Martin Heidegger’s ‘Black Notebooks’ and Carl Schmitt’s ‘Glossarium’ are arguably the two most unsettling diaries of the twentieth century, at least from a philosophical standpoint. Often confessional in tone, Heidegger’s and Schmitt’s notebooks employ an esoteric writing style in order to unabashedly welcome fascism as marking the end of modernity. Anti-Enlightenment arguments of all sorts combine in a profound distaste for the mainstream history of philosophy from Plato to Spengler, as well as for Anglo-Saxon liberalism, which are seen as responsible for the decline of the West. In this context, I would like to throw the spotlight on Heidegger’s and Schmitt’s misappropriation of certain tenets of German mysticism: why does Heidegger claim Eckhart and Boehme, and how does Schmitt’s preference for mystical discourse relate to his apology for fascism?
Niketas Siniossoglou is a Research Associate at the National Hellenic Research Foundation and is a historian of ancient and modern philosophy. He holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge and is a former British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in Classics at the University of Cambridge and a former Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow at King’s College London. His publications include Plato and Theodoret: The Christian Appropriation of Platonic Philosophy and the Hellenic Intellectual Resistance (Cambridge 2008), Radical Platonism: Illumination and Utopia in Gemistos Plethon (Cambridge 2011), and (co-edited with Anthony Kaldellis) The Cambridge Intellectual History of Byzantium (in press).