Reflections of an Aryan woman, 26

It should be noted that nostalgia is almost universal—not nostalgia for the same epoch, no doubt; and not necessarily nostalgia for a historical past, that the individual has learned to admire only by the testimony of other men. Some people would gladly sacrifice three-quarters of their hard-won experience to become young again, beautiful and healthy; full of enthusiasm too, in the ignorance of all that human society has reserved for them. Most of them would like to be able, without artifice, to keep the body and face of their twenties—or eighteen—and the joyous strength of youth, without having to pay for these treasures with the loss of their experience; to be able to retain both the wisdom of age and the freshness, health and strength of youth. But everyone knows that this is impossible—as impossible as actually placing oneself in a given historical epoch.

On the whole, it is doubtful that there would be any advantage in becoming young again at the cost of losing accumulated experience: he would make the same mistakes, commit the same errors, having become again what he had been and he would not enjoy the comparison between the two ages, having lost all consciousness of the state of old age.

It is certain, too, that ‘to return to Thebes in the time of Thutmose III’ would be to become an Egyptian, or even a foreign in Egypt, unable to appreciate the privilege of being there, and probably nostalgic of the time of the great Pharaohs who built the pyramids. What all those who aspire to return to the past really want is to go back without losing their current mentality and the memory of our time, without which no comparison is conceivable and no ‘return to the past’ is, consequently, of any interest. But then their aspiration seems absurd. Is it indeed absurd if, instead of looking at its content, we consider what I will call its meaning?

Apart from the 19th century—the 19th century minus those ‘dissidents’ of genius who are Nietzsche, Richard Wagner and, in France, Leconte de Lisle and perhaps a few others—there are, I believe, few eras as self-inflated as ours regarding their science and especially their technical achievements. There are two areas to which intense propaganda, on a world scale, draws the attention of the masses, to instil in them the pride of the present: that of the ‘conquests of space’ and the progress of medicine and surgery, the latter, perhaps even more than the former. The aim is apparently to make all the citizens of the ‘consumer societies’ proud, as far as possible, of being both ‘sicker and better cared for’, and to make the ‘intellectuals’ of the so-called underdeveloped countries adopt the humanitarian and utilitarian ideal of the consumer societies, as well as their preoccupation with the present and a future oriented in the same direction as the present.

Well, despite this propaganda which, in Europe, starts in primary school, what do we find if we ask fourteen or fifteen-year-old pupils, as the subject of French composition, the question: ‘In what era and where would you like to live, if you had the choice?

Three-quarters of the class declare that they prefer some past era to their own. I know, having made the experiment many times. And the responses would be just as conclusive, if not more so, if one addresses not young people, but to adults.

There is almost always a past that each person, from his viewpoint, considers better than the century in which he lives. Since the viewpoints are different, the periods chosen are not the same for everyone. But they all, or almost all, belong to the past. Despite the amazing achievements of our time in the field of technology (and in that of pure science, it must be said), and despite the enormous publicity given to this progress, there remains everywhere an immense nostalgia for what cannot return and an insurmountable sadness, that tedium does not suffice to explain, hangs over the world. And, what is more, it also seems that as far back as one can think, it has always been so.

______ 卐 ______

 
Editor’s Note: Italics in the last paragraph are mine. Melencolia is a large 1514 engraving by the German Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer, about which Kenneth Clark said:

But if Dürer did not try to peer so deeply into the inner life of nature, as Leonardo did, nor feel its appalling independence, he was deeply engaged by the mystery of the human psyche. His obsession with his personality was part of a passionate interest in psychology in general; and this led him to produce one of the great prophetic documents of western man, the engraving he entitled Melancholia I.

In the Middle Ages melancholia meant a simple combination of sloth, boredom and despondency that must have been common in an illiterate society. But Dürer’s application is far from simple. This figure is humanity at its most evolved, with wings to carry her upwards. She sits in the attitude of Rodin’s Penseur, and still holds in her hands compasses, symbols of measurement by which science will conquer the world. Around her are all the emblems of constructive action: a saw, a plane, pincers, scales, a hammer, a melting pot, and two elements in solid geometry, a polyhedron and sphere. Yet all these aids to construction are discarded and she sits there brooding on the futility of human effort. Her obsessive stare reflects some deep psychic disturbance. The German mind that produced Dürer and the Reformation also produced psychoanalysis. I began by mentioning the enemies of civilisation: well, here, in Dürer’s prophetic vision, is one more way in which it can be destroyed, from within.

As he sailed for America, Freud said ‘We are bringing them the plague, and they don’t even know it’. Regarding technology, in Neanderthal hands it creates melancholy on a massive scale. Never have the masses of whites suffered as many mental disorders as they do in our empty, technological civilisation.

Technology only makes sense when overmen have political power. In the hands of the Germans of the previous century, atomic weapons would have produced a paradise for whites. But in our darkest hour Sauron found his ring—tec at the service of money—and the Shire’s fate is sealed. What white nationalists fail to understand, and I mean the dudes who run the main racialist forums, is that they didn’t choose Hitler but hell, as Savitri noted. She continues:

______ 卐 ______

 
As I said before, the Egyptian of the time of Thutmose III, that is to say, of the time when his country was at the height of glory, probably regretted the time when the Great Pyramids were built, and the time when the gods themselves governed the Nile Valley. All the ancient peoples, among whom Tradition was still alive—Germans, Celts, Hellenes, Latins, Chinese, Japanese, Amerindians—have longed for the reign of the Gods, in other words, for the dawn of the temporal cycle near the end of which we live today. And the younger peoples, even if they have forgotten the teachings of the sages and no longer believe in anything besides the power of human science, a source of indefinitely increased progress, cannot avoid the consciousness of a lack, impossible to explain, a lack that no material well-being, nor any improvement in the techniques of pleasure, can fill.

From time to time—and increasingly rare, moreover, as the world succumbs to the grip of consumer ‘civilisations’—a wise man (such as René Guénon or Julius Evola) denounce in his writings the true nature of universal dissatisfaction, or a poet (such as Leconte de Lisle, a few decades earlier), who reminds us of it by putting into the mouth of a character words with magical resonances that seem to come from the depths of the ages:

Silence! I see again the innocence of the world,
I will sing again with the harmonious winds
The forest spreads out under the glory of the skies;
The force and the beauty of the fertile earth
In a sublime dream live in my eyes.

The quiet evening unites, with the sighs of the doves,
In the golden mist which bathes the thickets,
The soft roars of friendly lions;
The Terrestrial Garden smiles, free of tombs,
With angels sleeping in the shade of palms.

and further on, in the same poem: [1]

Eden, O the dearest and most sweet of dreams,
You towards whom I heaved useless sobs…

It is the evocation of the inconceivable Golden Age of all the ancient traditions—and of those that derive from it—the remainder of the time when the visible order reflected the eternal order, without distortion or error, in the manner of a perfect mirror. And it is also the cry of despair of he who feels carried away in spite further from this ideal world, but inaccessible because it is past; who knows that no fight ‘against Time’ will return it to him. It is the expression of the universal nostalgia for the glorious dawn of our cycle, and that of all cycles: a nostalgia which is expressed in everyday life by the tendency of all men, or almost all of them, including most of the young themselves, to prefer at least one aspect of the past to the increasingly disappointing present.

He who declares that he would have liked to live in another time than his own doesn’t know what he is saying. It is probable that if he could (even while retaining his present personality and the memory of the ugliness of his time) transport himself into a past of his choosing, he would soon be disappointed. Once the effect of the contrast is tempered, he would begin to notice everything that, seen up close, would shock him in that past, which the distance allowed him to idealise. What he is really looking for, what he aspires to without knowing it, is that one age of our cycle (as of all cycles) that, being the faithful image of the divine order, visible perfection reflecting invisible perfection, could be idealised without any flattering perspective; the only one which cannot disappoint.

All individual nostalgia for the past encompasses and expresses the immense universal longing for the Golden Age, or Age of Truth (the Satya Yuga of the Sanskrit scriptures). Every melancholy of the mature man or the old man at the thought of his youth also symbolises, to a slight degree, the nostalgia for the youth of the world, latent in all living things, and more and more intense in some men, as soon as a temporal cycle approaches its end.

___________

[1] Leconte de Lisle, in the poem ‘Qaïn’ of the Poèmes Barbares.

Hitler verbatim

Yesterday I was struck by the wise words that, in his table talk of July 21, 1941, Hitler pronounced:

Und dann unsere eigene Geschichte auf italischem Boden: Wer kein Organ für Geschichte hat, ist wie ein Mensch, der kein Gehör oder kein Gesicht hat: Leben kann er auch so, aber was ist das?! (There’s also our own past on Italian soil. A man who is indifferent to History is a man without hearing, without sight. Such a man can live, of course—but what a life?)

In the West, the religion of our day seems to be to exterminate the white race through historical slander and lies. That is why the most important subject of all we can imagine is what Hitler says: the history of the white race, the reading of which sets the record straight.

Lately there have been some videos that have become fashionable on YouTube about reconstructions, with computer special effects, of ancient Greece and Rome and how they would look with their citizens. I was shocked to discover that, along with the beauty of classical architecture, the scoundrels who make these videos have been putting the inhabitants of Greek and Roman cities as dark-skinned! They were actually very white, and Hitler implied that when he said ‘There’s also our own past on Italian soil’, referring to the migrations of Nordids (such as the Dorians or the original Latins) when they conquered the southern mudbloods.

The great failure of white nationalism is not starting with the Classical World as understood by the Greeks and Romans: a culture based not only on architecture but on sculpture that showed the beauty of the Aryan body and face uncontaminated by mud blood. (American white nationalists do not begin their narrative with the pre-Christian art because, as Sebas Ronin said, most of them are patriotards.)

In his TV series Civilisation Kenneth Clark says that in the transition from the Ancient World to Christendom the human figure disappears, although Clark failed to add that it was the figure of the pure Aryan that disappeared (pre-Renaissance Christs represent the Semitic man, not the Aryan). Lord Clark was a Christian. Yes, he had an immense sensitivity towards art, but he was a Yahweh worshiper after all. Clark’s widow said that her husband always had a profound Christian sensitivity, and that whenever he went into a church in search of works of art he would first kneel and pray.

Like Lord Clark, the history books read by whites who are under the illusion they are racially conscious were written by Christians, Jews, and neochristians. The latter are the secular whites who never abandoned the Semitic ethics that the New Testament bequeathed to us.

Only William Pierce wrote a story of the white race from the point of view that we could call the POV of the priest of the fourteen words. But Pierce’s story is not read in the circles of white nationalism because even anti-Semites continue to allow themselves to be sodomized by Yahweh. They reason in this way: ‘Indeed, the Old Testament orders the Hebrews to exterminate the non-Hebrew peoples that they are conquering. But we are good. How do we know that we are the good guys? Because unlike the Old Testament written for them, in the New Testament Yahweh commands us to love all our neighbours and we obey Him. Thus, we abhor the exterminationist fantasies of our enemies’.

It goes without saying that the only way to prevent Yahweh from continuing to sodomize us is to stop subscribing to the moral code imposed on us by his gospel. And that means even going beyond Arthur Kemp, the other historian who wrote a story of the white race from the POV of the 14 words. Unlike Pierce, Kemp is not an exterminationist. Some could even say that he is a secular neochristian. Many years ago a commenter said in this forum that Kemp had come to write about the rights of a group of blacks in an African country. I didn’t visit the Kemp article that this commenter linked to, so I can’t substantiate his claim. But we can say that the so-called human rights that became fashionable after the French Revolution are a by-product of Yahweh’s command to love one’s neighbour.

Here we see my hand holding a hard-cover copy of Uncle Adolf’s after-dinner talks in the original language. A priest of the 14 words takes Uncle Adolf’s talks as his Aryan gospel. This cannot be more contrasting with the Semitic gospel of the ‘anti-Semites’ of American white nationalism.

Veritas odium parit, 2

In the royal chapel of the cathedral of Granada this painting representing the Mass of St. Gregorio is preserved. Jesus shows the wound on his side and the attributes of his passion appear around him. It is a work of a 15th-century painter known as ‘Master of the Legend of St. Lucía’.

Apparently, the images of Christian art that I have been choosing as introductions to different posts have nothing to do with the content of the articles. For example, apparently this painting, in which the most famous Jew in history shows the wound on his side, inflicted by evil Romans, has nothing to do with the phobia that many white nationalists feel toward Nordicism (a Nordicism that, in times of the golden age of the American eugenicists and the Third Reich, was taken for granted).

But art is the Royal Road to understand the Zeitgeist of a stage of Western culture. In his 1969 series, Civilisation, Kenneth Clark showed the Greek head of Apollo as an example of the highest white culture. He then said that, with the arrival of Christianity, the human body virtually disappeared and the only thing that remained were degenerate homunculi in Irish pictorial art, especially as illustrated books.

A lot of white nationalists are still Christians who don’t want to hurt the feelings of the homunculi. If the beauty of the ancient Aryan man had not been demonised throughout Christendom, there would be no anti-Nordicists in the alt-right today. In other words, anti-Nordicism is the tail of the Era in which the Semite convinced the Aryan that His beauty was sinful. This is the last part of the tail of ‘There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond or free, male or female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus’.

The superiority of National Socialism over the American movement today consists in that, like the Renaissance Italians, the Germans transvalued the Christian disvalue of a wounded Jew to the ancient value of Aryan beauty. That was very remarkable in the art, pamphlets and outdoor sports of the Third Reich. Replacing the Jew that shows us his wounds to make us feel guilty (the ancient version of the Holocaust), with the sculpture of a perfect Aryan, is part of the healing process to save the fair race.

The author of Counter-Currents insulted by anti-Nordicists (surely muds with an inferiority complex) wrote:

 

______ 卐 ______

 

Northern Europe vs. the Mediterranean

The oft-quoted statement of Aristotle, “Man is a political animal,” is actually a mistranslation. A truer rendering of his words would be, “Man is the kind of animal who lives in a polis.” That Greek word encompasses more than “city-state,” its usual translation. First of all, the English term “city-state” makes the city the dominant element and the surrounding countryside an afterthought, whereas in ancient Greece, most people lived in villages and farming communities. Even in the polis of Attica, which had the bustling city of Athens, the citizens it sent to fight at the Battle of Marathon were mostly farmers.

Such a community, moreover, must be relatively small. Athens was the exception: most Greek poleis had a total population of fewer than 50,000, with perhaps 5-10,000 citizens. In the Laws, Plato sets the ideal, with characteristic precision, at 5,040 citizens. Aristotle did not have Plato’s affinity for applying mathematical exactness to human affairs, but he did believe that a man should know his fellow citizens, if not personally then at least by reputation – else how could he properly judge if a man is fit to govern? He also thought it important that the citizens should be able to assemble in one place. Still, the polis must not be so small that it cannot meet its economic needs and defend itself properly.

Most important of all, by polis Greeks understood a whole nexus of ideas centered around a self-governing community that is bound not just by laws but by traditions and a common religion, language, and history. Absent these elements, the polis ceases to be. If the community is ruled not by itself but from a distant capital, or if it is a vast metropolis comprising a kaleidoscopic range of ethnicities, it is no longer a community in the true sense. What is more, its inhabitants cannot reach their moral, spiritual, or intellectual potential, because their nature has been cramped. Thus, life in the kind of community Aristotle describes is intimately bound up with Western man’s nature; without it, he becomes less human.

Using Aristotle’s criteria, we can see that medieval Iceland, for example, meets the definition of a polis. Overwhelmingly rural, it possessed no metropolis drawing off all financial and intellectual capital from the countryside. While spread over a large territory, the citizens of the Icelandic polis managed to assemble once a year at the Althing. That they knew of each other by reputation, or through a sort of medieval Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, is evident from the impressive corpus of their sagas. In these, newcomers in the narrative always identify their kinship and lineage to an impressive degree, often crossing over between sagas, giving others the proper context in which to place them. The Icelanders governed themselves and were as fiercely independent as the Greeks who faced the Persian invasion. Above all, they were bound by a common history, language, and religion—this latter unity being such an important point that the official conversion to Christianity was decided at the Althing.

It does not take much imagination to see that the polis can also be a tribe: that is, kinship proves more important than geographic location. Aristotle was adamant, in fact, that whatever we call a collection of people who happen to live in the same place and interact merely for the purpose of making money off each other, we cannot call it a polis. Upon closer inspection, then, any of the Germanic tribes described by Tacitus meet Aristotle’s definition of a polis, and this would apply even later, during the period of the great Völkerwanderung that hastened Rome’s demise. But the polis had long since died out in Aristotle’s homeland, which had much to do with his most famous pupil.

European civilisation’s foe

Yesterday a blogger posted an article, ‘The burning of Notre Dame’ on his WordPress site that Counter-Currents republished today. I would like to take issue with its first paragraph:

As news spread of the fire consuming the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, the first reaction of most people was shock and sadness. You don’t have to be Catholic or French to feel as if some part of you has been lost. That was not just an old building or a historically important place. It was a symbol of Western civilization. Stand inside a great church and you feel the awe and power that inspired the builders. That cathedral was the primal roar of a people celebrating their creator and the essence of who they were as a people.

I am sorry, but Notre Dame was not ‘a symbol of Western civilisation’, but of Western Christian civilisation. Big difference, as explained in one of the essays, excerpted on this site under the title ‘The Red Giant’, that moved me to start a blogging career.

In ‘The Red Giant’ the term ‘Western Christian civilization’ is repeated twenty-eight times, in contrast to ‘European civilization’. As the author put it:

It’s the Western Christian civilization that feeds all these processes (population explosion etc.). So the Western Christian civilization is in fact the worst enemy of what I call European civilization: another reason for wanting the Western Christian civilization to go away.

Even sophisticated intellectuals of the Alt-Right cannot see the difference between Western Christian civilisation and European civilisation, the latter so beautifully expressed in the sculpture of Apollo or in the immense temple of Artemis in Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders that I would call the Notre Dame of the Ancient World. In fact, not even Lord Clark himself, the author of the 1969 TV series Civilisation, could distinguish between the two.

Kenneth Clark and Notre Dame

Start watching from: this minute.

Published in: on April 15, 2019 at 6:17 pm  Comments (4)  

Lindsey Graham

Senator Lindsey Graham’s impassioned, explosive defence of Judge Brett Kavanaugh at the hearing yesterday reminded me a moment of Kenneth Clark’s Civilisation that I watched long time ago on our black-and-white, family television:

They even called on the great sculptor of the Enlightenment, Houdon, to commemorate their victorious general. The resulting statue of Washington stands in the Capitol at Richmond, Virginia, designed by Thomas Jefferson on the model of Maison Carrée at Nîmes. This chapter began with Houdon’s statue of Voltaire, smiling the smile of reason; it could end with Houdon’s statue of Washington.

No more smiles.

Houdon saw his subject as the favourite Roman republican hero, the decent country gentleman, called away from his farm to defend his neighbour’s liberties; and, in moments of optimism, one may feel that, through all the vulgarity and corruption of American politics, some vestige of this first ideal has survived.

Page 266 of the book adaptation of Clark’s TV series.

Published in: on September 28, 2018 at 12:01 am  Comments (2)  

Against the City upon a Hill

After Lulu Press deplatformed me last month, I became tempted to open an account in Amazon’s Create Space so that my Day of Wrath and the other volume I complied, The Fair Race’s Darkest Hour, may be easily available as softcover books.

If Amazon doesn’t deplatform me, in the 2018 edition of the latter I’ll remove my introductory remarks for each chapter (remarks that still can be seen as a PDF here) and also thirteen essays (PDF here). This does not mean that the removed essays from several authors are unimportant. It means that only the texts that caused a huge impact on my worldview will remain.

However, since the 2018 edition will include the long essay that I’m presently translating the weekdays, ‘Apocalypse for whites’, I won’t be able to assemble it until I finish the translation:
 

CONTENTS [revised February 2018]:

Our 14 words 3

Preface: The ultimate conclusion 5

The Fair Race’s Darkest Hour

Part I Basics 9

Worst generation ever! – B.P.S. 10
The depth of evil – Andrew Hamilton 14

Part II The Judeo-Christian problem 16

Seeing the forest – William Pierce 17
Rome contra Judaea; Judaea
contra Rome – Evropa Soberana 26
Arrows and comments – Jack Frost 115
Burn them all! – Albus 134

Part III On the need to undemonize Hitler 135

Hellstorm – J. A. Sexton 136
Manu Rodríguez’s first letter 146

Part IV The Aryan problem: Gold over blood 149

Heroic materialism – Kenneth Clark 150
History of the white race – William Pierce 153

Part V Nordicism 261

March of the titans – Arthur Kemp 271
The black man’s gift to Portugal – Ray Smith 273
What race were the Greeks and Romans? – J. H. Sims 279

Part VI Translated texts of Evropa Soberana 289

Were the Greeks and Romans blond
and blue-eyed? 290
The new racial classification 310
Sparta and its law 371

Part VII Our New religion: Hitlerism 469

For the Hitler Youth – Helmut Stellrecht 470
National Socialist worldview – SS pamphlet 471
Rockwell – William Pierce 481
Faith of the future – Matt Koehl 514

Part VIII Transvaluation of values 525

Polarities – Francis Parker Yockey 527
Manu Rodríguez’s second letter 529
New tablets of stone 531

 
You will notice that the table of contents includes the text of Civilisation’s chapter, ‘Heroic materialism’ by Lord Kenneth Clark. Yesterday I said that, culturally, the US has been inferior to Germany (at least before the Germans betrayed themselves). I’ll illustrate it with today’s article at Occidental Dissent, ‘Techno-Traditionalism is Feasible’. The author argues that traditionalism is compatible with modern technology because some very modern cities thrive even under Sharia.

This is the wrong paradigm. The right paradigm would be to compare—and here’s why I include Lord Clark’s text on New York—an unhealthy Aryan city with a healthy Aryan city. Francis Parker Yockey summarised this view with crystal-clear prose in his essay about the enemy of Europe (Americanism).

I won’t elaborate much in a single post except saying that in the 1990s I worked in Houston downtown, which reminds me the picture that the author chose for the Occidental Dissent article. We only have to contrast the soulless edifices we see when going to work with Raphael’s town square and see how anti-Aryan, and Judaized, our large cities have become. This is what the Spanish blogger says in my previous post:

All these quotes point to a stubborn ideological as well as military confrontation, in which both Rome and Judea were going to think a lot for a final solution: a conflict that would influence History in a huge way and, therefore, cannot be ignored under any pretext. This article tries to give an idea of what the old clash of the East against the West meant.

Today’s Americans are clueless that they lost the cultural war since the pilgrims considered themselves Israelites that would found a City upon a Hill: a phrase from the parable of Salt and Light in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:14.

Hopefully, my translations of Evropa Soberana in the next weeks will throw some light into the subject of why we must reject any sort of Judaization of the West, especially the religion of our parents.

Revaluation of values

“The Cathedrals were built to the glory of God;
New York was built to the glory of Mammon.”

—Kenneth Clark

In this site I’ve insisted a lot about the need of a Nietzschean ‘transvaluation of all values’. But only by quoting and rephrasing Francis Parker Yockey I’ll convey the idea of what it means:

Materialist values must be transvalued to primacy of the Spirit

Will-to-riches values must be transvalued to Will-to-power

Wealth as social distinction values must be transvalued to Rank as social distinction

Society as a collection of individuals worldview must be transvalued to Society as organism

‘Pursuit of happiness’ values must be transvalued to Fulfilment of duty

Race-suicide, birth control values must be transvalued to Absolute will to biological fertility

Equality values must be transvalued to Hierarchy

Plutocratic values must be transvalued to Aristocracy

Feminist values must be transvalued to Sexual polarity

Freedom and libertarian values must be transvalued to Order

Cult of bourgeois virtues must be transvalued to Cultivation of soldierly virtues

Eroticism as vice, the cult of immorality must be transvalued to Eroticism as legitimate source of joy and fertility

Pacifism, preparation of the coloured populations for ‘self-government’ must be transvalued to Affirmation of war and conquest of the lands of the coloured

Man as a machine worldview must be transvalued to Western man in the service of a great mission

‘L’art pour l’art’ values must be transvalued to Art practiced in conformity with the cultural task

Financial-military-economic expansion must be transvalued to Politico-military expansion.

Clark’s personal view

Civilisation_cover
My commented excerpts of Kenneth Clark’s Civilisation can now be read orderly, starting with chapter 1 (here). Keep in mind that when I typed those excerpts last year Civilisation was still unavailable online. Typos are my fault, not of Clark’s editors.

Published in: on November 12, 2013 at 10:36 am  Comments Off on Clark’s personal view  

Civilisation’s “Romance and Reality”

For an introduction to these series, see here.

Below, some indented excerpts of “Romance and Reality,” the third chapter of Civilisation by Kenneth Clark, after which I offer my comments.

Originally I posted this entry on April 15 of the last year, but now that I posted another entry about Spain’s Teresa of Ávila I would like to see some feedback in the comments section about my thoughts on St. Francis from those interested in child abuse as a subject.

Ellipsis omitted between unquoted passages:

I am in the Gothic world, the world of chivalry, courtesy and romance; a world in which serious things were done with a sense of play—where even war and theology could become a sort of game; and when architecture reached a point of extravagance unequalled in history. After all the great unifying convictions of the twelfth century, High Gothic art can look fantastic and luxurious—what Marxists call conspicuous waste. And yet these centuries produced some of the greatest spirits in the human history of man, amongst them St Francis and Dante.

A couple of pages later, Clark says:

Several of the stories depicted in the [Chartres Cathedral] arches concern Old Testament heroines; and at the corner of the portico is one of the first consciously graceful women in western art. Only a very few years before, women were thought of as the squat, bad-tempered viragos that we see on the front of Winchester Cathedral: these were the women who accompanied the Norsemen to Iceland.

Now look at this embodiment of chastity, lifting her mantle, raising her hand, turning her head with a movement of self-conscious refinement that was to become mannered but here is genuinely modest. She might be Dante’s Beatrice.

There, for almost the first time in visual art, one gets a sense of human rapport between man and woman.

About the sentiment of courtly love, on the next page Clark adds that it was entirely unknown to antiquity, and that to the Romans and the Vikings it would have seemed not only absurd but unbelievable.

A ‘love match’ is almost an invention of the late eighteenth century. Medieval marriages were entirely a matter of property, and, as everybody knows, marriage without love means love without marriage.

Then I suppose one must admit that the cult of the Virgin had something to do with it. In this context it sounds rather blasphemous, but the fact remains that one often hardly knows if a medieval love lyric is addresses to the poet’s mistress or to the Virgin Mary.

For all these reasons I think it is permissible to associate the cult of ideal love with the ravishing beauty and delicacy that one finds in the madonnas of the thirteenth century. Were there ever more delicate creatures than the ladies on Gothic ivories? How gross, compared to them, are the great beauties of other woman-worshiping epochs.

When I read these pages for the first time I was surprised to discover that my tastes of women have always been, literally, medieval; especially when I studied closely the face of the woman at the right in the tapestry known as The Lady with the Unicorn, reproduced on a whole page in Clark’s book with more detail than the illustration I’ve just downloaded. I have never fancied the aggressive, Hollywood females whose images are bombarded everywhere through our degenerate media. In fact, what moves me to write are precisely David Lane’s 14 words to preserve the beauty and delicacy of the most spiritual females of the white race.

Alas, it seems that the parents did not treat their delicate daughters well enough during the Middle Ages. Clark said:

So it is all the more surprising to learn that these exquisite creatures got terribly knocked about. It must be true, because there is a manual of how to treat women—actually how to bring up daughters—by a character called the Knight of the Tower of Landry, written in 1370 and so successful that it went on being read as a sort of textbook right up to the sixteenth century—in fact and edition was published with illustrations by Dürer. In it the knight, who is known to have been an exceptionally kind man, describes how disobedient women must be beaten and starved and dragged around by the hair of the head.

And six pages later Clark speaks about the most famous Saint in the High Middle Ages, whose live I would also consider the result of parental abuse:

In the years when the portal of Chartres was being built, a rich young man named Francesco Bernadone suffered a change of heart.

One day when he had fitted himself up in his best clothes in preparation for some chivalrous campaign, he met a poor gentleman whose need seemed to be greater than his own, and gave him his cloak. That night he dreamed that he should rebuild the Celestial City. Later he gave away his possessions so liberally that his father, who was a rich businessman in the Italian town of Assisi, was moved to disown him; whereupon Francesco took off his remaining clothes and said he would possess nothing, absolutely nothing. The Bishop of Assisi hid his nakedness, and afterwards gave him a cloak; and Francesco went off the woods, singing a French song.

The next three years he spent in abject poverty, looking after lepers, who were very much in evidence in the Middle Ages, and rebuilding with his own hands (for he had taken his dream literally) abandoned churches.

He threw away his staff and his sandals and went out bare-foot onto the hills. He said that he had taken poverty for his Lady, partly because he felt that it was discourteous to be in company of anyone poorer than oneself.

From the first everyone recognised that St Francis (as we may now call him) was a religious genius—the greatest, I believe, that Europe has ever produced.

Francis died in 1226 at the age of forty-three worn out by his austerities. On his deathbed he asked forgiveness of ‘poor brother donkey, my body’ for the hardships he had made it suffer.

Those of Francis’s disciples, called Fraticelli, who clung to his doctrine of poverty were denounced as heretics and burnt at the stake. And for seven hundred years capitalism has continued to grow to its present monstrous proportions. It may seem that St Francis has had no influence at all, because even the humane reformers of the nineteenth century who sometimes invoked him did not wish to exalt or sanctify poverty but to abolish it.

St Francis is a figure of the pure Gothic time—the time of crusades and castles and of the great cathedrals. But already during the lifetime of St Francis another world was growing up, which, for better or worse, is the ancestor of our own, the world of trade and of banking, of cities full of hard-headed men whose aim in life was to grow rich without ceasing to appear respectable.

Of course, Clark could not say that Francesco’s life was a classic case of battered child. Profound studies about child abuse would only start years after the Civilisation series. Today I would say that, since Francesco never wrote a vindictive text—something unthinkable in the Middle Ages that would not appear until Kafka’s letter to his father—, he internalized the parental abuse with such violence that his asceticism took his life prematurely.

What is missing in Clark’s account is that Francesco’s father whipped him in front of all the town people after Francesco stole from his shop several rolls of cloth. After the scourging inflicted by his father, with his own hands, and public humiliation, a citizen of Assisi reminded him that the town statutes allowed the father to incarcerate the rebellious son at home. Pedro shut Francesco in a sweltering, dark warehouse where “Francesco languished without seeing the light except when his father opened the door for Pica [the mother] taking a bowl of soup and a piece of bread.” After several weeks of being locked Francesco escaped and, always fearful of his father, hid in a cave. The earliest texts add that in the cave he often wept with great fear.

Francesco then embarked on a spectacular acting out of his emotional issues with his father. He made a big scene by returning to Assisi, undressing in the town’s square in front of Bishop Guido and addressing the crowd: “Hear all ye, and understand. Until now have I called Pedro Bernadone ‘my father’. But I now give back unto him the money, over which he was vexed, and all the clothes that I have had of him, desiring to say only, ‘Our Father, which art in Heaven,’ instead of ‘My father, Pedro Bernadone.’”

To everyone’s surprise Francesco broke with his wealthy parents forever, thus renouncing any possible reconciliation. So resolute was his parental repudiation, writes a Catholic biographer, that from that day on Pedro and Pica disappear from all the biographies of their son. There is no historical evidence of reconciliation, and no information about his parents or the circumstances of their death. (The pic is taken from Zeffirelli’s adaptation of the life​ of St Francis.)

But I don’t want to diminish the figure of St Francis. Quite the contrary: in my middle teens I wanted to emulate him—and precisely as a result of the abuse inflicted by my father on me. And nowadays our world that has Mammon as its real God—trade, banking and dehumanized cities that are rapidly destroying the white race—, this will always remind me what Clark said about St Francis.

Nevertheless, despite my teenage infatuation with the saintly young man of Assisi, I doubt that poor Francesco’s defence mechanism to protect his mind against his father’s betrayal could be of any help now…