The Empire of Myth

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By Alain de Benoist

Arcana Europa, 97 pages, ISBN 9798701154610

In the beginning was the Myth—or so begins Alain de Benoist’s (un)timely meditation on the meaning of a concept that is infinitely rich with significance, yet notoriously difficult to define. Drawing on philosophy, psychology, sociology, and the history of religions, Benoist examines the relationship between language, poetry, and the “stories of the gods” that most people equate with myth. This opens the door to the even bigger question of how meaning first enters the world—and how, in the spiritual wasteland that is modernity, it disappears.

Yet the mythic dimension is always with us, even if we believe we have somehow transcended it. It is what makes us who we are. This extended essay sets out to ask what myth is from a variety of different perspectives, and provides a concise survey of how some of the greatest thinkers on the subject have answered that question. More importantly, it is a call to re-enter the Empire of Myth. For Benoist, this would be “to experience a revolution as if there had never been one.”

Alain de Benoist was born on December 11, 1943, and studied Law, Philosophy, Sociology, and the History of Religions in Paris. The author of more than 100 books, 2,000 articles, and 700 interviews published over the last half-century, his work has been translated into fifteen languages. In 1978 he received the Grand Prix de l’Essai from the Académie Française for one of his early works. His book On Being a Pagan is also available from Arcana Europa.