Rightist Art #2 (09/30) Sept 30, 2018 14:55:42 GMT
Post by vennyflennard (ENTP-A) on Sept 30, 2018 14:55:42 GMT
NOTE: This essay is the result of me misreading the orginal prompt for this round; rather than focusing upon a single artist i am comparing the works of several writers. I understand if you want to take my mistake into account when it comes voting. This said i hope you enjoy my entry, which i think is still relevent to the topic of the round in its subject.
In this essay I will be searching for a timeless and ahistorical essence of rightism in the poetry and prose of men whom expressed explicit views that fall within the large and overwhelming spectrum of right wing thought. In making connections between the large bodies of work of several artists and identifying how their beliefs manifested in their repertoire of output I hope to define or map out an Urheimat of the “rightist” psyche as to identify the shared intangible assets held up by such artists who participated in artistic and political ideologies across the last few centuries, to understand what motivated or inspired them. However as I venture forth I will base my political exploration upon a more ancient and perennial understanding of the term; that is the interpretation of right hand path of closeness or oneness with god as opposed the left hand path of separation from the divine.
Rightist political movements have covered a wide compass of beliefs, some directly in opposition to each other, and in covering poetry and prose that was published over the course of the previous two centuries I hope to achieve an understanding of what may be the definition of a archetypal right wing artist, while at the same time covering the historical spectrum of art and political intersection that is relevant to the modern viewer of art. To explore back further than 1800 may lead to researching the work of artists whose political circumstances would only be useful in an esoteric or perhaps abstract sense.
The artists whose work I will be exploring worked in artistic movements which were in some cases reactionary and critical of each other, and that inspired artists of both left wing and right wing persuasion. Their lives while overlapping give us a good spacing of rightist perspectives being expressed through different poetic forms. In chronology of birth we will be looking at Edgar Allen Poe (1809-1849) perhaps the artist most capable of fully and maturely expressing a perrenialist view in his works. Rudyard Kipling (1865 – 1936) who presents a sympathetic view of British imperialism. William Butler Yeats (1865 -1895) A Irish nationalist whose artistic vision ran deep and who developed a Symbolist style. Robert Frost (1876 -1963) and William Stevens (1879-1955) both represent American modernism and share some similar themes. Fascist sympathizers or active participants are also represented by Ezra Pound (1885-1972), Gottfried Benn (1986 – 1956) and T.S. Elliot (1888 – 1965 ) who are all from different backgrounds but members of the same generation. H.P. Lovecraft (1890 - 1937) our second youngest born writer is almost as massively well known and influential as Poe, he expresses many of the themes and sentiments carried through in the earlier work covered but on a brutal cosmic scale. Finally J.J.R. Tolkien (1892 -1973) a traditionalist with monarchical leaning and influenced by his catholic faith in flirting with distributist ideas, as well as expressing some libertairian ideals. These final two writers are different in the sense they are not primarily poets.
We are searching for a well founded set of ideals that transcend the various components that is the broad scope of right wing thought, which is in itself not all connected on a deep and fundamental, consistent or primeval way. While at the same time, we seek a set of themes or intangible assets defined and separated by the artists themselves while also keeping away from the overly obscure or mysterious. Can the essence of rightist art be defined as to be straightforward and functionally relevant tool for spotting deep rightist substance, transitions in their expression and understanding as well as deviations from the harmony of the general themes?
Edgar Allen Poe was a product of an era and place strongly grounded in American cultural landscape; the antebellum south. Its place in the right wing spectrum was largely cemented through its oppositional role in the expansion of industrialism, the armed struggle of a aristocratic-mercantile economy against its rising economic competitor, the spectere of the war still looms today.
Poe himself was a part of the the wider artistic movement of English language romanticism, a movement that as of itself cannot be considered rightist in any pure form. It was a reaction against the modern world at the time and the spread of enlightenment ideals through the civilized parts of the globe. Romanticism was also against certain values of Greeks and Romans and their twin ideals of intellect and reason, instead focusing upon emotion, primativism, the exotic and unrestrained creative force.
This however marks a strong differation from the attitude of Poe whose writing was concerned with correct and optimal system of expression, as such he was against the sophistic strain within this movement and was deeply concerned with expressing proper truth. He wrote interrelated treaties upon the nature of the universe(1) but also upon the nature of writing, upon the correct form and function as well as the logic behind good literature even going as far as to say that the two are the same; "The Universe is a plot of God", Poe says, and "the plots of God are perfect"(2).
This brings us to two of the overarching themes that seem to be at the fore front of the approach to poetry and writing taken by rightist artists. These themes are particularly relevant when it comes to defining art of the rightist or leftist nature. This is the idea of a correct application of art or poetry. This of course directly implicates a position in regards to order vs. chaos, equality vs. hierarchy, nurture and social conditioning vs. nature and heredity as well ideas about universalism vs. particularism all of which have been used in attempting to define right wing and left wing.
The idea of a correct application and proper placing of a subject within the universe is a common concern amongst the majority of our writers. While Poe wrote explicitly about the divine order and its qualities in regard to the human condition in universe, H.P. Lovecraft approaches similar themes in the opposite style, rather than focusing on the relationship between God and man (the original context of left-right dichotomy) he instead focus on the hostile nature of the universe in regards to humanity. Instead of the center man becomes peripheral to the great workings of the cosmos unable to truly grasp its causal agents and is insignificant in scale. Despite the opposite approach the theme it is still drawn to the forefront. It allows us to ask;what is the correct place of man in a wider order. Wallace Stevens concerns himself with the role of poetry in this natural order. He focused in his work upon the correct use of both poetry and prose by the artist and their proper and most prosperous place in human society, while he does not reflect upon a direct nature with God so blatantly he is still concerned with placing poetic spirit in its correct circumstance and in revealing the truth behind its placing and function in reality.
Yeats is particularly was concerned with the artists role in the world, addressing the functionality of poetry in combating degeneracy in regards to the corrupting influences of both man and civilization as well as the importance of cultural unity, he made conscious the importance of a collective. Ezra Pound expressed similar sentiments and stressed the importance of economics in his work to add an extra dimension the scale and complexity of the grand order these men were contemplating. His own body of work develops this theme of order, placing and hierarchy through its embrace of the esoteric, his body of work is huge and complex and force the coalescence at a nexus; spirit, tradition, modernism and fascism, linked by the poets own ideas about public order and authority he explores the depths to which the natural world is underpinned with a natural law.
All of these poets where at least somewhat preoccupied with the nature of ordering and the place or ranking within the cosmos. They go far beyond superficial political ideas of left right that end with territorial limits or with a state monopoly on violence and in each case the poet takes us further, so we can directly address the powers at work which are greater in scope than humanity. Lovecraft with his pantheons of bizarre gods and Yeats invoking the old Irish gods, superstitions and of course fate are obvious illustration of these outside forces that manipulate mankind. Poe also uses the power of superstition, with a masterful presentation of the shadow of the supernatural in the same way; to show us the relative powerlessness of man in his primary position in the world. This sense of powerlessness is evident in Robert Frosts poetry although rather than an unseen supernatural pull seen creeping just below the surface, the powerlessness comes from a smallness, at a sense of frail man directly confronting the universe as a whole and reacting to nature.
In the works of these rightists, mans place is predetermined rather than his own choice of destiny. The ordering within is also non-economic in nature, unlike the leftist attitude these classes are by there very nature organic components of a vital social complex of which the individual is a lesser part. Wallace Stevens puts confronting the tough circumstances of life as one of the true purposes of poetry, this is the search for truth again. This idea that man needs a wider external order that sets his rightful place, or allows him to define it as opposed to the leftist ideas that human morality, centered on our own idealist principles alone can achieve a self driven desired end state. Ultimately this seems to highlight a theme that appears an intellection that all of these writers express. This is essentially the idea that it is humans and their imperfections that corrupt the ordering of the universe ultimately in contrast to the leftist who hold the position that it is the very existence of the order they have taken to opposing that is what ultimately corrupts people.
Stevens believed that the poet was a spiritual gatekeeper for the understanding of the human role and place in nature and that the poet also operates a social function which reinvigorates a cultures spiritual health and brings it towards a place where both God and nature can manifest through artistic form in a fashion people can digest and use to nurture they're place in natural world. In The Idea of Order at Key West we are told specifically that the search for truth gives us structure and ordering because true poetry gives a statement of truth beyond our control, i.e. we cannot fully or tangibly understand or know why it has an effects us, the power to change the perception is untlimaty arts greatest power hence the need to correctly know the true place of artistic expression that modern poetry cut off from its traditional function cannot deliver. This is rightist because it requires a fixed order that is ultimately predetermined rather than waiting for man to shape it purely as he desires. Their work tells us that form, function and logic all initiate from a source that we must respect and conform to.
When Poe uses the supernatural as a literary expression of the outside forces that control human life, he highlights both the folly of superstition to show mans confused and lowly status compared to the forces that influence his circumstances, as well as his methods for attempting to constructively overcome such a position. Here terrifying things are intimately linked with the psychological state of his characters; the idea is that one must control ones own impulses and take control of ones mind. This is the instigation of separation from mans lowly faculties from his higher ones.
Lovecraft uses extraterrestrial and inter dimensional live-forms to represent the outside influences working upon mankind, the sheer scale and inhumanity of which presents the manifestation of the horrific aspects this time around; beyond the understanding and coping ability of the human mind. Lovecraft highlights this cosmic scale not just in his vast pantheons but in his de-centering humanity and the human experience in a emotional sense and as a functional agent; this is far removed from a progressive modern leftist narrative. In Lovecraft's work as with Poe's to address these forces directly is to go mad, however unlike Poe, Lovecraft offers no god given method with which to transcend or confront the condition.
Nature is the go to friend of the poet and a more common expression of outside controlling forces. Gottfried Benn uses disease, both a force beyond human control and a Darwinian shaping implement, to illustrate mans place in the universe as just another sickly creature of the flesh. Through the repeated motifs of our writers and the subjects of individual poems themselves great forces like religion, nature and environment, internal histories and those of events between nations and even literary history in itself become the post reformation notions of God's substance or essence; election, predestination and providence, this would imply perhaps that the poet takes the place of the Son in this reinterpreting of an old archetypal panorama; reinvigorating and redeeming and restoring the fire in the veins of civilization through his earthly calling and duty. The children stories of Kipling such as Puck of Pooks Hill have in some instances a Book of Job-esque feel to them, the idea must be considered rightist in opposition to self determined left wing attitude which by its very nature implies the erosion and dissolution of existing classes and their endowed privileges, if one extends this notion beyond simply accepting ones lot in life the message here is that the inherent ordering or hierarchy of the world is not a evil thing, a restrictive or corrupting influence but actually a beneficial circumstance in a larger context if we can understand it.
In the text of Lord of the Rings as well as Kipling's children stories the writing style itself is reflective of this motivation. The prose used is clear and concise all the while it is straight talking without overly complex metaphor, there is no desire to dumb down to the level of child, but rather an attempt to pull the child up towards a more academically enhanced state.
The rightist artists seem to be working within mediums or movements which are more often than not politically neutral and purely artistic in origin and intention, and in some cases the movements within which they operated in were more associated with leftist output. There seems to be no pure form of right wing art. Modernism especially served as a vessel moving towards leftist or anti-right art and was demonized and prohibited in some cases. Romantics as we have mentioned rejected fixed notions of logic, its own turn towards the Hellenic or Roman worlds where an escapist embracing of the primitive, a place where fixed chronologies, moral progressions and cultural memories could not weigh down the pure artistic expression. The writers we have concerned ourselves with here in some instances expressed the notion that art totally autonomous, unbound by wider cultural circumstances runs the risk of treading the path of degeneracy. In the same way, pure logic and intellect can become unlinked from ideals which unite the classical Apollonian worldview, in many cases leftist hold up ideals removed from any of the grounded, functional logical positions through which they became embedded within society.
Gottfried Benn was frequently critical of rationalist conceptualization of the world, he is quoted as saying "although science taken as a whole is a nuisance, one can still learn from it.(3)" In his poetry he goes further and picks out the technical/materialist/reductionist view of nature as being undesirable; it was probably the higher minded ideals of Nazism that was attractive for a man of his mindset. The focus on decay, entropy,and images used in similar mode to Lovecraft that drift long on the viscerally unpleasant but on a much more human and close to home and comprehensible level. Like Poe, these realist medical images remind the reader of the strength needed to confront the universe as a whole, and highlights the limits of rational historical discourse to overcome disease, war, old age, almost accusing those who cling to this world view as being cowardly and unsustainable and as having reduced the western civilization to just another parasite ridden animal experiencing an ugly death. In the end, in Benn's mind rational discourse has come to naught, failed to protect the society that produced it and now this mechanical view has buried beneath it a higher collection of spiritual truths built up through the ages that was preserved by other cosmologies. Images of decay represent the non-imagination of purely mechanical and rational thought.
Yeats described science as a “Little boat”; repeatedly shipwrecked, the implication is that the fault lies with the short-sightedness of the crew. This is opposed to the Galleon of tradition in an essay (4) which has been sailing since man first put it to sea, this idea that we are loosing out by demythologizing and rationalizing our culture and destroying the legacy or ability of these cultures to pass down their legacies onto an under educated public.
Universalism is an ancient classical and European notion and the artists here are in many cases attempting to reconnect their culture towards this a way of thinking; that is universal in scope. Some may argue that particularism over universalism is a fundamental right wing trait, and universality is modernist ideal. Universalism in regard to the position of man has ancient, perennial routes (5), the bible features a universal human origin story and early history, and ancient Greek historians wrote accounts of the history of humanity as a whole (6,7,8). This universalism stems from the very notion that there are fundamental human truths. This is in itself is a separate strain of thought from tribally specific ancestor origin stories as well as from modern minority/majority grievance politics.
Largely these are matters of relativism, our writers deviate from this universalistic bent only in the task of discovering the relationship between the components on the whole; for example the vast cosmic scales of Lovecraft which may lump humans together in a lowly position of wretched animals to the pastoral scenes of frost, which invoke a powerful sense of place and culture that set apart the American north-east country even today, rather than specific right/left marker this is purely a relativist outlook or a manifestation of political tactics and circumstances.
Many of these writers had seen the defeat of a major power by its competitors as they lived through both of the world wars. The struggles and nature of the conflict left powerful markers in the work here considered. Many of the poets were aware of the influence of international Jewery upon the war, as well as the grisly methods used by the competing combatants. The reaction to the development of the conflict permeates their work. Obviously views and interpretation of events surrounding World War 2 affect where one may be placed of a left – right dichotomy but I will not be diving to deeply into any writers personal regards to any historical outcomes, rather I will stay focused on literary output.
In Yeats reproductions of tales from the Ulster cycle men boast proudly (in fact historically this form of boasting is formalized)(9) and terrible mutilations and humiliations are inflicted upon a defeated warrior. Here what is highlighted is that the combat and intentions of the fighters was declared honestly and directly, and that fair masculine competition marks the natural mode of social interaction. This is in direct contrast to the participants of the two world wars. In WWII the world had witnessed the Allies, the Soviets and international Jewery working together purely out of the intolerance of their political and financial competitor; and thus choosing the feminine strategy of conspiracy over the masculine strategy of competition. As well as this the United Kingdom at least entered the war under false pretenses, the artists where witnessing a further degeneration of the martial spirit, graces and competence which had once characterized the British aristocracy, an element whose loss was being lamented even by Kipling after WW1.
The absolute destructive power unleashed and directed towards subjecting total carnage upon the enemy, the mass bombing of civilians for example also did much to remove the Europeans from the pretense of having a noble style of the application or use of military power. Unlike the poet in Pounds theories who must use the correct, fair, and careful application of the masculine destructive force, what was witnessed was a complete divorce from the intended aristocratic use of such power. Tolkien in his works was reacting against the brutal mechanization or industrialization of warfare, he articulated the value of valor on the battlefield as a natural distinguisher of both moral and physical worth. His characters fight to protect and too preserve as well as for reasons of honor, chivalry and fealty; all of which was seen by the author as having been lost by this revolution in military affairs. This again links the the correct uses and intent of what has been manifest in the world.
Other writers who had seen the effect of two world wars and the toll of organized Jewery(10) lamented about about raw psychological wounds wrought upon the Europeans as a whole. Those who lived through the two world wars felt as thought they had seen a true abasement in the affairs of man, a genuine descent into barbarism via total warfare, civilian bombing and unjust war trials (Ezra pound was actually tried for his involvement with the Italian government) carried out by the purveyors of massacres and annihilations themselves(11,12). The idea of a damaged human psyche seems to be a potently visible theme in the work of all the writers mentioned, in some cases this seems to stem from an observation on the human condition; drawfed and hopeless cosmic ants reaching the limits of their comprehension (Lovecraft) or weak personalities overcome by emotions as in Poe.
The Waste Land is a poem famous for its exploration of these themes. What is interesting is that Eliot's description of civilization barren and destroyed is countered by hundreds of references of higher culture, myth and legends from the orient, classical greco-roman history and many other sources, recalling the redemption cycles of old. His poems evoke a network of images and invocations that run the full history of religious thought. The modernist style here with its fragmentary verse seems to map out the shattered condition of western thought; this is not an enlightenment view of history; Eliot does not view history as a progressive series of events leading towards improvement but rather a cycle of decay and renewal, rather than great events that define mans history it is the flow of tradition and religion as spiritual knowledge and ordering, being passed generation to generation with socially novel perspectives and circumstances being generated for either good or ill.
Eliot's use of antiquarianism and of religious images is suggestive of the way forward, his Fisher King is symbolic of the unifying narrative or path needed in what was then the modern world. He goes into true rightist territory here as he emphasizes the religious or spiritual nature of the mans predicament being not only the damage wrought upon the mind itself, but also upon the established order and ideals of society; in the tumbledown condition they are found in post war Europe, the framework which would provide the model on which civilization would be rebuilt is broken. How can the people return to their higher state, in a more perennial rightist sense; how can they reclaim there closeness to God and thus to a single more unified path? This is the place of the poet in his mind, to answer this question, to heal the wounded psyche.
In another approach to this theme Poe's psychologically damaged protagonists struggle with their own minds, while the the pygmy minds of Lovecraft protagonists upon their “placid island of ignorance(13)” are equally pre-doomed. The generation that comes after Poe take this struggle beyond the individual to the the wider western world, and between Poe and them there had been Nietzsche, Spengler, Freud, Einstein and Oppenheimer. Robert Frost takes up the mantle of representing man in reaction to or in subjugation to nature; through humble acceptance of a sense of place via rural folk characters, or the lone walker with a choice of path(14); either one or the other but a he must choose a pre ordained path, or the poet narrator speculating on how the world will inevitably be destroyed(15). This manner of thought regarding the outside influences of man here again is highlighted, ultimately the shared theme seems to be bound up with the articulation of concern in regards to an ultimate destiny. Is it ultimatly good, purifying and uplifting to submit to the order of the universe, or does it in the end come to nothing and thus serve no fixed ultimate function and lead nowhere?
The writers however are constructive in their own face-offs with the forces that confront humanity, indeed pointing us towards the idea that there is a true, productive utility of the poet, rather than a mere quirk of personality as an individualist creator destined only to be master of his own inner kingdom he is in fact performing a function within a collective, a pre-destined and necessary function in a great ordering of souls.
Whether it is fit or unfit that we are to judge right and left by the presense in Yeats and Kipling of tribal majorities and the treatment and attitude towards them as such in there work also needs addressing. If it is right wing to support majority rights over minorities then it would put the rightist at odds with the history of civilized high culture; minority rule has by far been the convention in developed societies. Also could a tribe without stratification be classed as right wing by showing in-group preference by resisting an aggressor? Surly not without traditional social classes/order to be defended? Kipling definitly saw the British empire as a Saxon empire, despite his rich detailed and sympathetic description of conquered Indian subjects in some of his novels. In The Houses(16) he makes it clear the empire and its spoils are the prizes of a shared global Saxon family, while this is not backed with any tangible racial theories it is similar to the master race idea of demographic diffusion especially when linked up with Kipling's ideas about the civilizing mission of the British Empire. While he is sympathetic towards other races his core idea expressed would ultimately be considered rightist; racial supremacy.
If this dichotomy is ultimately a tool for recognizing right wing art Yeats would the most rightist, however this is clearly a matter of political perspective. His idea is one of redemption of a people, driven by a pure energetic culture and it was this that had to protected and restored, rather than the qualities of the Irish peoples themselves; a set of ideals that differentiates and makes unique an fixed Irish culture which itself is an entity that transcends historical circumstance. Yeats's Irish are somewhat ambiguous, he never states with certainty “who is an Irishman” the ambiguity stems not from an incomplete nationalistic school of thought but actually an attempt to look at the Irish beyond ancient and modern, protestant and catholic; indeed he eventually became ambivalent to Irish nationalist political struggle as a whole.
In the work of these artists and again taking us beyond the political scope of leftist and rightist is an ancient mechanism and one that links their output to the so called “sky father” cults of old. The idea that the lower or undesirable traits of man can be separated from his higher noble traits is deeply ingrained in western thought although often attacked by modern political leftists as well as more esoteric leftist positions. Poe captures this struggle most effectively in his stories through the use of alter-egos. In William Wilson the titular character is stalked by his alter ego, the character literally wishes to separate himself from his inner demon, in another story The Tell-tale Heart, the protagonist commits murder to separate an old man he professed no hatred for, from his unpleasant characteristics; his “vultures eye” that repulsed him. This is opposed to the modern idea of embracing character flaws or even disregarding the notion of sin altogether.
In his other stories some characters overcome fear through other personality traits like curiosity, actively overcoming and offering a solution to mans condition. This is further emphasized by the fact that those who go with or are pulled along by these forces are ultimately overcome by them, showing that this active filtering or addressing of negative human traits is the only hope for man. In the work of Tolkien we trace blood lines of divine descent as they separate, dissolve and reemerge. In the early chapters of The Silmarillion the divine presence of the Valar is supreme, eventually the blood of their favoured lineages is shared out among the high races living not among them, but in brotherhood with them, this influence, through war and miscegenation is later removed to an unattainable realm, only in fact accessible through a mystical sea voyage. In the climax of The Lord of the Rings we see the magical half-elf bloodline reemerge and redeemed and installed in its rightful place through noble deeds of its inheritors.
In some ways the separating of mans high and low faculties is a defining essence of classical thought, or at least to bring the lower ones under control of the higher ones is essentialy the Apollonian mission statement. There is some contradiction here in terms of the intervening medieval European attitude in regards to overt pessimism regarding mankind, but when we remember than Christianity came to recognize the human as inherently flawed and broken, and that the world is fallen we can perhaps understand why they were unable to fully interpret and pass on the classical perspective, seeing it through biblical literalistic lenses. Here the anti-rationalism of Benn begins to make sense and draw some parallels in a philosophical context, as well as the germ of Wallace's understanding of poetry as the gate between God and nature. In essence there is an agreement that attempting to fix the liberal crisis through rationalist dissection of the material world is essentially attempting to tell the time by a broken clock.
This is a reenactment of the process by which actual civilizations arose; largely because they, unlike their barbarian neighbors, developed moral and social systems which enabled humans to subject their lower natures to their higher ones, at least to a certain extent. The difference here is not rightist and leftist in any shallow sense. It is a choice between submission to cyclonic nature of history with its roots in mother-goddess agrarianism, or whether the arch of history bends towards return to a sky father, and this is quite distinct from a human centered and led arch of progress.
Both leftists and rightists are interested in historical definitions and identifications and also in striking up an ideological historicity into there world views, and and a grounding in the past is no way indicative of rightist or leftist persuasion. However through the analysis of the writers here it is evident that those with rightist thought have motivations and attitudes towards history that are so wildly disparate to the leftists' that they cannot be encoded very subtly into literature. Yeats, Kipling, Eliot all endue their worlds with a sense of historical continuity for the purposes of showing the path of the previous torch-bearers, before the ancestral passed it onto the contemporary generation; this is a mission statement of the rightist bared clearly; to preserve their civilization, peoples, cultures and faiths. Most of these poets are going further calling upon a path to redemption through obedience to a purifying, correcting order, more than reveling in history they emphasize it is essential to the moral and political health of individuals and peoples together. This is profoundly different than leftist radical approach developing a view of historical continuity and connection so as to be able to brag over the trophies of enemies, this is looking to history so at to claim the victory of a revolutionary saying “I have destroyed this” or “look at the historical crimes of this enemy we must still destroy and replace.”
This brings us onto a another way that art can be defined as left wing or right wing, and is indeed perhaps the main reason that leftist art seems to be predominant. This is of course the weaponisation of culture as part of a fundamentally leftist power strategy; in the very general sense this is breaking up and eroding established alignments, collectives and class groupings through drastically exaggerating and removing from context any philosophical or ideological contradictions in regards to the larger societal consensus. The leftist idea is to put the idea of abstract ideals above the reality of the situation and while many of the writers deal with ideals they are in fact more concerned with truth behind the situation. Yeats for example is deeply concerned over the ideals of honesty, courage, generosity, courtesy displayed by Irish men but he was more concerned with being able to live in harmony with the culture that had nurtured and allowed these ideals to spread rather than championing them for their own sake. Cardinally he believes in a wider order in which individualism is essentially a pointless task that leads one to be without a proper place in the social organism as a whole.
Gottfried Benn's ideas on rationalism where also reflected upon his understanding of history which he saw as a lived experience not a rational after construct. In his understanding of history, cultures are organic and living and can became unhealthy and die, and the images of disease which haunt his poems reflect the way rationalism and the technical mindset have become a disease permeating society. In his mind western culture had analyzed himself in these terms and reacted with disgust. In the Little Aster where the symbol of the human soul is reverted back and becomes simply a material object, we are taken into a world where the reader has to consciously reintegrate these symbols with a significance that is beyond rationality, again his phrase “Although science taken as a whole is a nuisance, one can still learn from it” shows us that rather than accept this failed worldview we should incorporate it into an existing pantheon of cosmos' that have already been conceived. His poems as a collective reveal the western mind isolated and emasculated by the dymthologization of his civilization, and that the classical civilizations in some ways represented the world as well or maybe more accurately than the scientific-rationality constructed one.
Although modernism also broke and set aside much of the form of verse and thus had an effect upon the poem and poets place, function and ability to practically deliver what was intended through long established literary traditions, Pound found within this movement a style in which he could deal out a fresh form of destructive power over language and that by gutting away the unnecessary he would be able to deliver a new form of hard hitting poetry. He viewed his work as fundamental to revolutionary change and this causes a rift in the order and hierarchy based definitions of the rightist; indeed if to be rightist is the act of slowing or reversing the entropy of an established order any right wing insurrection or dissident position would be impossible. Hierarchy in an abstract sense would include almost any vertically organized system in existence, and leftists are equally given to the celebration and hero worship of their great men.
Rather than freedom from order instead Pound desired treatment of the subject with total honesty as well as to shape the form of his verse with a destructive temperament and to return to the creative process its masculine element to produce a functionally optimized finished form that represented a return from or reversal of damage that subjectivists and sophistic thinkers had done to the contemporary European literary scene. As well as this Pound saw the championing of a new style, that essentially bared the poets naked intentions, free from conventional gloss as an important step to re-establishing an artistic lenses based upon the unflinching intellect as to confront truth as one confronts life, rather than one who has learned to confront art; as to engage with the subject in the most accurate and genuine of ways. In this case this revolution takes us closer to the world as it truly is disregarding any artificial constrictions of man, an exploration that brings us closer to the understating of the ordering of the universe. This is the re-ordaining of a sky cult over an earth cult through the force of masculine will.
It seems fair to say that a common concern between these right wing thinkers and and their art manifest is that of what was perceived as a decline in style from idealism towards naturalism, and that this was an inheritance, or a result of the romantic movements rejection of certain classicists values. If we can take it for granted that classical greco-roman culture was the result of Apollonian thought, we can take a step further and say that perhaps the archetypal rightist body of thought is the Sky Father Cult, mostly past down to western literary circles through the Olympian pantheon and Christianity. We should note that this is advanced religious position that takes into account the two strains of rightist thoughts that are consistently expressed by our writers; A) the development of a class system as a major pillar of the social institutions that make up a society, with attached privileges and duties and B) a path towards oneness or union with the Gods, a method of living in tune with divine intentions.
The sky cult however did not spring fully formed form the well-spring of creation and each of our writers have lamented or articulated some absence or loss of this philosophical approach to understanding the universe. In Yeats more strongly can we see the evolution of a sky cult mentality with in his work, in his career (and perhaps because of the influence of Pound upon his life) we can see a microcosm or repetition of the process that gave birth to the original Sky Cults and their tremendous legacy, so bound up into the western canon of literature through the influence of Homer. In following his career we can set he coalescence of the ancestor and the mother earth cult and birth of a functional sky cult.
Yeats early work is representative of the Ancestor and Mother Earth cults of old. The former puts the limits of understanding mans place in creation with that of the tribe, not quite attaining the universalistic nature of classical mythic canons, while the latter kept man trapped in the cycle of the animal, that subjugates the Will to Power to the rhythmic tyranny of the seasons. Yeats earliest works are patriotic and nationalist in theme or else, reveled in the authors love the Irish countryside and topography, it was only later and party through embracing and mirroring antiquity that he created a more mature and philosophically stable body of work; this involved taking the step beyond the romantic cry of “make me thy lyre(17)” and performing a deliberate application of an integrated intellectual framework or theory onto his writing; and thus we find Apollo has subjugated Dionysus!
In considering these linked themes it seems as though Tolkien could be put forth as a virtuoso example of well executed rightist art assemblage. His stories cover fairytale, high-fantasy and myth and legend cycles. All of the themes we have found across this wide spectrum of right-wing writers have found expression to an extent the extended works of the author. Not only that but his work contains a strong example of the idea of the right hand path of western esoteric thought; throughout his sagas we are given in direct measure of high-blood; the degree of separation from the divine source of all natural order. This is most powerfully given in a creation metaphor in the opening of The Silmarillion: the world is created as/or by a orchestral theme, brought about by a “sky father” archetype integrating a pantheon of gods into the musical performance while a Satan like character attempts to overplay or destroy the harmony of the performers as a whole. This is the very essence of rightist thought in the sense that it strips away modern social conditions and states simply that to go with the intentions of and to achieve oneness with the desired order of the universe is the path we should take, in this case represented by the literal harmony of a musical performance.
Tolkien himself was linguistic professor and he developed the principle languages of middle earth before he began writing. The rigidity and immovability of these pre-ordained languages was used as a starting point by Tolkien to reveal the logic behind the massive chains of events than span some five thousand years of mortal and immortal activities. The correct name came first.
Tolkien wrote in one of his letters: "what I think is a primary 'fact' about my work, that it is all of a piece, and fundamentally linguistic in inspiration ” (18)
The artistic scale here is one of a internally consistant order bound by a logic seen in the historical development of the language but also it highlights the fundamental connection between that of the history of the language speakers themselves and also the mythological and philosophical associations of the culture which the language carries. This is an artificial cosmos like that of Lovecraft but fully developed and explained rather than baffling, instead of a poet channeling and defining this order, he gives us collection of legends, some told in detail, others with more brevity, but rather than being built around the tales themselves it was the metaphysics, linguistics, genealogies that made up true foundation and core of his work, the stories where just the tip of the iceberg and Tolkien allows the reader to dig as deep as they like. He gives a vast sweep of the process by which a high cultural expression can be attained, allowing us to understand the dynamics of the gradual building of tradition and accumulation of its coherence via the binding of language, myths and the natural evolution of cultural memories and residues. These are ultimatly interrelated building blocks of how man understands his place in the cosmic order. This is a purist artistic expression of what cannot exist in a corrupted world but it is also a statement of the genuine, and underappreiated interwoven similarities of history and myth.
Tolkien's writings reach in their influence right back into antiquity. The influence of Homer on his catalogue of work is obvious, the great tales of war and quest he tells all go back to Iliad and Oddessy. Not just Tolkien but Pound and Yeats saw these as high water marks of creative writing. Homer's themes and devices can be traced back further to the earliest known writings like Epic of Gilgamesh; purely fantastical and invented settings and narratives were the tools of the most ancient celebrated works of literature. In his letters Tolkien expressed annoyance at the delegation by the English of fantasy as a genre for children; Tolkien saw this a partly responsible for the denigration of the art, and responsible for the removal of the very features than give them any kind value in the first place, that is truth.
Tolkien works are presented as true, in a world which is internally consistent with its own natural laws, their is no fantastical portal or doorway in and out of his middle-earth, it is self contained, and the tropes of the dream ending or hallucination are entirely absent. This is because if the laws and events of the world were ever seen to be untrue then the morality and wisdom contained within would be tainted by the same untruth. This strikes to the core of Tolkien intentions with the creation of his middle earth stories. This goes beyond the reconnection of man with nature and God, as articulated by Stevens, channeled and edited through the poet, but to the establishment of an entire mythic canon in which the consistencies and laws whose predetermined nature means we can treck back over the generations and see the long tern effects of noble living, and the moral consequences of pride, greed, covetousness and jealousy and the depth of Tolkien's world, the genealogies, languages, alphabets, histories of noble families and chronologies of past ages, the chunky appendices to Lord Of The Rings are not so much a stylistic novelty or outgrowth of the writers interests but a necessary part of his message. The moral truths inside however simple or straightforward, are allowed to run as deep and significantly as the historical circumstance that surround them and the environments from whence they sprang.
Tolkien's intentions, beyond his original jottings in the trenches was the redemption of the entire English literary canon. Providing a medicine to what he saw as the long term failure of the English to conserve or perhaps provide a mythic body of literature on par as what arose in the day of Homer. Tolkien takes his influences from past attempts at reinvigorating this tradition, taking from the pale fire of Anglo Saxon literary output and the poets of the renaissance, he took much influence from the medieval romance poetry which was never as philosophically advanced or unified as the classical corpus; pallid imitations that borrowed from the European pagan mythic body whose deep wisdom had long been forgotten, again Tolkien here approaches with the attitude of a redeemer.
His main influences by far is that of the old northern myths that grew along side the Mediterranean output and in Tolkien's eyes was just as significant. He plundered the myths of Scandinavia,of the Volkswanderung peoples and the Finns. Wagner's Ring Cycle contains many, many of the plot devices, character archetypes, races and beasts that inhabit middle earth. He drew these influences together to create three major works; a fairy story The Hobbit, a long form high fantasy The Lord of The Rings and the collection of interwoven myths and legends The Silmarillion that fuses the Mediterranean, northern and near eastern legendary outputs. This body of works each represents the kinds of literature that were produced via the influences Tolkien draws from, and that is not only as fully consistent in its narrative, moral and esoteric content, but functions in the way the originators of the form intended, to provide context and understanding for the reader regarding behavior and ordering of people within the world. Tolkien is not trying to realign or integrate his corpus with existing mythic cosmologies but desiring to create one which can stand up on its own with those already established.
While in this essay I have failed to identify any pure right wing manifestations of art and literature, it would be fair to say that there are no current political movements with traction that can purly be defined as rightist, and that there has not been any in the past two centuries which have not in some ways deingrated or lost ideals put forth by previous right wing thought. Indeed as we go forward in time the degradation of rightist ideas and absorption of leftism into right wing thought seems to be a still on-going process. Hopefully we can began to understand or theorize how right-wing intentions in artistic expression can be successfully formed and delivered. Eventually we can learn to link right wing politcal ideas of fixed, hereditary, stratified class distinctions and calls for defense against leftist abolition or reformation; and pave the way towards reconnecting right wing political movements and thinkers, to call them back in the direction of their perrenialist roots.
Edgar Allen Poe - www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/author/481
H.P. Lovecraft - www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/author/34724 + insainment.web.tv/video/the-call-of-cthulhu-2005-movie__zdnzn10c8cq (a faithful film rendition of Call of Cthulhu)
Gottfried Benn, - supervert.com/elibrary/gottfried-benn/
T.S. Eliot - www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/47311/the-waste-land
Ezra Pound; - www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/author/2637
William Butler Yeats - www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/author/1719
Robert Frost - www.shortpoems.org/poets/robert-frost/
Wallace Stevens - www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/43431/the-idea-of-order-at-key-west
Rudyard Kipling. - www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/author/132 (Just So Stories, Barrack Room Ballads and Puck of Pooks Hill)
J.R.R. Tolkien: - novel12.com/author/jrr-tolkien-204.htm
(3) This was cited in Paul Feyerabend's Against Method: Outline of an Anarchist Theory of Knowledge, although I have lost the actual citation right now; i will hopefully update this later.
(4) books.google.co.uk/books?id=weMoDwAAQBAJ&pg=PT49&lpg=PT49&dq=yeats+%22little+boat%22&source=bl&ots=G3FAsqOW-u&sig=V7lqMRIysUJvufzSkyo9t7BTq40&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj0_ee-xeLdAhUM_qQKHZE5COIQ6AEwDHoECAIQAQ#v=onepage&q=yeats%20%22little%20boat%22&f=false - Sayings of W.B.Yeats - By Thomas Hardy
(17) www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/45134/ode-to-the-west-wind. Shelley was a key figure and thinker in the romantic movment, this poem here reflects the romantic ideal of of the poet/nature relationship.
(18) timedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/the_letters_of_j.rrtolkien.pdf - To the Houghton Mifflin Co