Day of Wrath, 17

A critique of Lloyd deMause

Henry Ebel said that in psychohistory Lloyd deMause stands out among his epigones as a locomotive single-handedly tugging those who publish in his journal: all of them moving only thanks to a motor that is not theirs. Ebel had left the congresses of psychohistory even before I knew of their existence. However, no sooner I initiated my study of deMause’s texts I realized that both Ebel and deMause were human. All too human…

A string of nonsensical claims

One of the most cockeyed theories of deMause is that the warfare fantasies of political leaders and the media in times of war reflect childbirth traumas. Even Alice Miller has criticized this specific theory.

Glenn Davis was one of the first disciples of deMause: a young man that committed suicide. When Davis was doing his oral examination for his doctoral thesis, Stanley Renshon, a member of the committee, fired a question at Davis about something he had written following deMause’s theories: “It says in your book, ‘Groups go to war in order to overcome the helplessness and terror of being trapped in a birth canal’.” People laughed all around the table. What I find it fascinating is that, decades after Davis’ suicide, deMause still does not perceive the bad reputation that this sort of theories that he originated cause in his most serious readers.

In the issue of Spring of 2007 the Journal of Psychohistory published “The Conquistador and the Virgin Mary” by Madeleine Gómez. The article is an authentic string of nonsensical claims. According to this psychohistorian, in the Spanish conquest of the empires Mexica and Inca “the birth trauma was reenacted with few variations,” and on the next page she adds that the endeavor to conquer the seas in each exploration voyage is but “attempts to surmount the birth trauma.” After putting Cortés and the rest of the Spaniards as the villains of the story, Madeleine informs us that in the war for Tenochtitlan “the drumbeats in the air” can “easily be associated to the fetal heartbeat.” And writing on the denunciation by Francisco de Aguilar about the Indian sacrifices, she interprets that “it was easier to project upon the other…” That is, if the chronicler is shocked of the sacrifices, that only conceals the projections of his own European wickedness. Summarizing her interpretation of the Conquest, Madeleine writes: “There was arduous time spent in a womb-like mothership, with subsequent rebirth upon reaching shore.” These analytic interpretations remind me the worst nonsense of Freud recounted in my second book. The psychohistorian concludes that the Spaniards were “abusive, devaluing of women and children” without mentioning in the slightest the sacrifices of women and children in Mesoamerica.

Something similar can be said of deMause’s own views about the human placenta, a theory that he calls “The fetal origins of history.” Such importance he gives to this theory that he devoted the cover illustration of his book Foundations of Psychohistory to it. In an email I asked deMause what did he mean with the eight-headed dragon that appears on the cover. DeMause informed me that there were seven heads (the drawing is ambiguous), “a placental beast” that he relates with terrifying unconscious motivations.
Satanic Ritual Abuse

The confusion of my feelings about deMause—lucubration such as those are psychobabble but deMause’s discoveries potentially could be a great lighthouse for the humanities—moved me to annotate each cognitive error I encountered in his legacy.

In 1994 deMause devoted more than a whole issue of his journal to one of the scandals originated in his country that destroyed the reputation of many innocent adults: claims of multiple victims, multiple perpetrators during occult rites in daycare centers for children, known as “Satanic Ritual Abuse” or SRA. I was so intrigued by the subject that, when I read deMause’s article “Why Cults Terrorize and Kill Children” I devoted a few months of my life to research the subject by reading, printing and discussing in the internet (texts that would fill up the thickest ring-binder that I possess). I also purchased a copy of a book on SRA published by Princeton University. My objective was to ascertain whether the man whom I had been taking as a sort of mentor had gone astray. My suspicions turned out to be justified, and even worse: by inviting the foremost believers of SRA to publish in his journal, deMause directly contributed to the creation of an urban myth.

The collective hysteria known as SRA originated with the publication of a 1980 sensationalist book, Michelle Remembers. Michelle claimed that Satan himself appeared to her and wounded her body, but that an archangel healed it. In the mentioned article deMause wrote credulous passages about other fantastic claims by Michelle, and added that the people who ran certain daycare centers in the 1980s put the children in boxes and cages “as symbolic wombs.” DeMause then speculated that “they hang them upside down, the position of fetuses” and that “they drink victim’s blood as fetuses ‘drink’ placental blood,” in addition to force children to “drink urine” and “eat feces as some do during birth.” DeMause also referred to secret tunnels that, he wrote, existed beneath the daycare centers: “They often hold their rituals in actual tunnels.” In fact, those tunnels never existed. In Evil Incarnate: Rumors of Demonic Conspiracy and Ritual Abuse in History, published in 2006, professor David Frankfurter wrote about deMause’s article: “In this way a contemporary writer can assemble a theory of ritual power to explain rituals that have no forensic evidence.”

This is the sort of thing that, in Wikipedia’s talk page about psychohistory, culminates with rants like the one that I rescued before another editor deleted it: “Don’t ever listen to this lunatic!” (deMause). It is true that Colin Ross is another gullible believer of SRA, as seen in a book that includes an afterword where Elizabeth Loftus disagrees with him. But since the mid-1990s the SRA phenomenon was discredited to such degree that sociologists, criminologists and police officials recognized what it was: a witch-hunt that led to prison and ruined the lives of many innocent adults. The movie Indictment: The McMartin Trial, sponsored by Oliver Stone and based on the most notorious of these hunts, sums up what I mean. Using invasive techniques for adults in the interrogation of little kids, the therapists of the McMartin case and other kindergartens obtained confessions full of fantasies: that the children had been abducted and taken through a network of tunnels to a hidden cave under the school; that they flew in the air and saw giraffes, lions and the killing of a rabbit to be returned to their unsuspecting parents in the daycare center. Kyle Zirpolo was one of the McMartin children. At twenty-nine in 2005, several years after the trial, Zirpolo confessed to reporters that as a child he had been pressured to lie:

Anytime I would give them an answer that they didn’t like, they would ask again and encourage me to give them the answer they were looking for. It was really obvious what they wanted… I felt uncomfortable and a little ashamed that I was being dishonest. But at the same time, being the type of person I was, whatever my parents wanted me to do, I would do.

In its heyday in the 1980s and early 90s, and in some ways similar to the Salem witch trials of 1692, SRA allegations reached grotesque levels. Proponents argued that an intergenerational group of families raised and kidnapped babies and children in an international conspiracy that had infiltrated the police and the professions of lawyers and doctors. Conspiracy theorists claimed that the FBI and the CIA were involved to discredit the veracity of the phenomenon. The allegations ranged from brainwashing and necrophilia, kidnapping, sexual abuse and child pornography, to black masses and ritual killings of animals and thousands of people every year. In the McMartin case they talked about children washed away when the perpetrator pulled the toilet chain taking them to hidden rooms where they would be molested; orgies in carwash business, and even flying witches. Needless to say, no forensic evidence was found to support such claims.

After the legal catastrophe that McMartin and several other cases represented, small children have not been questioned with the aggressive techniques that led them to fantasize so wildly. Nowadays there is no witch-hunting going on in the US, Britain or Australia caused by coercive techniques of fanatics that induce either false memories or outright lies (like Zirpolo’s) to please therapist and parent. However, despite the consensus in sociology and criminology of the new century—that the SRA was a case of moral panic from which there is no forensic evidence—deMause did not change his mind. The work that describes his thinking more broadly, The Emotional Life of Nations, published in 2002 and translated to German, contains a brief passage where he still regards SRA as something real.

Revisiting Zweig

I do not regret having compared deMause with Newton in a previous chapter. In the days when deMause disappointed me I watched the film The New World starring Colin Farrell and Christopher Plummer. It bothered me greatly the myth of the noble savage when Farrell’s voice in off says the following about an idyllic village of American Indians:

They are gentle, loving, faithful, lacking in all guile and trickery. The words denoting lying, deceit, greed, envy, slander, and forgiveness have never been heard. They have no jealousy, no sense of possession. Real, what I thought a dream.

At that moment Farrell plays with a few naked, happy Indian children outdoors. Of course, the historic reality was not so bucolic. Remember the photo of the little Indian boy swaddled by their parents in this book? This was a very common practice among those tribes. I felt Hollywood’s falsifying of reality so insulting that I left the theatre. Psychohistory also made me reconcile with Spain after almost a lifetime of hating her because of the conservative culture of my family which had hurt me so much as a boy. I owe much to deMause for having awakened me to the fact that the earlier Amerindian culture was incomparably more brutal, both for children and for adults.

Isaac Newton is the paradigm par excellence of scientific genius. He invented calculus, discovered the law of gravity, enumerated the laws of motion and showed that light is a mixture of colors. His findings not only revolutionized physics but also finally cracked down the pedestal on which Europe had Aristotle. Europe discovered her genius in Newton: a psychoclass comparable to that of the best Greek minds began to evolve in the 17th century.

The self-esteem that the European scientific mind recovered after Newton is difficult to overestimate. But very few know that after his third year of life Isaac’s mother abandoned him to the house of the grandmother: something that borders on what deMause calls the “abandoning mode” of childrearing. Newton’s biographers know that the child suffered this betrayal greatly. In order to burn his agony, in his early twenties he turned his mind into science. At twenty-six Newton had already discovered all of the mentioned above and even more. However, since at that time there were no survivor forums to vent the anger he felt for his mother and stepfather, Newton suffered a severe depression.

When he recovered he lost his mind: he dedicated the rest of his life to alchemy and fundamentalist theology. His manuscripts on these topics sum millions of words: incomparably more than the Principia Mathematica that Newton had written in his youth. He collected a hundred and fifty books on alchemy and tried to turn metal into gold. Newton “always believed in a personal God—nothing like the God of Spinoza—; in the literal narrative of Adam and Eve, the existence of the devil and in hell.” From this fundamentalist point of view Newton estimated the age of the world in some 3,500 years before his age and invested a huge amount of time to interpret the books of Daniel and the Revelation of John. He thought he had cracked the cipher of both books just as he had deciphered the laws of planetary motion. “It is sad,” writes Martin Gardner, “to envision the discoveries in mathematics and physics Newton might have made if his great intellect had not been diverted by such bizarre speculations.” When Newton died, it was found in his body large amounts of mercury: a poisoning resulting from his alchemical experiments.

However, the difference between Newton and deMause is considerable. Unlike Newton, deMause blended his brilliant Principia to his lunatic Alchimia under the same covers. DeMause’s major works where he did not collaborate with other authors, Foundations of Psychohistory, The Emotional Life of Nations and The Origins of War in Child Abuse are a mixture of historical science with pseudoscience; unprecedented discoveries about the history of the human soul with gross lunacies. Like Newton, deMause was terribly abused as a child. On page 136 of his journal, in the Fall 2007 issue he confesses that when his father beat him with a razor strap, as a way to escape he hallucinated that he floated to the ceiling. And on the first page of Foundations deMause writes: “I, like Hitler, have been a beaten, frightened child and a resentful youth. I recognize him in myself, and with some courage can feel in my own guts the terrors he felt…” The key phrase in this passage is “some courage,” not the full courage that I now discharge across my books. After that line of Foundations deMause’s soul disappears and his theories à la Newton appear: his brilliant insights eye to eye with his string of nonsensical claims.

From the point of view of the psychogenesis that he himself discovered, deMause’s main error is the error of psychoanalysts. Losing his mind was due to the fact that he failed to delve deeper into the wounds of his inner self. DeMause’s work, inspired by political sociology and analytical treatises, worships the intellect at the expense of autobiographical insight. One objective of this work [Hojas Susurrantes] is to break away from this intellectual limitation and unconfessional, academic literature.

Half a century before the publication of Julian Jayne’s book, Stefan Zweig wrote in Adepts in Self-Portraiture that when Western literature began with Hesiod and Heraclitus it was still poetry, and of the inevitability of a decline in the mythopoetic talent of Greece when a more Aristotelian thought evolved. As compensation for this loss, says Zweig, modern man obtained with the novel an approach to a science of the mind. But the novel genre does not represent the ultimate degree of self-knowledge:

Autobiography is the hardest of all forms of literary art. Why, then, do new aspirants, generation after generation, try to solve this almost insoluble problem?

[For a] honest autobiography […] he must have a combination of qualities which will hardly be found once in a million instances. To expect perfect sincerity in self-portraiture would be as absurd as to expect absolute justice, freedom, and perfection here on earth. No doubt the pseudo-confession, as Goethe called it, confession under the rose, in the diaphanous veil of novel or poem, is much easier, and is often far more convincing from the artistic point of view, than an account with no assumption of reserve. Autobiography, precisely because it requires, not truth alone, but naked truth, demands from the artist an act of peculiar heroism; for the autobiographer must play the traitor to himself.

Only a ripe artist, one thoroughly acquainted with the workings of the mind, can be successful here. This is why psychological self-portraiture has appeared so late among the arts, belonging exclusively to our own days and those yet to come. Man had to discover continents, to fathom his seas, to learn his language, before he could turn his gaze inward to explore the universe of his soul. Classical antiquity had as yet no inkling of these mysterious paths. Caesar and Plutarch, the ancients who describe themselves, are content to deal with facts, with circumstantial happenings, and never dream of showing more than the surface of their hearts.[…]

Many centuries were to pass before Rousseau (that remarkable man who was a pioneer in so many fields) was to draw a self-portrait for its own sake, and was to be amazed and startled at the novelty of his enterprise. Stendhal, Hebbel, Kierkegaard, Tolstoy, Amiel, the intrepid Hans Jaeger, have disclosed unsuspected realms of self-knowledge by self-portraiture. Their successors, provided with more delicate implements of research, will be able to penetrate stratum by stratum, room by room, farther and yet farther into our new universe, into the depths of the human mind.

This long quote explains why I decided to devise a hybrid genre between the self-portraiture that betrays the author and penetrates beyond the strata pondered by Romantic autobiographers, while, at the same time, presents a unified field for the findings of Alice Miller and Lloyd deMause.

Playing the fool

So far I have focused my criticism on the crank aspects of Lloyd’s legacy. In the remainder of the chapter I will discuss, in addition to the psychohistorians’ crackpot ideas, their moral faults.

It is not apparent that Lloyd has read Tom Szasz or other very well known critics of Sigmund Freud. This is fundamental for a true psychohistory. As we saw in the discussion of Ark, there are two camps in depth psychology: the deniers of the after-effects of psychological trauma who can be traced back to Freud, and those who recognize it, led by Alice Miller.

Unlike Ark, deMause never broke completely away from his psychoanalytic roots. The logo of his website has the symbol of a globe on an analyst’s couch, and the written presentation of the International Psychohistorical Association mentions the pioneering work of Freud, Reich and Fromm, informing us that psychohistorians come from many fields, including psychoanalysis and psychiatry. It is true that deMause is anything but an orthodox psychoanalyst, but it is extremely annoying that he mentions Freud while ignoring the amount of criticism that has been written about him. As we have seen [I refer to a chapter in Hojas Susurrantes], Freud took sides with the parents against their children, while deMause presents himself to his readers as a defender of children.

The lack of the most basic knowledge about the critics of Freudism makes deMause write about claims that have been abandoned. For example, Freud’s vision of Leonardo da Vinci has been refuted decades ago. On page 173 of Foundations of Psychohistory deMause candidly mentions the Freudian study of da Vinci as if the ongoing refutations had never been published. It is important to mention that when deMause was going to graduate, in his youthful infatuation with psychoanalysis he wanted to insert Freudian ideas in his doctorate of political science. It is understandable that his tutors at Columbia University prevented it. DeMause never obtained his doctorate. Many years later, in the article “The Universality of Incest” deMause even sided Freud against Alice Miller and the most articulate critic of Freud, Jeffrey Masson. Since after 1897 Freud dismissed his original discovery, that some parents sexually abused their daughters, deMause’s position is contradictory.

DeMause’s moral errors are even more worrying when we see his stance on contemporary child psychiatry. How appropriate to quote the key passages of my correspondence with him. In one of my e-mails of March 2006, I wrote:

In your country the psychiatrists hired by the parents are abusing millions of children and teenagers. Even before the advent of drugs in the 20th-century psychiatry had routinely tortured children on behalf of their parents. My quest for your back issues [of the Journal of Psychohistory] has to do with something that very much puzzles me. Have you or the journal contributors exposed this kind of traumatogenic mode of childrearing [i.e., child psychiatry]?

DeMause, who over the years has answered almost all of my e-mails, did not answer this one. Three days later I wrote him again:

I don’t want to press you on a point that you seem reluctant to discuss. I just want to thank you for your work, which I believe will prove to be the most significant in the study of history.

Playing the fool, deMause replied:

I just don’t know anything about what psychiatrists do to patients. I’m not a psychiatrist. Sorry.

“Patients” is Newspeak for sane children in conflict with their parents. I gathered from deMause’s response that no article about the crimes committed by psychiatry with children and adolescents had been published in his journal [the sort of crimes reported in my second book of Hojas Susurrantes].

The funny thing is that we could easily use deMause’s statements against him. He wrote: “Every childrearing practice in traditional societies around the globe betrays a profound lack of empathy toward one’s children,” and a couple of pages later he gives an example: “The use of opium on infants goes back to ancient Egypt, where the Ebers papyrus tells parents: ‘It acts at once’.” But this is precisely what psychotropic drugs like Ritalin do to children not in the distant and exotic Egypt, but in the city where deMause lives!

When I realized that deMause was not going to read the literature on the psychiatric abuse of children that I recommended in another of my e-mails, I knew that sooner or later I would have to publish a critique. And incidentally: the page 166 of The Emotional Life deMause swallows the pseudoscientific propaganda that depression is due to a lack of serotonin. Similarly, the psychohistorian Robert Godwin wrote in one of his articles that some people need to ingest psychoactive drugs; and Henry Ebel commended Melanie Klein, the notorious analyst who blamed infants for projections from their parents, as Jeffrey Masson and Alice Miller have so cogently argued.

At the left of Chomsky

In Foundations of Psychohistory deMause wrote:

Our conclusion is that Jimmy Carter—for reasons rooted both in his own personality and in the powerful emotional demands of American fantasy—is very likely to lead us into a new war by 1979.

This is a pretty crazy statement. Foundations was published in 1982. Having had the opportunity to mature the lesson given to him by history, deMause did not retract when his prophecy about Carter, who left the White House in 1981 behaving like a dove before the Iranian crisis, was not fulfilled. What is this: publishing in all seriousness a prophecy refuted by history? It exposes a man completely trapped in his own theory. Also, in The Emotional Life of Nations deMause blinded himself before the threat that Cuba and the Soviet Union represented during the missile crisis. Without taking seriously the threat of nuclear annihilation that these missiles posed to his own country, deMause psychoanalyzed Kennedy’s actions as a case that he unraveled: a psychological reductionism as kooky as what his disciple Madeleine wrote about Cortés.

DeMause went back to his old ways in his latest book, The Origins of War in Child Abuse, first published in his journal, where he psychoanalyzes the 1835-1836 war that his country waged against Mexico to annex the territory of Texas. He also interprets with his bizarre theories the US intervention in the two world wars and continues to speculate on those lines about the wars in Korea and Vietnam. But his followers surpass him. But his followers surpass him. The Fall 2007 issue of the Journal of Psychohistory published an article by Robert McFarland in which the author endorses the most lunatic theories that the US government orchestrated the attacks of September 11, and in the Spring 2008 issue Matt Everett uses quite a few pages of the journal to continue to promote the conspiratorial paranoia. This continued in the Journal of Psychohistory of Spring 2009 and in a book review of the Fall issue of that year. His journal is located at the left of Noam Chomsky, who at least has had enough sanity to dismiss conspiracy theories such as 9/11. In short, deMause reduces all international politics to fantastic speculations. No wonder that after the initial success of the one of his books free of nonsense—The History of Childhood, published in 1974, that sold thousands of copies in several languages—, the wrong turn deMause and his followers took has disappointed the vast majority of his readers, so much so that in a 2010 audio interview deMause acknowledges: “I dropped from 6,000 to 800 subscribers of my journal.” But of deMause’s colleagues among whom, I suppose, many are Jews, there is something much more sinister than all that.

The psychohistorians and the hatred of the West

It is striking that, except the articles by deMause himself, many articles in the Journal of Psychohistory have little if anything to do with the original psychohistory. As I said, the original psychohistory tells us that non-Western cultures are more barbarous than ours. Conversely, the Journal of Psychohistory of Winter of 2009 contains an article by Arno Gruen praising the Pawnee Indians without mentioning how they treat children (Gruen even talks of “the white invasion”). The Summer 2009 issue of the journal published a much worse article, “The European-American psychosis” by Frederick Hickling: a diatribe against the West and the white people. From the perspective called transcultural psychiatry, Hickling calls the war of Cortés in Mexico as “delusion of genocidal eradication” ignoring that extermination was never the intention of the Spanish, proof that pure whites are now a tiny minority in Mexico. (Hickling misspells the name of the conqueror, a very common error in those ignorant of the topic, as “Cortez.”) But he does quote Bartolomé de Las Casas accepting the blackest interpretation of the Black Legend: that the Spanish murdered millions of Indians on purpose. Hickling thus minimizes the real cause of the diminution of the native population in the 16th century: the epidemics upon which the natives had no antibodies. The Europe of that century was called “the racist European formation,” and using inflammatory rhetoric Hickling writes of “the European ruthless viciousness to indigenous people in the Americas and in Polynesia,” and calls the European wars in the New World in the 17th century “the delusion of White Supremacy.” And he says something similar about the wars of the 18th and 19th centuries, with expressions like “colossal theft of Africa by Europe.” Writing about contemporary Islamic terrorists, Hickling puts quotation marks to the word “terrorists,” and he quotes Marxist revolutionary Frantz Fanon as he writes of “freedom fighters.” Hickling, a professor of psychiatry in Jamaica, goes so far as to suggest that it is possible to apply the concept of delusion “to a race or civilization” as a whole, referring to the white race and Western civilization.

Hickling is not alone. The same 2009 issue of Journal of Psychohistory contains the article “Some Thoughts on Psychoclasses and Zeitgeist.” Christian Lackner, one of the two authors of the article, translated into German deMause’s The Emotional Life of Nations. Following the most progressive political trends the article by Lackner and Juha Siltala welcome the European Union and praise the profile of the new European psychoclass of males as “androgynes” (sic) for whom war is old history. The gem of the article is that it ends by conceding that “the demographic picture” with such androgynous males must result in that “the population of Europe will eventually die out” without having it for something bad, or a demographic suicide against which we must fight.

DeMause and his little journal have reached their nadir with this issue: pure evil. These pair of articles are not the only of their kind. Other issues of the Journal of Psychohistory idealize the black Obama, and what is worse, the journal does not say a word about the dangers that the growing Islamization of Europe represent for what they themselves, the psychohistorians, call the “helping mode of childrearing.” Alarmed, when I was living in Europe, I sent deMause an e-mail asking what he thought of the Islamization of Scandinavia. He answered me once more by playing the imbecile, saying that Nordics “are helping their children.”

The sin against the holy ghost

The migration of Muslims into Europe in recent decades illustrates what is an encounter of psychoclasses. Instead of the chosen example—the encounter between Europeans and Amerindians—, the ongoing clash of psychoclasses with the millions of immigrants could have been the paradigm of this book.

But the Islamization of Europe in the 21st century is only the most conspicuous tip of the iceberg. The current group fantasy among westerners is genocidal self-hatred. Demography is destiny. But the West has lost its appetite for life, as seen in the ever-shrinking birthrates of whites. At this rate there will be no replacement for the white people in the coming generations. Westerners do not believe anymore in they ethnicity; in heterosexual marriage, or in their civilization as they still believed when my parents were young. An overreaction against the two great wars appears to have metamorphosed them into pods, as in the movie of the 1950s Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Their most unforgivable sin has been their handing over their lands to millions of non-Caucasian immigrants.

Massive Third World migration into the United States, Europe and Australia, promoted by Western governments, is the highest betrayal to one’s own people ever perpetrated in history. While the scenario might remind us the hostile takeover of Rome by a Levantine cult, it is infinitely worse. Constantine may have surrendered the empire to the bishops, dragging it straight into the Middle Ages, but no explicit anti-white exterminationist program was implemented by him and his successors; the program was implicit. In contrast, in the West of today massive numbers of non-whites are being imported at the same time with the demographic decline of the native population: an explicit, anti-white exterminationist program.

This is the most important issue of anything we can imagine: even more important than the child advocacy understood in terms of all races, the theme of this book. If Hyperboreans disappeared, my thirst to fight in the resulting mongrelized culture would die out. It would be a Neanderthalesque regression from my most cherished ideals. Think of the most beautiful female specimens of the Aryan race, for example the painting Lady Violet on the cover of The Fair Race’s Darkest Hour. What whites are doing to themselves is the real sin against the holy spirit of life: placing the very crown of evolution on the path to extinction.

Just as in the past the infanticidal psychoclass sacrificed their children in times of great prosperity, a phenomenon that deMause has called “growth panic,” a mad generation—including deMause’s—, indoctrinated in anti-white racism, sacrifices the future of their children; their grandchildren, and their great-grandchildren… Large numbers of abortions and intercourse with condoms or pills—and mixing their blood with non-whites!—can only mean that an ethnic group is committing suicide. Westerners have decided to erase their history, culture, identity and what is most valuable: their genetic capital.

Such self-destruct ethos reminds me the determined campaign of destruction that, in my family, my mother led when she fell sized with panic before her thriving teenager. Like my parents with me in our beloved home of Palenque [the subject of my other books], reaching the height of its prosperity the West succumbs to unconscious forces turned into a monster which etiology nobody seems to know, not even the readers of Alice Miller, let alone the psychohistorians.

The objective of Day of Wrath is to present to the racialist community my philosophy of The Four Words on how to eliminate all unnecessary suffering. If life allows, next month I will reproduce another chapter. Day of Wrath is available: here.

Kindergarten racists

American white advocates are now discussing what they call ‘optics’ as PR for the movement (two of the most recent pieces by Hunter Wallace and Andrew Anglin: here and here).

Incredibly, Wallace who a few years ago sided mainstreamers against Greg Johnson, is now tolerant of fashy optics in the rallies while Anglin, whose site with acid sarcasm on Jews often uses Nazi imaginary, is now claiming that the movement needs electoral politics and Americanism!

Just compare this with what James Mason said in Siege (this morning I just added one more of the chapters of Siege as a post for this site). But Mason himself has his own problems. He was stuck in the religion of our parents and abandoned revolutionary politics: a religion I’m now debunking with my translations of Deschner’s Criminal History of Christianity.

Wallace seems to have a better grasp of reality than Anglin, but generally speaking their movement is a failure. And it is a failure because all of them are unable to give up Christian ethics. Apropos of the fact that Kevin MacDonald is now accepting Jewish contributors for The Occidental Observer, I responded to Franklin Ryckaert today:

The real issue here is my claim that whites do indeed have a loose screw. Our central intellectual figure in understanding the JQ cannot fathom à la Hitler that no Jew ought to be platformed, especially in a Jew-wise forum.

You can imagine an ‘Anti-Semites Watch’ periodical run by Jews admitting a Nazi contributor! Recently someone said that many white nationalists support Israel because they believe that Jews should have a home of their own, but that Jews don’t reciprocate the favour: they don’t support a home nation for whites anywhere in the world. That was an excellent point!

Christian-problem The Aryan problem does encompass the Jewish Problem. If even secular white nationalists subscribe the Christian commandment to love our enemies, we have a huge problem at home.

I will continue to promote MacDonald’s trilogy as fundamental reading to understand the JP but not only I’ve now removed The Occidental Observer from my blogroll list: I’m more confident than ever that NS should replace WN/Alt-Right (cf. my comment on Strauss/Zweig below), and that the ongoing discussion among them on optics is for Kindergarten racists who have no clue about the history of Christianity.

I was referring to this comment on mine about Richard Strauss and Stefan Zweig in Nazi Germany.

New literary genre

“Know thyself” (gnōthi seafton)
Delphic maxim in the Temple of Apollo


I started Hojas Susurrantes (HS) in 1988 and added the last touchups last year. It is neither a novel nor an essay; nor memoirs in the traditional sense nor a pamphlet or poetry. It is difficult to define this non-fictional genre in few words. My first reader, Andreas Wirsén, a Swede lover of literature, wrote in an online forum that I am “a pioneer developing a new sport.”

As stated in Day of Wrath which contains a Spanish-English translation of the longest chapter of HS, Stefan Zweig wrote in Adepts in Self-Portraiture that when Western literature began with Hesiod and Heraclitus it was still poetry, and of the inevitability of a decline in the mythopoetic talent of Greece when a more Aristotelian thought evolved. As compensation for this loss, says Zweig, modern man obtained with the novel an approach to a science of the mind. But the novel genre does not represent the ultimate degree of self-knowledge:

Autobiography is the hardest of all forms of literary art. Why, then, do new aspirants, generation after generation, try to solve this almost insoluble problem?

[For a] honest autobiography […] he must have a combination of qualities which will hardly be found once in a million instances. To expect perfect sincerity on self-portraiture would be as absurd as to expect absolute justice, freedom, and perfection here on earth. No doubt the pseudo-confession, as Goethe called it, confession under the rose, in the diaphanous veil of novel or poem, is much easier, and is often far more convincing from the artistic point of view, than an account with no assumption of reserve. Autobiography, precisely because it requires, not truth alone, but naked truth, demands from the artist an act of peculiar heroism; for the autobiographer must play the traitor to himself.

Gnothi_seautonOnly a ripe artist, one thoroughly acquainted with the workings of the mind, can be successful here. This is why psychological self-portraiture has appeared so late among the arts, belonging exclusively to our own days and those yet to come. Man had to discover continents, to fathom his seas, to learn his language, before he could turn his gaze inward to explore the universe of his soul. Classical antiquity had as yet no inkling of these mysterious paths. Caesar and Plutarch, the ancients who describe themselves, are content to deal with facts, with circumstantial happenings, and never dream of showing more than the surface of their hearts.

Zweig then devotes a long paragraph to St Augustine’s Confessions, the thinker I abhor the most of all Western tradition and whose theology about Hell caused massive psychological damage in my own life (also recounted in HS). Then Zweig wrote:

Many centuries were to pass before Rousseau (that remarkable man who was a pioneer in so many fields) was to draw a self-portrait for its own sake, and was to be amazed and startled at the novelty of his enterprise. Stendhal, Hebbel, Kierkegaard, Tolstoy, Amiel, the intrepid Hans Jaeger, have disclosed unsuspected realms of self-knowledge by self-portraiture. Their successors, provided with more delicate implements of research, will be able to penetrate stratum by stratum, room by room, farther and yet farther into our new universe, into the depths of the human mind.

This quote explains why I decided to devise a hybrid genre between the self-portraiture that betrays the author and thus penetrates beyond the strata pondered by Romantic autobiographers. Over the boards anti-Nazis have been making fun about my experiences in London last year. They have no idea what I am trying to say because they completely lack context. Together with the Zweig quote my December 31 entry, “Etiology,” provides a bit of the context of what I’m trying to say in the book I’m presently writing.

The Struggle with the Daimon


For an easy reading,
you can read all of my excerpts
of Zweig’s essay on Nietzsche
at Ex libris (here).

The teacher of freedom


“After the next European war, people will understand me.” Such is the prophetic utterance that shines conspicuously forth from among Nietzsche’s last writings. In very truth, the real significance, the historical necessity of this seer is made plain to us only in relation to the tensed, unstable, and dangerous condition of our world at the turn of the century.

In this sensitive, who transformed every atmospheric convulsion from nerve to spirit, from intimation into word, there occurred a foreboding discharge of all the tensions of the morally obtuse Europe. There was a cataclysm in Nietzsche’s mind as a presage of the most terrible cataclysm in human history. His “far-thinking” vision glimpsed the crisis while others were comfortably warming their heads before the agreeable fires of well-turned phrases. He discerned the causes of what was about to happen: “The national cardiac pruritus and the blood-poisoning thanks to which, throughout Europe, nation shuts itself off from nation as if they were quarantining against one another’s plagues.” He saw the “nationalism as of horned cattle.”

Wrathfully he predicts catastrophe in view of the convulsive endeavours “to eternalize particularism throughout Europe” and to defend a morality established upon egoistic interests and upon business. In letters of fire upon the wall he wrote: “This absurd state of affairs must speedily be brought to an end.” No one heard more plainly than did Nietzsche the ominous cracking in the edifice of European society; no one, in a time of unwarranted optimism and self-satisfaction, sounded so loudly as he the summons to fight. A new and mighty order was about to begin. Now at length we know it, as he knew it decades ago. Such agonizing foresight was his greatness and his heroism; and there is a spiritual truth underlying the belief of simple souls that before wars and crises comets pursue their erratic course athwart the sky. He alone recognized how frightful a hurricane was about to disturb our civilisation.

But it is the perennial tragedy of the spirit that what it perceives in its higher, more luminous spheres can never be communicated to those who dwell in the heavier atmosphere upon the lower levels; that the present never grasps what is impending, is never able to read the message of the skies. Even the most translucent genius of the nineteenth century could not speak plainly enough to enable his contemporaries to understand him. No more was vouchsafed to him than the cry of warning which was incompressible to his contemporaries. Then his mind gave way.

“There are no heroic ages, but solely heroic persons.” It is the individual who achieves independence within the world, and for himself alone. Nietzsche’s independence did not therefore transmit, as scholastics declare, a doctrine, but, rather, an atmosphere—the limpid and passionate atmosphere of a daimonic nature.

Just as, in the domain of natural forces, there is need at times for whirlwinds wherein the excess of energy rises in revolt against stability, so likewise, now and again, in the realm of mind there is need for a daimonic being whose transcendent powers shall make him the spearhead of a revolt against the triviality of habitual thought and the monotonousness of conventional morality. There is need of a man who will embody the forces of destruction and who will destroy himself likewise.


After a few more words, Zweig’s essay on Nietzsche ends.
In all of these entries I only typed those paragraphs
which struck me the most.

Published in: on July 30, 2013 at 7:56 pm  Comments (2)  

Dance over the abyss


If you look into an abyss, the
abyss, likewise, looks into you.

This self-addressed pæan of intoxicated happiness is, I know, regarded by modern physicians as a morbid euphoria, as the last pleasure in a decaying brain, as the stigma of that megalomania which is characteristic of the early stage of paralytic dementia. But Nietzsche talks clearly and incisively amid the ardours of intoxication. No other mortal, perhaps, has ever in full awareness and without a trace of giddiness leaned so far and seen so clearly over the edge of the precipice of lunacy.

No doubt the light that sparkles here is a perilous one. It has the phantasmal and morbid luminosity of a midnight sun glowing red above icebergs; it is a northern light of the soul whose unique splendour makes us shudder. It does not warm us, it terrifies us. It does not dazzle, but it slays. He is not carried away as was Hölderlin by an obscure rhythm of feeling, is not overwhelmed by the onrush of melancholy. He is scorched by his own ardours, is sunstruck by his own rays, is affected by a white-hot and intolerable cheerfulness. Nietzsche’s collapse was a sort of carbonization in his own flames.

He commanded the German emperor to go to Rome in order to be shot; he summoned the European powers to take united military action against Germany, to encircle his fatherland in a ring of iron. Never did apocalyptic wrath shout more savagely into vacancy, never did so glorious presumption scourge a mind beyond earthly bounds. His words issued like hammer-blows striving to demolish the edifice of established civilisation. The Christian era was to cease with the publication of his Antichrist, and a new numbering of the years was to begin.

“No one has written, felt, suffered in such a manner before; the sufferings of a god, a Dionysius.” These words, penned when his mental disorder had already begun, are painfully true. The little room of the fourth floor, and the hermitage of Sils-Maria, not only sheltered the man Friedrich Nietzsche whose nerves were breaking under the strain, but also served as the places from which were issued a marvellous message to the dying century. The Creative Spirit had taken refuge beneath the attic roof heated by the southern sun, and was bestowing its entire wealth upon a timid, neglected, and lonely being, bestowing far more than any isolated person could sustain.

Within those narrow walls, wrestling with infinities, the poor mortal senses were stumbling and groping amid the lightening-flashes of revelation. Like Hölderlin, he felt that a god was revealing himself, a fiery god whose radiance the eyes could not bear and whose proximity was scorching. Again and again the cowering wrench raised his head and attempted to look upon the countenance of this deity, his thoughts running riot the while.

Was not he who felt and wrote and suffered such unthinkable things, was not he himself God? Had not a god reanimated the world after he, Nietzsche, had slain the old god? Who was he? Who was Nietzsche? Was Nietzsche the Crucified; the dead god or the living one; the god of his youth, Dionysius; or both Dionysus and the Crucified—the crucified Dionysius?

More and more confused grew his thoughts; the current roared too loud beneath the superfluity of light. Was it still light? Had it not become music? The narrow room on the fourth floor in the Via Carlo Alberto began to intone; the shining spheres made music; all heaven was aglow. What wonderful music! Tears tricked down his face, warm tears. What sublime tenderness, what auspicious happiness! And now, what lucidity! In the street, everyone smiled at him in friendly fashion; they stood up to greet him; they made obeisance to him, the slayer of gods; they were all so delighted to see him. Why? Why?

He knew. Antichrist had appeared upon earth, and men acclaimed him with hosannas. The world hummed with jubilation, was full of music. Then suddenly the tumult was stilled. Something, someone fell down. It is he, himself, in the street, in front of the house where he lodged. He was picked up. He found himself back in his room.

Had he been asleep for a long time? It seemed very dark. There was the piano. Music! Music! Then, unexpectedly, people appeared in the room. Surely one of them must be Overbeck. But Overbeck is in Basel; and where is he, Nietzsche? He no longer remembers. Why does the company look at him so strangely, so anxiously? He is in a train, rattling along the rails, and the wheels are singing; yes, they are singing the “Gondolier’s Chanty,” and he joins in, signs in an interminable darkness.

He is in a strange room, and always it is dark. No more sunshine, no light at all, either within or without. People talk in the room. A woman among them, surely it is his sister? He had thought she was travelling. She reads aloud to him, now from one book, now from another. Books? “Was not I once a writer of books?” Comes a gentle answer, but he cannot understand. One in whose soul such a hurricane has raged grows deaf to ordinary speech. One who has gazed so intently into the eyes of the daimon is henceforth blinded.

The seventh solitude


A great man is pushed and hustled and
martyrized until he withdraws into solitude.


Nietzsche lived in many different towns; he travelled into countless realms of the mind; frequently he endeavoured to escape from solitude by crossing a frontier into a foreign land; but always his journeyings brought him back to solitude, heartsore, weary, disillusioned.

His solitude had become complete isolation, the final, the seventh, solitude, wherein one is not merely alone but also forsaken. A void surrounded him, an awe-inspiring silence; no hermit or anchorite in the desert was ever more abandoned. They, at least, still had their God whose shade dwelt in their huts. But he, “the murderer of God,” had neither God nor man to companion him. To the extent that he drew nearer to himself, he receded from the world; and, as his voyages extended, “the desert widened” around him.

Generally the works conceived and written in loneliness gain more and more ascendancy upon the minds of men; by a magnetic force they attract increasing numbers of admirers into the invisible circle of their influence. But Nietzsche’s books alienated even his friends. In Germany no publisher would any longer accept his manuscripts. During his twenty years of production, his manuscripts accumulated in a cellar and came to weigh many hundredweight. He had to draw upon his own slender resources in order to get his books printed. Not only did nobody buy the few volumes that were issued, but he found no readers when he gave them away. So vast was the chasm between this man’s genius and the pettiness of the time.

Practically no reviewer or critic took the slightest notice of Zarathustra, which the author described as “the greatest gift ever bestowed upon men.” One day he lamented: “After such an appeal as my Zarathustra, a cry that came from my heart, it is terrible not to hear a responsive word, to hear nothing, absolutely nothing, to be surrounded by silence, to be a thousand times more isolated than heretofore. This is a situation exceeding all others in horror; even the strongest might die under the strain… And I am far from being the strongest. Sometimes it seems to me as though I were indeed wounded unto death.” This gnawed at his vitals, undermining his proper pride, inflaming his self-assertive impulse, consuming his soul. Lack of recognition was the shaft which poisoned his isolation, and raised his temper to fever-heat.

“Prolonged silence has exasperated my pride.” At all costs he wanted response, sending letter upon letter, telegram upon telegram. Blindly and wildly he flung his missiles far and wide, never looking to see if they hit the mark. Since he had slain the gods, he set himself up as a divinity. “Must we not become gods if we are to be worthy of such deeds?” Having overthrown all the altars, he built an altar for himself in order to praise himself, seeing that no one else would acknowledge him. He chanted his own dirge with enthusiasm and exultation, mingling it with songs celebrating his deeds and his victories. To begin with, a twilight covered the landscape of his mind as when black clouds stalk up from the horizon and distant thunder growls; then a strident laugh rent the sultry air, a mad, violent, and wicked laugh full of despair, heartbreaking: this was the pæan of Ecce Homo.

As the book develops, its cadences become increasingly spasmodic, the yells of laughter are more shrill amid the glacial silence; he is, as it were, outside himself. His hands are raised, his feet stamp rhythmically; he breaks into a dance, a dance over the abyss, the abyss of his own annihilation.

Flight into music


For many years music remained a private amusement to which Nietzsche delivered himself up in a spirit of irresponsible pleasure, with the pure delight of an amateur, a pastime altogether outside his main “mission” in life. Music flooded his being only after the philological crust had been removed, only when his erudite objectivity of outlook had become disintegrated, when his cosmos had been shattered as if by a volcanic eruption.

Precisely because he had pent up these primal springs of his nature for so long behind the damns of philology, erudition, and indifference, did they gush forth so vehemently and penetrate into every crevice, irradiating and liquefying his literary style. It was as if his tongue, which had hitherto sought to explain tangible things, had suddenly refused its allotted task and insisted upon expressing itself in terms of music. Even his punctuation—unspoken speech—his dashes, his italics, could find equivalents in the terminology of the elements of music.

The details of each work are vibrant with music, and the works as a whole read like symphonies. They no longer belong to the realm of architecture, of intellectual and objective creations, but are the direct outcome of musical inspiration. Of Thus Spake Zarathustra he himself says that it was written “in the spirit of the first phrase of the Ninth Symphony.” And how better can I describe the opening of Ecce Homo than as a magnificent organ prelude destined to be played in some vast cathedral? “Song of Night” and “Gondolier’s Chanty” resemble the croonings of primitive men in the midst of an infinite solitude. When was his inspiration more joyous and dancing, more heroic, more like a lilting cadence of the Grecian music of antiquity, than in the pæan indited during his ultimate outburst of happiness, in the Dionysian rhapsody? Illuminated from on high by the pellucid skies of the South, soaked from beneath by the waters of music, his language became as it were a wave, restless and immense.

Music, limpid, freedom-giving, and light, became the dearest solace of Nietzsche’s agitated mind. “Life without music is nothing but fatigue and error.” “Was a man ever so athirst for music as I?” He, the solitary wanderer cast out by the gods desired only that they should not rob him of this one consolation, this nectar, this ambrosia which eternally refreshed and reinvigorated the soul. “Art, nothing but art! Art was given us that we might not be slain by truth.”

The world had forsaken him; his friends had long since gone their ways and ignored his existence; his thoughts strayed forth on interminable pilgrimages. Music alone walked by his side, accompanying him into his final, his seventh, solitude.

When in the end he fell into the abyss, she watched over his obliterated mind. Overbeck, coming into the room after the catastrophe, found the unhappy madman sitting at the piano, his fingers fumbling the keys in a vain effort to find the harmonies so dear to him.

A postscript to my prolegomena

Further to what I said yesterday.

A deeper response to the questions raised by Stubbs would imply reminding my readers that, at the end of his Critique of Practical Reason, Kant said that there are two universes: the empirical universe and the subjective universe. Karl Popper comments that he who doesn’t believe in the second universe would do well to think about his own death—it is so obvious that a whole universe dies when a human being dies!

What I find nauseating in today’s academia is that it is an institution that denies the existence of this second universe. One could imagine what would happen if a student of psychology or psychiatry tried to write a lyric essay about why Nietzsche lost his mind, like the one that Stefan Zweig wrote and I have been excerpting for WDH. (And wait for the next chapters where Zweig’s story reaches its climax…)

A proper response to Stubbs would require an absolute break from the epistemological error, a category error, so ubiquitous in the academia. That is to say, we must approach such questions as if they were questions for our inner worlds.

The best way to respond to Stubbs, following what I have said about psychoclasses, is imagining that few whites have touched the black monolith of the film 2001. Those who have touched it—and here we are talking of the “second” universe that the current paradigm barely acknowledges—know that the most divine creature on Earth, the nymph, must be preserved at all costs.

This is not the sphere of objective science. Since we are talking of the ideals of our souls, let me confess that I became a white nationalist in 2009 when I lived in the Spanish island Gran Canaria, near Africa. The big unemployment that started in 2008 affected me and, without a job and completely broke, I spent a great deal of time in the internet. When I learned that a demographic winter was affecting all of the white population on planet Earth I was watching a Harry Potter film featuring a blondest female teenager. I remember that I told to myself something to the effect that, henceforward, I would defend the race with all of my teeth and claws.

However, to understand this universe I would have to tell the (tragic) story of the nymph Catalina: a pure white rose who happened to live around my home’s corner decades ago, who looked like the girl in that Parrish painting. But I won’t talk about the tragedy (something of it is recounted in Hojas Susurrantes). Suffice it to say that since then my mind has been devoted to her beauty and, by transference, it is now devoted to protect all genotype & phenotype that resembles hers…

Once we are talking from our own emergent universe (emergent compared to the Neanderthals who have not touched the monolith), Stubb’s questions are easily answered if one only dares to speak out what lies within our psyches:

So let me think of some fundamental questions that need to be answered: Why does it matter if the White race exists, if the rest of the humans are happy?

Speaks my inner universe: Because the rest of humans are like Neanderthals compared to Cro-Magnon whites. Here in Mexico I suffer real nightmares imagining the fate of the poor animals if whites go completely extinct (Amerinds are incapable of feeling the empathy I feel for our biological cousins).

Why does it matter if the White race continues to exist if I personally live my life out in comfort?

Speaks my inner universe: Because only pigs think like that. (Remember the first film of the Potter series, when Hagrid used magic to sprout a pig’s tail from Dudley’s fat bottom for gulping down Harry’s birthday cake.) We have a compromise with God’s creation even when a personal God does not exist.

Why should I be concerned with the White race if it only recently evolved from our ape-like ancestors, knowing that change is a part of the universe?

Speaks my inner universe: Because our mission is that we, not others, touch again the black monolith after four million years that one of our ancestors touched it.

Why should I be concerned with the existence of the White race if every White person is mortal, and preserving each one is futile?

Speaks my inner universe: It is a pity that no one has read The Yearling that I had been excerpting recently. I wanted to say something profound in the context of child abuse but that is a subject that does not interest WDH readers. Let me hint to what I thought after reading it.

To my mind the moral of the novel is not the moment when the father coerced his son to shoot Flag, but the very last page of Marjorie’s masterpiece. Suddenly Jody woke up at midnight and found himself exclaiming “Flag!” when his pet was already gone.

moment of eternity

The poet Octavio Paz once said that we are mortals, yes: but those “portions of eternity,” as a boy playing with his yearling, are the sense of the universe. The empirical (now I am talking of the external) universe was created precisely to give birth to these simple subjective moments: figments that depict our souls like no other moments in the universe’s horizon of events.

Why should I be concerned with preserving the White race if all White people who live will suffer, some horribly, and none would suffer if they were wiped out?

Speaks my inner universe: The boy suffered horribly when his father obliged him to murder Flag, yes. But the moment of eternity, as depicted in Wyeth’s illustration, had to be lived. It will probably leave a mark if another incarnation of the universe takes place…

Discovery of the south


Since my object is to portray Nietzsche’s life, not as a biography but as a tragedy of the spirit, as a work of dramatic art, for me his true work began when the artist in the man was released and became conscious of enfranchisement. So long as Nietzsche remained in his professional chrysalis he was nothing more than a problem for professorial brains to cudgel themselves over. But the winged being, “the aeronaut of the mind,” belongs to the realm of creative intelligence.

Goethe’s impression of Italy was a mental and æsthetic affair, whereas Nietzsche’s was vital in the extreme: the former brought home with him an artistic style, whilst the latter discovered in the land of the sun a style of life. Goethe was merely fecundated, whereas Nietzsche was completely uprooted, transplanted, renewed.

“Among the many laudable things I have learned in the course of this journey is the fact that it is impossible for me to live alone and away from my own country” [Goethe]. Turn this dictum the other way about and we get substantially the effect the South produced upon Nietzsche. His conclusions are diametrically opposed to Goethe’s, since he finds that henceforward he can live only in solitude and away from his native land. Goethe, after making an instructive and interesting journey, returns to the exact point whence he took his departure, carrying in his boxes, his heart, and his brain things precious and delightful for a home, for his home in particular. But Nietzsche expatriates himself and finds his true self, the “outlawed prince,” happy at having no home, no possessions, cut off for ever from the “parochial interests of a fatherland” and released from “patriotic strangulation.”

Once a freeman, always a freeman. Having felt the limpid Italian sky over his head, Nietzsche could no longer bear a suggestion of “obscurity,” whether proceeding from the clouds or from a professorial chair, from the Church or from the army. Never again, so far as Nietzsche was concerned, would Germany be free enough and light enough as nourisher of the mind. The halcyon skies are limpidly radiant.

It seems to me that in no other German author was the style of his writing so swiftly and completely renewed. Certainly none other was so flooded with sunshine, or ever became so enfranchised, so essentially southern, so divinely light of foot, so full of a good vintage, so pagan.

To find a change as rapid we have to turn to a painter in search of a comparison. A similar miracle, wrought likewise by the sun of the South, took place in van Gogh. The passage from the lugubrious tints in brown and grey of his Dutch canvases to the violet, crude, and strident colours splashed so generously upon his pictures of Provence was just as eruptive a transition. Van Gogh’s sudden mania for sunlight, his sudden and complete transference from one style of painting to another, is the only analogy that comes to my mind in the least comparable with the illumination the South brought to Nietzsche’s entire being. These two fanatical lovers of change were intoxicated with light, absorbed light with the vampire lust of passion, gulped down light in rapid and inconceivable large doses.

Not satisfied with light, Nietzsche desired “super-light”; clarity must be “super-clarity.” He wanted to be burned by the sun, not merely to be illuminated by it. Language, in its turn, became too narrow a medium, too material, too ponderous. A new element was required for the Dionysian dance that had begun within him; he needed more far-reaching liberties than could be offered while he remained a thrall to the written tongue. He therefore turned back to his first love, to music.