The Jew, the Arab: A History of the Enemy by Gil Anidjar Book Review

***NOTE THIS ESSAY AND THE LAST LOST THEIR REFERENCES, FOOTNOTES & FORMATTING BECAUSE I AM NOT USING MY REGULAR WRITING SOFTWARE

Gil Anidjar is a bit of a mysterious figure; in so far as his biographical information is at best sketchy and difficult to come by. What is repeated enough to constitute being ‘known’ about Anidjar is that he is a Professor of Comparative Literature at Columbia University. Otherwise he was born in France in 1964 and trained under famed Jewish deconstructionist Jacques Derrida.

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Lore Waldvogel in reviewing Anidjar’s book Blood: A Critique On Christianity has speculated that his surname “would seem to be Jewish and his work fits well into the common pattern of Jewish involvement in the culture of critique.” Whether Jewish or Arab or Jewish-Arab or Arabic-Jew or Muslim-Jewish or any other such configuration that Anidjar strings together in the book, perhaps one ethnically and the other culturally – Anidjar is certainly a member of what he himself would term an “Enemy” group of Europe and by extension of Europeans. But one of the ways we can infer about who and what he is by looking at those who have avowed themselves his enemies. Foremost amongst them is Jewish neocon David Horowitz who has included Anidjar in his The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America. Horowitz’ think tank The David Horowitz Freedom Center’s pro-Trump neocon publication Frontpage Magazine has also run an article denouncing Anidjar as a ‘teacher of hate.’ The article begins by painting Anidjar’s in a manner entirely of an Occidental Observer perspective: “The course on “Hate” is not really about the history or literature of the Middle East at all. It is an extended rumination upon two matters. The first is the evil of Europe, which has for its own purposes not merely created “the Other” (or rather, being especially awful, as Europe will be, creating two “the Others” – “Arab” and “Jew”), and subjecting both of them to identical diabolical persecution.”

Although I think this is a slight misreading, the comparisons of a Jewish Neocon and AltRight (European Identitarian) perspective stop there. What Frontpage Magazine has a problem with is Anidjar’s supposed aim is “the business of symmetrically reducing ‘Jew’ and ‘Arab’ to the identical status of victims.” Because for them the only eternal victim group who incidentally never wronged anyone in the history of their existence is the Jews and how dare Anidjar try to morally guilt Europeans vis a vis the Muslims that’s ‘the business’ of the Jews. It’s worth quoting the two paragraphs at length in order to observe the outright chutzpah:


“Unfortunately, it bears no relation to reality. The Jews of Europe were in fact (see Leon Poliakoff, see Malcolm Hay, see Gavin Langmuir) subjected, first out of theological hatreds, and then out of racism directed at Jews even if they ceased to be Jews, over more than a millennium. They were inoffensive; they had no political or military power. Yet they were driven from country after country, their goods stolen, many of them killed. The history of charges of ritual murder, of massacres, could fill up a book, and indeed, do fill up a book – Simon Wiesenthal’s Every Day Remembrance Day, in which murder after murder, massacre after massacre, expulsion after expulsion, is listed.

But the Arabs? The Arabs, or rather the Muslims, though stopped by Charles Martel and the Franks at Poitiers in the West in 732, continued to fight in Spain until finally Muslim power came to an end in 1492; in the East, the Muslims seized much of Eastern Europe and the Balkans, and were besieging Vienna as late as 1683. And meanwhile, for a thousand years, Arab raiders went up and down the coasts, not only on the Mediterranean, but as far north as Ireland and Iceland, and razed and looted whole villages, and kidnapped, historians estimate, about 1 million white Europeans (and killed many more) who were taken back to North Africa, enslaved, and forcibly converted. The historian Giles Milton has just written White Gold about this forgotten part of European history, focusing on one Thomas Pellow.”

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Gil Anidjar

What is striking about The Jew, the Arab is that what Anidjar is attempting is more complicated and obscured than such tactless remonstrations attest. Indeed, the central pivot of the book revolves around the concept of the ‘enemy’ as devised by Carl Schmitt as a necessary prerequisite for the political and it does so without the excessive moral pandering implied in such readings. “Schmitt offers a radical addition to the distinctions made ‘in the realm of morality’ (good and evil) or in the aesthetic realm (beautiful and ugly). As to the political sphere, Schmitt writes, ‘the specific political distinction to which political actions and motives can be reduced is that between friend and enemy.” Almost Despite itself and its intellectual obscurantist style there are certain statements and modes of inquiry that are helpful for European Identitarians – not least one of the major foundations of the book contends that Europe and Europeans have two major historical enemies – the internal enemy of the Jew which Anidjar attaches to the “theological” and the external enemy of the Arab-Muslim which Anidjar attaches to the “political” and racial. Thus the former is essentially a spiritual enemy while the latter is a materialist one. Although one could infer given Anidjar’s Other status that his purpose in deconstructing the notion of the enemy entirely in relation to Europe, “It should become clear that The Jew, the Arab is about Europe: Europe is its limit and its limitations,” (xi) is to carry on the secular academic tradition of Jewish and following Edward Said’s Orientalism, of which this work shares similar weaknesses of “undeniable ahistoricism,” – critiques of Europe, “white people,” Christianity and Western Civilization generally. This was indeed Waldvogel’s understanding of Anidjar’s purpose in Blood and it may well be so in that case. But indeed in the case of The Jew, the Arab the opaque quality of the work does indicate that something dishonest is occurring throughout, but it is difficult to exactly categorize this is a work of anti-white, anti-European, anti-Christian bias spurious as it seems – rather it feels like a collection of erudite musings from an anti-imperialist leftist humanist who is part of the anti-Israel divestment campaign.

Like Waldvogel and Frontpage Magazine, I found Anidjar’s style overtly abstruse, purportedly purposefully, so as to obscure a lack of a solid line of reasoning – in so far as ‘comparative literature’ is valued over historio-sociological research the thesis is often somewhat submerged and tangential in places – while the text remains interesting if sesquipedalian throughout. I found the

style similar to Zizek’s in so far as it showcased both an intense overabundance of eurition and reference combined with perhaps specious anecdotals, well still remaining refreshingly creative – almost a kind of arabesque-feeling quality to it. Waldvogel again, “Instead, (of a clear line of argument) we encounter a string of household names such as Carl Schmitt, Giorgio Agamben, Walter Benjamin, Sigmund Freud and Jacques Derrida,” hits on Anidjar’s and by extension a great mass of contemporary liberal arts academia’s weaknesses expertly – the overwhelming intersectional name-dropping of ideas and thinkers – litterae nihil sanantes. I encountered the same feeling as Waldvogel, “It feels a bit as if Anidjar had used his research grants for harvesting quotes from world literature and philosophy related to the semantic field of blood…” but in the place of blood in this case it was harvesting instances of the “enemy” that was peppered often without incorporation or extrapolation throughout the text. To Anidjar’s credit he does offer at various times what can be called a somewhat evolving critique of his subject. For instance he traces a movement of the enemy category through what he calls the “theological enemy” into the “political enemy” – as a kind of dialectical synthesis of a theological-political dichotomy. Anidjar attests this is at the base of a schism in Western ontology, generally. Wherein the Jew became the basis of the theological half and Muslims-Arabs became the basis of the political half.

The opening chapter ‘The Theological Enemy’ traces the movement from Judaism’s law “love thy neighbour” (often interpreted as love thy fellow Jew) to Christ’s “impossible” (according to St Aquinas and Freud) commandment to “love thy enemies.” It traces in this the paradox of the Christian message as exemplified by Paul for whom both sinners and Jews are both, at the same time and in the same place, enemies and brothers – “As regards the gospel, they are enemies of God for your sake; but as regards election they are beloved, for the sake of their ancestors. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” (Rom. 11:28-29).

keep-calm-and-love-your-enemiesHerein the Christian idealism of a universal brotherhood of mankind is at war with the identitarian pretensions of the Jews but also the emerging political spheres of nations, city-states, kings, princes and other sovereignties as well as later racial identitarian movements such as Nazism, as Anidjar writes, “the subject of Paul’s letter is at war with itself, making it impossible to sustain the division suggested by Schmitt… the theological enemy as both personal and political and as neither personal nor political.” (9). A section on Freud’s Jesus, which echoes or acts as a synecdochic symbol for whole of the Jewish communities rejection of the new covenant, follows.

Anidjar then traces the movement of the ‘practicalizing’ of the idealism within Christendom proper, from St. Augustine’s notion of just war. The idea of Christian love than is juxtaposed and made complicated by the political obligations of the Church to community and the threats of its real existing enemies – the Jews and the Arabs and other heretics. This movement of the theological towards the political is expressed as the triumph of Aquinas, “enemies are contrary to us precisely as enemies…” Anidjar qualifies, “Aquinas thus turns Augustine on his head and restores differences that had been all but dismissed, abstracted.”

The second chapter examines Derrida, Anidjar’s mentor, from whose notes the title of the book is taken. If Anidjar is truly his master’s student than he would be following Derrida’s life work as the

father of deconstruction – the stated aim of which is to destroy European identity, as Zizek quotes in an essay attempting to disprove Kevin Macdonald’s thesis of Jewish subversion in Culture of Critique:

“The idea behind deconstruction is to deconstruct the workings of strong nation-states with powerful immigration policies, to deconstruct the rhetoric of nationalism, the politics of place, the metaphysics of native land and native tongue… The idea is to disarm the bombs… of identity that nation-states build to defend themselves against the stranger, against Jews and Arabs and immigrants…”

Incidentally passages like this seem to unequivocally prove MacDonald’s thesis, broadly that Jews are attracted and spearhead political and intellectual movements which seek to weaken and destroy the natural bonds of their host societies while benefitting Jews themselves; “Jews have been the main motivating force behind several highly influential intellectual movements that have simultaneously subjected gentile culture to radical criticism and allowed for the continuity of Jewish identification.”
Zizek’s response to MacDonald’s thesis is a typical leftist Marxian-Freudian word salad analysis, which effectively devolves into name calling; “We should have no illusions here: measured by the standards of the great Enlightenment tradition, we are effectively dealing with something for which the best designation is the old orthodox Marxist term for “bourgeois irrationalists”: the self-destruction of Reason. The only thing to bear in mind is that this new barbarism is a strictly post-modern phenomenon, the obverse of the highly reflexive self-ironical attitude—no wonder that, reading authors like MacDonald, one often cannot decide if one is reading a satire or a “serious” line of argumentation.”

Derrida, who speaks as a sort of “Judeo-Algerian” and “uprooted African” and also as a “little black and very arab Jew” casts “the name Derrida become double at least.” Indeed the majority of this section is perhaps a mirror for Anidjar’s own sense of “doubleness” of marginality, of what sociologist Robert Park calls being “a marginal man.” Park writes that the effect of mass migration of various groups into relatively close proximity to each other in cosmopolitan areas produces “an unstable character, a personality type with characteristic forms of behavior.” That a person “who may or may not be a mixed blood – finds himself striving to live in two diverse cultural groups.” Park then identifies this dualism most prominently, lastingly, and historically within the psyche of the emancipated European Jew. Thus, “the emancipated Jew was, and is, historically and typically the marginal man, the first cosmopolite and citizen of the world.” Rather than consciously evaluate himself and Derrida his mentor and “marginal man” mirror, Anidjar plays a kind of game reminiscent of Zizek, calling both Judaism and Islam, and the Jew and the Arab and the hyphenated Arab-Jew; the “Abrahamic” including but also set against the middle stage or antithesis of Christianity and the Christian community.

Chapter three De Inimicitia, offering an interesting reading of Hobbes’ Leviathan above all and the movement of the “enemy” as category as set against the emerging modern state, which sees “the translation of every man into the enemy, the translation of the neighbor into the enemy.”

This begins an intriguing dialogue primarily between Hobbes, Hegel, Kant, Nietzsche and Schmitt.

The closing of the first half of the book is with an Appendix on Franz Rosenzweig’s The Star of Redemption, a work that I am not very familiar. “The enemy it attacks is the philosophy of German idealism, the home it defends is the individual.” This section is really a maddening display of Jewish subversion and supremacy; which makes claims of Christian inadequacy: “While the Jewish people knows no war because, for the Jewish people, for God’s people, the distinction between self and other has been abolished, and while Christendom maintains that distinction, what Christian peoples cannot maintain, what they have abolished, is the distinction between others, the difference between one neighbor and the next, and therefore the difference between God and world.” Beyond this there are some interesting ideas floating within that have worked their way from the beginning of the first half of the book: “At the theological pole, Judaism experiences only political war. At the political pole, Islam spreads only holy war. And in between lies Christendom, undecidably theological-political.”

Part II or the book’s second half, opens with a very interesting discussion of Shakespeare’s two Venice plays, The Merchant of Venice and Othello (so-called The Moor of Venice). This section attempts to reaffirm one of his central thesis – “The Moor of Venice is located within the sphere of politics… whereas the Merchant of Venice clearly stages a struggle over metaphysical truths.”

Finally the Fifth chapter Muslims (Hegel, Freud, Auschwitz), does an account of Hegel’s theories regarding religion, it also revisits Freud but the more interesting account was the usage of the term “Musselman” as an Auschwitz slang term for Jews who listlessly gave up hope within the camps – seemingly resembling praying Arabs. This account was contrasted to Israeli literary depictions of Arabs in Palestine – the accounts were eerily similar.

In totum the book is interesting and useful for European Identitarians who wish to identify and understand their “enemies.” If it is the intention of Anidjar to “deconstruct” Europe in the manner of his master Derrida, it appears he succeeded instead in convoluting the matter to the point of achieving almost an opposite. That is my reading gleaned some understanding of the cultural-racial edifice of Europe while acknowledging that “enemies” are essential to its own understanding of itself and of the Other. Whether it was Anidjar’s intention to reveal the ‘substanceless,’ or at least contingent component to “Othering” and making an Enemy out of the Other, it seems he only succeeded in reaffirming the necessity.

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Damnatio Memoriae: Against the Eraser of Collective Historical Reality

“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”  – George Orwell

“…scientists view narrative statements as ‘belonging to a different mentality: savage, primitive, underdeveloped, backward, alienated, composed of opinions, customs, authority, prejudice, ignorance, ideology. Narratives are fables, myths, legends, fit only for women and children’” – Jean Lyotard

The movement towards a post-historical era in which we remove from the gown of history all the girdles and gnarled knots that upset anyone is a movement towards falsification, historical illiteracy but also towards a kind of ideological-historical totalitarianism, as Orwell wrote through Winston Smith in Nineteen Eighty-Four although he does not know “with any certainty that this was 1984,” that “those who control the past, control the present and those that control the present control the future.” While 1984 is a novel about many things it is largely about the techniques and procedures of a totalitarian regime. One technique brilliantly examined explores how regimes attempt to fully control the historical narrative, they do so by taking symbols, signs, events and people and assign to them a fixed meaning of their choosing or simply erase them from the record altogether, ‘The Civil War then becomes primarily and absolutely about slavery,’ which only occurred late in the proceedings when Lincoln delivered his Emancipation Proclamation. This revisionist tendency often means aligning the ‘varieties of history’ into a congestible orthodox ‘whig narrative’ which betrays the knotted contours of historical fashioning. To superimpose a singular reading according to the whig narrative means to treat all historical events through “a theory of history that sees the slow and gradual march of progress in a free society as the dominant force not only in Anglo-American history but in the wider world as well.” Thus, the American Civil War’s dominant theme becomes “muh freedom vs muh slavery” in the popular imagination and in the ordering of the historical record. Herein the ideas of the post-modernists about the death of grand narratives is proven to be both naive and premature. However, one could make allowance for the illiteracy of the grand narrative itself; functioning nearly subconsciously in the manner of pure ideology, thereby producing ahistorical subjects who nevertheless are conditioned on the a priori assumptions of the whig narrative. Oswald Spengler, that metaphysician of the historical process, gives an excellent summation of the two positions an individual can take in regards to what Hegel famously referred to as the ‘slaughterbench’: “History is that from which (man’s) imagination seeks comprehension of the living existence of the world in relation to his own life, which he thereby invests with a deeper reality.” Thus, Spengler goes on to conclude in his opening general remarks about history that there are two possible ways of regarding the world. The first is through the historical lens, the other is as a being outside of history, untouched by its many complexes a post-historical being, Spengler writes: “But it makes a great difference whether anyone lives under the constant impression that his life is an element in a far wider life-course that goes on for hundreds and thousands of years, or conceives of himself as something rounded off and self-contained.”

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The post-historical subject -“rounded off and self-contained”

This post-historical, “rounded off and self-contained” phenomenological-existential approach to history somewhat unconsciously conditioned by the whig narrative despite the individual’s historical illiteracy; is furnished by the panem et circenses of the ceaseless avaricious activity of capitalism, itself purporting its own pseudo-histories; sports history, music history, and the miscellaneous histories of numerous sub-cultural groups – ersatz “last men” derivatives of the Real.   

The process of damnatio memoriae, that is erasing the memory of someone or something that has fallen out of favour of the ruling regime from the historical record involves the iconoclastic destruction of the contentious thing itself. Hence Isis destroying Ancient sites such as Palmyra simply because they predate or offer an ‘outside’ of the parameters of Allah’s inception is no different from the progressives removing Confederate statutes simply because they predate or ‘exist outside’ the parameters of contemporary political correctness.’ Both are attempts to wipe the historical record clean of heterodoxical elements from the prevailing ideological bent in their respective spheres of influence. No different from the Israeli occupation destroying monuments, town, signposts; any vestiges of Palestinian existence, even going so far as to uproot thousand year old olive trees – what greater metaphor could there be for forceful deracination by an enemy regime?  

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The struggle of the Palestinians is the selfsame struggle we Europeans face – Yankee, Confederate, Canadian, Italian or Brit; we are being racially eroded in our own lands by a regime that denies the reality of its policies while simultaneously labelling resistance as “terrorism” under a narrative of whig progress (“love”). While no friend of mine, we should heed the warning of Edward Said, “Perhaps the greatest battle Palestinians have waged as a people has been over the right to a remembered presence, and with that presence, the right to possess and reclaim a collective historical reality.”

A united front of European Nationalists protesting the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue at Charlotteville, while shouting, “You will not replace us!” and even more accurately “Jews will not replace us,” cannot but issue some parallel to those Palestinians who struggle against the “Zionist agenda and to erase all traces of Palestinian presence from space and time.

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Throughout Nineteen Eighty-Four Winston Smith is grappling with his memory to recall the nursery rhyme “Oranges and Lemons” which refers to the bells of several “erased” churches of the City of London which itself has now been renamed Airstrip One by the Party. Throughout the novel this leitmotif of his memory connected to monuments of a shared ‘collective historical reality’ is under assault by the totalitarian dictates of the Party, which seeks to destroy any heterodox elements within its sphere of influence (Oceania) from diverging from its ideology – either past, present or future. When Winston Smith is being questioned by O’Brien, “… does the past exist concretely, in space? Is there somewhere or other a place, a world of solid objects where the past is still happening?” In this case no because the Party has removed the Churches, the inquisition goes further:

“In records. It is written down.”

“In records. And – ?”

“In the mind. In human memories.”

“In memory. Very well, then. We, the Party, control all records, and we control all memories. Then we control the past, do we not?”

Memory and identity are intricately connected and the surest way to preserve both for us European idolaters is through idols – monuments. As Milan Kundera wrote, “The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.” That is what we Europeans face.

Although all signs and symbols, including the confederate flag, including Robert E Lee are polysemous and deictic; that is to say that they contain multiple meanings and can be interpreted with corresponding emotions by different people in different ways, according to different contexts – they carry with them historical significance. Totalitarian regimes, however, attempt to fix meaning according to their own understanding of what the thing represents.  

I recall wasting some breath discussing the importance of the Confederate flag with a liberal history graduate during the hysteria to remove it from the sight of offended parties; my interlocker retorted that I was ‘living in the past’ and that ‘we must think about today.’ I found such statements almost ironic coming from someone who makes a point of studying the past, but it bespoke of the modern fetishism with the intensity of the present and the moment, of ‘living for today’ with throwing off the shackles of tradition and history and ‘being here now’ as Ram Das put it – the problem with this is that we are a product of historical evolution, not just our own personal ones but our collective histories as extended personal genealogies; as groups, as tribes as civilizational-racial blocs and only lastly and most removed from the self; as humanity. Cireco’s quote needs be remembered: “To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child. For what is the worth of human life, unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records of history?”

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Winston Smith, working for the Ministry of Truth, understood the power of the historical record in allowing people’s unique and rooted identities which is the basis of collective political action. Winston Smith acted, like Orwell himself, in the capacity of a kind of journalist-historian who revises and creates histories and narratives – destroying the collective historical reality of a people to render them pliable and manipulable atomistic members of an impersonal leviathan. As all people who dabble in the annals of the historical record know: there is no fixed consensus.

Populism in America, for example, has generally held two distinct and contradictory perspectives. The revisionist historical perspective on American populism, was begun by Jewish historian Richard Hofstadter, in The Age of Reform: From Bryan to F.D.R., Hofstadter holds that “American Populism was narrow and provincial, deeply nostalgic, for a permanently lost past, and racist and bigoted in its response to the ethnically diverse flow of immigration into the United States.”

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Richard Hofstadter

Hofstadter was revising the “Almost unanimous in their sympathetic portrayal of the movement, they saw it was a lineal descendant of Jeffersonian and Jacksonian Democracy.”  While, historians such as John D. Hick and Roscoe C. Martian, viewed populism as “a movement of mass, popular resistance to the worst features of American capitalism and to the rampant corruption and dishonesty in American politics.” Following in response to Hofstadter’s revisionism of this view, was a school of counter-revisionism led by Norman Pollack and so the contention over history is always a matter of perspective and often of agenda and ruling ideology. Similarly following the Civil War there were two primary schools of thought, the William Dunning School and that of the Revisionists, many of whom were black historians. Of course once the Confederate flag is suspect, what of Jefferson and Jackson?  As the two foremost Presidents who battled the centralizing process of the Federal Banking system, the system which would eventuate in the Federal Reserve and the infinite debt-ceiling of a crumbling empire. Both Jefferson and Jackson after all have shady historical records thus they too should be removed from the historical record – regulated to the ‘memory hole.’ Jefferson’s debates against Alexander Hamilton over the creation of the America’s first central bank were legendary, while Jackson’s fight against the banksters was heroic. The campaign to remove Andrew Jackson from the $20 bill, most notably under the “Women on the 20s campaign” could have him replaced by a cohort of female progressives such as Margaret Sanger or Rosa Parks. President Trump’s concession to the Charlottesville protester’s right to fight against the removal of “what is to them a very, very important statue” and furthermore asking if George Washington or Thomas Jefferson iconoclasm and damnatio memoriae were next was the proudest moment of his entire Presidency thus far. President Trump displayed the kind of sympathetic identification with marginal narratives and people in this instance that one wonders if his pre-election anti-interventionist rhetoric amounts to the recognition that ‘one man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter.’ While the (((MSM))) pretends to make Trump’s insightful and balanced comments into a false equivalence; ‘Robert E Lee is not the same as Jefferson or Washington,’ however, the de facto reality of the progressive Left already targeting Jefferson as a symbol of white supremacy, and the ongoing agenda to erase the past based on retroactively moralization is pushing a never-ending iconoclasm mostly upon European achievement: Aboriginals in Australia protest the removal of Captain James Cook statues, the Guardian pines for the removal of Admiral Horatio Nelson, Leftists take it upon themselves to destroy the oldest Christopher Columbus statue in America, Ontario teachers push to rename John A Macdonald schools, and when Ghana will remove statue of Ghandi over his racist views – the progressives wolfs begin to eat their own.

I imagine Southerners who, after the War and Reconstruction, and now the removal of their symbols, are not unlike Winston Smith, who wandering around what used to be the city of London, cannot remember the nursery rhyme about the churches. The monuments have all been removed, as the people of London have been replaced, as London does not exist only Airstrip One exists – likewise the South does not exist only America, while race does not exist, only humanity – and other such totalitarianisms:

Winston Smith: “Does Big Brother exist?”

O’Brien: “Of course he exists. The Party exists. Big Brother is the embodiment of the Party.”

Winston Smith: “Does he exist in the same way that I exist?”

O’Brien: “You do not exist.”

BAD FAITH: ISLAM, LIBERALISM, AND THE INAUTHENTIC FRENCH STATE

Originally published: http://alternative-right.blogspot.com/2015/11/bad-faith-islam-liberalism-and.html

In the wake of the Friday the 13th terrorist attacks in Paris by Jihadist Muslims, the details of which are still emerging, I want to avoid writing another “I told you so” response, swathed in sentimental solidarity with the French victims, or deal with obvious “fall out” talking points, like Mossad’s possible involvement, the question of restricting civil liberties or allowing citizens to carry guns, possible military responses in the Middle East, the effect on French Jews considering aliyah (emigration to Israel), the effect on the electoral fortunes of the Front National, and so on.

Instead I want to reflect on what the city means as a symbol, and consider how some very ‘Parisian’ currents of thought have led innocents directly to this slaughterhouse.

Now, a bit about the title of this essay. In French “Bad Faith” is mauvaise foi, an expression which is more than capable of serving as a double or even triple entendre. It refers to both the “bad faiths” of Islam, the primary religion of French immigrants, and of Liberalism, the poisonous secular faith of France and the West in general. But mauvaise foi also has an additional existentialist sense, the one employed by Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir to describe a situation in which societal pressures cause a person or state to act ‘inauthentically.’ This idea of us ‘acting inauthentically’ was recently expressed by Richard Spencer in his adeptly titled NPI conference speech, “Becoming Who We Are.”

Panic attack: the boulevard of broken dreams.

For us, the whole of the post-WWII world is about instilling inauthentic patterns of communication between peoples and groups. Political correctness is one outward manifestation of such a system of control, which produces inward censuring of speech and action. Non-European immigration and integration, that is, the pushing together of divergent races, is a physical aspect of inauthenticity as it produces inorganic communities.

As Alain de Benoit writes:

“Ancient democracy was based on the idea of organic community; modern democracy, as an heir to Christianity and the philosophy of the Enlightenment, on the individual. The meaning of the words ‘city,’ ‘people,’ ‘nation,’ and ‘liberty’ radically changes from one model to another.”
Benoist, The Problem of Democracy, p.28.

De Benoist is not entirely correct in his overarching assessment of Christianity. Protestantism is individualistically inclined, not Catholicism. The Enlightenment and the Liberalism that derived from Protestantism represented a break with Catholic social and political organization. Another point of reference for the opposing universalisms of Liberalism and Islam is Samuel Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations thesis, which will no doubt become an increasingly used tool of semi-superficial analysis of the recent happenings.

Napoleon’s exotic mameluke bodyguard.

For the English, the presence of heterodox elements within their social order has always been justified in utilitarian terms: e.g. the Jews were beneficial to economic growth, Blacks from the Caribbean were needed for labour. For the French, however, the justification for “the Other” has long been a moralizing one: i.e. Jews and Muslims may become Frenchmen and adopt the universal Enlightenment values of liberty, equality and fraternity.

It is this moralizing tendency – “neither Jew nor Gentile, all are one in égalité” – by which the French attempted, via a moral crusade, to turn “the Other” into an image of themselves, without realizing that in the exchange they themselves would be changed by groups who rejected their open society principles – praise be to Allah!

 France and “the Other”

Existentialism was extremely concerned with the notion of “the Other.” This stemmed from Enlightenment thinking, which proceeded from the individual to those beyond the self, rather than conceptualizing the subject as part of a collective. In Liberalism there was “self” and “other,” and mutual interests, which could be facilitated through the market, with nothing more existing outside this rationalized exchange of common interest, except épater la bourgeoisie or épater.

Sartre criticized the modern mass of “alienated humanity” with his concept of seriality:

“the series is a gathering of men in which every man is alone because he is interchangeable with every other man.”[1]

Another way he viewed it was as a “unity based upon separation,” not just separation from each other, but an internal separation in which one is alienated from one’s own being. Alain Badiou, the Marxist philosopher, used this concept in for his formulation aimed at promoting class consciousness:

“How can men who have been passively brought together in their impotence and separation by large social collectives suddenly call into being an active unity in which they recognize one another? It is worth noting that Sartre borrowing an expression from Andre Malraux, calls this event an apocalypse. The apocalypse means that the series dissolves into a fused group.”

Actually Malraux’s “apocalypse” is rooted in real historical revolution, coming from his lyric poem L’Espoir (Hope), about the Spanish Civil War, where he celebrated the men who fought to “organize the apocalypse” on the left-wing or Republican side.

This apocalyptic inference from the Left was brought into French intellectual discourse by the expat Spanish novelist, Juan Goytisolo, a critic of Franco, through his novel Landscapes after the Battle and his essay Paris, Capital of the Twenty-first Century? The Situationist Guy Debord, drew on Goytisolo for his own apocalyptic left-wing vision:

“the destruction of the European city, at least in symbolic terms, is a necessary prelude to the creation of a new society. This is why and how the prevailing atmosphere of Landscapes after the Battle moves from something like a comic apocalypse to something like the atmosphere after a terrorist attack…. Goytisolo has consistently described his primary literary motif as that of ‘betrayal’… which applies to his political convictions as well as his aesthetic method.” [2]

In this passage we see the bacillus of Europe – its BETRAYAL! Not the betrayal by the Jihadists, who have not betrayed our trust so much as taken advantage of our complacency and the Left’s need for an agent for their own treachery. Nor do we see a betrayal by the Jews, who are simply loyal to their own particularism and their strategies for maintaining their privileged positions. No, instead what we see here is the betrayal of Europe to these groups by Europeans!

In his book The Flaneur: A Stroll Through the Paradoxes of Paris, Edmund White an American expat homosexual details this destructive process:

“Goytisolo wrote of the slow de-Europeanization of the capital…He goes on to assert that the only way France can continue to function as a beacon of civilization, as anything more than a custodian of its great heritage, is by embracing the international, hybridized culture that is already thriving within the city limits.” (p.54)

White explained that at the time he was writing about, the 1980s, Paris had “become a cultural backwater” and that some gay friends he was staying with in May 1981 in the Arab quarter, had chosen that locale because “it was affordable but also because the location appealed to their progressive politics.” This helps to explain Michel Foucault and Jean Genet’s campaigning for the “rights” of Arab immigrants in 1971.

One-way love for Arabs, Michel Foucault.

From this it becomes clear that France, in its effete homosexual decadence, and dominated by the rise of the New Left with it obscurantist leanings and Jacobin politics of apocalypse and betrayal, has been the essential agent of its own atrocities.

Betrayal runs through French history, like a motif in a bad novel. In 1962 Charles de Gaulle betrayed the French people and the electorate by pulling out of Algeria in the face of international pressure and the stresses of an entirely winnable war. Over a million pied-noir colonists, left for France, and thousands were left stranded and slaughtered as a result.

At about the same time, a few million Arabs were allowed to immigrate into France. When an economic downturn occurred and Le Pen’s Front National ran on a platform of “France for the French” and only gained 15% of the national vote, this revealed the new terms of the arrangement – ethno-nationalism for “the Other,” but multiculturalism and ethno-masochism for us.

Is there any wonder why we see such a phenomenon as European youths joining ISIS, when all Western Civilization offers them is the hollow shell of the “open society” – the castrated shopping mall of consumer identity?

It was the French Revolutionary Third Estate that decided Sephardic Jews could become full citizens, but not Ashkenazi – they were included two years later. Following the Revolution, Paris henceforth became a bastion of “liberty, equality, and fraternity,” a place in which “justice reigns,” in which both innocent ‘Dreyfus’ Jews and guilty ‘Schwartzbard’ Jews could hope for preference under the law.

Aussie Jihadist

Napoleon went through Europe, acknowledged as the modern Cyrus, smashing the ghetto walls to bits and calling forth a Grand Sanhedrin with twelve questions for the Jewish elders in order to bring them into line with the Enlightenment values of individualism, anti-tribalism, and the Christian value of anti-usury.

The position of most post-Enlightenment thinkers, including Karl Marx, fifty years later, was that Jews could assimilate only by renouncing their Judaism. Of course, we know this did not happen, we know that the universalism of the revolutionary values was not heeded by this particularistic people, nor were the conditions against usury.

We know that after their ‘liberation,’ Jews came to dominate France economically: The Rothschilds, the Meniers, the Cernuschis, the Camondos, the Pereires, the Foulds, the Cahen d’Anvers, the Dreyfusard. All these maintained close business and financial ties, intermarrying and becoming the new Aristocracy of the Bourgeoisie Revolution, floating loans to the French government for its lost wars against the English and the Prussians.

We know that today there are countless Jewish organizations in France and that Jewish solidarity and ethnic networking has never dissipated. 40% of French Jews are officially affiliated to a synagogue or to a Jewish organization – so much for universalism swallowed by the rest of France!

False France

This is the France that defends the tasteless antagonizing of Charlie Hebdo as “humorous” and “an expression of free speech,” while censoring a real comedian Dieudonne because the target of his comedy is Jews, rather than Muslims.

This is the France that ignored Dominique Venner, a true patriot, who killed himself in Notre Dame in protest against this wave of massive non-European immigration that would create jihad on the streets of Paris! (Vindicated!) The sordid media, of course, distorted his suicide as a protest against gay marriage.

This France is the place, where nearly 40% of the people and all the intellectuals voted Communist in the 1960s, the scene of Situationist student revolts, with chants of “Marx, Mao, Marcuse” that thankfully dissolved into the politics of intellectual obscurantism and the intellectualist drivelings of Lacan, Derrida and Baudrillard.

1968, before France insourced its anarchy from the Third World.

The same “Liberal,” “tolerant” France that rolls out the red carpet to terrorists is the same creature that butchered not only members of the defeated Vichy Government, the so-called ‘collaborators,’ but also right-wing intellectuals such as Robert Braillach.

As Rémi Tremblay pointed out in these very pages:

“Thousands of French (estimates greatly vary; de Gaulle talks about 11,000 French Canadian historian Robert Rumilly 80,000, Robert Aron between 30,000 and 40,000) were murdered and executed while many were imprisoned in concentration camps in a purge similar to the one that followed the French Revolution of 1789.”

In response to women’s participation during la Résistance, de Gaulle, granted them the right to vote,. According to Wayne Northcutt and Jeffra Flaitz’s Women, Politics and the French Socialist Government, this led to an electoral shift towards the Left:

“Since their formal enfranchisement in 1944, the female electorate of France approximately 53 per cent of the voting population – has manifested a gradual shift to the left.”

It was also French women who had been the first white women to cross the colour bar with African Americans during and after WWI and French ‘colour-blindness’ that helped fill the American Negro’s head with ideas that aspired outside his station, and which he then brought back to America.

Quite simply, it was the French Revolution and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen that set the modern tone for blind toleration and ethno-masochism, and which fired the ardour of the mutinous Haitians who sang La Marseillaise, as if it were one of their own chants to the Napoleonic troops sent to quell their race-based rebellion.

Paris’s darling: Josephine Baker

The France that suffered the outrage of November the 13th is also the abode of extreme capitalism and l’air du temps, with its fixation on “the Other.” It was in Paris that the fetishization of the Negro first began to hold sway, with le jazz hot and Josephine Baker, amongst many others, bringing, in the words of Edmund White, “a whiff of jungle air and an elemental strength and beauty to the tired showplace of Western Civilization.”

This is the France that has prosecuted Robert Faurisson for questioning aspects of the Holocaust and made intellectual inquiry into an historical event a criminal offense.

This is the France which was the first country to elect a Jewish head of State, Leon Blum in 1936. Blum also happened to be a “non-Zionist” member of the World Zionist Organization.

Count Stanislaus de Clermont-Tonnerre wisely argued:

“We must refuse everything to the Jews as a nation and accord everything to Jews as individuals… they should not be allowed to form in the state either a political body or an order. They must be citizens individually.”

But neither Jews nor Muslims operate in this “enlightened” way, and nor should we!

The problem is, of course, that France is experiencing a crisis of confidence in itself; its identity has been rocked by Revolutionary ideals from over two hundred years ago, leaving it with petty universalisms and moral platitudes. In times like these one should remember the Vichy government’s endorsement of Jean Giono’s “retour a la terre” (return to the soil), by which he hoped that France would rediscover “its pure and true face.”[3] Let’s hope the apocalypse that is to come leaves enough of France for this vision to be realized.

Notes

[1] Badiou, Alain. Pocket Pantheon: Figures of Postwar Philosophy. London New York: Verso, 2009. Page 21.
[2] Hussey, Andrew. Paris Underground: Juan Goytisolo and the ‘Situationist’ City. Urban Space and Cityscapes: Perspectives from Modern and Contemporary Culture, Ed. Christoph Lindner. Routledge, New York, 2006, p. 86.
[3] Golsan, Richard J. Myths of Apocalypse and Renewal: Jean Giono and “Literary” Collaboration Vol. 27, No. 3, Issue 87: Special Issue: The Occupation pp. 17-35 Published by: University of Wisconsin Press, 1998. 26.

Canto IV – Mars Concerto

Canto IV – Mars Concerto

 

Intense \disorder, disarray

The Fog of War everywhere but no bullets

A silent war – A cultural war, A demographic war, A war of representation and replication

Softness, Collusion, Peace

Faggots,  Jews, Niggers

Usury

“A man with no fortune, but with a name to come.”
Selva oscura

The Will brutalized into fatalistic tendencies

The old spinner spins without regard to goodness or wickedness

A mere functionary at a Job

“So that the high may become low and the low may become high.”

But not always, sometimes the low remains low and the high remains high

Metempsychosis sometimes to the seventh generation

Supine and Karmic the Myth of Er

Confucius say…

But the Will rises, cuts through, destroys, bestial remnant

Ascension, divination, retention, strangulation

A guiding principle

A compass within dark woods

Lost without our myths

Without our Gods

Without our Glory

Inclemency and wine

They will ask “Is poetry a war crime?”

Deluded liberals

Radovan’s “deaf amphorous dough”

Prating about covenants

Smug and self-satisfied

Purchases and pointless chatter

There can be no covenants between warrior-poets and the bourgeois

Only hand Grenades in the morning

And slit throats in the afternoon

Mai Tai’s and the silver spoon

Reclining into the newfangled unthinking existentialism of Positive affirmation

The lesser demons compel the condemned to smile and leisurely masturbate whilst in limbo

Bishop Danilo, brooding on the evils of Islam

Tsar Lazar

The Serbians knew

“Balkanization” inevitable

They sang to the girls while shooting their fathers:

“Beautiful Turkish daughter,/Our Monks will baptize you.”

Plato knew:

“Give me the making of a nation’s songs, and let who will make their laws.”

The Fat Jew:
Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes it’s laws”

The new Colossus, a gaping hole to be filled, a void, an asshole – Promiscuous Women – “Tired, poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free, / The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.” – Relativity…

The old Colossus, an Ideal, a warning, a robust fullness, Occidental assertion of boundaries – Righteous Men– “Saviour of cities, harnessed in bronze, strong of arm, unwearying, mighty with the spear” – Clarity of Vision.

The Thin Jew, inviting the world, slipping inside – lukewarm – eels, centipedes, vermin, slimy amorphousness

They let the Moors into Visigoth Spain

Distortion,

Moral dis-Order

Weimar Whores reclining in windswept palaces full of casting shadows

Bread and circuses retain the name of the footprint alone

Fleecing chivalrous conventions of bygone eras for the last of the last men

Morons! Everywhere mass retardation!

Hang the moralists! Crucify the Lord!

Gadget nerds and gay marriages, usury, sitcoms and sodomy!

Cleanse this House!

Papiols, Papiols, to the music!

Mar’s instruments – Volcanic Eruptions!

The Clarion Call, the Cornu Wail, the Standards Raised!

It beckons to all patriots –

“Death to all traitors, life everlasting to our Brethren!”

Hail Europa and despair!

Leoncio Harmr

Suggested musical accompaniment: National Anthem of Roman Empire (Instrumental) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzKHvoNWK2A

On Poets and Poetry: Conceits and Revelations – (Essay followed by first three Cantos)

The Soviet futurist Vladimir Mayakovsky once wrote, “I’m a poet. That’s what makes me interesting. That is what I write about.” This egotistic statement of the self-regarding poet is in line with Mayakovsky’s iconoclastic and self-aggrandizing style – “to his own beloved self,” but does it not tell us something about the nature of poets generally, namely, their conceit? After all why should anyone care about the scribbling that a solitary consciousness produces; very often abstrusely or even esoterically, as Eliot wrote, “We expect to have to defend a poet against the charge of obscurity.”[i] But the poet does not just compose verse willy-nilly, and does not just scribble, as in Horace’s phrase, “a book whose different features are made up at random like a sick man’s dreams.” There is method and form and rhythm to this madness. As the critic Northrop Frye tells us “There is no private symbolism,”[ii] and everything he composes is parcel: his dreams, his illusions, his visions, his fantasies, his impressions, his memories, his thoughts, his knowledge, his politics, his loves, his joys, his fears, his delusions and his creativity; he wishes to share.

“the next person at the door

will be a poet.

this one teaches

and that one lives with his mother

and that one is writing the story of

Ezra Pound.

oh, brothers, we are the sickest and the

lowest of the breed.”[iii]

Perhaps, for Bukowski, in his bottommost core, his poems were a kind of therapy – one pictures a madman searching for his “little gems,” divine moments of inspiration in intoxication, even in there, even in Ginsberg, to whatever weird and degenerate gods they summoned between them, there was something of the spark. But then, the factotum dipsomaniac gave perhaps the best defense of poetry ever devised when he wrote simply that “non-poetry is ugliness.”[iv]

While Nietzsche’s Zarathustra, perhaps justly, grew weary of the poets condemning them, “A little lust and a little boredom: that has so far been their best reflection.”[v] As I have read my Bukowski and have read my Rumi and my Nietzsche, who had much of the Dionysian dithyramb in him,[vi] and each of them I loved and each of them I absorbed and outgrew. I discovered Pound and Eliot and Yeats and Keats and Coleridge and Ovid and Dante and the Troubadours and the French Symbolists and the Decadents and the English Romantics and so on. I have always returned to the poets and always found and sought new ones. Why?

Frye once referred to the poet in the modern age as a kind of savage; that is as a remnant of both a literary and indeed a pre-literary time. In an age ruled by utility and a mass cultural apparatus facilitating la société du spectacle, the epic and the comedic forms have long since transcended their original medium, who could care about the individual’s subjectivity – if that indeed is the sum of it – but even if not – what can a poem say that prose or science or the gesamtkunstwerk of film cannot? His scribbling may as well be cave-markings after all. Poets are at once the most useless and anachronistic, contemptible and tatterdemalion of creatures, without purpose or place, existing as it were in some half-forgotten realm between sentiment and learning, impression and form, and because of this, their purpose is also as the most necessary of creatures; because of the nature of their art, the part he shares of his consciousness, both requires and subterfuges the tyranny of reason in a manner entirely its own. For to “wander lonely as a cloud,” in trousers or otherwise, such phraseology produces a connection between the inner experience of poet and the that of the reader, whose internal voice reads the words within the confines of his own consciousness, the reader may not be aware that they too ‘wander lonely’ as that selfsame ‘cloud.’ Within the image and the feeling produced there is something of the mystery of revelation. For Wordsworth, “the poet is ‘a man speaking to men’, and all men have within them the capacity for poetry, or at least for the brightness and unity of perception which may be called the poetic vision.”[vii]

For Bataille this shared inner experience of poetry, “the dark radiance of poetry” is linked to forms of expenditure or excess, it is that which is beyond the law and nature, “it conceals the known within the unknown…. Poetry’s escape, its excess, follows an Icarian path: it drives upwards in a transgressive trajectory only to reach its limits and fall.”[viii]

For almost as long as there has been poetry, there has also existed the defense of poetry, as though the dainty and utility-less ‘excessive thing’ always needed its advocates. In the Ion dialogue, Socrates compares poetry to Euripides’ magnet, the Heraclean stone, that “attracts iron rings inducing in the rings the power to do the same themselves in turn-namely attract other rings, so that sometimes a long chain of iron rings is formed, suspended from one another, all having the force derived from the stone… the spectator is the last of the rings… You – the rhapsode or the actor – are the middle link, and the poet himself is the first.”[ix] Thus, the poet is closer to the Muses and divine nature – “I’m a poet. That’s what makes me interesting,” the Russian futurist is not far removed from the classical understanding of the social role of the poet. “The spectator being the last of the rings” – within the confines of a traditionalist hierarchy of being, the furthest rung is both the most numerous and least individuated; the uninteresting masses. The inartistic, untouched by the muses, catches merely the fleeting secondhand catharsis of the poet’s connection with the divine, if he is lucky. What aristocratic conceits these poets have!

For my own conceits, not merely prolonged metaphors and contrived revelations; as Plath writes, “Perhaps you consider yourself an oracle, Mouthpiece of the dead, or of some god or other.”[x] My Cantos is well inspired by that of Pound’s corpus and gods and the style is somewhere closer to that of Eliot in places, and its subject matter tends towards Yeats and Mallarme; for certain it is thoroughly modern verse. And for certain Pound and I worship at the same temple of Western Civilization, longing for its palingenesis – after all, if only in mock jest, “Every woman adores a Fascist.” Contrasting from Bukowski’s sickest and lowest pedigree who is “writing the story of Pound,” my cantos are not merely a retelling of Pound or of an attempt to replicate his style; rather, it is my own, as I am my own. As Pound utilized the conventions, themes, motifs and images of the Canon to relay his own trials; the Ariadne thread runs through mine as well.

[i] Eliot, T. S. Essays on poetry and poets. London Boston: Faber and Faber, 1957. Print. 229.

[ii] Frye, Northrop. The critical path : an essay on the social context of literary criticism. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1971. Print.

[iii] Bukowski, Charles. Love is a dog from hell : poems, 1974-1977. Santa Barbara, Calif: Black Sparrow Press, 1977. Print. 240.

[iv] Bukowski, Charles. Notes of a dirty old man. San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1973. Print.

[v] Nietzsche, Friedrich W., and Graham Parkes. Thus spoke Zarathustra : a book for everyone and no one. Oxford New York: Oxford University Press, 2008. Print. 111.

[vi] http://www.thenietzschechannel.com/works-pub/dd/dd.htm

[vii] Snukal, Robert. High talk : the philosophical poetry of W.B. Yeats. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010. Print. 91.

[viii] Bataille, Georges, Fred Botting, and Scott Wilson. The Bataille reader. Oxford, UK Malden, MA: Blackwell, 1997. Print. 9.

[ix] Russell, D. A., and Michael Winterbottom. Classical literary criticism. Oxford England New York: Oxford University Press, 2008. Print. 7.

[x] Geddes, Gary. 20th-century poetry & poetics. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1985. Print. 443.

 

Canto I: Hortus Conclusus

I invited all the freaks

To a tea party in my garden

And all the world showed up today

So many eccentricities

Spilling into the flowers

Creating new varieties

And through it all

There is you, and there is me

Entwined ever faithfully

In these rosebushes

Mindfully, we move

Careful of the thorns

Impulsive movements

Leaving us

All bloody and torn

Love lost and woman scorn

There is a man with a face forlorn

With The desire to be bathed in the sun

And to die

And be reborn

When his time has come

 

And these roses, do they emerge from Pierian springs

Where the muses bathed

Is there a song to sing?

Of the love of a good woman who saves

A beast in a jungle

A Minotaur in a maze

A dead god’s corpse instructs:

‘A little love is a dangerous thing’

Drink deep, or taste not Beatrice’s spiral spring

 

Mechanistic clocks bleeding grains of sand

Such commotion outside, such arrears

To be paid, to be made, moneychangers

In temples without images – bland

They call it business, they herald its triumph

Over Tradition, above Pound, vulgarities abound

And the pleasures, herein my dear, mingling, are of two sorts:

Either too sterile to matter

Or too germ-ridden to be impressed upon the breast

But we, in here

A hortus conclusus – us

 

Outside the knackeries, your social niceties

Beyond the apothecaries, and between the abattoirs

There lies a perennial truth beating inside the womb

The birthing of a stillborn, Unicorn

And the paradox drags Truth down through the aestheticized mud

While an Old Ovid writes the Fasti

And Wrether travels to the Eternal City

And the Cantos connects all things to Dante’s metaphysics and Homer’s dactylics

And, and, and, never-ending…

Perhaps there is yet a cliff

On the horizon

With a burning Sun

Given something bitter-sweet

My dear, to come undone

In the company of those who forget by candlelight that love is præy

Ravaged on cliffs of abandon by demons of desire

Pulled along a winding pebbled road by a charioteer

Strumming her golden harp

Then drawn and quartered apart

On each limb – two sets – twin stallions

Two black and two white

Too dark and too light

The Skeptics on the feet

And Utopians on the other

And we non-Manicheans somewhere asunder

Caroused in the dream of the spleen

Caught between

Plato and ‘The Philosopher’

Captured by Raffaello in the vesica pisces swimming in the cloth folds of the masters

Or as consciousness tortured on a crucifix, between a redemptive sinner and one who persists

A whirling dervish, and thunder, a flash of lightening, a cloud bursting into rain and naivety and necessity and madness and a banquet of undulation – the sensory world of transient things, passing through the intestines – golden egg of shit – birthing into ignorant armies clashing –

in the din of the pitch there arises a moment of clarity, of brevity, of epiphany – and one of heroism and one of cowardice and one of deceit and one of interpretation’s cutting distortion and so on and so forth… A lasso, a thread, a throughway

Wherein the reaper makes his rounds

An hourglass without a sound

The field of battle now full of wailing banshees and dark eyed ravens with wolves waiting in the wings

Mournful elegies pouring from her lips

Into her eyes

Blindfolded cupid’s aim

Far away

And now she has been carried away

By an Zephyrus wind

And I have been

Brought to function

Under false suns

My compulsion

Is to run

Into a gaping subterranean hole

Her skirt from which the flora flows

There is death inside the rose

A slumbering dream of repose

A sheltering bosom to uphold

The suckling lips of a youth turned old

And In the room the women come and go

Speaking of things debased and low

What greater glory than to sow

The seeds of discord, the uninvited party guest

Without whom harmony would be subjected to a tyranny of monotony, a garden of earthly delights

Better to reign, than serve

A day; a stalking breast of prey

Than a cento grazing in the meadows

Mere Choices in the Agora of Hesperos

And the meek elongation of shadows

Drawing out the growing awareness

The pair caught in a serpentine bewilderment

Naked and cloven-foot

Tiptoeing around panopticonic surveillance

Wiretapped and pigeonholed

Villages disassembled and we all go

Shuffling under the common roof

His ancestors owned two-fifths of the watermill East of Eden

Drawing liquid-mercury through lukewarm waterways

Pouring it into crystal glasses for the enfranchised masses

Jackasses,

Placid and spellbound as Hylas in Waterhouse

Bewitching gazes longing for

That magic hour

Between her reign and that of Apollo’s

When the dissimilar similarities

Strike us with stupefying profundities

The Lord awoke, reeling with wine

“The overloaded measurelessness of all goods in the one who is their cause.”

The cornucopia everywhere blooming and rotting

Wastrels and beggars

Heroes and kings

The trees of the forest nearst the clearing

Droop and wither

The temperature fallth

And sandy dunes appear

Where once luscious hills shone

In verdant splendor

Has the hour come?

When all things are confused

In their compositions, dimensions and limitations

The binding together of things-strange

In anticipation of her reign

 

Her time come at last

She, holy to the lost and the dead

They too arose, joining a procession

Shuffled earth and withered rose

She, granting oblivion and holy drunkenness

From the gallows of histories hollows

Luminaries, no nobody’s

Ethereal bodies

 

A night vigil and procession

Panther skins, dithyramb limbs

The wild wind sweeps unwelcome’d trespasses,

Whisperings extinguish solitary candles in windswept temples along pathways leading towards a precipice requiring a leap of forgotten naivety

A reshuffling of the deck and few are fallen

There are no roads that lead here now

Laughing madly in her blind alley

Contingencies upon contingencies, upon a throw of the dice

A delicate balancing act, Empress of the world, an acrobat upon her globe, imprisoning between her teeth a cruel absent rose, now departed, now come, now go

She spinning wildly

Into the great unknown, endless coastlines, star-dotted skies

Cythera; summoning the ghosts of milkmaids – piously affecting a way to dictate the terms of his own fate – squatting in squalor, squeezing the royal-purple out of the snails who sunbathe by the light of the moon

hortus-conclusus-roman de la rose

 

Canto IIArchipelagos

A cult of beauty blooms
Venuses on the shells of former selves
Airy and light, whimsical delight
An intonation wilting, too soon

Too soon,

Respighi perfectly captured the essence

Speaking low

Visual

The sea arches in images

As many shapes as Proteus

Winged youth and drowning Pegasus

Vessels upon her unstable aqua-heath

Periplum’d voyagers

Ithaca in liquid modernity

Genoese for hire

Nowhere, somewhere, everywhere

A brave new world

Hovels in New York, Moscow, Bangladesh

Similitudes of “insecticide refineries”

“Chicago Semite Viennese”

Negro Siamese Canadian

Misanthrope – in a small boat

Great industries of coiled seaweed

Passing mirages, flickering gills, selfish shellfish

The solitary angler, the waterbeds he comes to know, casting out

Still the great plethora lost in the shadows of working waifs – driftwood and time’s immortal wages

Octopi, barnacles –swampage – city dwellers

Never waves – just hello’d goodbyes

Journeyed wide-eyed tourism

Cultic purism

He stops to sip

Spellbound prick

Peering into the exquisiteness of his own tortured midnight, not eyes, not mirrors, both and neither

Solid, buried marble – the tide reveals

The sculptor, who drowned in love

With forms held above

From his own hand, fashioned

What he could not withstand, a passion’d

Beauty; the frailty of being

She, an appendage of the shell

Bivalvia, Sally sells

The shore is distant now,

And he recalls dimly

A garden abounding with pleasure

A rose snatched from the bush,

But still the new day is bright

And the water rumbles

Coughing up from her recesses

Upon powerful horses, a chariot and a trident,

A great flowing beard, upon a great knowing air

What say Poseidon, Lord of the hour, who has dethroned his brother and the Other upon a grey murderous sea?

He made the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof were still

And a great valley of time separated the words uttered as though each carried the weight of ages

“Herein, the waters coalesce, some flow towards the Northern and some towards the Southern Gate, but all who pass, whether in ascent or descent, drink of oblivion…”

With that the sun darkened

The roaring wave, towered, glassy skyscrapers, tumbling

A dizzying tempest washed him far-flung ashore

The salt water; putrid and inebriating

Heady spins, myriad colors – puke

Nineteen Sixties lotus eaters – Egyptian nymphs – desert sacraments

Fumigations, one-eye-blind, sails set against the wind, piglets, priapic wand-erings, curses, invocations, black magic, temptress, enchantress, forgetfulness, Dreams

 

Birth_of_venus.jpg

 

Canto IIIWestern Skies

Under the Bodhi tree, awakening towards the East

Passive nihilism, illusion, maya, laissez-faire, nothingness

No reason to get worked up, go to work

Zen

 

Koan, Koran, Kalm

Sand, Oriental, Monsoon

Citadel Rising

 

Awakening towards the West

Meadow lands – God’s bounty – Monad

Kipling and the Saxon

Bloody sacraments

Man; alt-colossus

The sneaking serpent Ove­­­­rthrown,

Masters of our own House

No mere mild humility

Giants upon the Earth

Made in the Image

Approaching now

Towards the Eternal Flame

Marbled balustrade and patient travail

The sinew, the muscle, the fortitude

Unmatched

Prodigious toil

Cursings and blessings upon thee

Our hour has not yet approached the nihil

We are not yet soft cushioned bed-rested geriatrics

We are still men of the West

And we ascend the immortal steps

Resurrected Gods

In dialogue with Hades’ snakes and Olympus’ ladders

Never a child’s game grew so severe

As yet, the fateful hour draws near

“Thou art a dreaming thing”

Pythia, in the House of Snakes

Mandarins teaching half-learned things,

Pharisees, Sciolism; litterae nihil sanantes

We have no place in this place

No room in these rooms

Dusty recesses of the mind’s visions

Borne old too soon

Hyperion rising

In the Evening Land

Pillar of fire, cleaving the azure of the Western skies

No chiaroscuro, everything illuminated in the glow of sheer fanaticism,

Overcoming

 

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