωποκτόνος ἦν ἀπ᾽ ἀρχῆς], and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him [ὅτι οὐκ ἔστιν ἀλήθεια ἐν αὐτῷ]. When he speaketh a lie, then speaketh he of his own, for he is a liar, and the father thereof [ὅτι ψεύστης ἐστὶν καὶ ὁ πατὴρ αὐτοῦ].” The Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ, According to John 8:37, 42-44.

25 Anatomy of Criticism 168, 169-170.

26 Id. 163.

27 Heidegger and the Myth of a JWC 76, 77.

28 The Great Code 43. Cf. Emmy Noether's theorem: (roughly) every symmetry implies and is implied by a correlative conservation principle. Late in life Frye wrote, “One of the first things I noticed about literature was the stability of its structural units: the fact that certain themes, situations, and character types, in comedy let us say, have persisted with very little change from Aristophanes to our own time.” Id. 48. I have seen no evidence that Frye ever heard of Noether's theorem, even though his work reads as if animated by its spirit.

29 Id. 41.

30 Id. 169.

31 The Great Code 169, 50. For self-similarity as a key symmetry in literature see Hugh Kenner, “Self-Similarity, Fractals, Cantos,” 55 ELH 721-730 (1988).

32 Id. 47, 33, 48.

33 The Myth of Deliverance 12.

34 “But it would be necessary that someday someone consider my anti-Christianity at least once and give it even one thought. This should not happen so as to tolerate my thinking as still possibly ‘Christian.' I am not a Christian, and solely because I cannot be one. I cannot be one because I, spoken in a Christian manner, do not have grace. I will never have it so long as thinking expects something of my path.” Heidegger and the Myth of a JWC 133 n. 23. GA 97: 199. The passage continues, Das Denken selbst ist die Kluft zum Glauben. Die Kluft ist nicht erst zwischen Denken und Glauben, irgendwo im Unbestimmten. Es mag »christliche Philosophie« geben, wobei zu fragen bliebe, wieweit solche Philosophie denkt. Vermutlich nur so weit, als sie glaubt; d. h. sie denkt nur zum Schein. Aber es gibt kein christliches Denken, das ein Denken wäre.

35 Ibid.

36 The Great Code 38.

37 The Morning Show, Season 2, episode 8 ‘Confirmations' (Apple TV, November 5, 2021).

38 Anatomy of Criticism 176, 177.

39 The Great Code 51.

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