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‘The Real Deal’
Writers Who Lived What They Taught: A Tardy Crackpot Mail Box Answer

Goose commented on

The Writing Process Schedule


4:35 PM UTC James, I was surprised there was no list D for writers whose work is centered around masculinity as the core theme, and who are "the real deal", i.e. they lived what they taught. What would your list look like? J.London, E.Hemingway?

Sorry, Goose, just found this in my files.


James Top Masculine Writers

These writers have to have written on masculine themes and also engaged in actual hyper-masculine activities, doing things that the normal men of their age regarded as beyond the required masculine forms of expression.

-9. Robert E. Howard boxed for the fun of it and to mold himself into at least a reflection of the heroes he wished to write about, in an age when over two thirds of men no longer chose to box or wrestle or duel, but rather to spectate. Read Black Vulmea for his most masculine character.

-8. Herman Melville, who sailed on merchant, whaling and naval ships in the Age of Sail and wrote humanly of his inhuman experiences.

-7. Gene Wolfe was a combat infantryman in the Korean Conflict and demonstrates a deep understanding of the conflicted man stuck in the civilized matrix. Read Latro in the Mist for his most masculine character.

-6. Ernest Hemmingway put himself into war zones and even hounded World Heavyweight Wrecking Machine Jack Dempsey for a boxing match. Having only read 4 of his stories and one of his novels, I cannot recommend a most masculine depiction.

-5. Jack London, adventurer, hobo and fierce political commentator lived hard, died young and immersed himself in the masculine fringe of sissy society with more authenticity than Hemmingway. For his most masculine protagonist see The Iron Heel.

-4. Louis L’Amour, did everything that London did in terms of adventure and also boxed 58 pro fights, only losing 8 and commanded a tank destroyer in WWII. Every L’Amour novel and story features a real, hard man. His best masculine depictions are in The Walking Drum, Fair Blows the Wind and To the Far Blue Mountains.

-3. Xenophon, co-commanded a division of Greek mercenaries with a savage Spartan who fought their way out of the shitiest military situation any command that size has survived. He was even adopted by the Spartans. All of his historical and practical writing focused on the self-ascension of the masculine soul.

-2. Richard Francis Burton, matchless swordsman, pro level boxer, explorer to regions previously unknown to his race, spy for the British Empire, treasure hunter, extreme womanizer, Hindu initiate, Sufi scholar, who infiltrated Herat, Mecca and Medina in service to the Crown, took a spear through the face in Somalia, beat syphilis with malaria and then beat malaria, commander of the insane Rotten Heads Irregular cavalry, unrivaled scholar of linguistics, ethnology, religion and the sword in his day and author of dozens of books, drug addict, alcoholic and unrepentant challenger of government corruption. Read my books The World is Our Widow and The Spiral Case and Stephan Jose Farmer’s To Our Scattered Bodies Go, for good treatments of Burton as a character.

-1. Ernst Junger survived the worst combat experience in human history in closer proximity and for a longer duration than any other known war hero and wrote the following books, all of which had hyper-masculine anti-collective anti-technological themes: The Forest Passage, On Pain, Storm of Steel and the novel The Glass Bees. Those are the few titles I have read.

Taken together, the list of men above could serve as a dream team of alien abductees dropped on a savage planet. Numbers 1, 2 and 3 could easily serve as the general staff of a regiment.

The Pale Usher

Impressions of Moby Dick: Herman Melville and Modern Man?s Transcendental Journey

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ShepMarch 4, 2019 10:47 PM UTC

Here's an honorable mention for the list: Merian Cooper. He was a journalist, screenwriter, and Hollywood figure who produced King Kong. He was expelled from the Naval Academy for "hell-raising and championing air power". Then he flew bombers in WW1, shot down in flames, then a German POW. Then he flew for the Poles in the Soviet-Polish War where the Poles saved Europe from Commie invasion—shot down again, and this time a POW of the Reds. Foreign correspondent in Ethiopia. One of the founders of Pan-Am Airways.
responds:March 7, 2019 12:06 AM UTC

Thanks, Shep.
KoanicMarch 4, 2019 12:31 PM UTC

Thought you'd be glad to see that the transcendent ethos of mutual elevation is alive and well in Muay Thai:

Saenchai, the greatest of all time.
responds:March 7, 2019 12:07 AM UTC

Thanks for this!
GooseMarch 3, 2019 4:31 PM UTC

A representative masculine novel by Hemingway would be "To have and have not", set during the Great Depression period. It's not often mentioned these days due to its politically incorrect language and the general "man against the state" story line.

Another possible author for the list would be Charles Bukowski, although maybe he was more of a Big Ron character than an ideologist.
responds:March 4, 2019 3:50 AM UTC

The basic problem with my list is I haven't read enough. You are not the only reader to recommend Bukowski.
ShepMarch 3, 2019 12:42 AM UTC

I always gotta put a plug in for L.L'A's Education of a Wandering Man. Highly motivating book.
responds:March 4, 2019 3:50 AM UTC

One of my favorites.
LaManoMarch 2, 2019 4:31 PM UTC

One more example (although he was not a fiction writer, I don't think!) was Elmer Keith, the outdoor and gun writer. Even if you discount a few of the things he wrote, he was still a hell of a man and wrote about things he actually and verifiably did.

Some of his writing was about guiding Zane Grey, the Western writer, on hunting and fishing trips. Zane Grey comes across as the most hypocritical and un-manly writer of western fiction that you can imagine, bringing along a campful of syncophants and Hollywood types on trips, and stiffing Keith for what he owed him ....
responds:March 4, 2019 3:51 AM UTC

Thanks for this recommendation!