Modernity, disenchantment, and the ironic imagination

Philosophy and Literature 28 (1):137-149 (2004)
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Abstract

: Western "modernity" has often been identified with the "disenchantment of the world." But if this is true, how do we account for the millions of sober adults who nevertheless delight in Elvish grammar or Elvis sightings? Perhaps these are manifestations of the dialectic of Enlightenment, an alternate view that perceives modernity's faith in reason as itself a myth, and mass culture the exemplification of how the irrational has come to dominate everyday life. This essay, however, locates in mass culture an attempt to reconcile the rational and secular tenets of modernity with the wonders and marvels that modernity was thought to supercede: a specifically modern enchantment

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