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Author's Notebook The Sardonyx Stone A Well of Heroes Off Stand the Wolves Logos Before the Rising Sun Destiny's Exile Under a Troubled Master-Eye The Old Conductress
Myth
Considering the Shape and Shades of our Connective Soul
Working through Aryan Myth has become crucial to exploring masculinity, western warrior traditions and most of all the various genius fictions readers have charged me with investigating by writers of the 20th and 21st centuries. Therefore, I have come to the conclusion that I must examine the bulk of western heroic myth in a systematic fashion.
I have done this with:
-Gilgamesh in He, an adaptation
-Melville’s Moby Dick in The Pale Usher and now in Under a Troubled Master-Eye, both impressions
I am currently working on:
-The Song of Roland in The Sardonyx Stone, an impression
-Voyage of the Argo in Off Stand the Wolves, an adaptation
-The Aeneid in Destiny’s Exile, an adaptation
-Beowulf in A Warrior Be, an impression
I must also begin:
-The Niebelungenlied, in She Grieved, an impression
-The Dyonisica in the Shaken Shield, an adaptation
-The Death of Author by Mallory in an as yet untitled impression
-The Life of Alexander in an as yet untitled adaptation
-The Labors of Herakles and the Fury of Herakles in as yet untitled impressions or adaptations.
I will not be exploring the Iliad and the Odyssey in order to avoid retreading better ploughed academic efforts and also since I mined these extensively for The Broken Dance.
Much of the fiction we read and mine for metaphor by our favorite writers constitute genius reflections by men such as Peake, Wolfe, Howard, Tolkien, Eddison, Lewis and Dick of early mythic works from the Aryan tradition. I regard Melville as the last heroic writer in the old mythic tradition, a transitional figure who links the literary world of the authors named above with such as Homer, Virgil and the many unnamed authors of the root works. To name some parallels, in Tolkien alone, we see Arthur as a basis for Aragorn, Roland and his horn as the basis for Borimer, orks as stand-ins for Saracens, the dragon Smaug and the Dark Lord Sauron as manifestations of civilization’s corrupting hand on one hand and the modern machinery of negation on the other…
It will be a herky jerky journey, perhaps ultimately unfinished and since there will be gaps in coverage based on my reading pace and the progress of parent projects, I appreciate your indulgence for those who read along.

Editor, please provide me with a word file for each impression and two different translations for each adaptation, at your leisure.
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Add Comment
Ruben ChandlerDecember 15, 2019 3:52 PM UTC

Looking over the subject matter I went scrambling to upload a copy of Julian Jaynes' Origins of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind......while uploading I noticed it was cited in the comment. James.....one of the best books I've ever read: https://www74.zippyshare.com/v/PRevY1PW/file.html
responds:December 16, 2019 11:35 AM UTC

Thanks!
Ruben ChandlerDecember 14, 2019 5:14 PM UTC

Hercules, My Ship Mate by Robert Graves in an astounding work. Somewhat the story of Jason & the Argonauts but exploring the notion they sailed up the Amazon.
responds:December 15, 2019 2:42 PM UTC

Thanks, will check it out.
AmericanDagdaDecember 14, 2019 1:15 PM UTC

For what it's worth I'd be happy to offer my impressions and understandings of Irish and Welsh mythology in the pursuit of a more comprehensive Aryan tradition.
responds:December 15, 2019 2:43 PM UTC

I would be thrilled to read that. thanks.
c8December 14, 2019 12:08 PM UTC

Some drive-by's:

1. Did not know that Howard committed suicide at such a young age till I read it here. That's very sad, the lost talent as well as thinking upon the torment that drove him to do that.

2. My son axed me if I'd heard of Gene Wolfe. I said no but that you named him as an influence. Googling I found your piece on 'Gene Wolfe and the Gods That Should Not Be Worshiped,' in which you question, "Could the concept of super position be related to the Roman idea of a metaphysical overlay which only linked the divine and the temporal world at multidimensional events such as battles, sacrifices and celestial alignments?" Given the unusual rules of quantum entanglement, it may be that these events are moments of peak "harmonic discordance" and since our brains are wired to hear only the "beat frequency" (difference in amplitude peaks between oscillating waves or something) that we "hear" best the hidden reality at such times. (I'm channeling Itzhak Bentov, errant genius, whose work become subject of CIA scrutiny in the 80s (launching their search for 'remote viewing'), and also Julian Jayne's notions of the Bicameral Mind, wherein the Yale prof proposed that ancient man did indeed hear the voices of God/s, perhaps because the right and left hemispheres were in congruence, "entrained," better to function as receivers of the cosmic advertisments, before the emergence of formal language systems ruined everything. "Ancient man was schizophrenic" is the dismissive gloss. Bentov (Ben Tov, "good son") noted in a 1978 interview that those super high IQ folk who inhabit the far right edge of the Bell Curve are found not in academia but in mental institutions, since they inhabit a different reality that normies. He died the next year in the famous DC-10 crash at O'Hare (wing fell off plane), pilot named Lux, there's fate again making its jokes.

Where was I? Oh yeah, pedantry: you noted re: Wolfe "Animistic people subscribed to countless extra-human agents of a Universal Consciousness, including totemic and ancestral spirits..." Not merely subscribed to those channels but binged, per Jaynes, hearing the voices as clearly as I hear Michael Buffer ask me if I'm "ready to rumble." Later literate peoples had to adopt formalized prayers, since they could no longer hear directly the god/s speaking, and even today repetitive prayers like the Rosary (or, for cheaters, ayahuasca) allow a degree of hemispheric entrainment (meditation) to facilitate extra-sensory communication with angels or machine elves, your pick.

But your mentioned 'The Book of the New Sun, described as "set in a distant future when the sun is dying and humanity exhausted. The books tell how Severian, a journeyman of the Guild of Torturers, is exiled for the sin of mercy, takes to the road, fights in a war, and becomes the ruler of Urth."

Exiled for the sin of mercy! Our civilization is dying from an over-abundance of mercy, foisted upon us by a people notorious for their hypocrisy and deception, who are always quick to hold the hapless hyperboreans to their ideals when it suits the elite's purposes.

Most humorously, I see that before becoming a writer Wolfe worked at Proctor & Gamble, developing the machine that cooks the dough used to make Pringles potato chips. As always, life is simply a Pynchon novel*.

(You also wrote, "I think it was Asimov, an atheist, who said that technology sufficiently advanced is for all intents and purposes magic." That was Arthur C. Clarke, the monster of Sri Lanka, not Asimov the NYC agoraphobic.)

*James, when you complete your to-do list of reading the Western mythos canon, I know you will enjoy mightily what I think Pynchon's greatest book, 'Against the Day,' and I say that as someone who could never even finish 'Gravity's Rainbow.' Reading and re-reading ATD has been one of my pathetic life's greatest pleasures.
responds:December 15, 2019 2:45 PM UTC

thanks for this extensive insight—I most enjoyed it and if I can write something to do it justice I'll use it as an article starter.