Mika (Meihan) Hu

The Age of Burnout

The myth of Prometheus can be read as a metaphor for the psychological mechanism of the modern meritocratic subject (Leistungssubjekt), that is, to inflict violence on itself and wage war against itself.

A eagle pecks his liver daily, which keeps growing again, and this vicious eagle is his alter ego, constantly fighting against himself.

Prometheus as a self-exploitative subject is seized by a never-ending sense of weariness. He is the original metaphor of the Müdigkeitsgesellschaft (The burnout society).

“The gods are tired, the eagle is tired, the wound is healed in weariness.”

— Franz Kafka

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