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jeudi, 23 avril 2015

“Les noirs et les rouges”, d'Alberto Garlini

Garlini_photo1_Laura-Pagliara.jpg

“Les noirs et les rouges”, d'Alberto Garlini

Les malveillants

Ex: http://www.parismatch.com

Baston, complots et attentats : Alberto Garlini suit le parcours sanglant d’un militant d’extrême-droite dans l’Italie des années 1970. Machiavélique.

noirsrouges.jpgOn n’en finit pas de revivre les « années de plomb » en Italie. Là-bas, entre 1968 et 1975, au lieu de mastiquer des marguerites comme tout le monde, jeunes fascistes et jeunes gauchistes se sont livrés à une guerre acharnée. Rien à voir avec les révolutionnaires parisiens de l’époque dont le bla-bla sentencieux endormait jusqu’aux fleurs. Chez nous, on jouait à la révolution. Chez eux, c’était la guerre. De Lotta nazionale, jusqu’aux Brigades rouges, on avalait chaque matin du chien-loup en brochette sur des barbelés. Les vieux de chaque bord étaient maudits. La nostalgie geignarde du passé impérial, des Chemises noires et du salut romain exaspéraient les jeunes fascistes qui vouaient, en revanche, un culte à Mussolini. Même chose en face : les dinosaures du Parti communiste étaient maudits, tandis que Staline, Lénine ou Mao, les vrais monstres, restaient d’indéboulonnables idoles.

Le livre le plus excitant, le plus brutal et le plus audacieux du moment

C’est tout ça que ressuscite Alberto Garlini dans « Les noirs et les rouges », le livre le plus excitant, le plus brutal et le plus audacieux du moment. Car, attention, pour une fois, on ne raconte pas l’histoire bien installés dans le camp des « bons » qui vous massacrent au nom de la justice ou du prolétariat. On est chez les « méchants », les fascistes ! Et pas dans une bande à états d’âme. Stefano, le héros, et ses copains raffolent de la castagne, de la chaleur du feu, des cris bestiaux de leurs victimes, de l’odeur du brûlé, de la rage des coups… Le goût du sang est pour eux aussi irrésistible que celui du pollen pour les abeilles. Surtout que les petits gauchistes leur tournent les sangs, avec leur tête de fils à papa, leurs diplômes de futurs notaires, leurs déjeuners du dimanche chez la grand-mère et leur arrogance de gamins qui flirtent avec la soubrette. A l’extrême droite, on ne joue pas au tennis mais on massacre les révolutionnaires de bonne famille qui pleurent quand ils se font mal en tombant des nues. Car on appartient au peuple, le vrai, pas celui qui, dix ans plus tard, s’enrichira chez Gallimard en souriant de son passage aux usines Peugeot.

Stefano, un fils d’ouvrier d’Udine, devient un héros du jour au lendemain quand il massacre une bonne poignée de « rouges » à l’université de droit de Rome. Sa philosophie est celle du Duce : « Si j’avance, suivez-moi. Si je recule, tuez-moi. Si je meurs, vengez-moi. » Ce n’est pas du Kant. Mais quand on trace sa route à coups de ranger en pleine poire, c’est très efficace. Et le résultat est là : Stefano grimpe dans la hiérarchie secrète des noirs qui veulent abattre la démocratie. Il va tuer un homme qui a « donné » un flic sympathisant, importer des armes, saboter la visite d’un ministre yougoslave, mettre une bombe dans un train et, finalement, participer à un attentat monstrueux dans une banque à Milan. Sauf que, peu à peu, il comprend. Que la police l’a repéré depuis longtemps, que ses bombes sont fournies par les « services », que ses commanditaires fréquentent l’autre bord. La lutte, la fraternité, l’utopie se transforment en tromperies, trahisons, braquages, complots et intrigues. Ne reste à l’arrivée que la fuite. Et la mort.

« Les noirs et les rouges », d’Alberto Garlini, éd Gallimard, 676 pages, 27,50 euros.

mercredi, 22 avril 2015

Il sogno di Mishima

lundi, 20 avril 2015

Camus on Ideology vs. Blood

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Camus on Ideology vs. Blood

By Kevin Donoghue

Ex: http://www.counter-currents.com

It is December 10, 1957, and a cold, dark day in Stockholm, Sweden. Inside the hall, however, it is bright and warm, with many of the world’s leading men assembled for the chance to hear directly from the bright young man about to be honored. His voice has rung out as a sign of hope and a challenge to tyrants and dictators, his work acclaimed and already achieving a place of honor in the curricula of the world’s universities. 

The author has just turned 44 years of age, yet he has the ear of the world’s great and good, as well as the ears of many a common man. His life’s work as an author has led to today’s event, the awarding of the Nobel Prize, but he is more than that: a famous newspaper editor, a philosopher, a public intellectual, a dramatist, a playwright, a playboy whose Hollywood good-looks and fame ensure a dizzying succession of women. For a time, he was the voice of the French Resistance inside France itself—indeed, from the very heart of immortal Paris—both during and immediately after the war.

Yet, on this day, many find themselves wondering what this famous man will say. He has been uncommonly quiet for months now, a matter that has incited not a small amount of public comment. The author did rouse himself during the Hungarian Uprising of 1956 and helped rally world opinion in favor of that noble but doomed effort to remove the ancient and Christian nation of Hungary from under Soviet domination. Yet, he has remained silent in the face of a national crisis gripping his own homeland.

In Algeria, French troops are fighting a no-holds-barred war against Muslim forces seeking to evict France and all Frenchmen and Christians. In Paris, all men with an interest in public affairs have staked a position on what would eventually be known as the Algerian War, a matter so dire, so central to French life as to eventually cause not just the downfall of a government but the demise of the Fourth Republic itself.

And, so, the men in Stockholm that day were more than usually interested when the honored man, Albert Camus, took to the podium to give a short lecture. And so he began:

In receiving the distinction with which your free Academy has so generously honored me, my gratitude has been profound, particularly when I consider the extent to which this recompense has surpassed my personal merits. Every man, and for stronger reasons, every artist, wants to be recognized. So do I. But I have not been able to learn of your decision without comparing its repercussions to what I really am. A man almost young, rich only in his doubts and with his work still in progress, accustomed to living in the solitude of work or in the retreats of friendship: how would he not feel a kind of panic at hearing the decree that transports him all of a sudden, alone and reduced to himself, to the center of a glaring light? And with what feelings could he accept this honor at a time when other writers in Europe, among them the very greatest, are condemned to silence, and even at a time when the country of his birth is going through unending misery? (http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1957/camus-speech.html [2])

The lecture matched the man: short yet grand, concise yet breath-taking in scope.

However, fate would have it that Camus’ speech would not be the most famous, or the most important, words he would utter that day. For a controversy dogged his every step in Sweden. A French Algerian writer, a celebrated man of the French Left, could not be allowed to say nothing about what his comrades considered a war of national liberation that demanded their full support. So after Camus’ remarks, an Algerian student rose and asked the newly-crowned laureate, how he could remain silent in the face of his people’s struggle for justice.

And, so, Camus responded. His response confounded his comrades and revealed the extent to which Camus prized the reality of our organic connections to family and community over mere political theory and rhetoric.

People are now planting bombs on the tramway of Algiers. My mother might be on one of those tramways. If that is justice, then I prefer my mother.

That simple remark turned a simmering controversy into a firestorm of condemnation, a condemnation so furious as to—temporarily, at least—besmirch his reputation and cause the removal of his works from mandatory reading lists well into the 1980s.

messud_1_110713-e1429032863954.jpg

Camus and Michel
Gallimard from 1958

Those of us on the Right who are seeking both to describe the terminal problem of liberalism and to set forth a humane solution would do well to remember Camus’ point.

To be effective, to signal clearly that we are not haters and harmers, but people offering a just and humane solution to a very real, very human problem, we must remember that abstract political theories are outside of our political tradition. (They are not outside of France’s, hence, Camus’ heresy.) We must remain grounded. We must recognize why the Left writ large continues to attract souls like Camus, and we must offer an equally attractive alternative vision.

In short, let us appeal to family, not theory.


Article printed from Counter-Currents Publishing: http://www.counter-currents.com

URL to article: http://www.counter-currents.com/2015/04/camus-on-ideology-vs-blood/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: https://secure.counter-currents.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/camus.jpg

[2] http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1957/camus-speech.html: http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1957/camus-speech.html

[3] Image: http://www.counter-currents.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/messud_1_110713-e1429032863954.jpg

mercredi, 08 avril 2015

Múdspelli

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Múdspelli
 
Ex: http://taaldacht.nl

Also available in English.

In de Germaanse letterkunde van de vroege Middeleeuwen bestaat een zeer geheimzinnig woord dat telkenmale in één adem wordt genoemd met vuur en verwoesting en het einde van de wereld, te weten Múdspelli. Het is onduidelijk wat het letterlijk betekent en de vraag is bovendien of het oorspronkelijk een christelijk begrip is of dat het uit het oude Germaanse heidendom stamt. Er zijn al vele voorstellen gedaan, maar geen ervan is echt overtuigend. Valt er dan wellicht een nieuwe duiding te bedenken?

Saksen


Aan het begin van de negende eeuw is de kerstening van de Saksen –woonachtig in wat nu Noordwest-Duitsland en Noordoost-Nederland is– in volle gang. Als onderdeel van deze inspanningen verschijnt er tussen 825 en 850 een bijzonder werk: een Oudsaksisch heldendicht van wel zesduizend verzen, geheel in Germaans stafrijm, dat het verhaal van Jezus vertelt als ware hij een hoofdman die krijgers onder zich heeft en door de onmetelijke wouden van Middilgard reist. Het is niets minder dan de Germaanse uitgave van de blijde boodschap. De dichter is onbekend en hij heeft zijn werk geen naam gegeven, maar hij noemt Jezus onder meer de Hêliand (‘Heiland, Verlosser’) en onder die naam staat het thans bekend.

In verzen 2589b-2592a komen wij het geheimzinnige woord dan tegen (vertaling Van Vredendaal):

Tot wasdom komen ze samen;
de verdoemden groeien met de goeden op,
totdat Múdspelli’s macht over de mensen komt
bij het einde der tijden.

En een flink eind later, in verzen 4352a–64, andermaal (vertaling Van Vredendaal):

Wees waakzaam! Gewis komt voor jullie
de schitterende doemdag: dan verschijnt de heer
met zijn onmetelijke macht en het vermaarde uur,
de wending van de wereld. Wacht je er dus voor
dat hij je niet besluipt als je slaapt op je rustbed,
je bij verrassing overvalt bij je verraderlijke werken,
bij misdaad en zonde. Múdspelli komt
in duistere nacht. Zoals een dief zich beweegt
in het diepste geheim, zo zal de dag komen,
de laatste van dit licht, en de levenden overvallen,
gelijk de vloed deed in vroeger dagen:
de zwalpende zee verzwolg de mensen
in Noachs tijden.

Hoewel de Hêliand geen regelrechte Bijbelvertaling is komt het een en ander uiteraard zeer bekend voor: “Want gij weet zelven zeer wel, dat de dag des Heeren alzo zal komen, gelijk een dief in den nacht” (1 Thessalonicensen 5:2). Maar wie of wat Múdspelli nu genauw is blijft onduidelijk, al zal het voor de Saksische toehoorder een bekend begrip zijn geweest, wat erop duidt dat het oud is. De Hêliand is overigens het voornaamste van slechts enkele waarlijk letterkundige werken in het Oudsaksisch, dus het zal niet verbazen dat het verder niet voorkomt in Oudsaksische geschriften.

Beieren


Omstreeks 870 na Christus verschijnt verder naar het zuiden –in Beieren– een Oudhoogduits gedicht dat vertelt over de strijd tussen Elias en de Antichrist, als waren zij de keurstrijders van God en de grote Vijand. Elias verslaat de Antichrist, maar is zelf ook gewond en zodra zijn bloed de Aarde raakt ontbrandt zij op geweldige wijze. Regels 55b-60b (eigen vertaling):

De doemdag gaat dan te lande,
gaat met het vuur mannen bezoeken.
Daar kan een verwante een ander niet helpen tegenover het Múspilli.
Want de wijde aarde verbrandt geheel,
en vuur en lucht vagen alles weg;
waar is dan die beschikte grond waar een man immer met zijn verwanten voor vocht?

Het gedicht vertelt voorts dat heel Mittilgart zal branden: geen berg of boom wordt gespaard. Water droogt op, zeeën worden verzwolgen, de hemelen vlammen en de maan valt. Niets weerstaat het Múspilli. Men merke dan op dat de vorm van het woord iets anders is: in vergelijking met Oudsaksisch Múdspelli lijkt Oudhoogduits Múspilli wat meer verbasterd. Het blijft onduidelijk wat diens genauwe betekenis is, maar ook hier zal het voor de toehoorder van die tijd een bekend begrip zijn geweest.

IJsland


De laatste plekken waar het woord verschijnt –deze keer in de vorm Múspell– zijn in de Oudijslandse letterkunde. Een van de belangrijkste schriftelijke bronnen aangaande het Germaans-heidense wereldbeeld is een bundel van gedichten die thans bekend staat als de Poëtische Edda. De belangrijkste van deze is de Vǫluspá (‘voorspelling van de zienster’). Dit gedicht, dat waarschijnlijk in de 10e eeuw na Christus is opgesteld door een heiden die daarmee oeroude overlevering doorgaf, verhaalt van de schepping van de wereld en van het einde van de wereld – elders de Ragnarǫk genoemd. Wij lezen dan tegen het einde ervan, in verzen 44 en 45 (vertaling De Vries):

Een kiel uit het oosten
komt met de mannen
van Múspell beladen
en Loki aan’t roer.
Tezaam met de reuzen
rent nu de wolf,
en hen begeleidt
de broer van Byleist.

Uit het zuiden komt Surtr [‘Zwart’]
met vlammend zwaard
en gensters fonkelen
van dit godenwapen.
Rotsen barsten,
reuzen vallen,
de helweg gaan mannen,
de hemel splijt.

Elders in de Oudijslandse letterkunde krijgen wij meer te lezen over Múspell, en wel in de zogenaamde Proza-Edda, een soort dichtershandboek vol verhalen dat omstreeks 1220 door de christelijke geschiedkundige Snorri Sturluson is geschreven. Hij putte hiervoor uit de heidense overlevering, zoals de reeds genoemde gedichten hierboven, maar het is vaak niet te achterhalen in hoeverre hij er een eigen invulling aan gaf, waardoor voorzichtig lezen geboden is. In hoofdstuk 4 van het deel dat de Gylfaginning heet, meldt Snorri het volgende (eigen vertaling):

Toen sprak Derde: ‘Doch eerst was er in het zuiden de wereld die Múspell heet. Deze is licht en heet. Zó dat hij vlammend en brandend is. En hij is onbegaanbaar voor degenen die daar vreemdelingen zijn en daar niet hun vaderland hebben. Daar is een genaamd Surtr, die daar bij de grens ter verdediging zit. Hij heeft een vlammend zwaard, en bij het einde der wereld zal hij oorlog gaan voeren en alle goden verslaan en de hele wereld met vuur verbranden.’

Verderop in het verhaal wordt verteld dat Múspellsheimr (‘Múspells heem’) in de oertijd gesmolten deeltjes en vonken uitschoot en dat de goden en de dwergen hiervan de zon en de sterren hebben gemaakt. En er wordt meerdere malen verhaald van hoe Múspellsmegir (‘Múspells knapen’) en Múspellssynir (‘Múspells zonen’) op het laatst zullen uitrijden en oorlog zullen voeren, opdat Miðgarðr wordt verwoest.

Duiding


Dat het woord een samenstelling is staat vast, maar wat betekent het nu werkelijk en hoe oud is het? Is het een christelijk begrip dat zelfs IJsland wist te bereiken toen dat nog grotendeels heidens was –hetgeen op zichzelf niet ondenkbaar is– of is het oud genoeg om uit heidense tijden te stammen? Zoals gezegd is het waarschijnlijk tamelijk ouder dan zijn eerste verschijning op schrift, daar het woord al vrij bekend zal zijn geweest voor de toehoorders destijds, en lijkt het dus van heidense oorsprong.

Er is al in elk geval al aardig wat voorgesteld en het gesprek is nog steeds gaande. Een goede opsomming hiervan is te vinden in de onderaan vermelde verhandeling van Hans Jeske uit 2006. In het kort: voor het eerste lid is verband gezocht met o.a. Oudsaksisch múð ‘mond’ en Latijn mundus ‘wereld’, voor het tweede lid met o.a. Oudhoogduits spell ‘vertelling’ en spildan ‘vernietigen’, waardoor we uitkomen met duidingen als ‘mondelinge vernietiging’ (door God), ‘mondelinge vertelling’ (als onbeholpen vertaling van Latijn ōrāculum ‘goddelijke uitspraak’) of ‘wereldvernietiging’. Maar allen stuiten op vormelijke, inhoudelijke en/of geschiedkundige bezwaren, waardoor geen ervan echt weet te overtuigen. Het is dan ook de hoogste tijd voor een geheel nieuwe duiding.

Allereerst: het Oudgermaans erfde van zijn voorloper –het Proto-Indo-Europees– meerdere wijzen van samenstellingen maken. Bij één daarvan reeg men twee woorden én een achtervoegsel aan elkaar tot één onzijdig zelfstandig naamwoord. Het achtervoegsel gaf de samenstelling een lading van veelheid en verzameling. Een bekend voorbeeld hiervan is de samenstelling van *alja- ‘ander, vreemd’ + *landa- ‘land’ + *-jan (achtervoegsel) tot *aljalandjan (o.) ‘het geheel van andere landen’ oftewel ‘het buitenland’. Het woord is o.a. als Oudsaksisch elilendi, Oudhoogduits elilenti en Nederlands ellende overgeleverd. Deze wijze van samenstellen lijkt na de Oudgermaanse tijd niet meer in gebruik te zijn geweest, dus als wij zo’n samenstelling tegenkomen in de dochtertalen is zij waarschijnlijk vrij oud, namelijk van voor de kerstening der Germanen.

Welnu, Oudsaksisch Múdspelli, Oudhoogduits Múspilli en Oudnoords Múspell hebben er alles van weg genauw zo’n soort oude samenstelling te zijn. Onder meer omdat ze onzijdig zijn en een spoor van het genoemde achtervoegsel tonen. Dat wil zeggen, ze lijken terug te gaan op Oudgermaans *Mūdaspalljan (o.), een samenstelling van *mūda- + *spalla- + *-jan (achtervoegsel). De vraag is vervolgens: wat zijn *mūda- en *spalla-?

Over *spalla- kunnen we bondig zijn. Hoewel het anderszins niet is overgeleverd in de Germaanse talen is dit woord goed te verbinden met de Proto-Indo-Europese wortel *(s)pel-, *(s)pol-, die wij verder kennen van onder meer Oudkerkslavisch poljǫ, polĕti ‘branden, vlammen’ en Russisch pólomja ‘vlam’. Dan zou Oudgermaans *spalla- ook iets als ‘vuur’ of ‘vlam’ hebben betekend.

Over *mūda- valt meer te vertellen. Dit woord is, weliswaar verlengd met verschillende achtervoegsels, namelijk wél overgeleverd in de Germaanse talen. Enerzijds zijn er –met een achtervoegsel dat vertrouwdheid en verkleining aangeeft– Middelnederduits mudeke, 16e eeuws Nederlands muydick, streektalig Duits Muttich, Mutch, Mautch en Oostvlaams muik, die allen ongeveer ‘bewaarplaats of voorraad van ooft of geld’ betekenen, maar soms meer algemeen en oorspronkelijk ‘opeenhoping’. Anderszijds zijn er Oudhoogduits múttun (mv.) ‘voorraadschuren’, Silezisch Maute ‘bergplaats van ooft’ en Beiers Mauten ‘voorraad van ooft’.

Vervolgens kunnen wij dit *mūda- verbinden met de Proto-Indo-Europese wortel *meuH- ‘overvloedig, krachtig in vermenigvuldiging’ (voorgelegd door Michael Weiss in 1996), die anderszins ten grondslag ligt aan Grieks mūríos ‘talloos, onmetelijk’, Hettitisch mūri- ‘tros ooft’, Luwisch-Hettitisch mūwa- ‘een ontzagwekkende eigenschap, van bijvoorbeeld een koning of god’, Hiërogliefisch Luwisch mūwa- ‘overweldigen (o.i.d.)’ en ten slotte Latijn mūtō en Oudiers moth, beide ‘mannelijk geslachtsdeel’. Mogelijk horen hierbij ook Oudgermaans *mūhō ‘grote hoop’ (vanwaar o.a. Oudengels múha en Oudnoords múgi) en *meurjōn (vanwaar o.a. Nederlands mier).

Hieruit valt op te maken dat Oudgermaans *mūda- waarschijnlijk zoveel betekende als ‘opeenhoping, veelheid, overvloed e.d.’ of anders in bijvoeglijke zin ‘overvloedig’.

Besluit


*Mūdaspalljan is dan een zeer oud, heidens begrip dat het beste is op te vatten als het ‘Overvloedige Gevlamte’ of het ‘Vuur des Overvloeds’ en bij uitbreiding het ‘Vurige Wereldeinde’. En dat is een betekenis die uitstekend past in de zinsverbanden waarin we het woord in de dochtertalen tegenkomen. Men leze hen boven maar eens terug. Een mogelijk bezwaar is evenwel dat het woord dan uit tamelijk zeldzame woordstof is opgebouwd. Maar zoiets zouden we juist verwachten van een oud, mythologisch geladen woord. Germaanse dichters gebruikten vaak woorden die in de algemene taal niet of nauwelijks (meer) voorkwamen om zo een stijl van verheven ernst te scheppen.

Op grond van de Oudijslandse benamingen Múspellsmegir (‘Múspells knapen’) en Múspellssynir (‘Múspells zonen’) is wel betoogd dat Múspell een reus of iets dergelijks is. Maar het woord is zoals gezegd onzijdig en diens ‘knapen’ en ‘zonen’ zijn volgens de hier voorgesteld duiding goed te begrijpen als een dichterlijke voorstelling van de afzonderlijke vlammen die voortrazen als heel de wereld wordt verzwolgen.

De Vǫluspá verhaalt dat na deze eindstrijd de Aarde herrijst –groen en fris– en dat mensen een zorgeloos leven in vreugde zullen leiden. De overeenkomsten met de christelijke leer over het hiernamaals op een Nieuwe Aarde zijn opvallend en vaak wordt er aan ontlening gedacht. Doch als we beseffen dat er in de Oudgermaanse tijd menig langhuis en medehal in vlammen moet zijn opgegaan, wouden konden branden door ongelukkige blikseminslagen, en menig akker door vijanden ware verschroeid, en er niets anders opzat dan te herbouwen en herzaaien, dan is het goed mogelijk dat de heidenen van weleer dachten dat ooit heel Middilgard in het Múdspelli zou eindigen, dat de wereld der mannen zou branden in een Alverzengend Vuur, vooraleer het weer zou herrijzen – groen en fris.

Verwijzingen

Faulkes, A., Edda (Londen, 1995)

Jeske, H., “Zur Etymologie des Wortes muspilli”, in Zeitschrift für deutsches Altertum und deutsche Literatur, Bd. 135, H. 4 (2006), pp. 425-434

Krahe, H. & W. Meid, Germanische Sprachwissenschaft III: Wortbildungslehre (Berlijn, 1969)

Philippa, M., e.a., Etymologisch Woordenboek van het Nederlands (webuitgave)

Rix, H., Lexikon der indogermanischen Verben, 2. Auflage (Wiesbaden, 2001)

Simek, R., Lexikon der germanischen Mythologie, 3. Auflage (Stuttgart, 2006)

Vaan, M. de, Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic Languages (Leiden, 2008)

Vredendaal, J. van, Heliand (Amsterdam, 2006)

Vries, J. de, Nederlands etymologisch woordenboek (Leiden, 1971)

Vries, J. de, Edda: Goden- en heldenliederen uit de Germaanse oudheid, 10e druk (Deventer, 1999)

Weiss, M., “Greek μυϱίος ‘countless’, Hittite mūri- ‘bunch (of fruit)’”, in Historische Sprachforschung, 109. Bd., 2. H. (1996), pp. 199-214

jeudi, 02 avril 2015

Buchpräsentation: Barbey d'Aurevilly

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Buchpräsentation:

Barbey d'Aurevilly

»Der Chevalier des Touches«

09.04.2015

20:00

Literaturforum im Brecht-Haus

Ist er es, oder ist es ein Gespenst? Der verwirrte alte Mann, der an einem windigen Abend auf dem Kapuzinerplatz in Valognes steht, weckt die Erinnerungen an einen großen Coup des Widerstands gegen die Revolution: die Befreiung des zum Tode verurteilten Chevalier Des Touches 1799. Die Ereignisse liegen drei Jahrzehnte zurück und man wähnte den Chevalier längst tot. Aufgeschreckt durch seine vermeintliche Wiederkehr, erzählen sich in einem Salon bei knisterndem Feuer ein paar Landadlige, die schon bessere Zeiten gesehen haben, seine abenteuerliche Geschichte. Unter ihnen die taube Aimée de Spens, die darin eine zentrale und einigermaßen pikante Rolle spielt und nicht ahnt, dass man von ihr spricht.

Ralph Schock im Gespräch mit dem Mitübersetzer und Herausgeber Gernot Krämer.
Lesung von Martin Langenbeck.

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mardi, 31 mars 2015

L’effet « fed-up »

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L’effet « fed-up »

Anne Lauwaert
Ecrivain belge

Ex: http://www.lesobservateurs.ch 

Je vais l’appeler “effet fed up” parce que l’expression “fed up” est celle qui exprime le mieux cette sensation.

“Raz ‘l bol” c’est encore supportable : vous prenez un bol de quelque chose, il est plein à raz bord, on ne sait plus rien y ajouter.....  "Marre”: en avoir marre ou soupé c’est pas très fort: on en a assez, mais ça s’arrête là. En avoir “plein l’cul” c’est franchement vulgaire et puis c’est encore autre chose, etc....

Etre “fed up” signifie littéralement être bourré, gavé, arriver au point où quand on a assez mangé on avale encore de la nourriture et que, fatalement, il s’en suit une envie de vomir, surtout si ce sont les autres qui continuent à vous pousser de la nourriture dans l’œsophage et vous obligent à avaler, c.-à-d. qu’on vous gave comme on le fait avec les oies…

Quand subit-on l’effet fed up? Voici un exemple :

Quand j’avais 16 ans, en 1962, j’avais un ami qui en avait 32. Notre amitié consistait dans le plaisir de parler de nos dessins ou des toiles que nous peignions et des poésies que nous aimions. Cet ami était homosexuel. Je lui avais dis que je le savais et cela resta notre secret. Cet homme vivait très difficilement son homosexualité car elle n’était pas acceptée, ni par sa famille, ni par “les autres”, car à l’époque, l’homosexualité c’était mal. Par exemple, pour téléphoner à son compagnon, il devait aller au téléphone public dans le bistrot où on se moquait de lui.

Grands dieux du ciel! Quelle catastrophe quand mon père vint à savoir que sa fille “parlait” à un pédéraste, tantouse, tapette, inverti, jeannette, lopette, enculeur, cocotte, chochotte, etc… Je n’avais jamais entendu tant de vulgarité de la part de mon père et ça à l’encontre de mon ami! Si mon père était capable de cette agressivité, on peut imaginer ce que mon ami devait supporter. Bref interdiction de revoir ce sale type… Comme la directrice de mon pensionnat avait confiance en moi, elle me permit de suivre la saison au théâtre national. J’ai donc vu du Brecht, Pirandello, Tennesy Williams et autres Oscar Wilde en compagnie de mon ami assis à ma gauche et de son ami assis à ma droite. Après la représentation ils m’accompagnaient à l’arrêt du tram. Ils ont fini par partir à l’étranger.

L’homosexualité n’a jamais été un problème pour moi jusqu’à ce qu’on commence à ne plus parler que de ça: les coming out à la télé, le mariage pour tous (au lieu de supprimer le mariage pour tous et de le remplacer par le contrat de convivence personnalisé pour tous) l’exhibitionnisme limite grivois à la Ruquier, on ne parle plus que de ça, on ne voit plus que ça et on en a assez.

L’excès, le fed up, produit la nausée et la tristesse de voir comment les homosexuels, dans cette ridiculisation, ont perdu leur dignité. Oui, les homosexuels ont droit à un contrat de convivence, mais non, cela n’est pas un “mariage”. Oui, des enfants abandonnées sont mieux au sein d’un couple homosexuel que sur les quais d’une gare en Inde, mais non, “avoir des enfants” ce n’est pas un “droit”.

Et oui, les procréations assistées et inséminations artificielles sont des jeux d’apprentis sorciers dont on ne connait pas les conséquences à longue échéance.

Fedupotolia_42099286_XS.jpgEt oui, les homosexuels ont droit au respect et non, les gay-prides n’inspirent pas le respect. Bref, le mieux est l’ennemi du bien, trop c’est trop, et quand on en a assez, quand on en est gavé, on en a la nausée et on éprouve l’effet fed up… qui entraine l’hostilité… qui finit par nourrir cette homophobie qu’on prétend combattre.

Le même effet fed up se fait sentir avec la lutte contre le racisme.

J’ai travaillé comme physiothérapeute dans un hôpital “populaire” à Bruxelles. Mes collègues me laissaient les “étrangers” car je connaissais plusieurs langues et avais été habituée aux “allochtones” depuis mon enfance au Congo.

Un jour, dans mon programme je trouve “un nègre”… Ce type se lève, il est grand, fort beau, il s’exprime dans un hollandais châtié, il est raffiné, exquis,  éblouissant… il est danseur classique et s’est foulé une cheville… en plus il homosexuel. Nous allons devenir amis et je vais lui servir de guide touristique pendant son court séjour à Bruxelles ce qui va me donner l’occasion de rencontrer le bête racisme primaire à l’égard d’une blanche accompagnée d’un nègre… à tel point qu’en croisant des messieurs en costard qui manifestement sortaient du bureau, l’un d’eux me dit carrément “encore un couple qui est mal assorti”…

S’ils avaient vu mon ami dans Casse Noisette, ils l’auraient applaudi… Je n’ai jamais eu de problèmes avec mes condisciples juives, ni avec mes patients marocains,  amis pakistanais, collègues congolaises, mais j’ai un terrible fed up envers les antiracistes qui s’attaquent aux “têtes de nègres” ou aux albums de Tintin. Idem envers ceux pour qui les morts ne sont pas morts mais absents ou disparus et les femmes de ménage ne sont plus des femmes de ménage mais des opératrices de surface… et là, la liste est très longue…

Etant donné que j’ai expérimenté le séjour d’un Pakistanais à mon domicile et que j’ai pu constater l’incapacité à s’adapter réciproque, de lui à nous et de nous à lui (comme je l’ai décrit dans mon livre "Des raisins trop verts" ) j’ai de plus en plus de fed up envers tous ceux qui veulent nous imposer de plus en plus de “réfugiés” dont on ne saura quoi faire, qui vont être de plus en plus déçus et vont devenir de plus en plus rancuniers et hostiles à notre égard.  Ce n’est pas eux qui auront tort, mais ceux qui les ont trompés en leur  laissant croire qu’ils allaient trouver un paradis chez nous… Et alors qu’est ce qu’on va faire?

fedupps13hz.jpgIdem à l’égard de l’islam. Dans les années 50 nous habitions au Congo où il y avait une communauté sénégalaise musulmane qui était fort respectée car c’étaient des personnes “sérieuses”. Pendant mes séjours au Pakistan dans les années 90 j’ai rencontré des musulmans aussi pieux que nos catholiques,  normalement pieux et pas exhibitionnistes pour un sou. J’ai été séduite par les Pakistanais parce que c’étaient des personnes sérieuses, respectueuses, de confiance, à tel point que j’y ai voyagé seule en toute sérénité. Fatalement je me suis intéressée à l’islam et ai même entrepris d’apprendre l’arabe. Mais, quand on a commencé à ne plus parler que de foulards, burqas, mosquées, halal, ramadan, égorgements en place publique et prières de rues, piscines, lisez le rapport  Obin  et Denécé .....

Quand on a vu sur toutes les télés des imams sirupeux et des politiciens du genre Juppé qui, sans avoir lu le coran, déclarent  l’islam compatible avec la république… l’effet fed up se fait sentir. Effet fed up suivi d’hostilité non pas envers les musulmans, mais envers ces opportunistes qui exploitent l’islam et les musulmans sans se soucier des conséquences à long terme pour les musulmans mais aussi pour nous.

Mais il y a fed up vraiment partout: les folies dans l’enseignement, les théories du genre,  l’obligation de rouler avec les phares allumés même en plein soleil, les démarcheurs qui vous téléphonent à 22h pour vous vendre de l’huile d’olive… et j’en passe et des meilleures…on ne sait plus quoi inventer pour emmerder le monde.

Bon, moi je suis une vieille dame pacifique et devenue modérée à force de raboter mes angles contre les réalités, mais que va-t-il se passer le jour où le fed up général aura contaminé des excités du genre hooligans ou casseurs?

Pour le moment on vote Front National, mais quel est le stade suivant?

Anne Lauwaert

 

dimanche, 29 mars 2015

Renaud Camus: "Je me bats comme un beau diable pour défendre cette civilisation européenne menacée"

Renaud Camus: "Je me bats comme un beau diable pour défendre cette civilisation européenne menacée"

vendredi, 27 mars 2015

« Soumission », ou la possibilité d’une Europe sans femmes

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« Soumission », ou la possibilité d’une Europe sans femmes
 
L’Europe peut s’enorgueillir d’avoir favorisé l’apprivoisement réciproque entre le sexe fort et le sexe faible
 
Professeur
 Ex: http://www.bvoltaire.fr
 

Après 250.000 ventes de Soumission de Michel Houellebecq, il serait temps que l’on parle non plus de la légitimité d’un roman d’anticipation sur la prise du pouvoir par l’islam mais de ce que l’auteur nous en dit.

Si le scénario politique de la chute de l’Europe proposé est fondé sur d’intéressantes hypothèses, notamment le cheval de Troie de l’islam en Europe que constitue l’injection salutaire, anesthésiante et corruptrice de pétrodollars dans son économie malade, pour le perçant moraliste moderne qu’est Michel Houellebecq, le combat se déroule et se perd ailleurs, en chacun de nous.

Le narrateur, triste mâle pratiquant le vagabondage sexuel en milieu universitaire comme les héros de David Lodge – l’humour anglais en moins -, s’enfonce dans la solitude et la morbidité à mesure qu’il vieillit. Affectivement atrophié au point de ne même plus parler à ses parents, sans descendance, séduisant, chaque rentrée, de nouvelles étudiantes éternellement jeunes, il ne se conjugue qu’à l’irréel du présent. Ses rapports avec les femmes trahissent la déchéance de sa grammaire anthropologique. Il ne sait plus très bien par quel orifice prendre ses partenaires, ni s’il faut plus jouir d’avoir deux partenaires sexuelles ou du baiser sur la joue donné par l’une d’elles : confusions d’objet, de genre, de nombre. Alors qu’il a renoncé, par égoïsme et paresse, à toute relation interpersonnelle avec les femmes, étant progressivement passé de l’amante à la partenaire sexuelle puis à la prostituée, à la suite de ses collègues récemment convertis, il se laisse finalement séduire par le modèle de la femme musulmane, choisie sur catalogue en fonction de ses propres revenus, cloîtrée, soumise, multiple et collectionnable. Chez Michel Houellebecq, l’islam triomphe sans combat grâce à la trahison de l’homme qui se replie sur lui-même en renonçant à la femme comme alter ego.

Pourtant, depuis l’amour courtois inventé au XIIe siècle jusqu’à la mini-jupe en passant par les salons littéraires féminins des XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles et le droit de vote des femmes, l’Europe peut s’enorgueillir d’avoir favorisé l’apprivoisement réciproque entre le sexe fort et le sexe faible, qui s’est traduit par la construction progressive d’un mode de coexistence mixte harmonieuse et égalitaire, bien que différentiée, des deux sexes sur tous les plans, modèle fragile (cf. les mirages de la « libération de la femme ») mais toujours en évolution. Mais si la femme était, jusqu’à peu de temps encore, l’avenir de l’homme, l’homme pourrait bien en être le liquidateur sous peu. La balle du match islam-Occident est dans le camp des 51 % d’hommes. Qui va faire prendre conscience aux hommes occidentaux déboussolés que la charia est, par essence, la régression psychologique ultime de l’homme dans sa négation de la femme comme être libre, égal à lui, et digne de son intérêt ? Pas nos politiques ni l’Éducation nationale, plus préoccupés par la promotion du transsexualisme que par la transmission des fondements de la civilisation européenne.

jeudi, 26 mars 2015

Bill Hopkins: Ways Without a Precedent

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Bill Hopkins (1957)

Ways Without a Precedent

By Bill Hopkins 

Ex: http://www.counter-currents.com

Editor’s Note:

One of the aims of the North American New Right is to promote a revival of the Right-wing artistic and literary subculture that gave us such 20th-century giants as D. H. Lawrence, Gabriele D’Annunzio, F. T. Marinetti, Knut Hamsun, W. B. Yeats, Ezra Pound, Wyndham Lewis, Henry Williamson, Roy Campbell, and H. P. Lovecraft (all profiled in Kerry Bolton’s Artists of the Right [2]). 

A group that showed some promise in this direction was the Angry Young Men of the 1950s, although the movement fizzled. Or perhaps it just came too soon. With that possibility in mind, I am reprinting Bill Hopkins’ 1957 Angry Young Men manifesto “Ways Without a Precedent” as an aid to reflection on the role of the artist in the current interregnum. For more on Hopkins and the Angry Young Men, see our articles by Jonathan Bowden [3] and Margot Metroland (part 1 [4], part 2 [5]) and our tags for Bill Hopkins [6] and Colin Wilson [7]

The literature of the past ten years has been conspicuous for its total lack of direction, purpose and power. It has opened no new roads of imagination, created no monumental characters, and contributed nothing whatever to the vitality of the written word. The fact that the decade in question has shown the highest ratio of adult literacy in British history makes this inertia an astounding feat. So astounding, indeed, that the great majority of readers have turned their attention to the cinema, television and radio instead. Their reading talent has been commandeered by the more robust newspapers.

The truants can hardly be blamed for seeking livelier entertainment, since most writers have reduced themselves to the rank of ordinary entertainers, and for the most part, have failed to be even this. Writers see the shadow of the mass mortuary too clearly to provide good, knock-about entertainment. The same shadow prevents them from producing more enduring work by making nonsense of posterity.

All writers must accept this shadow across their consciousness as an occupational hazard, and its surmounting divides them cleanly into the camps of optimism or pessimism, allowing no shades of neutrality between. The negative acceptance has the strongest following just now, and for this reason the bulk of serious novels today almost inevitably offer victims as their cast and senseless brutality as their business. These works do not educate us a scrap, nor do they offer any great insights into the tumult of our time. The writers dwell instead on the horror of anything changing—man, mood or scene—and reveal that the precise value of all and everything is that it is here at present. The understanding is that Man is too frail and imperfect for violent change. It is a poor argument for literature, progress and health.

Unless there is a radical change in this outlook literature will continue its drift into negativism.

Many people have their own ideas of what a creative writer’s job should be. The popular conception is that he should provide stories that are an escape from life. The slightest whiff of reality is regarded as an intrusion of the diabolical and an act of treachery. The ideal path amounts to improbable love yarns closing upon chaste kisses. If there is invariably an impoverished odour about these fabrications, the accolades of best-seller returns do not hint at it.

This view is not taken by the more intelligent, who demand a measure of truth with their entertainment. This again is asking for too little. The measure of truth dealt out is generally confined to obscene language in kitchen squalor and the dreary divesting of the heroine’s virginity. Now unalloyed sex is a tedious business when it is repeated too often. But this is not borne out by the positive glut of literary prurience that has come our way over the past few years. As it shows no sign of stopping we must conclude either that the percentage of perverts is much higher than is imagined, or that there is nothing more pornographic than a half-truth. But, whichever it is, the fact remains that when it is only a small measure of truth that is requested, the result merely mirrors appearance. It never delves to the cause behind appearance. It is better to offer no truth at all than make this kind of compromise.

There are only a few who demand all the truth a writer possesses. Over the past twenty years, this demand was sufficient to encourage the development of Hermann Hesse and Thomas Mann, but few others of major creative stature. If the demand were extended to a larger and more perceptive audience it would doubtless encourage the emergence of even greater writers. Certainly it would produce a literature capable of vigorously advancing our present half-hearted ideas of living to an unprecedented level.

There is no likelihood of such an ideal audience coming into existence for the philanthropic purpose of encouraging a vigorous literature. This would be asking for a healthiness that does not exist among most intelligent people today. The same malady that prevents a vital literature from developing and becoming a regenerative force to our society, disposes of the idea of a sick audience transcending its condition and calling for chest expanders. Contemporary literature, whether on the printed page or declaimed from the boards of the theatre, shows its bankruptcy by confining itself to merely reporting on social conditions. It makes no attempt at judging them. Literature that faithfully reflects a mindless society is a mindless literature. If it is to be anything larger, it must systematically contradict the great bulk of prevalent ideas, offer saner alternatives, and take on a more speculative character than it has today. I am optimistic enough to think that immediately the results prove positive and exciting, the more conformist brands of literature will lose most of their following.

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But the failure of literature is only a small part of a much wider catastrophe. When I refer to a lack of health among the intelligent, I touch upon what threatens the whole of our civilization with imminent collapse. The truth is that Man, for all his scientific virtuosity, cannot defeat his own exhaustion. To do so means drawing upon unused strengths that once would have been described as religious. Unfortunately, Man has become a rational animal; he rejects any suggestion of religiosity as scrupulously as an honest beggar denounces respectability. I say unfortunately, because it is mental and physical exhaustion that is the principal malady of our civilization. The very people who should be the leaders of our society are the most affected, so the disillusionment, despair and social revolt of our age has been allowed to grow unchecked.

All the problems and struggles that confront the growth of our civilization depend entirely on whether we can get an exhausted man back upon his feet and keep him there. If the answer is a negative one, our past counts for nothing: it has proved insufficient to preserve our future.

The reasons for this exhaustion are all documented and detailed in the archives of the past fifty years. Rationalism, Communism, Socialism, Labourism, Fascism, Nazism, Anarchism; the honest penny-ha’penny thinking that human happiness was an adequate goal, the quest for social equality; two world wars and a couple of dozen local blood-lettings; poison gas, tanks, aircraft, flame-throwers, atomic, hydrogen and cobalt bombs, bacteriological warfare; depressions, inflations, strikes . . . the documents are quite explicit and well known.

Altogether they amount to the exhaustion of a man with asthma having run a marathon race and found there were no trophies or glory at the end of it. That is exactly our own position. With every decade since the turn of the century we have intensified our endeavours while our condition has deteriorated. Now it seems that despite all our efforts, knowledge and hopes, besides the lives jettisoned in their millions, we have achieved nothing. The dry taste of futility lingers in the mouth of all. The energy of any flying spark is in itself enough to arouse popular amazement. The supineness of the intelligent is the tragic paradox of the Atomic Age. Only the insulated specialists, bafflingly capable of drawing the blinds against all other realities, remain enthusiastic about tomorrow.

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James Dean

The evidence of exhaustion stares out from the columns of the daily newspapers. The references to ‘Angry Young Men’ for ex-ample, record a general astonishment at the vigour of simply being angry. Another instance is the hero-worship of the late James Dean, who posthumously remains as the embodiment of Youth’s violent rebuttal of a society grown pointless. That the rejection is equally pointless does not appear to matter; the sincerity redeems it. There is the idolization of such simple men as Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley, the respective champions of wistful sentimentality and the stark voluptuousness of knowing one thing that’s good, anyway. Which, after all, is one advantage of being a farmer’s boy.

Significantly, the more thoughtful go only a few steps further to admire such writers as Samuel Beckett, Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller. All of these playwrights have distinguished them-selves for creating small men and women whose unlikely poetry is in their bewilderment in an inexplicable and often tyrannical world. The heroism of the Twentieth Century Man, as currently postulated, is: (a) in winning a compassionate pair of lips that will lull him to peace after an endless gauntlet of victimizations (thus mysteriously negating the lot), (b) kicking a bullying foreman (an enemy of the people) in a conclusive place, or (c) just inhabiting a dustbin with all the pretences down and stoically waiting for the end.

This is the landscape a new writer looks upon this year. Every-thing has deteriorated from the point in the mid-1940s we optimistically imagined to be already rock-bottom. What is left is a mockery of attempt, accomplishment and greatness.

It would be too easy to be angry and join the lynching parties. But this is not a writer’s job. Nor is it for a writer to subscribe to the general bankruptcy, despair and apathy around him, whatever popularity might be obtained from it. If there is a task for the writer, it is to stand up higher than anyone else and discover the escape route to progress. His function is to find a way towards greater spiritual and mental health for his civilization in particular and his species in general. This is my own intention, and unless other writers adopt the same attitude our civilization will remain leaderless, lost and exhausted, and the chaos will continue until its eclipse under radio-active clouds.

Literature has been an accelerating factor to this state of affairs over the last decade. Instead of acting as a brake it has been intent upon glorifying the lostness, the smallness and the absolute impotence of Man under adverse conditions. This is the reverse of what its role must be in the future. It must begin to emphasize in every way possible that Man need not be the victim of circumstances unless he is too old, shattered or sick to be anything else. It is the conquest of external conditions that determines the extent of Mankind’s difference from all other forms of life; and, in turn, decides the superiority of its leaders. If this is denied, then we are indeed due for elimination. Perhaps overdue. But contemporary writing will not bring itself to this assertion until it has been wrenched clear of its embrace with a falling society. The dismaying fact is, most writers seem quite satisfied to act out their present hysterical offices to the length of disaster itself. Their conversion is enough to set any salvationist with work to last several lifetimes.

It is customary for young writers to condemn those who have authority and influence. For my own part, I am unable to do this because I find their exhaustion only too understandable. The leaders of our civilization have strained at hopelessly impossible tasks for too long, and instead of creating a new structure for living, they have succeeded only in producing a succession of failures. Today they have reached a standstill, and the prospect of marshalling together one more attempt has become an outrage against all reason and experience.

They are reasonable men and their conclusion is, in the light of what they have done, entirely rational. If reason or rationalism can accept exhaustion, by the same terms ruin and death are equally acceptable. But survival is our inflexible rule of health; and since survival has become a completely irrational instinct, the time has arrived when we should look to the irrational for the means to reject this reasonable but (humanly speaking) unacceptable end of our civilization.

Firm upon this premise, I predict that within the next two or three decades we will see the end of pure rationalism as the foundation of our thinking. If we are to break out of our present encirclement, we must envisage Man from now on as super-rational; that is, possessing an inner compass of certainty beyond all logic and reason, and ultimately far more valid.

The times we are entering require a far more flexible and powerful way of thinking than rationalism ever provided. Three sovereign states have been loosing hydrogen tests in the world’s atmosphere in preparation for deterrent wars. Each new explosion shadow-boxes with genetical mutations in the coming generations. Populations everywhere are multiplying daily to that frightening point in the future when the earth’s food resources will not be sufficient to supply all with one decent meal a day. The fish harvests from the oceans are diminishing. The problems of soil erosion and the reclamation of land swallowed up by water remain unattended. These are only a few of the more obvious questions that call for solutions on a new level. A level of universal planning that can only be encompassed by a supranational body like world government. Meanwhile, science advances every year a trifle further beyond the comprehension of most of the human race.

The path of a civilization in our disorders leads directly to its extermination. And, while we take it, Proustians talk about their sensitivity in dark rooms and stylists continue to manufacture their glittering sentences. This is the marrying of an illness to a deformity; a grotesque mésalliance to make even a lunatic marvel. But it will go on, as I say, until writers turn away and look objectively to another part of the horizon.

I have stated that Man is more than rational, and that if he is not, he is finished. Now I take the argument forward another step and assert that his current exhaustion is the vacuum created by an absence of belief. At the beginning of this credo I declared that only a religious strength could conquer exhaustion, and by religious strength I meant, specifically, belief: exhaustion exists only to a degree commensurate to its wane. A complete dearth of belief mathematically equates to utter exhaustion. It is no coincidence that it has struck the most responsible members of our society; they are the ones who have had the responsibility of scraping the barrel of reason and materialism. The same exhaustion will strike at the leaders of the East just as surely within a span of time roughly corresponding, no doubt, to our own venture into pure rationalism.

Through history, the men and women who have towered over their contemporaries through their achievements and struggles have had extraordinary levels of belief. They have ranged from visionaries, saints and mystics to fanatics and plain, self-professed, men-of-destiny. Whether their beliefs were in an external thing—let us say the Church—or simply in themselves, was a matter of little importance. The result in every case was sufficiently positive to make them memorable. Each of them was primarily separated from those around him by a greater capacity for belief. It took all of them high above the eternally small, grumbling, self-pitying parts that constitute personality. Belief is, and I speak historically, the instrument for projecting oneself beyond one’s innate limitations. Reason, on the other hand, will have us acknowledge them, even when the recognition is disastrous, as now.

The admission of a permanent state of incompleteness has been made by a great many people and much of the damage I have referred to is the direct result of it. But their places have to be filled. It has become imperative that, just as a new way of thinking and a new literature are needed, a new leadership must also be evolved with the aim of combating this exhaustion by the restoration of belief.

When I speak of belief in the present context, I do not mean any belief in particular, of course, but rather belief divorced from all form whatsoever. The form is an arbitrary matter, and its choice in the sense of literature is essentially a matter for the writer’s temperament. Whatever the choice, the reservoir of power within belief offers any writer the certainty of major work.

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It is obvious that this concern with belief leads inevitably to the heroic. The two are joined as essentially as flight to birds. The hero is the primary condition of all moral education, and his reality is synonymous with any great idea. He is literally the personification of the dramatic concept. But the heroic poses the possibility of people who can think and act with a magnitude close to the superhuman. The introduction of such characters and events will require a great deal of care and skill, for the ridiculous is only one step away.

The greatest difficulty overhanging this work, however, will be in the motive force itself. There has been a nonsensical confusion between belief and religion that has lasted for centuries. Instead of belief finding its separate identity, it has always been inextricably tied to religion. Churches of every denomination deliberately fostered this misconception from their beginnings, for the belief latent in men responded to hot appeal and willingly testified to the truth of any proffered set of doctrines. The nature of belief appears to be conducive to appeals. Its generosity is evident in this respect when we examine many of the childish and absurd inventions the various religions have offered worshippers at one time or another.

It is quite true that the Church has been the only vehicle for belief on any sizeable scale up to the present, and deserves credit for it, although self-interest provided its own reward. But it is absurd to regard belief on the basis of tradition as the monopoly of any organization. The Church was the first to understand the potentialities of its power and was also the first to direct it to an end; but sole proprietary rights were assumed too rigidly for the Church to pass us now as a public benefactor. Those who tried to break the monopoly were decried as heretics. Where it could, the Church had them burnt. This confiscation of belief and its isolation under the steeple brought about the Reformation and eventually the George Foxes and other champions of the right to independent belief.

Over the past fifty years there has been a general rejection of all churches with the sole exception of the strongest, Catholicism. The rejection parcelled belief with the Church and disposed of both. It was the result of a considerable amount of ignorance and a distinct lack of subtlety. Today, the same excuses do not hold, and if the mistake is repeated, it can never be done with the same blind vehemence of the first rejection.

If this social exhaustion of ours is due to the rejection of belief, how can writers reclaim it? There are three choices open, at least. The first is the establishment of a new religion. The second, to revitalize and reconstruct Christianity. The third, to trace belief to its source and turn it to a new account.

The argument against the first is that a new religion, whatever advantages it would have (supposing for a moment that it should find an ample crop of visionaries, priests, theologians and militant doctrines), would suffer from its lack of tradition more than it would profit by its modernity. Although many people talk somewhat loosely about the need for a new religion, the very impossibility of it as an overnight phenomenon rules it out for today.

However, should this particular miracle come to pass, its contribution to our civilization would be a substantial one while it was sustained by its visionaries. But as soon as the visionaries died, its hierarchy would become rigid as precedents in the history of every church show us without exception. There would be no more room for succeeding visionaries with their tradition-breaking habits in this church than in any other.

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A priest is a poor substitute for a visionary. So poor, in fact, that the plenitude of them against the paucity of visionaries has largely dissuaded many who with the right inspiration would be religious. A visionary has the prerogative of freely contradicting himself while still retaining his influence. Less flexible, because he happens to lack a visionary’s imagination and vitality, the priest conscientiously commits to paper everything enunciated by the other in case he should forget the passport of his office. Subsequent generations of priests accept the dogmas laid out for them without demur or question on the same grounds. This is orthodoxy; its strength is in its ossification. The more rigid the observance, the more virtuous the believer . . .

There can be no prospect more terrible for any prophet coming after, and this is when a church really dies. When it is attacked from without, what is sent crashing is cardboard: the Church died after the passing of its first visionaries and the hardening of its arteries to fresh truths.

As this argues against the possibility of a new religion arising, it argues equally against the impossibility of a revitalized Christianity. Any great idea, if it is perpetuated without continual reappraisals, is eventually rendered into ritualistic twaddle and shibboleths that justify the cheapest sneers (although not the spirit) of its detractors. And finally, the sad truth is that the only men courageous enough to approach great ideas and test their truth are men of equal stature to their formulators. No church that I am aware of has produced an apostolic succession of this order, so we must put aside both possibilities as impractical for anyone who hopes to work within his own times.

The last alternative is the one that, under the circumstances, is the most realistic. If we can trace belief to its origins and examine it in terms of plain, unadorned power, we have a potential weapon that will play an immeasurable part in our salvaging. I am convinced that it is an internal power comparable, when fully released, to the external explosions of atomic energy. With a complete understanding of its nature, its functions and its strength at zenith, I believe that we can not only cure Man’s many illnesses, but determine by its use a level of health never before attained. If we can learn the answers to these questions, Man may be transformed within a few years from the hardening corpse he has become into a completely alive being. The change can only be for the better.

One of the most tiring assumptions that has gained universality is that Man is completely plotted, explored and known. Dancing to the cafe orchestra of Darwin and Freud, there has been a tendency over the last fifty years to regard humanity as a fully arrived and established quantity that has little variation and no mystery to the scientist. Nothing could be more untrue. Man is so embryonic that attempting to define him today is preparing a fallacy for tomorrow. He is inchoate, only just beginning. Given unlimited belief and vitality, he is capable of all the impossibilities one cares to catalogue, including the most preposterous. Equally, without belief and vitality, he is simply decaying meat like any other fatally wounded animal. The difference will be largely decided by writers.

This is not a disproportionate claim. Writers have always influenced and led the thinking of their own times, immediately after the heads of State and Church. Sometimes, as with the Voltaires, a long way in front of either of them. The present heads of State are clearly unable to see a way through the difficulties of today, and there is no reason for us to suppose they can do any better with tomorrow. The non-existence of any influential Church leaders in Britain prohibits any criticism of their recalcitrance. The only remaining candidates qualified as leaders are writers.

eschyle-01.jpgThe Greeks, unlike ourselves, expected their literary men to be thinkers and teachers as a matter of course. This expectation was justified by figures of the stature of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides. Dramatists like these preached, taught, entertained and prophesied with such vitality and authority that their judgements were taken away by their audiences and applied to all levels of civic life. That both playwrights and audiences prospered upon this didactic relationship is best shown by the intellectual versatility of the Hellenic world, which has yet to be repeated.

When Bernard Shaw demanded that the theatre should be a church, he also meant that the ideal church should be a serious theatre. So it was in the Greek world. Nobody could afford to miss a sermon of this sort, because there was nothing more intellectually and spiritually exciting to be found from Kephallenia to far Samoso. Each new drama-sermon made the Kingdom of Man a titanic affair that could not be taken casually, and if this is not a religious understanding, there is no such thing!

In addition to this laudable state of sanity, they had none of the blank one-sidedness about them that stamps the orthodox priest, because their real religion was Man, and no other. Because Man is only human when he is in movement, they were able to throw him into catastrophic dilemmas that modern religion would regard as blasphemous. But they threw him only to retrieve him, and by this method they were able to add new understandings of his darker territories and enlarge his consciousness. With the aid of such dramatists the citizens of the Greek city-states developed into creditable human beings. But the high level of the theatre was to fall, and the whole of the Greek world was not long in following it.

Seneque.jpgWhen the Roman Empire rose to take its place, Terence and Seneca, the bright lights of Latin, reflected a frightening deterioration in what was expected of a writer. Julius Caesar found it an easy matter to be both a swashbuckler and a scribe in a world that, culturally, could not even conquer sculpture. But Rome’s poverty was magnificence compared to the bankruptcy prevailing in Britain and everywhere else in the civilized world today.

However, when I call in history to augment my contentions I am beating upon a broken drum. The role I predict for writers is one entirely without precedent, and it is the better because of it. Aeschylus and his colleagues refined the Greeks, and that was quite enough for their day. But today writers must become the pathfinders to a new kind of civilization. That new civilization remains an impossibility until we extricate our own civilization from the destruction that threatens it.

The problem is that of the individual. What kind of man or woman survives cataclysmic events better than any others? What kind of people are the first to fall? What are the first disciplines necessary for a new, positive way of thinking? These questions, together with ten thousand others, fall into the kind of prophetic writing that will be needed to solve the problems that lie immediately ahead. The duty then of all writers who are concerned with tomorrow is to concentrate on defining human characters at differing stages of ideal health. From this gallery it will be possible for us to aim at men and women dynamically capable of laying the foundations of our new world. We may not be able to describe precisely the men and women we want, but at least we can provide a reasonable indication. We can narrow the perimeter of choice.

I realize that there is as great a difference between facts and speculations in the minds of writers as in the minds of ordinary people. The great difference is that writers are particularly suited to the correlation of apparently hostile facts, often blatant contradictions, and their craft teaches them to deepen and extend thoughts to final understandings that seem almost mystical to the average person. This talent to reach down into the depths of men and find appalling corruption, and far from being ruined by the revelation proceed to conceive supreme peaks of human perfection, is common to both writer and visionary. There is no reason why they should be different in other ways, if the dedication is strong enough.

Until now most writers have concerned themselves with recording the anomalies and cruelties perpetrated by a skinflint world upon a good small man. Modern literature, for lack of a great aim, has become a Valhalla for those who shriek, beat their brows and weep more energetically than anyone else. As a device, hysteria is very useful for a writer, but as an end it becomes patently ludicrous. Any writer who resorts to such tricks without offering a ticket of destination is wasting his own time and the time of his readers, flouting the Zeitgeist in the most imbecilic fashion, and finally (I hope) cutting his own throat.

The truth of today is too plain for clear-thinking people to ignore, however uncomfortable it may be to the inherently lazy. We must grow larger . . . see further and deeper . . . think with more skill, concentration and originality—or become extinct. If we are not capable of meeting these seemingly unattainable requirements, writers such as myself will persist obstinately in trying to have things as we want them even if the words are finally addressed to the abyss rather than human faces. If the crusade is a hopeless one, it will be so only because there is nothing more impregnable than human weakness. This is an important conclusion, and its recognition offers three salient truths.

First, that a writer’s duty is to urge forward his society towards fuller responsibility, however incapable it may appear.

Second, a writer must take upon himself the duties of the visionary, the evangelist, the social leader and the teacher in the absence of other candidates.

Third, that he understands the impossible up-hill nature of a crusade and counters it by infusing in everything he creates a spirit of desperation.

This spirit of desperation is the closest approximation we can get to the religious fervour that brought about a large number of miraculous feats of previous, less reasonable, epochs. In desperation, as with religious exaltation, miracles, revelations and extraordinary personalities can be brought to everyday acceptance. The great advantage of it is that one can develop it to the point of being able to evoke it whenever there is cause for it.

I used the atmosphere of desperation in my first novel, The Divine and the Decay, very much in the way that a wind comes through an open door, throws a room into a sudden disarray, then leaves as abruptly. The wind in this case is a fanatic, and the room with an open door a small island community. As always in such cases, one is left perplexed and filled with a sense of indefinable outrage that has little to do with the disarray that must be restored to order. There is something maniacal about a really desperate man that welds him into a total unity and he becomes an embodiment of a single idea. Almost, dramatically speaking, flesh wrapped around an idea. Working for so long with desperation as my tool, I also learned about the merits of the lull, when the air vibrated with the foreboding of the next entrance. I relearned also a Greek lesson: how to turn presence into absence and absence into presence. But these details are worth mentioning only in relation to the use of desperation in contradistinction to the monotonous normality that most writers regard as the acme of reality.

Desperation is the only attitude that can galvanize us from this lethargic non-living of ours. But without a calculated direction desperation is useless. Misadventures in its application can leave us dangerously drained of further effort. This is where the dramatization of aims is expressly the writer’s function. Consider the case of Sisyphus, whom the Gods had forever rolling that gigantic boulder of his up a hill and forever having it roll down again when he neared the top. The punishment was inflicted upon only too human strength. But with enough desperation the penalized king would not have attempted to roll it up after the first couple of attempts. He would have picked it up and flung it over the impossible crest, straight into the faces of his Olympian tormentors. I can think of many contemporary equivalents of the Sisyphean plight that are incessant defeats only because each of the sufferers refuses to rear up and wreck his opposition with the fury of desperation. To me, desperation is our immediate instrument, in the absence of belief, for collapsing this damnable, subhuman recognition of one’s surface limitations. Refuse to acknowledge them and the horizon spreads wide.

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This cannot be done without examples, as I have said. The examples themselves can only be set by fanatics advancing be-yond the arena of human experience and knowledge. In a religious sense, the fanatic or writer goes into the wilderness, the first act of any visionary’s apprenticeship. Simultaneously, he becomes a social leader also, for humanity having to travel beyond the point where it now rests will only use paths already trodden.

New paths can only be created by writers with a desperate sense of responsibility. The only others capable of such a task are religious and philosophic minds, but unfortunately orthodoxy has ruined the first, and a desiccation debars the second. In resting the responsibility of human deliverance upon writers I am not calling for miraculous transitions antipathetic to their nature. Fundamentally, the writer has always been a prophet and a diviner in embryo. Centuries of ‘telling a jolly tale’ have simply caused him to let these other parts fall into disuse. I want their return, and I want them cultivated to full growth.

At the moment, the position of the writer in society is a difficult one. The good ones feel, quite rightly, that they should be antagonistic to authority; but the feeling is only a feeling and remains nothing more because few have got around to the point where they must begin wrestling with it. Because of this apprehension which is not turned into positive action, these writers find themselves nullified and abortive. They try to offset this predicament by an over-haughty pride in their isolation. More specifically they emphasize their artistic position to offset shortened powers, and offer a defensive facade of being icy intellectual pinnacles which, in actuality, spells death to their work if this attitude is carried to their desks.

To be exact, a writer is rather a ludicrous figure at work. He must be, to put himself in an arena with berserk bulls to gauge how much damage the horns can do. The gorings constitute literally the blood and tissue of his work; they are part of his empirical research into life. Perhaps research is too dignified a term for the tattered and bloody creature he becomes if he persists until he reaches the level of a good writer.

By such voluntary acts, he becomes an authority on the most fundamental subjects. Pain, for instance. It is not the politician, theologian or doctor who catalogues the depth, the range and the gamut of it, but the writer. He can state from personal knowledge that it has a hundred different pages, all written in different inks. Similarly, he is an expert in regions like agony, happiness, terror, exultation and whirling hope. These are his working neighbour-hoods.

He also knows from personal experiment the fine shades of violence; its velocity, trajectory and impact; its sources, and its quivering conclusions. When an accident is about to happen, let us say an aeroplane is plunging in a death dive, or a child is about to go under the wheels of a motor car, most eyes will be averted until it is over. But this is a luxury a writer simply cannot afford, and he will watch even if the object of study is someone he loves intensely. He has conditioned himself to observe everything that happens within his orbit with a steady and remembering eye. As his craft is produced at first-hand, constantly in positions of physical and mental hardship, for him the step towards vision and leadership is not a large one.

On the face of it, it seems ironical that a writer who goes to such lengths to learn this abnormal craft should use it only for the purpose of entertaining. But most are given little choice to be anything else with the shadow of destruction hanging over them. The few writers who would like to create heroic work are discouraged in advance, for they cannot be sure of even polite credulity on the part of readers. All ambitious contemporary writers are haunted by the thin, peaky face of the rational reader who peruses his literature with the pursed lips of a confirmed sceptic. Anything larger than his own life is anathema to this gentleman. Authors know it well and go in dread of him. This is why only a foolhardy few dare create anything but the slightest, most prosaic structures. The heroic, the bizarre, the moral and religious fabrics, have been torn down in the interests of reality. If the realities were large there would be little ground for complaint, but what is considered to be real by the normal canons of judgement is, of course, as confined as candlelight. It is not surprising that creative thinking today operates upon candle-power.

The situation is so bad that many leading writers have fallen to mocking their own ability to serve ‘fodder to pygmies’. They are proud of the ingeniousness they have developed over the course of time in feeding sly pieces of originality with every hundredth spoonful, done so skilfully it passes almost unnoticed. It is the bare remnants of creative pride. In another age a man could be a master; today he must be a midget, breathing a sigh of relief every time he gets away with his creative crime unpunished. This attitude of contemptuous hostility between writers and readers is another symptom of the need for a rupture between life and literature. The writer cannot create as largely as he wants; the reader is incapable of belief. Unless this stalemate is broken and another game started, the chess pieces will be swept to the floor . . .

Let me take you into the theatre and make an illustration of tragedy. An infinite number of creators have visited this terrain for the purpose of laying their masterpieces. It is as studded with great monuments as a war cemetery. On one you will read Prometheus Bound, next to it, Agamemnon. Close by perhaps Oedipus Rex, and, among the newer additions, Hamlet, Macbeth and Faust. Death . . . broken dreams . . . disillusion . . . There are a thousand threads in the pattern of it, and no doubt there are persons who walk the streets of London, Berlin and New York with threads still unwound and unwritten in their minds. But tragedy, with all the multiplicity of permutations before its in-evitable curtain, has one basic demand. The downfall.

My difficulty is in imagining how an object can fall in any direction other than down. However, most thinking people today appear to find more difficulty in imagining any height superior to themselves. That brings us to the dilemma. If a tragic figure is to fall he obviously cannot fall a few inches and hope to capture our awe or our pity; his fall must be a considerable one. It never is, under the present conditions. As soon as the figure of prospective tragedy begins to climb over the heads of his audience, they insist he climb down again to a height where they can believe in him. The only exception to this is Jack and the Beanstalk. And Jack only gets away with it, I surmise, because his pantomime appears in the Christian season of drunkenness and makes a swift departure before sober judgements are restored.

If a hero cannot rise, he cannot fall; on this point of order such good rationalists as Galileo, Newton and Einstein will bear me out. Such a fall would be unnatural, ungravitational and illogical; in fact, there is no fall. And yet Tragedy must have it.

Very well, what is it that sets the proper height for a tragic descent? Put in this way, it is like discussing a ballerina’s artistry in terms of ballistics! Let us assert, however, that tragedy has always demanded the greatest height conceivable as an essential condition of the downfall. A lot of levels contribute to make up this total height. The height is created by an outraged spiritual understanding, a shattered moral code and the complete social abasement of the protagonist. The downfall is darker than death; and often death is willingly chosen in preference to it, indeed as the very palliative of it when the intensity of anguish produced becomes fully manifest.

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But these platforms of consciousness are ridiculously archaic to the modern world. The religious, moral and social heights have become melodramatic and unintelligent, beside the more modern concentration on the significance of a man’s facial twitches under psychoanalysis. For that, we have banged our windows shut on Heaven and locked the cellar door on Hell. We have foreshortened our intelligence accordingly. The result is that Oedipus Rex, Prometheus Bound, Hamlet, Macbeth and Faust would not only be laughed out of our London theatres if they were written today but, in truth, would be impossible to write today unless my thesis for creating fresh belief finds more general acceptance. Until it has, our own contribution to tragedy’s magnificent cemetery is a headstone inscribed: No More Tragedies. By it, we have created a tragedy infinitely more tragic than anything by Aeschylus, Shakespeare or Goethe.

The only indulgence to tragedy on the London stage is accorded to Shakespeare, whose vintage has removed him beyond the critical appraisals of the cognoscenti. The Shakespearian seasons that continue ad nauseam in the Waterloo Road serve as final evidence that the only good writer is a dead one. While the Old Vic flourishes as a salve to the national conscience, the absence of new tragedy is concealed from all but those who love and care for the theatre. The phenomenon of the Old Vic is the story of the Orthodox Church hardening its arteries against fresh truths all over again. Just as the Church is content with past visionaries and anachronistic dogmas, the theatre brandishes dead playwrights as its testament of greatness. In either case the result is bad. The sad and obvious truth about the titans of the past is that Aeschylus did not know the meaning of world over-population; Goethe was in the dark about guided missiles; Shakespeare was a complete idiot on the question of nuclear fission. The only writers competent to deal with these present-day problems are writers who are alive!

I believe that this civilization of ours requires cement to stop its crash until a new civilization is developed. Its great need, ultimately, is for a new religion to give it strength. In the meantime we urgently need a philosophy to span the gaps in our society that grow wider every day. But a philosophy and a religion can be evolved only by a new leadership. The possibility of such leaders depends solely on whether we can produce men capable of thinking without rule or precedent. Apart from writers with phenomenal powers of dedication, I cannot see the likelihood of such men emerging in time to meet the oncoming crises.

For these reasons, I believe that literature must be the cradle of our future religion, philosophy and leadership. In this belief I see the writer filling the paramount role if our civilization is to survive.

Article printed from Counter-Currents Publishing: http://www.counter-currents.com

URL to article: http://www.counter-currents.com/2015/03/ways-without-a-precedent/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.counter-currents.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/SculptureParts.jpg

[2] Artists of the Right: https://secure.counter-currents.com/artists-of-the-right/

[3] Jonathan Bowden: http://www.counter-currents.com/2013/07/bill-hopkins-and-he-angry-young-men/

[4] part 1: http://www.counter-currents.com/2015/03/the-prophet-of-exhaustion-part-1/

[5] part 2: http://www.counter-currents.com/2015/03/the-prophet-of-exhaustion-part-2/

[6] Bill Hopkins: http://www.counter-currents.com/tag/bill-hopkins/

[7] Colin Wilson: http://www.counter-currents.com/tag/colin-wilson/

[8] Image: http://www.counter-currents.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/billhopkins-ida-kar1.jpg

[9] Image: http://www.counter-currents.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/hopkins2.jpg

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mardi, 24 mars 2015

Renaud Camus nous lit un conte prémonitoire d’Andersen

Discours de Renaud Camus (écrivain et président du Parti de l’In-nocence) aux assises de la liberté d’expression à Rungis le 15 mars 2015

Renaud Camus nous lit un conte prémonitoire d’Andersen

Knut Hamsun : Pan

Knut Hamsun: Pan

Ex: http://www.legoutdeslettres.com

 
livre-hamsun.pngLu Pan, de Knut Hamsun. Livre assez extraordinaire, qui reflète la personnalité hors-norme de son auteur. J’ai rarement vu une telle liberté d'esprit, liberté qui touche parfois à la folie, comme dans La Faim, son roman le plus connu. Il m’est toujours un peu difficile de parler de cet écrivain, et je constate à quel point, malheureusement, il est plus aisé de dénigrer que de louer. C’est que les romans d’Hamsun (ceux que j’ai lus du moins) ne ressemblent à rien de connu. Les mécanismes psychologiques s’y montrent à nu, dans leur instantanéité, sans le moindre commentaire, sans le moindre filtre d'un rôle social à jouer. Mais loin de tomber dans le monologue profus et un peu indigeste à la Joyce ou à la Céline, Hamsun, qui appartient à la génération précédente, conserve la forme épurée, presque elliptique, du récit classique. On a donc à la fois le plaisir d'un style classique et la surprise d’une psychologie tout à fait atypique. Et ce qui est admirable, c’est que, contrairement à Dostoïevski qui fouillait les côtés louches de l’âme humaine, Hamsun, doté d’une grande et noble personnalité, se maintient toujours à cette hauteur pour observer le monde. Il voit parfaitement les ridicules des hommes, mais il ne s’attarde pas, son regard reste distant et détaché. Il n’est pas étonnant que Bukowski, après Gide et Henry Miller, le cite parmi ses romanciers préférés. Après l’avoir lu, on se sent plus libre, et on lui a de la gratitude d’éprouver un tel sentiment.

Un livre collectif: «Maurice Bardèche l’insoumis»

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POUR CONNAÎTRE MAURICE BARDÈCHE

Un livre collectif: «Maurice Bardèche l’insoumis»

Pierre Le Vigan
Ex: http://metamag.fr
 
bardeche-l-insoumis.jpgPolémiste, écrivain politique, critique littéraire, Maurice Bardèche (1907-1998) a été tout cela. Son image reste sulfureuse. Elle l’est même beaucoup plus que dans les années 1950, preuve que nous avons fait un grand pas vers le schématisme, l’intolérance et l’inculture. Philippe Junod, aidé de sa femme, a voulu mieux faire connaître celui qui fut le beau-frère et l’ami de Robert Brasillach mais qui avait, bien entendu, son tempérament, ses goûts et son histoire propres. Le pari de mieux connaître Bardèche est tenu dans le cadre des Cahiers des amis de Robert Brasillach

Officiellement apolitique jusqu’en 1945, ses activités hors enseignement n’allèrent guère au-delà, sous l’Occupation, d’essayer de sauver Jean Cavaillès. Plus handicapé qu’aidé par ses liens familiaux trop voyants, il passe de maître de conférence à la Sorbonne à professeur à l’Université de Lille où il n’avait aucune attache.
 
Ce qu’il ressort des études consacrées à Bardèche, est l’unité de sa vision des choses, du politique au littéraire. Cela ne veut évidemment pas dire que l’on soit obligé d’être « fasciste » pour, en même temps, lui reconnaître d’avoir beaucoup apporté à la connaissance de Balzac ou de Proust.  Mais il faut reconnaître que ce qu’il appelle « fascisme » est en fait quelque chose qui va au-delà d’un épisode historique, aussi important qu’il ait été (et sachant qu’il fut définitivement clos en 1945). Au-delà : c’est-à-dire une critique de la domination de l’économie sur nos vies, et une critique de la domestication de l’homme par le monde moderne.

bardeche3.jpgBardèche était non pas un homme de concepts mais un homme de principes. Il  été pionnier en maints domaines dans une large mouvance intellectuelle : la critique de la « conscience universelle », c’est-à-dire l’appareil idéologique du nouvel ordre mondial américain, le refus de l’uniformisation planétaire par le règne des marchands, le souci de la liberté des peuples et de la continuité de ceux-ci qui doivent rester fidèles à leurs instincts (thèse assez rousseauiste), l’appel à l’indépendance de l’Europe. Pour des raisons parfaitement évidentes, il était conscient de ne pouvoir être à la bonne distance pour juger de l’action du général de Gaulle. Aussi demandait-il des avis autour de lui. Il faisait partie de ceux qui, à tort ou à raison (je m’interroge moi-même), ne prenait pas au sérieux la troisième voie gaullienne.
 
De la création du modeste Mouvement Social Européen, qui n’était certes pas un mouvement de masse, à novembre 1982, date de la parution du dernier numéro de sa revue Défense de l’Occident (elle accueillit quelques uns de mes premiers articles), fondée trente ans plus tôt, Bardèche a été le principal « doctrinaire » (mais on hésite à employer ce terme un peu trop sec et désincarné)  mais plus encore le principal écrivain du nationalisme européen.  Il a permis à beaucoup de ceux qui l’ont lu d’aller au-delà, ou ailleurs, preuve que c’était avant tout un homme libre, un rebelle non aligné. 

Les témoignages regroupés dans le cahier des ARB, souvent chaleureux, mais aussi bien sûr parfois critiques, aident à mieux connaître celui que l’on veut réduire à des caricatures, tant notre époque aime les idées simples, et fausses de préférence. Ce sont les idées les plus confortables, et notre époque aime son petit confort. Un excellent libraire, bibliophile de province, juif, et parfaitement (sic) de gauche me disait, à propos de la biographie de Balzac par Bardèche (Julliard, 1980) : « Il faut reconnaître que c’est quand même la meilleure des études parue sur Balzac ». 

Cahiers des amis de Robert Brasillach, 51/52,« Maurice Bardèche l’insoumis », courriel : brasillach@europe.ch

vendredi, 20 mars 2015

Drieu la Rochelle, la petite mort dans la Grande Guerre

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Drieu la Rochelle, la petite mort dans la Grande Guerre

La Première Guerre mondiale a détruit Drieu la Rochelle, comme elle a emporté avec elle toute la génération des « 20 ans en 14 ». Sauvagement touché par les épreuves du feu et inspiré par ses expériences de l’arrière, la Grande Guerre marquera pour toujours sa vie et son œuvre littéraire jusqu’à son suicide, il y a 70 ans, le 15 mars 1945.

charleroi-407790-250-400-e1404663208812.jpgPierre Drieu la Rochelle n’a éjaculé qu’une seule fois dans sa vie : c’était le 23 août 1914, lors d’une chaude journée de guerre dans la plaine de Charleroi. Ce jour-là, le caporal de 21 ans vit sa première épreuve du feu. Soudain, au milieu de l’affrontement, il se lève, comme s’il n’avait plus peur de la mort, charge son fusil et entraîne plusieurs camarades. L’enivrement que lui procure la sensation d’être devenu le chef qu’il a toujours rêvé d’incarner est comme un orgasme sexuel. « Alors, tout d’un coup, il s’est produit quelque chose d’extraordinaire. Je m’étais levé, levé entre les morts, entre les larves. […] Tout d’un coup, je me connaissais, je connaissais ma vie. C’était donc ma vie, cet ébat qui n’allait plus s’arrêter jamais »*, écrit-il dans La comédie de Charleroi (1934) qui rassemble, sous forme de nouvelles, ses expériences de la Grande Guerre.

L’espace de quelques instants, il pense être le surhomme de Nietzsche, lui qui a mis Ainsi parlait Zarathoustra dans sa besace de fantassin. Ce sera l’expérience la plus forte de sa vie, confessera-t-il. Drieu, dont le premier émoi littéraire fut les épopées napoléoniennes, rêve d’être un héros. Et pas n’importe lequel : un chef viril, dont l’héroïsme prend les traits d’une érection. « Qu’est-ce qui soudain jaillissait ? Un chef. […] Un chef, c’est un homme à son plein ; l’homme qui donne et qui prend dans une même éjaculation. […] J’ai senti à ce moment l’unité de ma vie. Même geste pour manger et pour aimer, pour agir et pour penser, pour vivre et pour mourir. La vie, c’est un seul jet. C’est un seul jet. Je voulais vivre et mourir en même temps », décrit-il cette journée du 23 août.

Vivre, éjaculer, mourir : voilà les trois temps du héros que Drieu croit expérimenter en ce jour de guerre. Sous l’élan de vitalité point l’attrait morbide, comme l’éjaculation conduit à une petite mort. Cette pulsion de vie dans laquelle couve la pulsion de mort est le nœud du psychisme de Drieu. L’enivrement dure peu car, ce 23 août, son régiment doit battre en retraite après une belle percée. Son ami André Jéramec, dont il épousera la sœur Colette, est tué. Drieu, lui, doit être évacué ; un shrapnel l’a blessé à la tête ; il est interné à l’hôpital de Deauville. Durant la Première Guerre mondiale, Drieu ne cessera les allers-retours entre le front et l’arrière, le combat et l’hôpital, les obus et les mondanités.

Syphilis, gale et dysenterie

Le front, il en a deux autres expériences. Quelques mois après sa blessure, il passe sergent et retourne à l’avant, en Champagne, à l’automne 1914. Puis, il est envoyé dans le stratégique détroit ottoman des Dardanelles, pour un combat voué à l’échec. La promesse de l’exotisme oriental se fracasse vite contre la réalité. « J’ai des morpions que ma crasse engraisse. J’ai pioché et j’ai des ampoules. Mes muscles me font mal. J’ai soif tout le temps. Tondu et barbu, je suis laid. Je ne reçois pas de lettres. Je mourrai totalement ignoré », s’écrie le narrateur du Voyage des Dardanelles (1934). L’année 1915 est un cauchemar. Lorsqu’il revient en France, son corps est déliquescent. En sus de la syphilis, probablement contractée dans un bordel de Marseille d’où il est parti dans les Dardanelles, il revient avec la gale et la dysenterie – maladie qui le fait rapatrier. Surtout, la blessure est psychologique : l’insupportable sensation du corps souillé, à rebours du héros nietzschéen qu’il rêve d’incarner, contribuera à son affinité avec le fascisme dans lequel il retrouve l’obsession du corps pur, viril et athlétique.

Ce corps décadent rend aussi plus compliqué son rapport avec les femmes. Drieu, dont les tendances homosexuelles ont rejailli à plusieurs moments de son existence, a connu sa première expérience sexuelle peu avant la guerre. À 18 ans, il suit une femme dans la rue à qui il fait l’amour contre de l’argent dans un hôtel miteux. En plus, elle lui refile la « chaude-pisse » : une blennorragie. Dans ses Notes pour un roman sur la sexualité jamais publiées de son vivant, il confesse n’avoir connu aucune « femme propre » avant la guerre. Ce dégoût du corps n’empêche pas l’auteur de L’homme couvert de femmes d’accumuler les conquêtes autant dans les bordels qu’ailleurs. Obsédé par ces souillures, il songera à écrire une histoire de son corps.

En attendant, le voilà reparti au front. Et pas n’importe où : à Verdun. Il est à la pointe d’une contre-attaque lancée le 26 février 1916 par des « chefs derrière […] chargés de déverser des trains de viande dans le néant » (Le lieutenant des tirailleurs, 1934). L’expérience est atroce. « Qui n’a vu le vide d’un champ de bataille moderne ne peut rien soupçonner du malheur perfide qui est tombé sur les hommes et qui anéantira l’Europe », prophétise Drieu. Le jeune homme de 23 ans est au milieu d’un « pays lunaire, où les volcans pressaient les gueules béantes les unes contre les autres » et où « toute la ligne était calomniée par la continuelle diatribe que vomissaient dix mille bouches noires ». L’artillerie fait pleuvoir une pluie de ferraille sur le champ de bataille peuplé par des fantassins aux pantalons souillés par la colique. Quand, soudain, « l’univers éclata. L’obus arriva et je sus qu’il arrivait. Énorme, gros comme l’univers. » Un obus qui lui arrache un hurlement. « J’allais mourir ; j’étais au fin fond du monde » (Le lieutenant des tirailleurs). Drieu est gravement touché au bras et il perd un tympan. Après un jour de combat, il est évacué comme à Charleroi. Mais, cette fois-ci, sa blessure est plus importante. On le reverse en décembre 1916 dans le service auxiliaire.

 

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« Des masses de ferraille dans la tête »

De cette journée d’enfer, qui clôt ses expériences du feu, Drieu garde deux marques indélébiles : l’impression de profonde absurdité de la Grande Guerre, dont le titre même de La comédie de Charleroi témoigne, et l’horreur moderne de ces combats de fer, qu’il oppose à la grandeur de l’affrontement chevaleresque. « On fabrique des masses de ferraille dans les usines, et puis on se les jette à la tête, de loin sans se regarder et en geignant. […] Nous sommes loin de la guerre décrite par Joinville ou même par Montluc », regrette-t-il dans Le lieutenant des tirailleurs ; comme dans La comédie de Charleroi : « Et cette guerre est mauvaise, qui a vaincu les hommes. Cette guerre moderne, cette guerre de fer et non de muscles. Cette guerre de science et non d’art. Cette guerre d’industrie et de commerce. […] Cette guerre de généraux et non de chefs. […] Cette guerre faite par tout le monde, sauf par ceux qui la faisaient. Cette guerre de civilisation avancée. […] Il faut que l’homme apprenne à maîtriser la machine, qui l’a outrepassé dans cette guerre – et maintenant l’outrepasse dans la paix. » Cette haine de la civilisation décadente des machines le conduira à voir dans le fascisme un renouveau souhaitable. Avec Socialisme fasciste, publié en 1934, Drieu est le premier intellectuel français à se revendiquer de cette idéologie. Trois ans plus tard, il adhère au Parti populaire français (PPF) du futur collaborationniste Jacques Doriot.

En quittant Verdun, Drieu renoue avec l’autre Grande Guerre. La douce, celle des bourgeois de derrière, dans un contraste vertigineux qu’il évoque au début de son roman phare, Gilles (1939). Le personnage empruntant des traits de l’auteur arrive à Paris pour une permission, un soir d’hiver 1917. Gilles se rend au Maxim’s pour boire un verre de champagne. Et revit : « Il but, et tout le délice de ce premier soir coula dans ses veines. Il était au chaud, au milieu de corps vivants, bien habillés, propres, rieurs ; il était dans la paix. » Une paix où les femmes « ignoraient absolument cet autre royaume aux portes de Paris, ce royaume de troglodytes sanguinaires ». Gilles, comme Drieu, « avait faim des femmes, […] de paix, de jouissance, de facilité, de luxe ». Durant cette année 1917, Drieu se perd dans des soirées de débauche au Maxim’s et au bordel pour oublier, exorciser l’enfer du front. Son ami, l’écrivain Maurice Martin du Gard, raconte qu’au Maxim’s Drieu se rappelle avec nostalgie ses années d’avant-guerre, les souvenirs peuplés de camarades tombés. Sa débauche est une fuite en avant qui préfigure celle que vivra, avec lui, la France des « années folles » pour conjurer le douloureux souvenir. Une France qu’Aragon décrit dans Aurélien (1944), double romanesque de Drieu, son ami surréaliste devenu adversaire fasciste. Colette Jéramec a affirmé que son ancien époux lisait Aurélien le jour de son suicide, le 15 mars 1945.

 

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Un cadavre qui s’appelle Drieu

1917 n’est pas seulement une nouvelle expérience de l’arrière faite de soirées et de femmes ; c’est une année rendue majeure par deux événements. Le premier est le mariage avec Colette Jéramec. Cette union est à l’image du rapport torturé de Drieu aux femmes. Elle représente ce qu’il abhorre car elle est une juive issue de la grande bourgeoisie d’affaires. Colette a été sa confidente depuis leur rencontre à l’été 1913, mais le mariage – non consommé – n’est pas heureux. Myriam, que Gilles épouse, est une représentation à peine voilée de Colette contre laquelle Drieu excite par la plume son antisémitisme et son dégoût d’une femme honnie. Mais il sait en profiter. Colette, qu’il trompe dès le début, lui donne 500 000 francs avec lesquels il mène une vie de luxe : tailleurs prisés, cabarets chics, restaurants à la mode… Ce mariage, lui permettant une vie bourgeoise qu’il exècre en idéologie, place Drieu face à ses contradictions et lui fournit un thème littéraire qu’il ne cessera d’exploiter : outre Myriam (Gilles), Lydia (Le Feu follet) et Béatrice (Drôle de voyage) captent son goût refoulé des femmes fortunées.

1917 marque aussi son entrée en littérature. Interrogation, un recueil de poèmes sur la guerre, paraît à l’automne chez Gallimard. Trois ans plus tôt, il avait écrit un premier texte, à l’hôpital de Deauville. Mais il ne fut jamais publié : il l’avait oublié dans un train. En 1920, Drieu reprend, avec un nouveau recueil de poèmes, Fond de cantine, le thème de la Grande Guerre. A-t-il vraiment le choix ? « Du jour au lendemain, la guerre me remplit du besoin impérieux de crier, de chanter », confesse-t-il dans l’inédit Débuts littéraires, en 1943. La guerre le hante et devient le moteur de son œuvre, car il en est mort comme tous ceux de la génération des « 20 ans en 14 ». De la pulsion de vie mystique du 23 août 1914 à Charleroi, il ne reste qu’un cadavre. Et ce cadavre, qui s’appelle Drieu, voudra croire au surréalisme dans les années 20, au fascisme dans les années 30, un temps au stalinisme à la fin de la guerre, puis, faisant le constat de ses fuites en avant, se suicidera. L’avant-veille de ce 23 août déjà, enfermé dans un cabanon, harassé par des jours de marche sous le soleil de plomb, Drieu ôte sa chaussure pour placer son orteil sur la gâchette de son fusil chargé et regarde le trou du canon. « Je tâtai ce fusil, cet étrange compagnon à l’œil crevé, dont l’amitié n’attendait qu’une caresse pour me brûler jusqu’à l’âme » (La comédie de Charleroi). L’arrivée d’un camarade fit cesser la contemplation.

Toute sa vie, Drieu est resté dans la tranchée. « Nous y sommes encore dans ce trou, nous n’en sommes jamais repartis », jure-t-il dans La comédie de Charleroi, pourtant écrit vingt ans après la guerre. De ce nihilisme profond, qui rejaillit sur toute son œuvre, Le feu follet (1931), narrant la marche d’Alain vers le suicide, prospère sur son attraction de la mort. Pour trouver une issue à son obsession de la décadence, cette mort de la société, il fut prêt à verser dans des croyances qui, de Breton à Staline en passant par Hitler, lui ont donné l’espoir d’un renouveau. Toutes furent des impasses. Et c’est ainsi que se dénoue — peut-être — avec la Grande Guerre l’énigme des engagements paradoxaux de Drieu. Dans quelques mots, écrits en 1934 sur ses souvenirs de Verdun : « Je sentais cela. Je sentais l’Homme mourir en moi. »

* Drieu la Rochelle évoque ses expériences de la Grande Guerre dans de nombreux romans. Les extraits qui en sont insérés, s’ils référent à des expériences vécues par l’auteur, impliquent une nécessaire distance.

Photo d’en-tête : Pierre Drieu la Rochelle par Jacques-Émile Blanche, 1924 (© Jean-Louis Mazieres, avec modification).

mercredi, 18 mars 2015

Le Jour de la Colère en Occident

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DIES IRAE
Le Jour de la Colère en Occident
 
Fabrice Fassio*
Ex: http://metamag.fr
 
Les termes liés aux phénomènes sociaux (démocratie, capitalisme, communisme, volonté populaire, etc.) ont un caractère polysémique.  La plupart des locuteurs ne mettant pas la même chose sous les mêmes mots, il s'ensuit des malentendus, voire une incompréhension totale. Cette dernière est d'ailleurs largement alimentée par les médias et les politiciens qui, utilisant le mot "démocratie" à tout propos et de façon intempestive, ont transformé ce terme en véritable "tarte à la crème". Afin d'éviter les confusions, nous nommerons dans cet article : démocratie parlementaire ou démocratie tout court, le système politique d'un pays occidental souverain : la France, l'Allemagne, les Etats-Unis, etc. L'existence de partis politiques, de représentants élus par les citoyens, d'une constitution ou d'une assemblée nationale sont des exemples d'éléments constitutifs du système politique en question. Je souhaite enfin préciser que je considère, dans cet article, la démocratie comme un objet d'étude et que nous ne voulons porter sur elle aucun jugement de valeur. 

Démocratie réelle et démocratie mythique
 
zinoview1-2008-cover.jpgDans les médias, dans les discours des hommes d'Etat occidentaux ou bien dans de nombreux ouvrages spécialisés, le terme de "démocratie" revêt toujours une connotation positive. Ce simple fait est, à lui seul, hautement significatif d'une utilisation idéologique de ce terme. En effet, peut-on imaginer un quelconque système politique ne comportant que des qualités ? La démocratie parlementaire réelle et non point mythique ne fait pas exception à la règle. Elle recèle certes des qualités (autrement dit, des phénomènes qu'une majorité de citoyens perçoivent comme positifs) mais aussi des éléments qui jettent le désarroi dans l'esprit de nos contemporains.  Ces éléments constituent en quelque sorte le « revers de la médaille » de notre système politique. 

En effet, beaucoup d'entre nous s'inquiètent de l'importance de phénomènes tels que les groupes de pression (lobbysme), le train de vie des élus, les liens entre le monde de la politique et celui des affaires, le financement occulte des partis, les scandales dans lesquels trempent des politiciens, etc. Ces quelques exemples suffisent à faire comprendre ce que nous voulons dire. A notre sens, ces phénomènes sont les éléments constitutifs d'une démocratie parfaitement réelle et non point mythique (idéalisée). Comme l'affirme le proverbe : il n'existe pas de bien sans mal.  Ces défauts de la démocratie parlementaire ne sont pas l'effet du hasard mais découlent du fonctionnement du système au quotidien ; les éradiquer totalement ne dépend point des discours des journalistes ou des décisions des hommes d'Etat, aussi bien intentionnés soient-ils. Ces défauts font bon ménage avec d'autres phénomènes qui sont en revanche perçus comme des qualités par les citoyens. Tel est le cas de l'élection des représentants du peuple aux plus hauts niveaux de l'Etat (députés, sénateurs, présidents, etc.) Ce choix des élus est une spécificité de notre système politique.

Une crise de confiance

Le droit de choisir ses représentants constitue un élément important de la démocratie parlementaire. Cependant, nombre d'électeurs pensent que leur vote n'améliorera en rien leur quotidien et s'interrogent sur l'utilité réelle des élections. S'estimant victimes d'un jeu de dupes, certains s'abstiennent de voter alors que d'autres accomplissent sans aucune conviction leur devoir de citoyen. Selon le mot célèbre de Jacques Duclos, ces électeurs désenchantés ont conscience de choisir entre " bonnet blanc et blanc bonnet". Selon nous, ce désarroi et cette désaffection sont les conséquences de plusieurs facteurs.
 
Élections et "hollywoodisation" : le système politique ne constitue qu'une partie de la structure étatique d'un pays occidental. Composé d'élus du peuple, ce système cohabite avec un appareil bureaucratique dans lequel travaillent des dizaines de milliers de fonctionnaires. Cependant, les médias ne manifestent de l'intérêt que pour les élus, dont le nombre est pourtant bien inférieur à celui des fonctionnaires d'Etat. Lors des campagnes électorales, l'attention portée par les médias aux politiciens de haut vol est décuplée et atteint son paroxysme. Durant ces périodes, les principaux moyens de communication créent de véritables cultes des hommes politiques les plus en vue, comme si le destin du pays dépendait du discours prononcé par Monsieur X ou bien de la prestation télévisée effectuée par Monsieur Y. La Une des journaux se remplit de faits mineurs de cette nature et les médias organisent toutes sortes de mises en scène tapageuses. Cette "hollywoodisation" de la vie publique a le double mérite de distraire les citoyens et de masquer l'absence totale ou quasi totale d'idées et de programmes. Voter consiste alors à légitimer l'octroi de fonctions publiques à tel ou tel personnage que les médias et les agences de publicité ont mis en valeur de façon à faciliter son élection. Le candidat devient un « produit artificiel » fabriqué de toutes pièces pour le jour du scrutin.

Elections et bipartisme: depuis la fin de la guerre froide, la tendance au bipartisme s'est renforcée en Europe : à une droite libérale s'oppose une gauche socialisante. Il s'agit, selon les pays, de copies plus ou moins conformes du modèle américain : démocrates et républicains. Depuis l'effondrement du bloc de l'Est, l'idéologie occidentale s'est lancée dans une opération de grande envergure. Journalistes, sociologues, politiciens et experts de tout poil ont redoublé d'efforts pour convaincre les électeurs d'élire des candidats se réclamant de partis "ayant vocation à gouverner" (selon l'expression consacrée). Débarrassée de sa gangue idéologique, cette expression bien connue signifie : partis ne représentant aucun risque pour l'ordre social existant. Même si elles proposent des programmes légèrement différents, les formations politiques participant au bipartisme ont en commun le fait de soutenir notre mode de vie. Convaincre l'électeur d'adhérer au bipartisme revient à cantonner le pouvoir des urnes dans des limites que les forces influentes de la société jugent acceptables. Il s'agit bel et bien de restreindre ce pouvoir afin qu'il ne représente aucun danger pour l'ordre social.

Elections et classe politicienne : beaucoup de citoyens ont clairement conscience qu'existe une classe (une catégorie) de professionnels de la politique. Dans son étude fondamentale consacrée à la société occidentale, le philosophe russe Alexandre Zinoviev note que, depuis la fin de la seconde guerre mondiale, cette classe a non seulement augmenté d'un point de vue numérique mais qu'elle a accru son rôle dans la société. Ces professionnels de la politique ne font pas carrière d'une manière solitaire mais au sein de partis, de mouvements et d'organisations ; ils jouissent d'un niveau de vie élevé : salaires enviables et avantages en nature, relations avec le monde des affaires, honoraires d'appoint, etc. Même s'ils ignorent les "dessous" de la vie politique, la majorité des citoyens savent cependant qu'ils sont fort peu reluisants. Les scandales qui éclatent de temps à autre permettent d'ailleurs au commun des mortels d'entrevoir les coulisses du monde de la politique. S'ensuivent l'indignation, la désillusion et l'amertume. 

Décrivant dans son opuscule "le Prince" le comportement des puissants de son temps, Nicolas Machiavel notait que la ruse, le cynisme, la trahison et le mensonge sont des traits psychologiques que les hommes d'Etat doivent développer s'ils veulent garder le pouvoir. L'analyse du Florentin reste et restera d'actualité. Les politiciens les plus en vue appartiennent à "l'élite" de la société, c'est-à-dire aux couches supérieures du monde occidental. Obsédés par leur carrière, ces professionnels de la politique ne se soucient de leurs électeurs que dans la mesure où ils ont besoin d'eux le jour du scrutin. Sans en être pleinement conscient, le citoyen contribue à perpétuer, par le simple fait de voter, l'existence de cette classe politicienne intimement liée au monde idéologico-médiatique et à celui des affaires.


Sur la base des quelques considérations qui précèdent, il serait faux de conclure que le pouvoir des urnes est aujourd'hui réduit à l'état de pure fiction. En choisissant de voter, par exemple, pour tel candidat plutôt que pour tel autre, nombre d'électeurs expriment une réelle préférence. Cependant, il est clair que la fonction essentielle du vote revient à accorder une légitimité à des individus désireux d'acquérir une parcelle de pouvoir. Quant au libre arbitre de l'électeur, il subit de fortes manipulations destinées à l'orienter dans une direction bien précise. 

L'idéologie occidentale a indéniablement obtenu des succès en matière de conditionnement des esprits (c'est "le lavage de cerveaux en liberté", selon l'expression de Noam Chomsky). Cependant, l'idéologie ne peut pas tout. La situation actuelle des pays occidentaux montre que la confiance en la force des urnes ainsi que l'attrait pour le bipartisme sont à la baisse, alors que grandit le mécontentement social. Dans les années à venir, pourraient accéder au pouvoir des partis étrangers au bipartisme, qui auront réussi à focaliser les états d'âme oppositionnels des électeurs. Il n'est pas exclu non plus que le mécontentement populaire s'accumule et finisse par éclater avec violence. 

Ce jour-là, la voix du peuple ne s'exprimera pas par le biais des urnes mais par la révolte. C'est alors que le monde occidental connaîtra  lui aussi son jour de la colère.


* spécialiste de l'oeuvre du logicien et sociologue russe : Alexandre Zinoviev
 

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Il ’68 lo ha inventato D’Annunzio a Fiume

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Il ’68 lo ha inventato D’Annunzio a Fiume

È un tale anticipatore che ha rinnovato la letteratura italiana dell’800 quando pubblicò Il Piacere, subito diffuso in tutto il mondo, quando all’estero nessuno conosceva Manzoni. Ha rinnovato la poesia italiana, i rapporti con la borghesia, con la politica, con la vita militare. Soprattutto ci lascia oggi un messaggio molto importante, “Conservare intera la libertà fin nell’ebbrezza” e “Non chi più soffre ma chi più gode conosce”. E qui non si tratta di edonismo, ma di godimento come vita intellettuale libera e gioiosa. Questi sono i suoi messaggi, oltre a quello di guardare sempre avanti, progettare e imporre il proprio futuro, saper far sognare agli altri uomini i propri sogni.
 
di Giordano Bruno Guerri
 
Ex: http://www.lintellettualedissidente.it 

ann12445931.jpgCi racconti un episodio OFF dell’inizio della tua carriera?
Un giorno ho pubblicato il mio libro su Bottai, che era la mia tesi di Laurea, da Feltrinelli. Ebbe un immenso successo soprattutto di discussioni sollevate, perché per la prima volta si sosteneva e si dimostrava che non solo era esistita una cultura fascista, ma che erano esistiti anche dei fascisti onesti e in gamba come Bottai. Il fatto poi che l’avesse pubblicato Feltrinelli… puoi immaginare l’emozione e il disorientamento che provocò. Un giorno ricevetti una chiamata da un ragazzo a me ignoto, mi disse che aveva letto il libro e avrebbe avuto piacere di incontrarmi con alcuni amici. Andai volentieri a quel pranzo in Corso Sempione, dove trovai e conobbi le menti migliori della Nuova Destra di allora, che erano Solinas, Cabona, Tarchi, e non so quanti altri. La cosa buffissima, che mi fece molto ridere, era che il ristorante – tutt’altro che ‘Nuova Destra’ – era tenuto da un signore in camicia nera che ci salutò con il saluto romano e che aveva l’intero ristorante tappezzato di ritratti di Mussolini. Fu un curioso incontro, abbastanza OFF, mi sembra!

Sei uno scrittore, un giornalista, uno degli storici più apprezzati d’Italia e in questo momento sei il Presidente del Vittoriale degli Italiani, la casa museo di Gabriele D’Annunzio. Quest’anno si chiudono le celebrazioni del 150° anniversario della sua nascita, che cosa ha lasciato D’Annunzio all’arte e alla cultura italiana?
D’Annunzio non solo ha lasciato, ma dona ancora. È un tale anticipatore che ha rinnovato la letteratura italiana dell’800 quando pubblicò Il Piacere, subito diffuso in tutto il mondo, quando all’estero nessuno conosceva – e tuttora nessuno conosce – Manzoni. Ha rinnovato la poesia italiana, i rapporti con la borghesia, con la politica, con la vita militare. Soprattutto ci lascia oggi un messaggio molto importante, “Conservare intera la libertà fin nell’ebbrezza” e “Non chi più soffre ma chi più gode conosce”. E qui non si tratta di edonismo, ma di godimento come vita intellettuale libera e gioiosa. Questi sono i suoi messaggi, oltre a quello di guardare sempre avanti, progettare e imporre il proprio futuro, saper far sognare agli altri uomini i propri sogni.

Le battaglie politiche di D’Annunzio oggi sono ancora attuali?
Sono sempre attuali. Contrariamente a quello che si pensa, con questa etichetta di ‘filofascista’ che gli è stata attribuita – lo era anche, perché era un superuomo e quindi aveva adottato il superomismo che poi combaciava in qualche modo con il fascismo –, era sostanzialmente un libertario e la difesa della libertà dell’individuo deve essere un nostro compito, dovrebbe essere una delle missioni della Destra, peraltro…

D’Annunzio fa di Fiume “città di vita, città di arte”, quella è una pagina molto importante…
È una pagina straordinaria, qualsiasi Paese disponesse di un episodio simile nella propria storia lo avrebbe mitizzato con film, romanzi e quant’altro, invece sembra quasi che ce ne vergogniamo. Fiume fu un’anticipazione del ’68 da destra, perché nello spirito libertario di Fiume e di d’Annunzio c’era anche questa componente superomista, per cui il ‘capo’ era gran parte della cosa, ma Fiume fu un’avventura indimenticabile che insieme al futuro ripercorre il passato dell’Italia, il Rinascimento. D’Annunzio conquistò Fiume come un condottiero rinascimentale e la mantenne come un pirata di oggi.

La musica è un elemento centrale nella Carta del Carnaro…
Sì, nella costituzione c’è la musica come strumento di vita e di elevazione del popolo, che deve essere quasi distribuita, donata nelle scuole e a tutti quanti, così come la bellezza delle città; l’arredo urbano, così chiamato oggi con una definizione tremenda, non è stato inventato dagli assessori dei vari Comuni, ma è stato inventato da d’Annunzio.

Nell’ultima biografia “La mia vita carnale” racconti un D’Annunzio privato, quotidiano, amante: come corteggiava le donne il Vate?
Lui aveva il grande vantaggio di essere corteggiato, arrivava in un salotto e le donne erano tutte lì a pendere da un suo sorriso – sdentato, peraltro – perché il suo carisma, la sua fama, la sua eleganza, soprattutto il suo eloquio erano tali da incantare tutte quante. Credo che le seducesse con la parola straordinaria di cui disponeva; a trent’anni disse di aver usato, e gli si può credere, 15.000 parole, mentre noi ne usiamo mediamente da 2.000 a 3.000. Faceva sentire le donne regine della propria vita – questo era un dono magnifico – e secondo il suo motto riceveva quel che donava, una dedizione assoluta.

annDannunzio_Giornale.jpgUn aspetto poco conosciuto di D’Annunzio è l’esoterismo, il suo rapporto con l’aldilà. È vero che ti è capitato di metterti in contatto con il fantasma di D’Annunzio al Vittoriale?
Vivo nella casa dell’Architetto Maroni – come tutti i Presidenti quando sono al Vittoriale – dove Maroni, D’Annunzio e Luisa Baccara facevano delle sedute spiritiche e si mettevano in contatto con l’aldilà. Ogni tanto mi passano accanto dei venti, sento dei soffi, però credo fermamente che sia dovuto alle finestre, che sono ancora quelle degli anni Venti!

Un’altra biografia molto importante che hai affrontato è quella di un grande uomo e artista italiano del Novecento, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti…
Marinetti fu l’ultimo uomo importante che vide D’Annunzio vivo; venti giorni prima della morte andò a trovarlo con tutta la famiglia e gli portò un dono magnifico: una scultura che era il doppio comando di un bimotore Caproni con una dedica che diceva: “Noi siamo i motori della nuova Italia”. Ho scritto questi due libri insieme, prima è uscito D’Annunzio e poi Marinetti, perché fanno parte di uno stesso magnifico progetto culturale inconscio della cultura italiana e mondiale. Due innovatori, uno che parte dal passato (D’Annunzio), uno che guarda direttamente al futuro, ma entrambi vogliono cambiare tutto, due rivoluzionari.

All’inizio tra i due correva buon sangue, poi ci fu uno scontro di personalità. Tu citi sempre una battuta bellissima di D’Annunzio nei confronti di Marinetti…
Marinetti lo stuzzicava dandogli del passatista, del vecchio trombone, e D’Annunzio, da grande creatore della lingua, lo fulminò con un epiteto straordinario: ‘cretino fosforescente’. È futurista al massimo!

Secondo te la vita di D’Annunzio è stata più futurista dei Futuristi? Lui veniva nominato ‘passatista’, in realtà la biografia del Vate affronta tutte le tematiche dell’uomo futurista…
Non tutti i Futuristi sono riusciti a vivere una vita futurista, D’Annunzio sì. Basti pensare a quello che ha fatto con il Vittoriale. Si dice che i Futuristi volessero distruggere i musei, non è vero, era una provocazione. D’Annunzio, al rovescio, creò il museo della propria vita che in realtà non è un museo, è il tempo che si è fermato al momento della sua morte per perpetuare la sua vita. Ha progettato il proprio futuro nel mondo dopo la propria morte ed è riuscito a realizzarlo straordinariamente. Il Vittoriale oggi gode di una salute pienissima, ti voglio dire con orgoglio in anteprima per OFF (perché i dati ufficiali verranno comunicati soltanto a fine anno) che a fine novembre avevamo già avuto 16.000 visitatori in più, ovvero l’8% in più del 2012, e che gli incassi sono di conseguenza aumentati. Il Vittoriale non produce solo cultura e bellezza, ma anche ricchezza. Credo che D’Annunzio, a 75 anni dalla morte, possa essere contento.

Qui su OFF abbiamo intervistato Mimmo Paladino e Velasco, che hanno collaborato con te…
Sono due donatori del Vittoriale, hanno dato al Vittoriale delle opere straordinarie, Mimmo Paladino il suo cavallo blu, che è diventato quasi un simbolo del nuovo Vittoriale, così dominante sul lago, e Velasco la sua muta di cani che accompagnano D’Annunzio e i suoi dieci compagni seppelliti nel Mausoleo, quindi mi fa piacere questa comunione.

Oggi che cosa farebbe D’Annunzio nella situazione politica italiana?
Verrebbe d’istinto dire che cercherebbe di prendere in pugno la situazione. Purtroppo sono smentito dal fatto che non lo fece nel 1921 quando avrebbe potuto, ma era tale la disillusione di Fiume – ricordiamoci che fu costretto ad abbandonare Fiume a cannonate dal governo in carica di Giolitti – che si disgustò profondamente e si ritirò al Vittoriale. Chissà, oggi magari non lo farebbe, certo non passerebbe per il Parlamento!

Le similitudini che qualcuno ha fatto, secondo me azzardando un po’, tra Grillo e D’Annunzio, secondo te sono giuste?
Ma per carità, prima di tutto c’è una differenza culturale pari alla Fossa delle Marianne di 11 km. Certo, i grandi eversori sono sempre accostabili, non a caso Grillo tempo fa mise nel suo mitico blog una frase che sembrava totalmente sua ed era di D’Annunzio. Era una frase che incitava alla necessità di rovesciare l’attuale mondo politico per rinnovare tutto, per riprenderci la gioia di vivere, l’economia, la libertà. Erano parole di d’Annunzio che Grillo ha fatto proprie. Dubito che D’Annunzio avrebbe fatto proprie delle parole di Grillo…

Fonte:
Il Giornale

mercredi, 11 mars 2015

Lire Houellebecq pour entrevoir une France islamisée

Mon-livre-n-est-pas-is.jpg

Lire Houellebecq pour entrevoir une France islamisée

Par Charles Terrade

Ex: http://www.lesobservateurs.ch

Une piqûre de rappel pour les retardataires: il faut absolument, lire «Soumission» de Michel Houellebecq. Dans ce livre plein d’ironie philosophique, l’auteur se penche sur le rôle que pourrait assumer l’islam dans le renouveau moral d’une France accablée par 50 ans de déconstruction nihiliste. Incontournable.

France, 2022. François, le narrateur, est professeur d’université à la Sorbonne. Sa spécialité
la littérature du XIXe siècle, et tout particulièrement Huysmans, écrivain tourmenté et converti sur le tard au catholicisme. François a la quarantaine mais vit seul. Il n’a plus de contacts depuis longtemps avec ses parents divorcés qu’il déteste. Les créatures féminines passent dans sa vie comme les plats tout prêts dans son micro-onde. Une relation amoureuse durable lui est impossible. Il fornique de préférence avec des prostituées. Il ne fréquente que des relations de travail dont il se lasse vite. Cet antihéros relativiste, néo-Meursault universitaire, ne croit en rien et est indifférent à tout : autrui, la société, la politique, l’histoire. Mais son nihilisme n’est pas radieux. François s’ennuie et ressent la vacuité de son être avec une angoisse croissante. Il se méprise lui-même. La dépression le guette.

Les élites de la société française dans laquelle François traîne sa lamentable existence sont atteintes de la même fatigue de vivre et rongées par la même haine de soi. Dans le sillage des idéologues soixante-huitards, elles ont pourtant parachevé avec jubilation la destruction des anciens repères religieux, moraux, familiaux, identitaires. Mais la société libérale-libertaire, que ces apprentis sorciers ont contribué à engendrer, n’a pas produit la nouvelle humanité épanouie qu’ils attendaient. La disparition des valeurs traditionnelles a conduit à un vide existentiel qui sape la cohésion sociale. La volonté de vivre ensemble s’est réduite à tel point que l’intégrité même de l’Etat est menacée. En réaction, l’exigence de sens de la population déboussolée revient en force, comme un boomerang, à la figure des élites désemparées. C’est toute la société qui réclame ardemment la fin du chaos ontologique. La nombreuse communauté musulmane est la plus active en termes de revendications d’un retour à un ordre moral, lequel devrait selon elle s’aligner sur ses dogmes religieux.

L’incapable François Hollande a réussi à se faire réélire en 2017 grâce à ses manipulations de
l’opinion publique. Le début du roman coïncide avec les dernières semaines de son deuxième quinquennat, encore plus désastreux que le premier, et les élections présidentielles de 2022.

Le contexte est extrêmement tendu: économie en déroute, mécontentement social au paroxysme. Les attentats islamistes le disputent aux affrontements entre musulmans et identitaires. Le PS et l’UMP n’ayant pas réussi à se qualifier pour le deuxième tour de l’élection présidentielle, les Français devront choisir entre Marine Le Pen, infatigable présidente du Front National, et Mohammed Ben Abbes, habile et retors président de la Fraternité Musulmane qui se présente comme un islamiste modéré et démocrate.
Afin de faire barrage au FN qui en 2022 incarne toujours pour l’oligarchie politico-médiatique
le Mal absolu, tous les autres partis ont appelé à voter pour Ben Abbes au deuxième tour. Ce
ralliement leur a permis d’obtenir des promesses de ministères clés. Le candidat islamiste est facilement élu, une majorité d’électeurs ayant été séduits par son boniment d’un islam
fédérateur à visage humain comme solution au mal-être français.

Ben Abbes islamise alors doucement mais sûrement la France, avec le soutien de la plupart
des élites masculines. L’islamisation ne déclenche pas de protestation d’envergure. Avant tout
marquée par un retour à un ordre moral rigoureux, elle se calque sur les règles de vie des
sociétés musulmanes. Seuls les juifs se montrent ouvertement inquiets en quittant le pays pour Israël.

Pour commencer, les femmes voient leur place dans la société radicalement modifiée. Le
nouveau pouvoir les incite à quitter le marché du travail, notamment au moyen d’allocations
familiales très fortement revalorisées. Grâce à leur retour à la maison, la famille traditionnelle
gagne en stabilité. Elle redevient la cellule centrale et respectée de la société. Les femmes cédant leur place aux hommes inactifs, le chômage disparait. Le retour au plein emploi, ainsi que l’activisme social des imams salafistes des banlieues, massivement soutenus par l’Etat, font disparaître la violence et les trafics illicites des nombreux territoires auparavant considérés comme perdus par la République.


L’enseignement public voit ses missions drastiquement revues à la baisse. Il se concentre
principalement sur le premier degré. Le nouveau ministre – musulman –  de l’éducation prend des mesures qui découragent fortement les filles de poursuivre leurs études au-delà du
primaire. Ces dernières sont orientées vers l’apprentissage pratique de leurs futurs rôles de
mère et de ménagère. Suite à la privatisation des enseignements secondaires et supérieurs, les établissements musulmans poussent comme des champignons et deviennent les plus prisés grâce aux très généreux dons des pétromonarchies du Golfe. Leurs cours y sont compatibles avec le Coran. L’Arabie saoudite finance et gère la Sorbonne qui n’accueille dorénavant que des professeurs musulmans de sexe masculin. La baisse drastique du budget de l’Education Nationale permet aux comptes de l’Etat de retrouver l’équilibre. L’augmentation inexorable et incontrôlée de la dette publique française s’arrête enfin.

Un nouvel ordre moral, social et économique s’établit qui renoue avec certaines des anciennes valeurs traditionnelles de la France tout en y ajoutant, en surplomb, des préceptes spécifiquement islamiques. La plupart des gens y trouvent leur compte. La confiance en l’avenir revient. Le Produit Intérieur Brut croit à nouveau. La France islamisée renaît de la France déconstruite.


François, comme presque tous les autres professeurs d’université, choisit de se convertir à
l’islam. Par motivation pratique : la conversion est nécessaire pour garder son poste.
Egalement pour des raisons financières : son traitement est très nettement revalorisé, ce qui lui permet de vivre beaucoup plus confortablement. Par ailleurs, sa nouvelle situation enviable de professeur dans une prestigieuse université islamique lui donne droit à quatre jeunes et ravissantes épouses. Ses futures femmes l’attendent, ravies de se soumettre socialement et sexuellement au maître que l’ordre nouveau leur a désigné. Quant à lui, il est soulagé de se soumettre intellectuellement et spirituellement à l’islam car celui-ci le libère enfin de ses tourments existentiels.


Ce livre est incontournable pour qui s'intéresse à l'islamophilie de notre élitocratie politique, médiatique et intellectuelle, et à ses conséquences ultimes pour la France. Houellebecq met en outre malicieusement en évidence les avantages que pourrait apporter l'islamisation de la France à ses élites masculines ayant perdu tout repère et s'enfonçant inexorablement dans le nihilisme. Leur besoin inavoué mais désespéré de sens dans un monde anomique pourrait les
entraîner vers une soumission totale à un nouvel ordre politico-religieux viril leur apportant la
tranquillité de l’âme. La soumission à l'islam est pensée par l'auteur comme délivrance
d'une liberté radicale finalement insupportable. Allah est ironiquement pressenti comme

rédempteur divin d'une élite plongée dans la déréliction du fait de sa propre déconstruction.
Mais le Très Miséricordieux est aussi entrevu comme pourvoyeur de félicités sexuelles. Le
nouveau pouvoir islamique veillerait à la stimulation libidinale du mâle des classes
supérieures. Celle-ci serait assurée par la diversité du cheptel de femelles à disposition et son

renouvellement permis par la polygamie et la speed-répudiation.

Michel Houellebecq n’a eu qu’à observer, d’une part l’essor de l’islam en France, et d’autre
part les mœurs du monde musulman, pour inventer cette fiction cauchemardesque. Si celle-ci
se réalisait, les femmes paieraient au prix fort la régression monumentale induite par
l'islamisation de la société. Mais la dégradation des relations hommes-femmes ferait aussi des hommes les perdants du nouvel ordre. L’égalité entre les sexes n’est-elle pas au cœur de notre civilisation? Réduire la femme à ses fonctions d’objet sexuel, d’utérus et de ménagère, ne ferait pas que l’humilier et l’inférioriser. En bridant l’entendement et la créativité d’une moitié de l’humanité, l’homme provoquerait un appauvrissement intellectuel et culturel généralisé. Et il se châtrerait d’une des plus belles dimensions de sa vie : la communion avec son égale dans le sentiment amoureux.

Charles Terrade

mardi, 10 mars 2015

From Romanticism to Traditionalism

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From Romanticism to Traditionalism

Thomas F. Bertonneau

Ex: http://peopleofshambhala.com

The movement called Romanticism belongs chronologically to the last two decades of the Eighteenth and the first five decades of the Nineteenth Centuries although it has antecedents going back to the late-medieval period and sequels that bring it, or its influence, right down to the present day.  Historically, and in simple, Romanticism is the view-of-things that succeeds and corrects its precursor among the serial views-of-things that have shaped the general outlook of the Western European mentality – what historians of ideas call Classicism, and which they identify as the worldview of the Enlightenment.  A good definition of Classicism is: The devotion to prescriptive orderliness for its own sake in all departments of life; the submission of all things to measure, decorum, and, using the word metaphorically, the geometric ideal.  Classicism implies the conviction that reason, narrowly delimited, is the highest faculty, and indeed almost the sole faculty worth developing.  The Classicist believes that life can be perfected by rationalization.  Certainly this is how the Romantics saw Classicism, but it is also in broad terms how the Classicists saw themselves.  According to its own dichotomy, Romanticism would be a view of existence consisting of tenets diametrically opposed to those of Classicism.

"The Course of Empire: Desolation," 1836, oil on canvas, by Thomas Cole (1801-1848), founder of the Hudson River School.

Detail of “The Course of Empire: Desolation,” 1836, oil on canvas, by Thomas Cole (1801-1848), founder of the Hudson River School.

And so largely it was or is, as Romanticism is by no means a dead issue.  As the Romantic sees it, imposed or conventional order tends to distort or obliterate the natural order; and by “natural order” the Romantics would have understood not only the order of nature, considered as Creation, but the order present in social adaptation to the natural order, as when agriculturalists follow the cycle of the seasons and attune their lives with the life of the soil or when builders of monuments and temples go to great effort to align them astronomically.  In addition, the Romantic believes that a bit of disorder might stimulate and enliven life, preventing it from becoming stiff and ossified; that the quirky and unexpected can exert a benevolent influence.  The Romantic also values emotion and intuition as much as he values reason, which he by no means disdains although he defines it more broadly than the Classicist.  The Romantics explicitly rejected the utilitarian arguments of the Classicists.  Romanticism prefigures and is the likely source of what in the second half of the Twentieth Century came to be known as Traditionalism.

I. Characteristics of Romanticism.  Where the geometrically patterned gardens of the French kings, like those designed by Claude Millet in 1632 for Louis XIV at Versailles, might stand for the Classical Spirit, the “English Garden,” with its meandering paths, sprawling bushes, and indifference to the weeds might stand for the Romantic Spirit.  Where Classicism took as its model Greece or Rome, Romanticism looked to the Middle-Ages.  Where Classicism venerated the purest, most elevated Attic style of speech, Romanticism cultivated the Gothic, the Celtic, and the regional dialect; it was not averse to rude or rustic idiom.  Classical playwrights like Pierre Corneille (1606 – 1684) and Jean Racine (1639 – 1699) imitated Euripides and Seneca; Romantic playwrights like Friedrich Schiller (1788 – 1805) and Victor Hugo (1802 – 1885) imitated Shakespeare, whom Voltaire had dismissed as a barbarian and his work as a formless affront to the unities.  Classicism concerns itself with form, which prescribes content, Romanticism with content, which then suggests the form.

What have the scholars written about Romanticism?  None exceeds the scholarly stature of Jacques Barzun (1907 – 2012), whose study From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life (2000) devotes three chapters to Romanticism.  Remarking that Romanticism had, in the broadest sense, something of the quality of a religious or spiritual awakening, and that, unlike Classicism, it extended its horizon of curiosity very far indeed – as for example into myth and folklore considered as other than mere superstition – Barzun writes:

With their searching imagination in literature and art, it could be expected that the Romanticists’ intellectual tastes would be anything but exclusive.  They found the Middle Ages a civilization worthy of respect; they relished folk art, music, and literature; they studied Oriental philosophy; they welcomed the diversity of national customs and character, even those outside the [Eighteenth Century] cosmopolitan circuit; they surveyed dialects and languages with enthusiasm.  This was a genuine multiculturalism, the wholehearted acceptance of the remote, the exotic, the folkish, [and] the forgotten.

Barzun adds that, “in Romanticism, thought and feeling are fused; [Romanticism’s] bent is toward exploration and discovery at whatever risk of error or failure; the religious emotion is innate and demands expression… the divine may be reached through nature or art.”  Under Barzun’s description, Romanticism would be humanly more whole than Classicism, with the latter excluding rather than incorporating the emotional impulse while granting to intuition a key role in the exploration of existence.

The Norwegian scholar, F. J. Billeskov Jansen (1907 – 2002), writing in the compendium Romantikken: 1800 – 1830 (Verdens Litteratur Historie, V. III, 1972), asserts that:

Opplysningstidens mennesker hade fryktet lidenskapene, som kunne true den sunne fornuft.  Alt hos Klopstock ble likevel den religiøse lidenskap frigjort, og hos Rousseau elskovspasjonen og natursvermeriet.  I romantikkens tidsalder blir diktere drømmere, Sjelen utvides I lengsel mot uendligheten, gjennom innføling forener poeten med nature, hans fantasi fører ham langt bort på eventyrets vinger eller langt tilbake i historien; hans håp får form av religiøse visjoner.

[The men of the Enlightenment had feared the passions, which could threaten right reason.  Simultaneously in [the work of Friedrich Gottlieb] Klopstock religious enthusiasm gained liberation, (just) as in the work of (Jean-Jacques) Rousseau did amorous passion and ecstasy in nature.  In the age of romanticism, poets became dreamers.  The soul expands in longing for infinity, the poet attaining oneness with nature through his inward feeling, while his imagination leads him far afield on the wings of adventure or far back into history; his hope takes the form religious visions.]

Elsewhere in the same volume, another scholar characterizes Romanticism as a return of Platonic theology.  Certainly Plato’s myths of the “Ladder of Philosophy,” “The Winged Horses and their Charioteer,” and “The Cave” find their later reflection in the imagery of the Romantic poets.  For Plato, importantly, the phenomena of this world point to a purely spiritual world – the realm of God and the Ideas.  We find a similar attitude in the poetry William Blake (1757 – 1827) and in that of William Wordsworth (1770 – 1850).  The main point to be stressed, however, is Jansen’s description of Romanticism as the labor of the soul to break free from the trammels of degraded matter and to rejoin a vital spirit that suffuses the universe and renders it intelligible.  The Romantics concluded that the assumptions of rationalism were parochial and constricting; that they did not give a true account of humanity or the universe.

In his study of Poetic Diction (1928), philologist and literary critic Owen Barfield (1898 – 1997) attempts to identify and prescind the fundamental Romantic ideas, one of which has to do with the role of “the rational principle”:

Now although, without the rational principle, neither truth nor knowledge could have been, but only life itself, yet that principle cannot add one iota to knowledge.  It can clear up obscurities, it can measure and enumerate with greater and ever greater precision, [and] it can preserve us in the dignity and responsibility of our individual existences.  But in no sense can it be said… to expand consciousness.  Only the poetic can do this: only poesy, pouring into language its creative intuitions, can preserve its living meaning and prevent it from crystallizing into a kind of algebra.  “If it were not for the Poetic or Prophetic character,” wrote William Blake, “the philosophic and experimental would soon be at the ratio of things, and stand still, unable to do other than repeat the same dull round.”

For Barfield, Romanticism qualifies not only as a revolt against the strictures of the Enlightenment; it is not only the accession of a new type of taste or sensibility that supersedes an earlier one: It is a change – and, for Barfield, a positive development – in human consciousness.  Understood in the way that Barfield, Jansen, and Barzun see it, Romanticism resembles – or, rather it anticipates –Traditionalism.  In The Crisis of the Modern World (1927), for example, René Guénon (1886 – 1951) describes the modern person as averse to referring “beyond the terrestrial horizon” and as crediting “no knowledge beyond what proceeds from the sense.”  For Guénon, the modern world “is anti-Christian because it is essentially anti-religious; and it is anti-religious because, in a still wider sense, it is anti-traditional.”  Writing in Harry Oldmeadow’s anthology The Betrayal of Tradition (2005) and invoking the spirit of T. S. Eliot, Brian Keeble asserts that fullness of humanity requires contact with “the transcendent dimension”; and, calling on Blake, he invokes the “sacred reality of the spirit.”

II. The Romantic Subject.  Romanticism saw a great flowering of lyric poetry, and this was no coincidence.  Lyric poetry is personal, even egocentric, poetry; or it is poetry personal in character even in the case where the putative “I” who speaks in the poem is purely fictional and is not to be identified with the author.  The name lyric suggests the solo singer accompanying himself on the lyre, bursting out in song, as the spirit takes him.  Lyric poetry is expressive: It represents in externalized imagery the internal state, intellectual or emotional, of the poet.  Of course, inner states usually correlate themselves with external circumstances and conditions.  Anyone who comments on the soul also necessarily comments on the world.  The Romantics seized on the lyric as their primary mode of poetizing because the conventions of lyric so perfectly suited that part of the Romantic program that concerned the exploration of the subject’s inner life.  Of course, the Romantic poet interests himself in much more than in pouring out the contents of his overflowing heart.  That would be a sophomoric misapprehension.  On the contrary, for the talented poet, well-schooled, mentally acute, moved by inveterate curiosity about the world, even a brief lyric poem can be the vehicle of a subtle critique or argument.  If the Romantic poet were a prophet then he would also be a philosopher.

What does it mean to be a subject, an ego, an “I”?  Subjectivity is self-consciousness, an abiding awareness that one is this person, with this biography (always thus far), and with these relations to and with and in the world – and not some other person with other relations.  But every subject, every self-conscious person, is aware that the world is full of other self-conscious persons whose subjectivity, as he infers, is generically like his own right down to the detail that each has (or ought to have) a similar sense of his own particularity and difference from the others.  Beyond persons, places, and things, the subject senses – although he can never empirically grasp – a totality of things, a cosmos, and an authorial or organizing principle, for which the common name is God.  Wisdom consists in knowing that there was a world indefinitely before his own subjectivity began and there will be a world indefinitely after his own subjectivity ceases; he is a part of something larger than himself, which lies beyond the limits of his will.

Mood conditions subjectivity.  The typical self-consciousness addressed in the previous paragraph should be qualified as the healthy self-consciousness.  Because, however, no one can keep the world absolutely at bay, he must suffer the impingements of the world, whether happily or sadly.  Forces beyond a subject’s control can alienate him from himself and through ignorance or perversity he can exacerbate his alienation.  The Romantics believed that the worldview of Classicism, or the Enlightenment, described life and the world falsely, and that those who embraced its falsehoods must in some way become alienated.  The Romantics regarded with acute skepticism the modern claims concerning material progress.  “The world is too much with us, late and soon, / Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers,” wrote Wordsworth.  In the labyrinth of the new metropolis, the soul might once again lose its way and suffer, as men once did in the Cities of the Plain, and experience pure indifference with respect to its own sickness.  What kind of civic environment would arise from the presence together in large urban agglomerations of millions of such afflicted people?  The psychic problem must inevitably become a social and a cultural problem.

It is worth quoting Wordsworth’s sonnet in full:
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not. Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.

The Romantics understood that consciousness rises to acuity in events and crises, like that experienced by Wordsworth’s monologist in the stale abjection of his despair.  The growth of consciousness proceeds punctually rather than gradually, and it entails the tribulations of a solemn pilgrimage.  Lyric poetry, being the poetry of the subject’s self-consciousness, therefore also tends to be the poetry of sudden events – discrete moments in which the subject suddenly discovers something about himself, the world, or himself in relation to the world, that hitherto he did not know and knowledge of which alters him.  It might be, as in the case of “The world is too much with us,” the discovery of one’s own spiritual poverty; it might be an access of grace.  Such moments sometimes bear the name of epiphany; they are in any case always revelatory – and they cannot be solicited.  They impose themselves, as if by external guidance, as gifts, upon the percipient.

The epiphanic or revelatory quality of lyric poetry has to do with its effort to appear spontaneous.  Every work of art requires arduous labor, even a fourteen-line sonnet, but Wordsworth, for example, insisted that he drew inspiration from abrupt visionary experiences and that articulating the vision although onerous entailed given textual form to a unitary idea.  Discussing the origin of his major poems – The Prelude, The Excursion, and the unfinished Recluse – in letters to his friends, Wordsworth situated himself as the channel for impulses that had befallen him, as revelation befalls the prophet, whether he seeks his election or not.

The Romantic subject resembles – or, rather, it anticipates – the Traditionalist subject, as Guénon, Nicolas Berdyaev (1874 – 1948), and others have defined it.  Guénon himself in The Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times (1945) characterizes modern man as having “lost the use of the faculties which in normal times allowed him to pass beyond the bounds of the sensible world.”  This loss leaves modern man alienated from “the cosmic manifestation of which he a part”; in Guénon’s analysis modern man assumes “the passive role of a mere spectator” and consumer, which is exactly how Wordsworth saw it.  Of course, Guénon does not write of loss as an accident, but as the logical consequence of choices and schemes traceable to the Enlightenment.  As Wordsworth put it, “We have given our hearts away – a sordid boon.”

According to Berdyaev, writing in The Destiny of Man (1931), “Man is not a fragmentary part of the world but contains the whole riddle of the universe and the solution of it.”  Berdyaev asserts that, contrary to modernity, “man is neither the epistemological subject [of Kant], nor the ‘soul’ of psychology, nor a spirit, nor an ideal value of ethics, logics, or aesthetics”; but, abolishing and overstepping all those reductions, “all spheres of being intersect in man.”  Berdyaev argues that, “Man is a being created by God, fallen away from God and receiving grace from God.”  The prevailing modern view, that of naturalism, “regards man as a product of evolution in the animal world,” but “man’s dynamism springs from freedom and not from necessity”; it follows therefore that “evolution” cannot explain the mystery and centrality of man’s freedom.  When Berdyaev brings “grace” into his discussion, he echoes the original Romantics, whose version of grace was the epiphanic vision, the event answering to a crisis that brings about the conversion of the fallen subject and sets him on the road to true personhood.

III. Romantic Nature.  The Romantic redefinition of nature, which the Romantics invariably capitalize as Nature, runs in parallel with the Romantic redefinition of selfhood.  Where the Enlightenment had reduced nature to material processes – geological, chemical, physiological, mechanical, and optical – with no reference to anything outside themselves, Romanticism in reaction posited Nature not only as vital throughout but also as meaningful, and natural phenomena as pointing beyond themselves to things supernatural.  This redefinition of nature was perhaps less a total innovation than it was the re-appropriation of an old idea going back to late-medieval thinkers like Jakob Boehme (1575 – 1624), Paracelsus (1493 – 1541), and even Johannes Kepler (1571 – 1630), who saw in nature a decipherable living message that implies a message-maker whose motivation must be that he wishes to establish contact with human beings.  Behind those figures lies Christian Platonism.  Under this late-medieval idea, the sensitive soul can not only come into communication through nature with what lies beyond nature; but he can also, through nature, come into communion with what is beyond nature.  In Christian, rather than pagan, terms, the Romantic rediscovers Nature as “The Book of Nature,” a kind of supplement to the two Testaments, whose author is God, as normally or eccentrically conceived by the individual writer-thinker.

A longstanding and not altogether inaccurate thumbnail categorization of Romantic poetry is that it is nature poetry.  The Romantic penchant for verbal picturesque redoubles the plausibility of the claim.  Here, for example, is Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772 – 1834) conjuring forth the abyss that lies beneath “The Pleasure Dome of Kubla Khan” in the fragmentary poem (1798) of that name.

But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e’er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced:
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher’s flail:
And mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean;
And ’mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war!

In Coleridge’s poem, which he subtitles “a vision in a dream,” Nature is all depth, but better to say that for Coleridge in “Kubla Khan” Nature is vital depth; Nature is a wellspring of robust and creative urgencies that is almost everywhere and almost at every moment alive.  The exception would be the “lifeless ocean,” a symbol perhaps of what we now call entropy, but in a world of perpetual emergence even a “lifeless ocean” might be redeemed and revivified.  Indeed, Coleridge in the quoted verses seems to be rescuing the etymon of the word nature, which is the same etymon that gave rise to the French verb naître, “to be born” or “to give birth.”  The “chasm” gives birth to “a mighty fountain,” which in turn transforms itself into “a sacred river.”  Coleridge’s endowment on the scenario of the term “sacred” reminds us that his Nature is not only vital, but hallowed or divine.  The creative processes in nature point to a divine creative power beyond nature that reveals itself in phenomena and solicits from the sensitive soul the idea of something that requires a formal acknowledgment of its generative awesomeness.

Coleridge’s “caverns measureless to man” stand for the unplumbed depths not only of Nature but of the soul.  To explore the hidden depths of Nature means also to explore the soul and vice versa.  Coleridge draws on ancient conceptions that the Enlightenment claimed to have debunked, such as the conception of the psyche or soul, as articulated by the archaic philosopher-seer Heraclitus of Ephesus in one of his surviving aphorisms (No. 45): “You will not find out the limits of the soul when you go, travelling on every road, so deep a logos does it have.”  Where the Enlightenment assumed that everything might be measured – that is to say, brought within the horizon of finite knowledge – Coleridge insists that the world possesses a “measureless” dimension that resists logical summary or reduction to purely quantitative or propositional terms. The only way to discuss such things is in symbol, imagery, and figure-of-speech.

The Catskills by Thomas Cole, founder of the Hudson River School

Thomas Cole (1801-1848) The Catskills and Lake George, Catskill Creek, N.Y., 1845, oil on canvas.

A similar view of Nature as the source of vital energy necessary to the soul informs the final scene of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Faust Part II (1831), where the errant sinner, Doctor Johann Faust, at last finds redemption from his graceless and degraded state.  Goethe (1749 – 1832) sets his scene in primeval nature:

Waldung, sie schwankt heran,
Felsen, sie lasten dran,
Wurzeln, sie klammern an,
Stamm dicht an Stamm hinan,
Woge nach Woge spritzt,
Höhle, die tiefste, schützt.
Löwen, sie schleichen stumm-–
freundlich/ um uns herum,
Ehren geweihten Ort,
Heiligen Liebeshort.

[Forests, they wave around,
Over them, cliffs bear down,
Roots cling to rocky ground,
Trunk upon trunk is bound,
Wave after wave sprays up,
Deep caves protecting us.
Lions prowl silently,
Round us, still friendly,
Honouring sacred space,
Love’s holy hiding place.]

A few verses later, the character called Pater Profundis, who will play a mediating role in Faust’s redemption, utters these lines:

Wie Felsenabgrund mir zu Füßen
Auf tiefem Abgrund lastend ruht,
Wie tausend Bäche strahlend fließen
Zum grausen Sturz des Schaums der Flut,
Wie strack mit eignem kräftigen Triebe
Der Stamm sich in die Lüfte trägt:
So ist es die allmächtige Liebe,
Die alles bildet, alles hegt.
Ist um mich her ein wildes Brausen,
Als wogte Wald und Felsengrund,
Und doch stürzt, liebevoll im Sausen,
Die Wasserfülle sich zum Schlund,
Berufen, gleich das Tal zu wässern;
Der Blitz, der flammend niederschlug,
Die Atmosphäre zu verbessern,
Die Gift und Dunst im Busen trug –
Sind Liebesboten, sie verkünden,
Was ewig schaffend uns umwallt.
Mein Innres mög‘ es auch entzünden,
Wo sich der Geist, verworren, kalt,
Verquält in stumpfer Sinne Schranken,
Scharfangeschloßnem Kettenschmerz.
O Gott! beschwichtige die Gedanken,
Erleuchte mein bedürftig Herz!

[As this rocky abyss at my feet,
Rests on a deeper abyss,
As a thousand glittering streams meet
In the foaming flood’s downward hiss,
As with its own strong impulse, above,
The tree lifts skywards in the air:
Even so all-powerful love,
Creates all things, in its care.
Around me there’s a savage roar,
As if the rocks and forests sway,
Yet full of love the waters pour,
Rushing bountifully away,
Sent to irrigate the valley here:
The lightning that flashed down,
Must purify the atmosphere,
With poisonous vapours bound –
They are love’s messengers, they tell
Of what creates eternally around us.
May it inflame me inwardly, as well,
Since my spirit, cold and confounded,
Torments itself, bound in the dull senses,
As sharp-toothed fetters’ agonising art.
Oh, God! Calm my thoughts, pacify us,
And bring light to my needy heart!]

For Goethe as for Coleridge, Nature is the bourn of life, to which the afflicted soul might return to be nursed back to health.  We recall that in Wordsworth’s sonnet “The world is too much with us,” the lyric subject feels exiled from nature and, in his attempt to rejoin with nature, catastrophically rebuffed.  The world seems to him lifeless and still, and he also with it; he wants revivification.  Faust seeks the same.  Goethe’s “forests” answer him not in stillness, but make constantly a motion as they “wave around.”  Just so, the “cliffs” actively “bear down” and “roots cling.”  The dimension of depth goes not missing, for in Goethe’s scene “deep caves protect us” in a landscape thickly tangled (“trunk upon trunk”) that is “sacred” and, like some lonely place where a ritual purification might occur, hidden (“Love’s holy hiding place”) from profane eyes.  When Pater Profundis (“The Father of the Depth”) begins to speak, he credits the landscape with “its own strong impulse.”  The tree, straining its branches skyward, responds to the attractive principle of “Love” that serves Goethe for the equivalent of the non-anthropomorphic energy suffusing the caverns beneath Coleridge’s “stately pleasure dome” in “Kubla Khan.”

A poignant recurrence of this Coleridgean-Goethean constellation of ideas about Nature may be found in the work of the late John Michell (1933 – 2009), who referred to himself as a “Radical Traditionalist.”  Readers know Michell best for his persistent work on the megalithic monuments of the European Neolithic Period, especially in Britain, which he demonstrated to have constituted a continental, and perhaps even a global, network whose builders intended them to help in keeping the dominion of man in contact with the dominion of the stars and of the deities that the stars betokened.  Like Coleridge and Goethe, Michell posited a vital energy inherent in the earth, which the old stone circles and the long straight lines connecting them channeled and tapped.  Michell possessed that conviction of a deep past antecedent to himself that distinguishes both Romanticism and Traditionalism from the modern default-state of “historylessness” and dogmatic materialism.

In The View over Atlantis (1969; revised as The New View over Atlantis, 1985), Michell writes how “of the various human and superhuman races that have occupied the earth in the past we have only the dreamlike accounts of the earliest myths, which tell of the magical powers of the ancients.”  In his bold assertion, Michell echoes the prophecies of Blake, who revived the Old Plato’s “true myth” from the Timaeus in his epic poem America (1793).  As in the Genesis-story of the Deluge or in Plato’s “Atlantis” story, Michell pieces together a narrative about “an overwhelming disaster of human or natural origin which destroyed a system whose maintenance depended upon its control of natural forces across the entire earth.”  In one sense, Michell has simply reiterated that the Enlightenment happened, cutting across the lines of Tradition and depriving humanity of its proper heritage.  For Michell, as for Blake or Wordsworth or Goethe, history is not the “account… of a recent ascent from bestiality and barbarism to the triumphs of modern civilization, but of a gradual, barely interrupted decline from the universal high culture of [Neolithic] antiquity to the present state of fragmentation and impending dissolution.”

IV. Romantic Nature Continued.  Often for the Romantic poet, nature gives cover to secret activities that betoken an older world that in modern civic domains has given way to the despiritualizing forces of measure and logic – in the sociological process that some historians refer to as de-mystification.  Nature is mysterious; she is the “magic forest” of the fairy-tales and legends, to enter which is perforce to run the risk of impish enthrallment or initiatory imperilment.  In the pathways of the forest, man, in his ancient role as hunter, pursues wild game and, taking the prey, becomes one with it.  The opening stanzas of “le Cor” (1826) by the French poet Alfred de Vigny (1797 – 1863) instantiate this variant of the Romantic Nature:

J’aime le son du Cor, le soir, au fond des bois,
Soit qu’il chante les pleurs de la biche aux abois,
Ou l’adieu du chasseur que l’écho faible accueille,
Et que le vent du nord porte de feuille en feuille.

Que de fois, seul, dans l’ombre à minuit demeuré, 
J’ai souri de l’entendre, et plus souvent pleuré!
Car je croyais ouïr de ces bruits prophétiques
Qui précédaient la mort des Paladins antiques.

[I love the sounding horn, of an eve, deep within the woods,
Whether it sings the plaints of the threatened doe
Or the hunter’s retreat but faintly echoed
That the north wind carries from leaf to leaf.

[How often alone, in midnight shadows concealed,
I have smiled to hear it, even shedding a tear!
I thought to hear sounding prophetic plaints,
Declaring the death-knell for knights of old.]

As in Coleridge and Goethe, Nature in Vigny’s poetry offers herself as depth; she furnishes the paradoxically unapprehended scene of a ritual performance, which, however, the lyric subject can reconstitute in his imagination, provoked to the activity by the very sound.  The horn-call reaches the lyric subject of Vigny’s poem from far away in the concealment of the woods, a place of half-light and shadows.  The horn-call incites the lyric subject, as he says, to love: “I love the sounding of the horn, of an eve, deep within the woods.”  But what is this “love”?  It is precisely the awakened desire for the transcendent and unseen, for depth and distance; and it is a response to the sacred, mirrored in the desire of man for woman, and of the soul for beauty.

Note how in the first stanza of Vigny’s poem the sound of the horn mingles with the rustling of the north wind, as though the two timbres had become one and therefore indistinguishable.  In the second stanza, the horn-call comes to resemble “prophetic plaints, / declaring the death-knell for knights of old.”  Not only the reunion of culture and nature, which have become alienated from one another, but also whole extinct worlds of medieval pageantry and hieratic drama, lie concealed in oaken and beechy precincts.  Let it be noted finally, in passing, how Vigny’s “Cor” with its “prophetic plaints” makes a parallelism with Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan,” where “ancestral voices” are “prophesying war.”

Portrait of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) by Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein.

“Goethe in the Roman Campagna,” 1786, by Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein, oil on canvas.

What do the scholars say about the Romantic view of landscape and nature?  François-René Chateaubriand (1768 – 1848), a second-generation French Romantic who was also one of the early scholars of Romanticism, writes in his great study of The Genius of Christianity (1802) concerning the distinction between ancient and modern poetry that “mythology… circumscribed the limits of nature and banished truth from her domain.”  In modern poetry, by which Chateaubriand means Christian poetry: “The deserts have assumed a character more pensive, more vague, and more sublime; the forests have attained a loftier pitch; the rivers have broken their pretty urns, that in future they may only pour the waters of the abyss from the summit of the mountains; and the true God, in returning to his works, has imparted his immensity to nature.”  Chateaubriand associates paganism with naturalism – that is to say, with the taxonomic or classifying study of natural phenomena, as exemplified in the work of Pliny the Younger.  Chateaubriand thus opposes the Romantic or Christian view of Nature against the Classical or Pagan view of nature, which had been taken up again by the Enlightenment, favoring the former over the latter.

If, as Chateaubriand writes, “the prospect of the universe [excited not] in the bosoms of the Greeks and Romans those emotions which it produces in our souls,” then it follows that the Enlightenment mentality, surveying the same “prospect,” would come away from the encounter as affectively blank as did the Epicurean precursor whose view Eighteenth-Century Classicism has reinvented.  The modern poet in confronting the universe, according to Chateaubriand, enjoys the differentiating privilege to “taste the fullness of joy in the presence of its Author.”  It is true that there is no Pagan equivalent of the Fall-from-Grace.  Because consciousness is equivalent to recollection, and because paganism never experienced Nature as lost, the Christian sense of Nature must exceed the Pagan sense in both quality and intensity.  Christianity is a return to nature or a recovery of it, a homecoming, as it were, with all the poignancy thereof.

In Natural Supernaturalism (1973), one of the great studies of the Romantic Movement, and with specific reference to Wordsworth, M. H. Abrams (born 1912 – still living) writes that for the Grasmere poet “Scriptural Apocalypse is assimilated to an apocalypse of nature [whose] written characters are natural objects, which [the poet reads] as types and symbols of permanence in change.”  Abrams shows in his study how Wordsworth in particular and the Romantics in general inherited from Edmund Burke and German idealism the aesthetic dichotomy of The Beautiful and the Sublime.  The Beautiful is whatever is picturesque, pleasing, and amiable in Nature.  The Sublime is whatever is awesome, threatening, and grandiose in Nature.  In communing with Nature, the sensitive soul finds in Beauty the stepping-stone to the Sublime, and it is in the Sublime that he reads – or has read to him – the real lesson of Nature.  Abrams writes that the “antithetic qualities of sublimity and beauty are seen [by the poet] as simultaneous expressions on the face of heaven and earth, declaring an unrealized truth which the chiaroscuro of the scene articulates for the [properly] prepared mind – a truth about the darkness and the light, the terror and the peace, the ineluctable contraries that make up our human existence.”

In American Sublime: Landscape Painting in the United States, 1820 – 1880 (2002), Andrew Wilton and Tim Barringer comment on the centrality of the Sublime in the Romantic conception of landscape.  “The Sublime,” they write, “incorporated a further dimension [namely that] the imagination has an important part to play in our perception of what is immense, nebulous, beyond exact description.”  When the percipient discovers “spiritual significance in nature,” he is not making a passive observation; on the contrary, he is participating in the constitution of such significance.  Writing of Frederic Church’s panorama in oils of Niagara (1857), Wilton and Barringer remark that, “it is not a meditation on light, but on the power of nature manifested in the grandest geographical phenomena.”  They go on to remark that “Church conceived [Niagara] as a show-piece, a masterpiece in the original sense: a specimen of his own powers at their most impressive – a match, perhaps, in a consciously humble way, to God’s own.”  Church’s canvass also communicates with the “abyss” of Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan,” a metaphor of the soul and of the psychic component of the universe as “measureless to man.”

V. Traditionalism as the New Phase of Romanticism.  Abrams’ attribution to Wordsworth of a sense of Nature as “apocalyptic” applies equally well to Church (1826 – 1900), for whom the great cataract, directly on the brink of which his painting positions the viewer, is also “apocalyptic” – God revealing His greatness through the sublimity of the falling waters, the magnificent roar, and the rearing luminous mists.  Church painted a number of scenes that would have pleased Michell, such as his “Aegean Sea” (1877), with its ancient ruins, including the half-hidden entrance to a cave-shrine, against a brilliantly light island-harbor with mists and rainbows.  Church’s “Cross in the Wilderness” (1857), with its rugged mountains and faraway, luminous horizon, implies a Chateaubriand-like grasp of the religious struggle, with its concluding vision, as the essentially human struggle.  It probably implies Michell’s ley-lines and megalithic power-foci.  The Hudson River School of painting, to which Church belonged, was a thoroughly Romantic phenomenon, motivated by an awareness of the disappearing wilderness, which it sought to record, and dedicated to the ideal that civilization must never violate the natural order; that humbleness before the sublimity of the natural world is the proper attitude for civilized people to assume.

The Lake Poets in England and the Hudson River painters in North America feared the tendencies of their era – the spread of callous industrialism, the aggrandizement of cities, the blighting of the countryside, and the coarsening of the soul.  They warned against these trends even as it became evident that the trends would overwhelm any critique.  The Lake Poets eventually came to grasp that their philosophical and aesthetic convictions implied a politics.  Wordsworth and Coleridge became Tories, or as Americans would say, conservatives.  Vigny and Chateaubriand were also on the right, the former describing himself as the sole male survivor of a parental generation that the Revolution had eaten alive.  These men would better be described, however, as reactionaries – against the encroachments of the Reign of Quantity and the pseudo-ethos of “getting and spending” – and as Traditionalists: Defenders and conservators of the local against the metropolitan, of dialect against rhetoric, and of the spirit against a prescriptively and intolerantly materialist view of life and the world.  Their opposite numbers were the propagandists for the insidious synergy of the laborites and socialists with the bankers and industrialists.

In The Communist Manifesto (1848), Karl Marx (1818 – 1883) and Frederick Engels (1820 – 1895) condemn the bourgeoisie, whom they propose to abolish, but they extol the “subjection of Nature’s forces to man, machinery, application of chemistry to industry and agriculture, steam-navigation, railways, electric telegraphs, clearing of whole continents for cultivation, canalisation of rivers, whole populations conjured out of the ground” that “Capitalism,” the project of the bourgeoisie, had created.  Marx, as much as the industrialists, looked forward to the “extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan” and to the “establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.”  Scots poet Robert Burns (1759 – 1796) had already indicted the right riposte in his “Impromptu on the Carron iron Works” (1787):

We cam na here to view your warks, 
In hopes to be mair wise, 
But only, lest we gang to hell, 
It may be nae surprise: 
But when we tirl’d at your door 
Your porter dought na hear us; 
Sae may, shou’d we to Hell’s yetts come, 
Your billy Satan sair us!

In the prevailing situation in the second decade of the Twenty-First Century, the literature professors prefer denouncing the Romantic poets to understanding them, and the art-history professors regard the Hudson River painters as “illustrators” who could not possibly have believed in the Transcendentalist or spiritualist doctrines that they expounded.  Prophets of modern thought like Theodore Wiesengrund Adorno (1903 – 1969) and Jacques Derrida (1930 – 2004) have, of course, conclusively demonstrated that all Lake Poets and all Hudson River painters, even the ones who were Unitarians hence half-way to being modern liberals, were and remain servitors of false consciousness and an oppressive “logocentrism,” from which everyone should be compulsorily liberated.  In the colleges and universities, the Cultural-Marxist hatred for anything not Cultural-Marxist grows red-hot, white-hot, and ultraviolet-hot by swift stages.  That is a metonymy of exactly what the early twentieth-Century Traditionalists predicted.

In The End of Our Time (1933), Berdyaev argues that, “The Renaissance began with the affirmation of man’s creative individuality; it has ended with its denial.”  Creativity, which Michelangelo and J. S, Bach ascribed to God, produces unequal results that inspire “envy,” which in turn solicits a demand for “equality.”  For Berdyaev, the principle of modernity is “envy of the being of another and bitterness at the inability to affirm one’s own.”  Thus, according to Berdyaev’s analysis, “Our age is like to that which saw the passing of the ancient world” although “that was the passing of a culture incomparably finer than the culture of today.”  It is possible, writes Berdyaev, to “trace the ruin of the Renaissance in modernist art, in Futurism, in philosophy, in Critical Gnoseology… and finally in socialism and anarchism,” all of which begin with a rejection of Romantic, and therefore of religious, values.

In The Meaning of the Creative Act (1916), Berdyaev, contrasting “Canonic” or “pagan” art with “Christian art, or, better, the art of the Christian epoch,” arrives at the dichotomy that “pagan art is classic and immanent” where “Christian art is romantic… and transcendent.”  The parallelism between Berdyaev and Chateaubriand will be abundantly self-evident.  As Berdyaev sees it, “In [the] classically beautiful perfection of form [in] the pagan world there is no upsurge towards another world… no abyss… above or below”; that is, no “caverns measureless to man.”  The Romantic, knowing that he can never achieve perfection in this world, shies from utopian projects that inevitably become coercive and universal.  Thus “a romantic incompleteness… characterizes Christian art,” which takes as a premise, among others, the conviction “that final, perfect, eternal beauty is possible only in another world.”  That the Romantic often succumbs to the frustration inherent in eternal longing, Berdyaev notes; but the Romantics themselves knew their vulnerability in this regard well and were wont candidly to diagnose it, as Wordsworth does in “The world is too much with us,” candidly.  Berdyaev saw in Nineteenth-Century Romanticism the last pause in the steady descent of the Western world into materialism, utilitarianism, and nihilism, the equivalent of Guénon’s Kali Yuga or Dark Age.

Contemporary Traditionalism picks up where Berdyaev, Guénon, and the mid-Twentieth Century anti-modernists, and again where the Romantics, in their century, left off.  Traditionalists recognize that the critical situation of their time is deeper, more degraded, more irremediably catastrophic than the of one hundred or one hundred-and-fifty years ago, but they also see that it is the same crisis and that if the Endarkenment of their day were more acute by a magnitude at least than it was in 1820 or 1920 it would also be closer to its irrevocable finale.  The problem for Traditionalists is how severe that finale will be.  Will it conform itself to the Foundering of Atlantis or the Fall of Rome?  The former constituted a choke-point after which civilized life had to begin again from the degree zero.  The latter sacrificed the Imperial infrastructure, both physical and bureaucratic, for the reorientation of Western European humanity from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic.  The Greeks and Romans feared to sail beyond the Pillars of Hercules.  Significantly, the conquest of the Atlantic and the opening up of North America fell to those Northwestern Goths, the Vikings, at the very moment when Iceland was embracing Christianity.  Leif Erikson was an early convert, as was Thorfinn Karlsefni.

Modernity is a Polyphemus, an angry unison-chorus, shouting like thunder that man is the measure and that there is nothing, not measurable by man.  Traditionalism is the quiet voice, seeking parlay with other hushed voices, so that together they might enter conversation with the Forest Murmurs and even the distant Music of the Spheres and come to know better what they already suspect, that man must begin by measuring himself against the measureless.

[This essay is dedicated to Professors Cocks and Presley and to “The Two Scholars.”]

bertonneau

Thomas F. Bertonneau earned a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Califonia at Los Angeles in 1990. He has taught at a variety of institutions, and has been a member of the English Faculty at SUNY Oswego since 2001. He is the author of three books and numerous articles on literature, art, music, religion, anthropology, film, and politics. He is a frequent contributor to Anthropoetics, the ISI quarterlies, and others.

dimanche, 08 mars 2015

Les portes de l'enfer...

Les portes de l'enfer...

Le seizième numéro de la revue trimestrielle Spécial Céline, publiée par les éditions Lafont Presse, est disponible en kiosque ou sur les sites de vente de presse. Consacrée à l'auteur de Mort à crédit, cette revue est dirigée par Joseph Vebret et réalisée avec le concours d'Eric Mazet et de David Alliot.

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Au sommaire :

Actualité

Actualité célinienne, par David Alliot

Étude
Céline en son temps ou Céline avant Céline : 1931, par Éric Mazet

Etude
Les bistrots de Céline, par Serge Kanony

Document
Céline, secrétaire d'association, par David Alliot

Relecture
Le métro émotif, par Pierre Ducrozet

Lectures croisées
Céline le psychopompe funèbre, par Gwenn Garnier-Duguy

Discours
Bardamu à Médan - 1er octobre 1933, par David Alliot

Nouvelle
Guantanamo City - Distraction littéraire, par Jean-François Foulon

vendredi, 06 mars 2015

Ernst Jünger, il soldato che discuteva di mitragliatrici con Heidegger

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Ernst Jünger, il soldato che discuteva di mitragliatrici con Heidegger

Dalla sua avventurosa vita – quasi come ricordi del ragazzino di famiglia scappato di casa per arruolarsi nella Legione Straniera – da lì, sono riemerse le tracce di ferite. Nelle screpolature della sua pelle di vecchissimo, come tracciati di radici profonde, per la marchiatura del tempo, sono sbucati dal buio dei ricordi i segni cavallereschi, le tacche sulla carne. Nessuno per esempio aveva notato sull’avambraccio un segno secco. Forse occultato dalla rigenerazione della vita quotidiana, ieri, la morte glielo ha ripescato: disteso lungo il suo percorso raggrinzito di corpo morto. Dei suoi capelli bagnati nell’acqua gelida del fiume, bianchissimi fili, la rigidità cadaverica ha catturato l’impercettibile alito, un elmo che è quasi un’aureola. Una foto in bianco e nero restituisce il taglio all’altezza delle orecchie, a nuca nuda, in parallelo con gli alettoni aerodinamici del cappottone d’ordinanza. Le linee telefoniche raccontano già della “mobilitazione totale“ del governo, dei potentissimi professori, degli “amici francesi“, che sul grande morto – innamorato come tutti i morti del ricordo di tutto ciò che è vita – stanno “approntando il memoriale“. Tedesco e “parigino“ a un tempo, della sua avventurosa vita, per tutti i centodue anni portati in faccia al mondo per lui sempre più estraneo, Ernst Jünger porterà sulla bara il fasto di un’esistenza eccezionale, dentro la bara invece, trascinerà “l’addio al mondo“. Era anche un dandy: “La volontà regna sul mondo diventato materiale dell’oggettivazione incondizionata”. È stato “sublime” (glielo diceva un altro dandy). Disse, un giorno, a fondamento del suo destino: “Meglio un delinquente che un borghese”. Sublime bacchettatore di Hitler, che pure era stato suo sodale segreto nella “società di Thule”, schizzinoso rispetto alla pietas del demos, al fondatore del Terzo Reich, rinfacciava sempre l’eccessivo democraticismo, l’insopportabile volgarità plebea delle “camicie brune”. Qualcuno commissionò l’eliminazione di Jünger, Hitler che candidamente lo riconosceva “come un superiore in gradi”, un “vero capo”, lo salvò dai sicari.
Nella sua essenza di testimone, nel suo essere stato passeggero dei battelli a vapore e del Concorde, nel suo essere stato tutto quel che Ernst Jünger è stato, hippy e notabile prussiano, entomologo e romanziere, arrivando adesso all’Oriente Eterno, chiuderà la sua estrema scommessa. Al cospetto dell’Onnipotente, certamente, da algido chirurgo del Nulla qual è, l’orologiaio del Nichilismo sta portando sulle sue spalle di grande morto, l’immagine a lui più profondamente vera, la sua forma, e dunque la divisa. Dell’habitus militare, Jünger ha offerto l’esempio assoluto. Scrittore, infaticabile diarista, interlocutore e protagonista in quell’officina di vampe che fu la Rivoluzione Conservatrice, Jünger non chiude solo un capitolo nella storia della letteratura, ma brucia con la sua morte l’ultimo modo possibile di essere “uo­mo d’arme”. Arrivando davanti a Dio, infatti, davanti al Dio lungamente cercato nelle sua passeggiate quotidiane nel piccolo cimitero del suo villaggio, la sua anima si specchia levigata nella ruvida stoffa grigioverde del soldato. È morto il soldato dunque, l’ultimo vero soldato planetario, erede di Ludovico Ariosto e di Ercole Saviniano Cirano de Bergerac. Innamorato del sogno cavalleresco, ad Alberto Moravia, in un’intervista-dialogo confidò: “Nella guerra nucleare i due giocatori faranno saltare in aria la scacchiera”, e non si capì bene se il cruccio nucleare fosse, per il vecchio Jünger, più un fastidioso ostacolo per la guerra o per la pace. Ritenuto a torto purificato nel dopoguerra, ma forse fortunatamente non troppo purificato, nelle lunghe passeggiate con Martin Heidegger e Carl Schmitt, dopo i primi quindici minuti di conversazione metafisica, arrivati a un altopiano, si lasciavano prendere la mano da altre curiosità, tipo: “Secondo voi, una mitragliatrice collocata qui, quale inclinazione di tiro potrebbe avere?”. Combattente volontario delle due guerre mondiali, di due sconfitte, della prima ne ricordava “di Londra, Parigi e Mosca, lo straordinario entusiasmo della gioventù, l’ebbrezza”, della seconda intuì da subito l’ambiguità: “O ci sarà una rivoluzione, o sarà una lunghissima guerra di trincea, come nel 1914-1918”. Nato a Heidelberg nel 1895, Ernst Jünger è stato decorato due volte con la Croce di Ferro, la più alta onorificenza a cui ogni galantuomo belligerante avrebbe potuto aspirare. La prima l’ebbe dalle mani dell’Imperatore, la seconda, invece, l’ha ricevuta dal suo maldestro allievo, per aver salvato dei dissennati che si erano spinti troppo avanti nella trincea nemica per scattare delle fotografie. Disse: “Fui comunque divertito dall’idea di ricevere la Croce di Ferro per la seconda volta”. Era anche un dandy.

Pietrangelo Buttafuoco

Il 17 febbraio di 17 anni fa moriva Ernst Jünger.

Yukio Mishima: the Body as Spirit

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The Body As Spirit: Yukio Mishima, Author, Intellectual, And Warrior

“It is… possible for people to use the body as a metaphor for ideas,” Japanese author Yukio Mishima says in Sun and Steel.

Mishima had been a weak and sickly child, doted on by his over-protective grandmother. He wasn’t allowed to play with other boys, and grew up alienated from male culture (as well as from his mother, who was not allowed to look after him unsupervised). For him, Mishima says, “words came first of all; then… came the flesh. It was… already wasted by words.”

Yukio Mishima, bodybuilder and author

Yukio Mishima

For the author the answer to this waste — which he must have seen also in the Japan of post-World War II, defeated by the American atomic bomb — was to take up Kendo (traditional Japanese sword fighting) and bodybuilding, and to transform his thin frame into a powerful vehicle that could compete with his intellect.

The competition was partly one for attention, and partly one for a Way of being. Like aesthetes in the West, flamboyance and sincerity were not alien to each other, but one and the same. Controversially, Mishima formed his own private army, of about 100 members: the Tatenokai or “Shield Society.” He wanted, he said, to create a society for students who couldn’t, because of ideological reasons, join the Marxists on campus — Marxism was all the rage at the time.

One of the issues that divided the author and the Marxists (whom Mishima respected) was devotion to the emperor. Mishima never said it, but another — and perhaps an even more important area — was the body. The Tatenokai, and Mishima’s own “Way” of being was increasingly to the physical. In a flash of insight, Mishima

understood all kinds of things hitherto unclear to me. The exercise of the muscles elucidated the mysteries that words had made. It was similar to the process of acquiring erotic knowledge. Little by little I began to understand the feeling behind existence and action.

Marxism was intellectual. Mishima was increasingly concerned with the physical, precisely as an expression of ideas rooted in a kind of primordial drama. The flash of insight had come as the author considered the nature of tragedy.

Tragedy, says Mishima, “is born when the perfectly average sensibility momentarily takes unto itself a privileged nobility…”

It follows that he who dabbles in words cannot participate in it. It is necessary, moreover, that the “privileged nobility” find its basis strictly in a kind of physical courage… Tragedy calls for an anti-tragic vitality and ignorance, and  above all a certain ‘inappropriateness.’

By “ignorance,” of course, Mishima does not mean stupidity, vulgarity, or uncouthness (Mishima was very much concerned with elegance, though not as we might understand it today), but, rather, a move away from the intellect toward instinct.

Inoffensive in the West, “inappropriateness” was perhaps a more shocking idea in Japan of Mishima’s era (and even today), where rules of social etiquette are strict and complex, and understanding ones place in the order of society comes as second nature. But, the tragic hero must, of course, go against the convention of his own time. He is the one that steps forward, taking on the challenge to save society from some existential threat, while everyone else goes about their more mundane business.

It is odd, then, that Mishima suggests that the physical body “is foreign to the spirit,” being closer to ideas. Nevertheless, in criticizing those who allow their bodies to become ugly, he suggests that the body can be a vehicle for the spirit. A bulging belly is a “sign of spiritual sloth”, for example. This and other unattractive traits, says Mishima, is “as though the owner were exposing his spiritual pudenda on the outside of his body.”

The author equates such physical ugliness with “individuality.” “If,” says Mishima cryptically, “the body could achieve perfect, non-individual harmony, then it would be possible to shut individuality up for ever in close confinement.” But the idea of “perfect, non-individual harmony” seems to be key to Mishima’s growing interest in the physical. He could escape from the world of the internally and externally ugly through perfecting the body and making that his guiding spirit.

Angel Millar

Angel Millar is an author, blogger, and the editor of People of Shambhala.

jeudi, 05 mars 2015

Solution politique ?

Solution politique ?

par Claude BOURRINET

 

Baudelaireiuyuuyuu.jpgLa politique avant tout, disait Maurras. Parlons plutôt, comme Baudelaire, d’antipolitisme. On sait que le poète, porté, en 1848, par un enthousiasme juvénile, avait participé physiquement aux événements révolutionnaires, appelant même, sans doute pour des raisons peu nobles, à fusiller son beau-père, le général Aupick. Cependant, face à la niaiserie des humanitaristes socialistes, à la suite de la sanglante répression, en juin, de l’insurrection ouvrière (il gardera toujours une tendresse de catholique pour le Pauvre, le Travailleur, et il fut un admirateur du poète et chansonnier populiste Pierre Dupont), et devant le cynisme bourgeois (Cavaignac, le bourreau des insurgés, fut toujours un républicain de gauche), il éprouva et manifesta un violent dégoût pour le monde politique, sa réalité, sa logique, ses mascarades, sa bêtise, qu’il identifiait, comme son contemporain Gustave Flaubert, au monde de la démocratie, du progrès, de la modernité. Ce dégoût est exprimé rudement dans ses brouillons très expressifs, aussi déroutants et puissants que les Pensées de Pascal, Mon cœur mis à nu, et les Fusées, qui appartiennent à ce genre d’écrits littéraires qui rendent presque sûrement intelligent, pour peu qu’on échappe à l’indignation bien pensante.

 

Baudelaire, comme on le sait, est le créateur du mot « modernité », qu’il voyait incarnée dans les croquis de Constantin Guys, et que son sonnet, « À une passante », symbolise parfaitement. La modernité, c’est l’éternité dans la fugacité. Rien à voir, au fond, avec l’injonction rimbaldienne, que l’on voulut volontariste, mais qui n’était que résignée et désabusée, d’être à tout prix moderne. Baudelaire ne destine pas sa pensée à la masse. S’adresse-t-il, du reste, à quiconque ? Il est visionnaire, c’est-à-dire qu’il saisit au vol l’esprit et l’image. L’image, sous la forme des tableaux d’art, fut sa grande passion. Et les symboles, ces images essentielles, qui correspondent avec nous, ces surréalités situées « là-bas », au-delà, mais en jonction avec les sens, et faisant le lien avec les Idées, constituent cette échelle de Jacob, qui nous offre la possibilité de frôler le cœur divin, malgré nos limites angoissantes et torturantes.

 

Baudelaire se situe, au sein d’un monde qui a parodié la dynamique chrétienne, pour la caricaturer en vecteur de progrès infini, ce qui est une autre façon de blasphémer, car seul Dieu seul est infini, pousse l’archaïsme religieux, à grande teneur « traditionnelle » (mais, comme Balzac, il s’inspire du penseur mystique Swedenborg), jusqu’à ne consacrer ce qui lui restait à vivre (il est mort en 1867) qu’à ce culte de la Beauté, qui est une ascension, et non un plaquage sur la réalité sociale-politique. La dimension baudelairienne est la verticalité.

 

Pour le reste, c’est-à-dire sa conception anthropologique, il partage la conception janséniste (contre Rousseau) du péché, impossible à dépasser et à contrer, lequel propose des pièges et des ruses, souvent raffinées, ces « opiums », par exemple, que sont l’amour, la beauté, l’ivresse, élans nobles et dérisoires, qui nous font croire que nous sommes des dieux mais qui, malgré tout, ironiquement, nous donnent un pressentiment du divin… Baudelaire est un idéaliste pessimiste.

 

Il n’existe plus de Baudelaire, au XXIe siècle. On sent parfois, chez certains, son ombre. Par exemple Richard Millet, s’il n’était obsédé par le politique. Sa Confession négative m’a fortement ébranlé. Il retrouve les accents pascaliens, le sens de la grandeur, le goût des gouffres. Il faudrait écrire moins, et moins s’intéresser aux médias. Richard Millet n’est pas assez désespéré. J’évoque ainsi l’un de nos écrivains qui sait encore écrire, donc penser, au sens baudelairien, c’est-à-dire vivre son encre, comme son sang, mais il faut admettre que nous manœuvrons dans un monde de Lilliputiens, qui se pâment devant des monuments hauts comme quatre pommes. On voit bien que ce qui manque, c’est la cruauté. Baudelaire était un grand lecteur de Sade, comme, du reste, les auteurs intelligents de son époque. Malheureusement, on dirait que le seul imbécile qui ait eu alors du génie, Victor Hugo, ait été le seul, au bout de cent cinquante ans, à générer une abondante descendance. Sans la démesure.

 

Que sont devenus nos penseurs, nos grands phares ? On dirait que la littérature, si proche maintenant de la politique politicienne, se fait sur un coin de comptoir. Ça a commencé, il est vrai, au Procope, lorsque des entrepreneurs d’idées s’excitaient les lumières en buvant du café. Depuis, on est sorti dans la rue, de plus en plus polluée et enlaidie par des boutiques, pour ne plus en sortir. L’intelligence est une affaire, comme la bourse, avec ses fluctuations, ses rumeurs, ses coups et ses misères. Le livre est une action, non pas même un enfumage idéologique, comme du temps des « philosophes », mais une option sur une possible rente, au moins symbolique, du moins médiatique. La seule ascension possible, maintenant, c’est celle de l’ascenseur qui porte jusqu’au studio de télévision.

 

Au moins, si quelqu’un avouait que le roi est nu ! Même pas un roi déchu, puisqu’au a perdu la mémoire de tout, même des ors de notre origine divine, surtout de cette noblesse glorieuse, qu’on a remplacée par le clinquant démocratique. Mais un roi déshabillé, à poil, si l’on veut. Illustrons le propos, et provoquons en dévalant un nombre conséquent d’étages, jusqu’aux caves. Il y a un peu de honte à descendre si bas, mais, finalement, c’est là le niveau d’existence de notre monde. Avant donc de rédiger ces réflexions si réalistes, j’ai jeté un coup d’œil, le diable me poussant, sur le site de Riposte laïque, qui a le suprême avantage, pour un analyse intempestif, de synthétiser la bêtise contemporaine, dans une société qui ne manque pas, pourtant, d’émulation en ce domaine. Je lis ainsi qu’il suffit d’éradiquer l’islam de notre terre pour que la France revive, et que le numéro spécial de Charlie Hebdo est, grand bien fasse à cette France si frémissante face à cette perspective de renaissante ! paru. La France, c’est Charlie débarrassé du danger musulman. Le roi tout nu s’amuse. Hugo serait content : les Rigolettos l’ont emporté, et les Sganarelles, et les Scapins. La valetaille s’en donne à cœur joie : il suffit de bouter la galère de Sarrasins hors du port pour que nos champs refleurissent (avec l’aide de Monsanto, évidemment).

 

Nous ne faisons que résumer les débats actuels.

 

Toute cette cuisine alourdit l’estomac. Achevons !

 

On dirait que le bon Dieu, s’étant aperçu que la marmite renvoyait dans la cuisine divine, des odeurs suspectes, avait décidé de touiller à grands coups de louches la mixture mal embouchée et susceptible de sécréter quelque poison.

 

À propos du peuple français, pour autant qu’on jette la mémoire jusqu’au bout de la nuit des temps, on sait que plusieurs civilisations qui nous ont précédés ont disparu dans le néant, laissant à peine quelques traces. Ainsi des Incas, des Celtes… D’autres ont eu la chance d’avoir une postérité culturelle, comme les Hellènes. On ne voit pas pourquoi la France ne connaîtrait pas le sort de ce qui mérite de périr, comme disait Hegel de ce qui existe, ou a existé. Enlevez le lierre suceur de sève à un arbre vermoulu, presque crevé, cela m’étonnerait bien qu’il reparte. La France est cet arbre. Les rares esprits assez cultivés et lucides qui retracent les étapes de la décadence intellectuelle, non seulement de notre pays, que son excellence idéologique a sans doute particulièrement fragilisé, tant l’ivresse du mot conduit vite au vide existentiel (post coitum animal triste), mais aussi la planète entière, submergée par l’Occident nihiliste. La moraline bloque l’intelligence, fatalement.

 

Et je crois que la pire ânerie serait de chercher, à tout prix, une solution.

 

Claude Bourrinet

 


 

Article printed from Europe Maxima: http://www.europemaxima.com

 

URL to article: http://www.europemaxima.com/?p=4224

dimanche, 01 mars 2015

GENEVIÈVE DORMANN: Une féministe sulfureuse aux propos mémorables

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GENEVIÈVE DORMANN: Une féministe sulfureuse aux propos mémorables

Jean Pierinot
Ex: http://metamag.fr

Geneviève Dormann nous a quitté ce 13 février, à Paris, des suites de la maladie, à l'âge de 81 ans. Sa rencontre avec Roger Nimier marqua sa vie. Ses livres étaient à son image et d’excellente facture.


Irina de Chikoff écrit dans Le Figaro : « Ah Nimier! Elle pouvait en parler pendant tout le repas en clopant ses Gitanes bleues. La fumée faisait des jolies volutes autour de ses cheveux blonds. Geneviève avait eu toute sorte de prix pour ses romans. Même celui de l'Académie française. Seulement elle savait bien qu'elle n'était ni Flaubert, ni Proust. Ca lui faisait chagrin. Mais les peines, très jeune, elle avait appris à les garder pour soi. Mieux valait, en bonne compagnie, boire un coup jaja et dire du mal des voisins ou des cousins. Pour rire (…) Anar, libertaire, luronne d'une droite buissonnière, insolente, elle pratiquait, comme ses aînés les Hussards, l'ironie par désenchantement. Tendresse blessée.» Elle fut une grande amie des quatre écrivains des Hussards, Antoine Blondin, Michel Déon, Jacques Laurent et Roger Nimier. Elle est également proche de Kléber Haedens et Jean Dutourd. Elle participe à des émissions sur Radio Courtoisie.


dormaazzze.jpgEn 1975, avec Robert Aron, Thierry Maulnier, Roger Bésus, Dominique Jamet et Claude Joubert, elle cosigne une lettre au Monde, où elle s'insurge de l'article d'un universitaire faisant profession d'« aller cracher sur [la] tombe » de Robert Brasillach.


En 1985, elle écrit dans Le Crapouillot n°80 : « Les Juifs m'emmerdent, je le dis tout net. Lorsque, à la moindre occasion, ils me balancent dans les gencives ce qu'on leur a fait, lorsque j'étais petite, prenant un sadique plaisir à tenter de faire surgir chez moi un sentiment de culpabilité ou de mauvaise conscience, je leur en veux comme j'en voudrais à des Vendéens qui, aujourd'hui, m'accuseraient d'avoir ravagé leurs villages et sauvagement assassiné leurs ancêtres... Je revendique le droit d'aimer les bons Juifs et d'envoyer paître les autres. »


Plus tard, elle participe à la controversée « Journée du livre français » à l'université Panthéon-Assas aux côtés notamment de Jean-Claude Martinez, Jacques Trémolet de Villers, Jean-François Chiappe et Dominique Venner.


Romancière et journaliste, elle publie de nombreux romans, à commencer par La Fanfaronne en 1959, La Passion selon Saint-Jules en 1967 et le mythique Bal du dodo en 1989 pour lequel elle reçoit le Grand Prix du roman de l'Académie française. Elle se verra aussi attribuer le prix des Deux Magots en 1974 pour son Bateau du courrier ainsi que le prix Maurice-Genevoix pour son livre Adieu, phénomène en 1999.

samedi, 28 février 2015

Houellebecq, Islam, & the Jews: A Review of Michel Houellebecq’s Soumission

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Houellebecq, Islam, & the Jews:
A Review of Michel Houellebecq’s Soumission

By Guillaume Durocher 

Ex: http://www.counter-currents.com

Michel Houellebecq’s latest novel, Soumission [2], has attracted enormous attention. The book portrays the coming to power of an Islamist president in France in 2022 and has predictably been condemned as Islamophobic. The timing of the Charlie Hebdo massacres – a few disgruntled French-born Muslims murdering left-liberal cartoonists and Jews – could not have been better in terms of boosting sales. Indeed, Soumission is already that rarest of things: a succès européen (rather than our usual pan-European cultural fair of Hollywood blockbusters and degenerate Anglo pop music). Translated versions have already become instant best-sellers in Italy and Germany. Evidently, Houellebecq has struck a nerve going to the heart of contemporary European Man’s fears and aspirations.

Anglophones have however largely been left out of the fun, being stuck getting dribs and drabs of information from news and book reviews, as there is as yet no English translation. I hope this review proves useful in this respect.

One can fairly ask the question: Did we really need another existentially subjective French novel about an alienated, ineffectual, sexually accomplished bookish fellow? If Soumission is any indication, the answer is an unambiguous “yes.”

A first, not unimportant point: Soumission is an easy and highly enjoyable read. One can breeze through it in a weekend or so. You’ll chuckle away at a joke or wry observation, delivered with a certain deadpan objectivity, on almost every page. Many consider Houellebecq’s writing to be “dark,” including his trademark highly graphic sex scenes, but I tend to think it’s just matter-of-fact. It seems to me one can only be “shocked” if one is in denial about a few basic realities about oneself, but maybe I am asking too much of my fellow featherless bipeds. It is true that the points in Houellebecq’s dialectic – whether on the safety of Paris’ Chinatown in case of a race war, the emptiness of casual sex or the slow decay of the body – are made with a rare biting force.

Soumission is among other things a marketing coup. The title translates as “submission,” which of course is one of the translations of the Arabic Islām. The rise to power of the Muslim Brotherhood in France taps into deep fears in Western Europe regarding the steady growth of the Islamic population, which given enough time will eventually become majoritarian in many countries.

But the work is not an apology for Identitarianism, nor is it even Islamophobic. On the contrary, the author uses the fantasy of an Islamic regime in France as a critique of the West’s feminist, individualist, “social democratic,” liberal-egalitarian degeneracy, his usual target. One wonders if any of his readers will be disappointed by the bait-and-switch. Houellebecq is not defending the White Man, but attacking the Last Man, the effeminate, cowardly, isolated, depressed, and yet terribly comfortable consumer-slaves we have become.

Politics by no means overwhelms the novel but rather forms the background to the protagonist’s musings. But, from the little we are told, France’s joining the House of Islam proves highly salutary, and the administration of President Mohammed Ben Abbes is an enlightened one. Even if we cannot automatically assume that the protagonist’s statements necessarily reflect the author’s views or that the narrator is completely reliable, it seems fair to say that Soumission can be read as Houellebecq’s portrayal of a possible ideal polity. Which raises the question: What are the characteristics of this polity? What destiny for nationalists, Identitarians and Jews?

A Return to Tradition

The Muslim takeover, far from being a bloodthirsty or even really an authoritarian event, is achieved democratically. Ben Abbes and Front National (FN) leader Marine Le Pen make it to the second round of the presidential elections, prompting the mainstream parties to back the Muslim Brotherhood to prevent a nationalist victory. Islam achieves power through the sheer apathy of the postmodern, nihilist, and feckless Westerner.

The new regime slowly but steadily changes the society and its mores. Patriarchy is restored as women no longer teach, and girls begin spontaneously dressing modestly, curbing a male desire which had been constantly taunted by short skirts and our pornographic advertising and pop culture. Many public universities become Islamic and only allow Muslim teachers, although secular ones are allowed on the side. Non-Muslims do fine as dhimmitude, we are told, is “flexible” in its interpretation (p. 155).

Well-known French politicians and journalists are amusingly skewered. The media is inbred while the drastic budget cuts for public education (l’Éducation nationale) has highly positive effects. Evidently Houellebecq believes France’s current cultural-ideological superstructure is basically parasitic and destructive. Democracy is no more than the competition of two rival gangs and at best an impression.

Ben Abbes having gutted the education budget, schooling becomes mandatory only up to the age of 12, apprenticeships are promoted and higher education becomes an entirely private affair. State aid to giant corporates is abolished, welfare is reduced by 85%, taxes on craftsmen and small businessmen are sharply reduced, while family allowances are massively increased on the condition that the wife is not working. The result? A flowering optimism not seen since the Trentes glorieuses and a huge fall in unemployment as women drop out of the workforce. Crime nosedives as social conservatism reigns.

The family resumes its central role in the economy (family businesses) and society as the location of intergenerational transmission. G. K. Chesterton, Hillaire Belloc and their Distributist theories of an ownership society are explicitly mentioned as models. (Is Houellebecq aware of Belloc’s Judeo-criticism [3]?)

In short, Houellebecq’s Utopia is a traditional society of personal responsibility and organic hierarchy rather than a hopelessly over-bureaucratized society of hapless, coddled cogs over-determined by the double domination of mega-corporate oligopoly and an overbearing Nanny State.

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The Destiny of the Identitarian

Identitarians and nationalists have mixed portrayals. Marine Le Pen is a stately figure. Jean-Marie Le Pen is described by the protagonist as “an idiot, more or less completely uncultivated” (p. 103). It’s not clear whether this is Houellebecq’s view. In any case, Le Pen père took the characterization in stride, responding with reference to the writer’s wretched appearance: “Houellebecq writes that I am an idiot and uncultivated. One can get the wrong impression, I always thought he was a homeless drunk!”

The Identitarians are sometimes portrayed as a kind of mirror image of violent jihadis, the two sides being involved in occasional bloodshed and electoral shenanigans. Both the Front National and the Muslim Brotherhood take the more “responsible,” route of peaceful democratic politics. Ben Abbes scolds the impatient jihadis: Why use violence now? Simply wait, and the hollow Occident will naturally turn to Islam.

In the book, the destiny of both the militant Identitarian and the depoliticized liberal is to embrace Islam. After all, pleads one Identitarian-turned-Muslim, do they not agree on the scourges of atheism and feminism, and the need for patriarchy?

The portrayal of nationalists and Identitarians is ultimately not hostile, but has a certain understanding for those calling themselves “Indigenous Europeans.” The humble goy protagonist ruefully notes as his Jewish girlfriend leaves for Israel, fearing violence: “There is no Israel for me” (p. 112).

The Disappearance of the Jews

The Jews gradually disappear throughout the course of the book with the rise of Muslim power: first the student union in the university, then the kosher aisle in the supermarket, and so on. Houllebecq repeatedly has the 44-year-old protagonist sexually desecrating his pretty young Jewess, the main love interest. She and her parents leave for Israel with the rise of the Ben Abbes regime (though no persecutions are portrayed or really implied).

A third party describes the Muslim president’s attitude thus:

[H]e really believes that massive conversions are possible with the Christians – and nothing proves that this is impossible – he no doubt has very few illusions concerning the Jews. What he hopes deep down I believe is that they will decide themselves to leave France – to emigrate to Israel. (p. 157)

Apparently Ben Abbes does not believe Jews are compatible with his Utopia.

At the end of the novel the protagonist, happily reconciled to the new regime, worries about his former girlfriend’s future: “She would live her own life, I knew it, in much more difficult conditions than mine. I sincerely hoped her life would be happy – even though I did not believe it very much” (p. 299). Her challenges are not made explicit however.

The new regime’s foreign policy is touched upon. France creates a new “Roman Empire” by re-centering the European Union southwards, with Morocco and Turkey joining, and others still in the wings. France “retakes the ambition of De Gaulle, that of a great Arab policy,” no longer participating in the United States’ destruction of the Islamic World under Zionist influence. The Gulf petro-monarchies, having become too unpopular due to collaboration with Washington, “are starting to think that an ally like Europe, less organically linked to Israel, could be for them a much better choice . . .” (p. 158–59). Now why would one Houellebecq’s characters suggest that America is “organically linked to Israel”?

Insofar as Ben Abbes’ administration can be taken as a portrayal of Houellebecq’s ideal regime, the implications are indeed rather anti-Judaic: as the forces of disintegration at work in the West are overcome, the Jews (coincidentally or not) disappear. Is the author not implying that Jewish influence is not compatible with a regenerated, patriarchal, hierarchical France? What to make of the fact that France’s return to grandeur in the world  is achieved by leading a new foreign policy independent of Israelite influence? Nonetheless, Houellebecq leaves himself more than sufficient plausible deniability to avoid the charge of anti-Semitism.

Eugenic Themes

The novel makes several intriguing inegalitarian and eugenicist points. The protagonist explains early on:

A few private lessons I gave in the hope of increasing my standard of living had soon convinced me that the transmission of knowledge was most of the time impossible; the diversity of intelligences, extreme; and that nothing could eliminate or even attenuate this fundamental inequality. (p. 18)

Later on the alleged eugenic effect of polygamy is presented as the most prominent benefit of the practice, driving mankind’s self-realization:

In the case of mammals, given the gestation time of females, to be contrasted with the almost unlimited reproductive abilities of males, selective pressure exerts itself above all on males. Inequality between males – if some were granted the enjoyment of several females, others would necessarily be deprived of it – should not be considered as a perverse effect of polygamy, but indeed its actual goal. Thus the destiny of the species fulfilled itself. (p. 269)

Later still, this eugenic effect is described as concerning especially intelligence, which is where selective pressure among human males is most prominent (p. 292). Women, in choosing men, have this effect, while men only select for beauty in their choice of mate. Although he amusingly adds that culture plays a role: “One can even, to a certain extent, persuade them [women] of the high erotic value of university professors . . .” (p. 294).

The demographic obsession is present throughout the novel. The postmodern world is selecting for those predisposed to religion, as only they breed. The new regime assures its hegemony by focusing on education: “he who controls the children controls the future, end of story” (p. 82). Islam will conquer the world through the womb; even China and India will eventually fall, for they have “allowed themselves to be contaminated by Western values” of materialism and individualism (p. 271).

A Soralian Vision?

Now, one can be forgiven for thinking that Houellebecq is engaging in some “epic trolling” of any of his readers with nationalist or Identitarian leanings. Instead of the advertised attack on Islamic immigration, one in fact gets a critique of Western liberal degeneracy through the prism of a positive portrayal of Islam. The heights of chutzpah are reached when one character explains:

One had to admit the obvious: having reached such a repugnant degree of decomposition, Western Europe was no longer in any condition to save itself – no more than Ancient Rome had been in the fifth century of our era. The massive arrival of immigration populations imbued of a traditional culture still marked by natural hierarchies, the submission of women, and the respect due to elders constituted a historic opportunity for Europe’s moral and familial rearmament, opened the perspective of a new golden age for the old continent. (p. 276)

michel houellebecq,littérature,littérature française,lettres,lettres françaises,livreThis kind of argument, even if it is part of a dialectic, can only be very troubling for Identitarians, who incidentally are portrayed in the book as wanting “Race war now!” while we are still the overwhelming majority in mother Europa. This is not an irrational attitude if a war must occur: there is no question that we grow demographically weaker with every generation in the face of the fatal triad of sub-replacement fertility, displacement-level immigration, and miscegenation.

In any case, Houellebecq’s positively showing Islam as a force for Tradition in a book marketed to Identitarians reveals him to be a man of peace. The French nationalist and anti-Judaic activist Alain Soral warmly welcomed the book [4] and the author as “a great French writer and a guy possessed by the eternal French genius.” Soral goes so far as to argue that the narrative indicates Houellebecq has been reading from his Égalité et Réconciliation website and his Kontre Kulture bookstore. (Although Soral adds he does not want a Muslim president, but rather a Putin or a Chávez.)

Soral is against both immigration to Europe and forced remigration out. One can criticize this position, given the threat against us of irreversible genetic damage and ultimately extinction in Europe. But there is a legitimate sense in which we must be careful and not macho in fantasizing about civil war. We are much weaker today than we were in 1914 or 1933. There is clearly a tendency within Western oligarchies – among neoconservatives, Zionists, representatives of the Surveillance State and Military-Industrial Complex, etc – of actively promoting a clash of civilizations between the West and Islam in order to strengthen Liberal-Atlanticist power elites and destroy the enemies of Israel. Identitarians must not prove their useful idiots.

Houellebecq and the Right

Houellebecq is not a White Nationalist; he is a ruthless chronicler of European Man’s descent into degeneracy under Liberal hegemony. Soumission positively portrays and compellingly shows the case, on a personal, emotional and subjective level, for organic hierarchy, transcendental values and even eugenics. Clearly this is a work of the Right.

The book is completely unrealistic on numerous counts. There is no prospect of an Islamic takeover in 2022 or even decades after that, given the numbers still in our favor. Muslim political organization in France is nil, their ethnic lobbies being effectively emanations of the state and of (often Jewish-led) “antiracist” groups. This is an important point: Muslims, for the most part, do not have political agency (in contrast to Jews [5] and Liberals, who have it in spades). There is no evidence Islamic polygamy is eugenic, and a lot of evidence that their institutionalized cousin-impregnating is highly dysgenic and evidently the exogamous polygamy of Sub-Saharan Africa has not had positive results. (Although could polygamy, in the right conditions, be eugenic?) These are trivial observations however. The point of the novel is not realism but a fantasy allowing one to play with ideas and argue a morality.

More relevant would be to point out that Islam – though an amusing way of criticizing feminism and liberalism – is not our way. Nor should the Roman Empire be glorified as a model, given that it eventually ruined its Latin core through miscegenation and deracination. The case for close association with Morocco or Turkey is lost on me, given for example that the Islamic World’s scientific output since the end of its Golden Age is close to nil.

Having said all this, I would argue that Houellebecq’s novel is useful to nationalists and Identitarians. Islam, I am convinced, is not our primary enemy because Muslims for the most part have no political agency. The enemy would be those who opened the floodgates and continue to marginalize European nationalists: the Zionist and/or Liberal elites who are in varying proportions hegemonic across the West.

Recognizing this, Houellebecq’s work is an invitation to Identitarians to be creative and not misidentify their enemy, to not overlook possible alliances. We need to be forward-looking and creative in our approach, which does not mean selling out. Soumission’s protagonist is obsessed with the 19th-century French novelist Joris-Karl Huysmans, particularly of his use of rare or forgotten French words as neologisms. Perhaps this is trivial, but I was struck by the similarity between this usage and the wider notion of archeofuturism.

For having made the Right-wing diagnostic, having identified a past as less degenerate, how do we go from A to B? One cannot simply start up a time machine and undo the fall of medieval Christendom, the American Civil War, or the Great European Civil War of 1914–1945. One cannot, as some might want to, simply pick up where Jefferson or Hitler left off. We must come to terms with our defeats. If Identitarianism is purely backward-looking – wishing merely to preserve Europe like a kind of mummified museum – then it will fail. I believe Houellebecq is calling on us not to cling to the past or simply charge against the wave of destruction, but to ride it, to move forward to seize the contradictions that will in turn destroy it, so that in that mysterious dialectical process we overcome the current age and ensure our salvation.

Article printed from Counter-Currents Publishing: http://www.counter-currents.com

URL to article: http://www.counter-currents.com/2015/02/michel-houellebecq-soumission/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.counter-currents.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Fu8QH0.jpg

[2] Soumission: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/2081354802/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=2081354802&linkCode=as2&tag=countecurrenp-20&linkId=LLYJKOSV4DUNKEHP

[3] Belloc’s Judeo-criticism: http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2014/09/reflections-on-hilaire-bellocs-the-jews-1922-part-one-of-three/

[4] Alain Soral warmly welcomed the book: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2fu3qw

[5] Jews: http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2014/05/as-happy-as-god-in-france-the-state-of-french-jewish-elites-part-1/

Stendhal, politique para-moderne

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Stendhal, politique para-moderne

par Georges FELTIN-TRACOL

 

51RW7CR7e6L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgCollaborateur régulier aux sites dissidents Europe Maxima, Euro-Synergies et Synthèse nationale, Claude Bourrinet est un penseur impertinent. C’est aussi un remarquable biographe. Vient de paraître sous sa signature un excellent Stendhal dans la collection « Qui suis-je ? ».

 

Henri Beyle (1783 – 1842) choisit le nom de plume de Stendhal. Il « n’était pas antimoderne, […], mais plutôt contre moderne. Fils de la Révolution, donc de la rupture, de l’arrachement, d’un certain déracinement, il prenait ce que la nouvelle ère proposait de mieux pour accroître sa puissance d’exister, sans en partager la vulgarité et la bassesse (p. 110) ». Toute son œuvre en témoigne comme nous le démontre avec brio Claude Bourrinet. Politiquement jacobin (républicain de salut public), Stendhal est surtout un admirateur de Napoléon. « Il voue à l’empereur un véritable culte, car il l’identifie à une France qui était encore grande. Napoléon “ fut notre seule religion ”, le plus grand conquérant après Alexandre et César, la restauration de l’Antiquité, un tyran italien chu dans un monde contemporain si minable, un aigle qui survole son temps par la pensée. Napoléon, c’est l’Italie, le bonheur (p. 42). »

 

Cette admiration envers le vainqueur d’Austerlitz se comprend aisément. « L’existence, pour Stendhal, est une dynamique, une énergétique. Quelle que soit la source de la puissance, l’excès et la surabondance affirment la sensation de vivre (p. 22). » Si « le beylisme est un vitalisme (p. 56) », c’est en outre « un aristocratisme, un “ espagnolisme ”, ennemi irréductible de la société de masse et de la modernité dévorante. Le courage froid de ne pas mendier la reconnaissance collective est plus précieux que celui, furieux, du champ de bataille (p. 55) ». On est très proche du Napoléon, « professeur d’énergie », dans Les déracinés de Maurice Barrès. Quelle aurait été l’influence de Stendhal sur Barrès, en particulier à l’époque du « culte du Moi » ? Une belle et riche étude en vue. Stendhal estime que « l’Empire, continuation de la Révolution offre la vision d’une communauté humaine centrée autour des vertus de sacrifice, d’émulation, de combat, de force, de patrie (pp. 42 – 43) ». Voilà pourquoi il est para-moderne puisqu’il tente une improbable conciliation entre les vertus enfantées par Napoléon et les valeurs sociales d’Ancien Régime.

 

Napoléon pour modèle d’être

 

« Stendhal a bien conscience, après la chute de l’Empire, que le temps n’est plus aux lauriers, mais aux travaux utiles, à l’économie, au commerce, au “ libéralisme ”, aux chambres des représentants, à la médiocrité bourgeoise, à l’égoïsme réducteur, à l’ennui. C’est la fin de l’honneur militaire, le temps du producteur, le règne de l’opinion (p. 42). » Il est évident que, pour lui, « la politique, d’abord, doit dominer l’économique. Avec Bonaparte, un Rothschild n’aurait pas été possible. Les lois institutionnelles sont indépendantes des exigences du commerce et de la bourse. En outre, ce qui présente véritablement une valeur humaine, sociale et politique, c’est justement ce qui échappe à la loi d’airain du travail et du besoin (pp. 81 – 82) ». Par conséquent, il considère que « le seul critère moral susceptible de souder la société autour de valeurs transcendantes est l’héroïsme, militaire, intellectuel, humain. En bon héritier de l’Empire, Stendhal choisit le rouge du dépassement de soi, de l’abnégation et du panache gratuit, contre le noir de l’argent, de la tartuferie et du moralisme (p. 82) ». Fuyant une société française d’après-guerre vile, il part pour l’Italie qu’il connaît bien et qu’il aime afin de retrouver un idéal d’humanité martiale. « L’Italie est le Sud fécondé par la sauvagerie barbare. L’idéal politique de Stendhal est la cité à dimension humaine, autogérée, libre et guerrière, adonnée aux arts et à l’esprit, audacieux, héroïque (p. 65). » Mais toujours garde-t-il à l’esprit l’exemple de Napoléon. D’ailleurs, « devenir napoléonien. S’étourdir quand il est nécessaire, se contraindre quand c’est utile, être toujours soi. Une bonne conduite suppose que l’on soit en même temps modeste et exigeant. Il s’agit de “ chevaucher le tigre ”. Les autres sont des objets, des cibles de mon intention, ou de mon attention, ou tout simplement des êtres indifférents. Le besoin existe de se lier avec eux, mais il faut pouvoir s’en défaire. Emprunter un lieu, une place, en visiteur, voilà la vraie politique. La tactique est une nécessité vitale (p. 47) ». Dans cette perspective, la vie italienne se révèle un parfait adjuvant. « La politique moderne était le jeu des opinions communes, donc une tendance à l’égalitarisme chloroformant par le consensus arithmétique, tandis que l’italianité est l’affirmation du Moi par la volonté, l’énergie et la force (p. 67). » Cependant, Stendhal « cherchera à se libérer de la politisation des rapports humains, qui infeste tout, y compris la vie privée. Cela étant, qu’est-ce que la modernité, sinon le sérieux et le ressentiment qui s’infiltrent partout ? (p. 25) ».

 

Contre l’industrialisme

 

Claude Bourrinet a le grand mérite de nous rappeler que Stendhal rédigea en 1825 un pamphlet de 24 pages contre l’« industrialisme » intitulé D’un nouveau complot contre les industriels. Il se montre aussi un très virulent contempteur de l’« Amérique, hyperAngleterre (p. 101) ». Il observe là-bas que « l’individualisme inquiet, qui doit sans cesse prouver sa légitimité, est la clé de voûte de cette société asociale de pionniers (p. 102) ». Bref, « le Nouveau Monde est devenu pour lui le danger le plus redoutable de l’homme différencié, c’est-à-dire de l’homme civilisé (p. 99) ». L’auteur de La Chartreuse de Parme remarque qu’il n’y a « aucun attachement à un terroir. Tout doit être converti en dollars. Il n’y a pas de paysan en Amérique, partant, pas de pays (p. 102) ». C’est au fond le choc frontal de deux visions antagonistes du monde. « Une modernité industrielle, conformiste, uniformatrice, morose, contre une autre modernité, romantique, subtile, passionnée, émancipée. La société américaine, dans son radicalisme utilitariste, essentialise les tares de l’industrialisme britannique par le biblisme (p. 100). » Stendhal paya chère cette altière attitude, lui qui juge qu’« être dissemblable, quitte à être dissonant, est un art, une culture, une ascèse, un abandon, un je-ne-sais-quoi. C’est être un homme (p. 85) », un homme appelé Stendhal ! Nul doute que le fin lettré que fut Maurice Bardèche aurait aimé ce livre.

 

Georges Feltin-Tracol

 


 

Article printed from Europe Maxima: http://www.europemaxima.com

 

URL to article: http://www.europemaxima.com/?p=4193

mardi, 24 février 2015

Matières littéraires...

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Matières littéraires...

Ex: http://metapoinfos.hautetfort.com

Nous reproduisons ci-dessous une chronique de Richard Millet, cueillie sur son site personnel et consacrée à l'enseignement des matières littéraires au collège, aujourd'hui...

Matières littéraires

Une femme, que je ne compte pas au rang de mes amies – celles-ci  devenues rares, depuis septembre 2012, peut-être moins audacieuses que les hommes dont la réputation de lâcheté n’est pourtant pas à faire, selon les femmes, lesquelles sont autrement atteintes par la presse féminine et culturelle, et par ailleurs nombreuses à avoir signé la pétition me réputant infâme –, cette femme, donc, s’en remet à moi pour que je fasse savoir, avec d’autres mots que les siens, son désarroi devant ce qu’est devenu l’enseignement des matières dites littéraires, non pas dans un établissement situé dans une zone prétendue défavorisée, mais dans un paisible collège catholique sous contrat avec l’Etat, c’est-à-dire soumis à la propagande républicaine.

            Sa fille est en classe de troisième et elle a subi, en matière de lecture suivie, un roman de Philippe Claudel dont, me dit sa mère, exigeante lectrice, on n’imaginait pas que l’école pût rien proposer de tel à de jeunes esprits. « C’est de la littérature moyen de gamme, ou plus exactement, de la littérature pour lecteurs de Télérama, c’est-à-dire des gens qui s’imaginent savoir ce qu’est la littérature et qui se contentent d’un ersatz. » murmure-t-elle, en ajoutant qu’au 2ème trimestre, le livre à lire est Effroyables jardins, d’un certain Michel Quint, qui relève, lui, de la sous-littérature. Effroyable pour effroyable, la mère redoute, pour le 3ème trimestre, de voir entre les mains de sa fille, un roman d’Olivier Adam, de Tahar Ben Jelloun, ou d’Amélie Nothomb, soit, dit-elle, ce chiendent romanesque dont on prétend que, parce que de gauche, issu de la diversité ou écrit féminin, il témoigne de la « vitalité » de la littérature française, laquelle, chacun le sait intimement, est morte avec des romanciers de cet acabit. Sa fille avait déjà eu droit, l’an dernier, pour le centenaire-spectacle de la Grande Guerre,  à La Chambre des officiers, d’un nommé Dugain, me dit-elle encore, en précisant que ce livre-là n’est pas écrit. Je ne me prononce par sur cette littérature à l’usage des aveugles culturels et des ilotes post-chrétiens ; je me contente de déplorer qu’on ne fasse pas lire à ces collégiens des romans de Colette, de Camus, de Green, voire de Modiano, notamment Dora Bruder, sans doute son meilleur livre.

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            Il y a longtemps que les professeurs de français, devenus profs puis enseignants, non contents de savoir à peine la langue qu’ils enseignent, ignorent la littérature, en cela semblables à leurs élèves, les livres proposés cette année révélant le degré d’inculture où sont tombés les petits soldats de la propagande culturelle, tout comme leurs collègues d’histoire-géographie et d’anglais, lesquels conseillent à leurs élèves de s’abonner, par exemple, à un magazine des éditions Bayard : I love English, particulièrement obscène, comme tout ce qui provient de la secte des catholiques de gauche. J’y cherche en vain quelque chose qui relève de ce que l’on appelait naguère la culture : la littérature en est absente. En revanche, il est largement question de Disneyland, de l’ice cream, du Super Bowl, de l’effrayante Serena Williams, des smileys, des Oscars, d’acteurs, de chanteurs pop, de DJ, de films et de séries TV, tous insignifiants, la seule occurrence « culturelle »  étant un « dossier » consacré à Ellis Island et à l’immigration aux Etats-Unis, bref à la propagande immigrationniste, clé de voûte « éthique » de la pédagogie consumériste pratiquée par les éditions Bayard, comme par le reste de la presse culturelle.

            Cette pornographie consiste à ruiner, chez l’élève, non seulement toute possibilité de se cultiver (verbe à présent désuet) mais aussi l’idée de grandeur, d’élite, de hauteur, de rigueur, d’héritage, à commencer par celui, décidément haïssable, de Jérusalem, d’Athènes et de Rome. On peut même dire que, dans ces conditions, l’enseignement du français et de l’anglais (et l’on imagine ce que doivent être les cours d’histoire, soumis à la pornographie mondialiste de l’idéal bruxellois) est un crime contre l’esprit - je ne dirai pas contre l’humanité, pour ne pas parler la langue de bois onusienne, par ailleurs peu persuadé, moi, que l’humanité ne soit pas, en son essence, criminelle.

    Que faire, alors ? me demandait cette mère. Le Système est extraordinairement puissant, lui répondais-je, et la crise de l’enseignement devenue une manière de gouverner, avec ses appels réguliers, illusoires et mensongers, à la refondation de l’école, des apprentissages « fondamentaux », de l’« autorité », de la « morale civique »… On ne peut l’attaquer de front sans être récupéré. Refusons l’inversion des valeurs. Continuons d’œuvrer en silence, de déconstruire l’œuvre de 1789 et celle de Mai 68.  Rendons sans cesse sensible cette culture devenue parallèle mais qui est une des incarnations de la vérité.

Richard Millet (Site officiel de Richard Millet, 12 février 2015)