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1. And so i saw the first four episodes of the new Twin Peaks season, and for once in my otherwise hate-filled life felt joy and gasping incredulity as my expectations were not merely undashed, but met and exceeded in strangeness.

i suppose because Twin Peaks was one of my first (positive) formative experiences, the new season felt like watching my own self recast and manifested on screen, different enough to be shocking & new, but essentially me, mine. That sense, that “this is me” always seemed nuts to me when i encountered it in Star Wars/Trek fans, but perhaps everyone has his own version – whether it is a TV show, film, book, music, or a place, or even people (one of Proust’s obsessions).

2. It is tempting to suppose my weirdness & occult interests come from watching Twin Peaks with religious fervour at a young age. And yet, i think it is rather that i responded so strongly to the show because something in Lynch’s vision matched my extra-temporal self, and i used the show to forcegrow this aspect of myself (Kierkegaard: education is the curriculum we pass through to catch up with ourselves). Oddly, a supposed past life of mine (i was told of this but remember nothing and feel absolutely no kinship) appears at one point, in a manner of speaking. When i think of the past life i do (partially) remember, i realise he shared something of Cooper’s general appearance: tidiness, a certain brisk manner, directness; though much else was different, as one would expect. Perhaps this is one reason i wanted to join the FBI when i was 14, stole my father’s dictaphone, and tried to like black coffee.

3. Cooper is one of these characters of whom one could say, as Harold Bloom claims of Hamlet, he is somehow realer and larger than us. There are characters, e.g. Tony Soprano, who are vivid and realistic, but Cooper is in a yet rarer category: characters who are undoubtedly unrealistic, like Tolkien’s Aragorn or the Biblical Christ, but somehow feel nonetheless real, even if not of our reality.

We cannot be like these characters, and so they are not realistic – you would never, i think, meet someone with Aragorn’s balance of delicacy, irony, and hard steel; and yet, they appeal because they seem all the same very real.

Perhaps such men did indeed exist, and became in legend gods, because i guess if you met such a person it would be an astonishing experience. Actually, Juniper seems to me somewhat of this kind, so the character Sini (in my novel, The Better Maker) was written and finished before i met Juniper, and realised they share a similar “note”, even though i always felt Sini was like Milton’s Eve an idealized, unrealistic character, and no one like that could exist.

4. So far the new season focuses gloriously on Cooper.

Spoiler alerts! – though i think it won’t interfere with one’s enjoyment of the show, as the magic lies in the execution.

Coop is trapped in the Black Lodge, seeming to have become a kind of inert consciousness. Meanwhile Evil Coop, his Doppelgänger, is out in our world getting up to all kinds of tricks, looking rather like Bob but evidently involved in drug running and all kinds of nefarious criminal activities. Evil Coop radiates a sense of the unnatural and of bone-deep malevolence:

Meanwhile Good Coop tries to escape the Black Lodge; he is stuck in some weird room that turns out to be suspended in a galactic void, however he escapes when a woman with no eyes seemingly electrocutes herself by pulling a giant lever, and then a machine in the wall absorbs him, and then another Coop – pathetic, fat, middle-aged – appears with a black prostitute, however this fat Coop dies and wakes up in the Black Lodge where the Man With One Arm tells him “you were manufactured for a specific purpose” and Fat Coop observes his own left hand shrinking and says, dumbly, “that’s weird”.

Here is Fat Coop:

So anyway, then Good Coop takes Fat Coop’s place in our world, the black prostitute puts his shoes on for him and drives him around:

i have to say it was nice to see the inclusion of a black character, and of only one black character, as i’ve gotten a bit sick of every TV show and film being 80% black or Asian and naturally all coloureds are more intelligent and better than the white devil. i actually liked the black hoor here: TV/film coloureds usually get on my nerves as they are almost always supposed to be morally and intellectually superior, yet it rarely comes off. The black hoor is somehow much more convincing than most coloureds: she’s charming, brusque, quite caring, but not hooker-with-heart-of-gold so.

Anyway, then Good Coop goes into a casino and becomes Mr Jackpot, winning millions by shouting “HELLOOOOO!!!” and pulling levers on gambling machines indicated to him by his sacred visions.

Meanwhile Evil Coop is in the slammer and gets i guess fingerprinted, FBI are called, Lynch appears as Gordon Cole and meets his now boss, David Duchovny’s transvestite Denise Bryson – a rather awkward scene which didn’t entirely gel for me. Then Lynch, Albert (my favourite character from the original series), and a FBI hotty interview Evil Coop and i nearly pissed myself in fear.

Kyle MacLachlan is to be saluted for three such varied Coops, and for the evil dripping from his Evil Coop. It’s rare, in cinema or TV, to see real evil or good. Good characters are usually just tough vigilantes or supersmart black women who swear and aren’t really very convincing. Bad characters are usually just cackling maniacs. Here you have a man so assured in his evil he makes Hillary Clinton look like Lucy the Receptionist:

He seems to pollute the world, just by being in it.

Good Coop, after escaping the Black Lodge, has become a child-like retard. i believe this is a kind of reincarnation, so he has only the most primal motor responses but can barely speak and doesn’t understand things like shoes, or how to wear a tie.

The three Coops sum up the range of tones so far: terror, a 2001-esque esoteric strangeness, and a very Lynchian suburban comedy. It’s handled remarkably well, with no jarring dislocation or incongruity. This is i would say part of Lynch’s genius, somewhat like Werner Herzog’s: his world includes both terrifying evil and nobility, and a humour and absurdity apt for our life.

5. i find it hard to believe there are several more episodes of Twin Peaks left to see: i almost don’t want to rewatch the first four in case it turns out they don’t exist and i just dreamt them. In future episodes it would be nice to see 2012-era Rust Cohle appear, but that may be hoping for too much; it could even be that the first four episodes have broken a natural law, that is the law of how much decent art we miserable sinners are to be allowed before reality itself explodes and we all end up in a metal box suspended in a galactic void. As it is, i feel we are now at the limit of what our world can take, and if 2012-era Rust Cohle appeared, with David Bowie, in Twin Peaks, on television, before my eyes, well, that would be altogether too much.











1. In a few hours i will watch the first of the new Twin Peaks season. It will be a holy and appalling occasion. i will get drunk and eat pizza and smoke one of my many sorcerous pipes.

2. i saw Trainspotting 2 on Saturday and thought it was pretty great, highly amusing, though inevitably a falling off from the original. However, they addressed this inevitability, e.g. Renton visits his parents and puts on an Iggy Pop Lust for Life vinyl, taking it off after a couple of seconds, as to say – Yes, that i was. There are moments of Born Slippy, probably others, the music emerging and dipping again out of recognition, within the fragments of middle-age wreckage.

3. Schopenhauer reduced the basics of human perception (or rather, ontological reality) to time, extension, and causation. Actually i haven’t read S in 20 years, in part because i loved him so much i wanted to read him in the original but my German is still at the children’s fiction level, alas, so this all may be nonsense.

Extension is just space, and causation is i guess dismissed or at least ignored today. Time, however. Trainspotting 2 was interesting inasmuch as it created a reverberative chamber of experience where two moments (1996 and 2017) coincide, and conflict.

4. We are designed to operate within one timeframe, more or less heedless of others. Memory and history are in a sense violations of this simplicity. i sometimes wonder if the notion of eternity arose from memory, from the juxtaposition of two disparate timeframes, and the then (Proustian) intimation of an eternity in which they were resolved. As with FH Bradley, from seemingly incompatible units of sense experience, you suppose a broad-gestured, luxuriant connoisseur of blue-eyed connaissance, auf dem Balkon.

5. This reaching-beyond the present, possible even in the individual memory, brushes against fringes of eternity; perhaps one reason for Kierkegaard’s myriad masks and speculation. If the you now can remember a you so altered as to be almost another person, from say 20 years ago, then what binds, what allows this similitude in alterity? One need not recall past existences to dizzily grasp at certitudes of time and place, as Proust, stumbling on a paving slab in Venice.

6. This is one use of tradition. A man in 1951, attending Catholic Mass in England, would be in this action and reception one with a man in 1840 or 1540 or 1240 or indeed 640 AD. A significant, shared moment in time, overlaps from generation to generation until the 1960s.

i sympathise with Glorious Varg. i get the feeling he has actual past life memories (or fragments thereof), from well before the complete Christianization of Europe. His Europe is gone but was itself a complete organic system of life and culture; it was Europe.

For me in 2017, Europe is in part traditional Catholicism, a Gesamtkunstwerk like Wagner’s Ring. Protestantism seems to me a weak nothing, all the worst elements of Catholicism (fanaticism, puritanism) with none of the organic reaching-into-life sympathies of its forebear. i know good Protestants, and i revere Kierkegaard; but all the same – nothing.

Varg’s pagan Europe, and Catholicism, are two opposed systems, existing in the same geographical territory, but temporally distinct. One could argue, as Varg, that Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are hostile alien desert religions and all false impositions, and to a degree i would agree; if it were possible i would turn the clock back.

Catholicism carried over what it could take from paganism, and so you are closer to true paganism in the rad-trad Mass than in some Wiccan Lesbian circle. Amusingly, in Durham i was walking through the woods with an apple-polishing Southron friend (Bob the Coward), and we saw a circle of enrobed neo-pagans a bit uphill, and so i howled like a dog and Bob the Coward fled as his name suggests; a few months later i met one of these so-called pagans and said, – I ran into some of you Shadow Company pussies in Saigon in ’69, and behold she was perturbed.

Paganism today i think has to be a private affair, because it is either a past-life memory (as probably with Varg) or a direct communication (as with me), and so not easily “scalable”. i wouldn’t call myself a pagan or neo-pagan, because i am not ideological and a non-joiner, though i would like to participate.

7. Once, we had genetic continuity, the line of blood. So much for that: as a half-Indian half-Anglo-Saxon i exemplify this incapacity. Human beings require an understanding of time through temporal overlap – stitches in the seam of being. It will i think emerge in other manner, though i would also be surprised if Europe does not experience genocide in the next few decades, to restore continuity of blood (an experience i am unlikely to survive).

The globalists cannot reckon with the ancient past of their subjects. Though they seek for a planetary Las Vegas, peopled by grinning Southron “managers”, they will find time itself against them. The stitches continue, from past into present, to preserve the seam of human being. They, even the globalists, will awaken in the dark and find Varg sitting by,






1. i had my most horrible group again today, not too bad as the 50s power frau was absent so there was some kind of cohesion. The other two students had naturally forgotten every single thing i tried to teach them in the preceding 9 months and kept saying things like “I will never learn this” in German. i wonder sometimes if i should assign them homework but know it is pointless: groups occasionally ask for homework, and then never do it, looking shifty and embarrassed as they mumble “I have not the time” or “it is kompliziert” or “I must to barbecue am weekend”. A few years ago, a group specifically complained that i wasn’t consistent, and so my boss told me to send them the vocab from each lesson and review it next time; i did so and not a single one could remember anything, because they didn’t bother reviewing their notes. They just wanted to complain, because they were German (although it was also a company which is notorious for treating its suppliers like shit and in their eyes i was just another supplier).

As i was filling in my paperwork at McLingua, just prior to the class today, one of the sales skirts told me i’d got glowing feedback from a government agency where i taught last year; the agency’s HR Dept apparently think i’m the best teacher they’ve ever had and only want me in future, etc. etc. She seemed surprised at my sceptical look; i explained that good feedback is meaningless, that i can deliver lessons of comparable standards to two groups and one will say i’m shit, the other acclaim me as the greatest teacher of all time, and so i no longer even pay attention to such things. Not exactly true: i dismiss positive feedback for the aforementioned reason, but take negative feedback to heart – and Germans love to criticise so complains abound.

In today’s class the students were as usual unmotivated and stupefied, and so i diverted the conversation to Schnitzel and since they are Bavarian women they spent a good ten minutes happily instructing me on how to make the perfect Schnitzel at home. i was amused that the process involves savagely beating some kind of meat with a “Schnitzel hammer” and when they warned me not to freeze the Schnitzel for long but rather eat it at once, or within a day or two, i mused: “But i could buy kilos of meat and then freeze enough Schnitzel for ten years”; and they: “Ho ho ho ho but ho ho ho ho you make this so and you become Schnitzel is green and begin talking and walk out your Kühlschrank or?” [in English: “if you do this, the Schnitzel will get mouldy and start to grow legs and walk out of your fridge”] and i then suggested the Schnitzel would become intelligent and start to speak Bavarian. i could train these Schnitzels with the Schnitzel Hammer and form a Schnitzel Circus, taming them with the Hammer. But inevitably one day the Schnitzels would escape and breed in the wild, having children [“chicken nuggets!” one of the students squealed in German to the other] and rapidly taking over Europe.

We then did an easy article and both students kept sighing and muttering things like “this is terrible” in German to each other. i have tried many different activities but none work. About ten minutes early one of the students said, in German, “can we stop now?” and i said “yes, good idea” and immediately rose.

The Cop would not have stood for such behaviour; he would have given them homework and disciplined them for failing to do it, and then they would have complained to McLingua and got a new teacher, which is one reason he no longer teaches English, and i do.

2. Now aged 41, an old man, i am clearly a failure in every sense of the word. Socially, creatively, financially, i am a total failure. Having said that, i find that i no longer really care about my miserable failure, as long as i have some good books (currently: A Tale of Two Cities, Auslöschung, Briefe an Freya, The Deluge, The Master & his Emissary, The Epigenetics Revolution, Religion and the Decline of Magic), pipe tobacco, and some good whisky and gin, and some new Youtube videos to watch when i return from my labours.

3. On the subject of videos, i’ve been watching this Millennial Woes video while doing my laundry:

In the second half of the video, Woes talks about his own failure:

“I think that my failure was built into me […] I grew up in a very nihilistic decade, the 90s, when everything was falling apart, social things, traditions, were being cast aside, and that seemed the future, that we’re getting rid of the past, all these excess structures and traditions that we don’t need and never needed. But also in terms of my failure in life, in my early 20s, I think that was built into me.”

He then suggests that it could have made some difference had he gone to another school: “the only way I can blame the outside world would be, I should have gone to a better school, somewhere they would have left me alone and let me develop, let me read books, where the general standard was higher, where the conversation was of a higher standard, and deeper and so on. And instead i went to a mainstream Scottish State school, which is as bad as it sounds. And they didn’t prepare me at all for university or art college or graduation, and they didn’t give me any guidance; it was entirely off my own bat that I did this, because they were too useless.”

and after university:

“I didn’t know what to do after graduating, when I was 22; when I wasn’t socially as experienced as I could have been, as well tutored; that was the fault of the milieu in which I grew up, the very standard middle class. If I’d grown up at a higher level I would have been more socially adept. Then again, these are different things, and you can always find a way to blame the outside world for your own failings. Ultimately I think there was something in me – ego – that was monstrous, when I was young, when I was a teenager, and it needed to be extinguished, in order that I could actually grow. But for it to be extinguished I needed to fail, dreadfully, and so it was inevitable.”

4. Schopenhauer somewhere observed that if you follow self-recrimination far enough, you come to the point of intensely disliking the fact of your own existence, the person you essentially are, a person who was created just so, before your own memory begins. As i read this morning in A Tale of Two Cities:

“Dear me!  This is an occasion that makes a man speculate on all he has lost. Dear, dear, dear! To think that there might have been a Mrs. Lorry, any time these fifty years almost!”

“Not at all!” From Miss Pross.

“You think there never might have been a Mrs. Lorry?” asked the gentleman of that name.

“Pooh!” rejoined Miss Pross; “you were a bachelor in your cradle.”

“Well!” observed Mr. Lorry, beamingly adjusting this little wig, “that seems probable, too.”

“And you were cut out for a bachelor,” pursued Miss Pross, “before you were put in your cradle.”

“Then, I think,” said Mr. Lorry, “that I was very unhandsomely dealt with, and that I ought to have had a voice in the selection of my pattern. Enough!”

But of course who would have a voice in the selection of his own self? Call the voice-haver X; and of what would X be constituted, whence would his pattern have arisen? Throughout Paradise Lost, the created being’s sense of disarray and uncertainty, not being his/her own author. And we see the literal insanity and evil of attempted self-authorship, in the 6 gorillion gender pronouns and shrieking menstruals taking Trump to task for having a huge cock.

5. Woes’ tale seems similar to mine in some ways (lack of guidance, intellect that turns out to be totally useless) and in many ways it is totally different. He strikes me as something of a conservative The Spine – salt of the earth commoner type who couldn’t get a good job because he’s from some shithole estate, etc. And yet, the end result is the same with me and i’m half-Indian, upper middle class background, went to a 450-year-old school, got a First and MA Distinction from Durham, and ended up on the same scrapheap as Woes and The Spine. i realised, years ago, that failure is built into me – though my liberation came when i reframed it as “worldly failure”, and then as “failure in the terms of the world as it presently exists”.

It’s true that i had no real guidance at school or even university, at the former because i was barely developed and just passively obeyed my greaters; at university the problem was that everyone supposed a good degree would lead to a job, but in fact a good degree in the Humanities was almost worthless, and very good degrees were counter-productive, as indicating a propensity for introversion, solitude, and sustained thought – hardly traits desirable for the “office junior” positions open to those with less than 5 years’ work experience; and actually i doubt introverts would be welcome in any job, anywhere. No one i think even in the careers’ office knew this, let alone any of my tutors.

Ultimately, it comes down to my character. When i was living in Leeds in 2006 i met another English Lit graduate at the only Durham Alumnus meeting i’ve ever attended: a bland unremarkable guy who got a 2:1 and had effortlessly sailed into a job paying 2.5 times what i was earning 5 years after i finished my Master’s. This put paid to my aggrieved belief that i had sabotaged myself by studying English Literature – what i realised was that while having high grades was definitely a bad thing, the crucial factor was one’s own character. One must appear utterly normal, not merely in one’s interview answers, but in appearance, facial expression, body language. One must, at all costs, avoid the intensity of unfettered intelligence and privacy; which is unfortunately evident in the slightest of movements, in the way one sits and smiles, or doesn’t smile, in the way one glances up, or doesn’t glance up, in indeed all.

– such dissimulation virtually impossible for those unbeholden to an ideology. One must be utterly transparent, depthless, predictable. And if one is otherwise, it will be difficult to get through an interview, however one tamps spirit down, however one cavorts and grins, or fails to grin, or recites stock answers, or doesn’t recite stock answers – it is your character which will damn you.

6. i did some magic last night, as several of my classes just cancelled (in Bavaria, holidays last 3 months), and i realised i would need more money. This morning McLingua offered me enough new classes (a crash course in late May) that i should even be able to save a little money, though not enough to return to England for a week as i would like (should now make about 1400 € in May, before tax – i made twice as much in my brutal teaching years). i rarely do such magics, as i’ve found you tend to get what you need without undue fuss; however, it’s also in my experience true that the river of one’s fate can enter a logjam and some decisive act is needed to blow the obstruction.

As i was crafting a bindrune (my version of a chaos magic sigil – i really lack the post-modern mentality for c.m.) unexpected conjunctions occurred, and what had originally been a rune just for a bit of cash altered and became something more complex. True magic will from start to end allow, involve, be energised by, uncertainty and the unknown. If it were not to permit uncertainty, it would be mechanistic and hence, unmagical.

7. Failure is sometimes just failure – i think of Shrekh, a Muslim schoolfriend who is now a pitiful wreck still living in a crime-ridden ghetto, hasn’t worked in a decade, has no self-discipline, no ambition, no interest really in anything, and no shame for his life or lack thereof. His life seems to have led to a state of wilful infantile helplessness, seasoned with pedantry.

But there are other cases, where apparent failure is merely the forging of purpose and unprecedented enterprise. Time was, aristocrats and gentry such as Nicolas Gomez Davila, la Rochefoucauld, Sir Philip Sidney, Kierkegaard, could think and write in peace because writing wasn’t their “job”.

In our days we require failure to achieve clarity and distance, and so one could perhaps distinguish between the failure of those like Shrekh, (an abject infantile wreck); and the failure of those who have thereby attained an aristocratic disinterest and force, hard won though it be.

My own failure often seems unrelieved, yet i reflect that i count two people as real friends: Juniper and the Viking; and increasingly the sense of being in the palm of Odin’s hand, readied and preserved for whatever final cause he deems fit. Perhaps, in some time after time has ended, this will be clear to me.

1. It’s been a fairly grim few weeks, my teaching-lust at an exceedingly low ebb and my students weary and recalcitrant and highly German. i’ve been binge-watching Millennial Woes’ videos, and find myself both entranced and depressed; entranced because of his unfettered intelligence, depressed because pretty much every video is him sitting in a dark room, unshaven and bleary-eyed, lugubriously brooding on the destruction of the West. If Denethor’s Palantír had a youtube channel, it would be Millennial Woes.

2. Amidst my melancholy i’ve experienced some past life “memories” and various occult/runic synchronicities & dreams. i write memories in quotation marks because it’s more sudden flashes of emotion clustered around a situation or person or place or object from my last life, for example abruptly re-experiencing how i felt about someone. The emotions tend to be extreme, and nothing i’ve experienced in this life; and so these moments feel very strange, both intimate and alien, unprecedented.

i’ve noted that i have more such experiences when i’m isolated, nocturnal, or melancholy. Perhaps one could draw up a schema of negative emotions on a spectrum of sadness and rage; the older i get, the more i respond to the world with melancholy, anger being somehow infantile and trivial. i don’t want to wholly dismiss anger, but most of the time it is utterly useless, since one can do nothing and any action would be likely marred by the emotion.

Sadness sounds ineffectual and mopey but i don’t see any use in seething with rage as our leaders sell us to the Muslims for half a pint of milk and a mouldy kebab. But then again i’m old now, and too fat and weak to get a good slaughtering going, i’d probably be able to settle one invader before an asthma attack finished me ingloriously off.

3. i had hoped Le Pen would either win this year, or so nearly that it would be clear she would in 2022. It is, however, still too shocking to openly discuss immigration, and even civic nationalism is equated with the worst extremes of Nazism; let alone ethnic nationalism. It is depressing to consider that if things continue in this vein we will have either Mogadishu-on-the-Rhine or a race war. Obviously, i would prefer the latter to the former but when i consider all the soft white Europeans i wonder what it would take for them to be willing to kill the invaders, and what such deeds would do to them.

My feeling is that the economy will collapse under the pressure of millions of basically useless migrants, crime will explode as they go on rape/killing/thieving sprees, the governments will print money, hyperinflation will wipe out the middle class, and a death spiral will destroy most businesses. The invaders will riot and steal, the police will continue to turn a blind eye to rape, theft, murder, while vigorously persecuting the white population, and so as in England in 2011 the rioting will spread to the point where basic services and transportation will become impossible and even the champagne socialists must realise something is amiss.

You might expect, at this point, that most people will consciously realise the folly of multiculturalism, but because so many Europeans build an identity around tolerance and love and kittens, such a realisation would entail the destruction of their own identity – which is in a sense even worse than physical destruction, because there is something nightmarish about continuing to physically survive while becoming a radically different person. If your entire identity as a good person is built upon multiculturalism (contempt for your own people, adoration of Islam), then you will likely go to your rapegrave grinning about diversity, rather than admit to having been completely wrong; because this would mean you were not, after all, a wise and virtuous warrior of light, but rather a trivial deluded cretin.

These people will blame Trump or Brexit or White Privilege when the Muslims burn their house down. They will blame “Capitalism” when their savings are wiped out because the globalist socialists imported millions of predatory migrants. They will blame the police when Muslims crash trucks into shopping centres. They will blame white men when teenage girls are raped by “Syrian refugees”.  They will blame colonialism when Muslims firebomb synagogues. They will blame Milo Yiannopoulos when Muslims throw gays off buildings. They will blame the Crusades when Muslims behead priests on the altar.

4. For those who can admit their error, the psychic trauma will most likely result in violent passions, as if the shifting tectonic plates of their psyche must necessarily lead to earthquakes. Hence, the zeal of converts. And because the nation state and citizenship have become virtually meaningless, the battlelines will not be of civic but of ethnic delineation.

However, horrific as this all sounds it will hopefully put paid to multiculturalism and self-loathing for a few generations.

The Year 2050.

Little Timmy: Grandad, what did you do in the war?

Grandad: I survived.

And there is always the possibility of unprecedented psychic irruptions and forces – both among the whites and the sand peoples. Perhaps, after a few hundred million people have been slaughtered between Galway and Berlin, the sand peoples will decide they want to go back to the desert, and all will end peacefully enough. The survivors can get to work burying the bodies and a good time will be had by all.

So it’s not all bad.

1. i’ve been re-reading David Eddings’ Belgariad Fantasy series. It’s both awful and charming. When i was a teen, these were my favourite books; even when i felt that e.g. Tolkien or Ursula le Guin were deeper i preferred Eddings, probably because he has no depths. There is something pleasantly undemanding about the utterly superficial.

i haven’t read these books since i was 18 or so, when i was already starting to lose interest in utter juvenilia; i began reading “real books” a year or two later, starting with William Burroughs and TS Eliot: a most unlikely pair.

i probably read the Eddings books at least a dozen times, and so re-reading them now is somewhat strange – my entire adult mind developed after i discarded my old editions, and yet before this point i had read them so many times that i can still, aged 41, remember sections almost word for word.

2. i’m on Book 4 now and was moved to look at reviews on Amazon. The 5 star reviews are typically “great read good storyliene eddgings rite great character loves thees books”, but the 1 star reviews are most amusing, including:

The only reason I am reading this series is because a friend recommended it. The only reason this is not a total waste of time is because everything else is an even bigger waste of time for me as I live in a virtual war zone.

i sympathise: i first decided to load them onto my Kindle as something to read on the long train to Kassel over Easter, but they are really on a par with playing Dune 2, i.e. something to do when too tired for anything else. The plot is typical 80s Fantasy: a farmboy accompanied by a mysterious old man embarks on adventures, meets a scornful girl (whom he will later marry) and acquires a McGuffin and defeats Sauron with a bigass sword, and also he is the true king.

Imagine Tolkien transplanted to an American’s idea of Europe, where all the characters are basically Americans. Imagine Tolkien where the men are all middle-aged Americans exchanging witless quips over the tenth Budweiser:

INT. Kurps Bar, a dive somewhere in Cleveland.

Hero 1: If you’re going to keep drinking, you’re going to get drunk.

Hero 2: That’s what I’m aiming at.

Hero 3: Hey look who just walked in.

ENTER late 40s Mexican illegal whore.

Hero 1: I might have to go over there and see about that.

Hero 2: You do that.

Hero 1: Now that you’ve challenged me, I think I might just have to.

Hero 3 [chuckling]: Now look what you’ve gone.

Hero 2: What did I say?

Hero 1: Nothing, pal, nothing.

Hero 1 walks over to Whore.

Hero 1: Hey gorgeous, what’s a girl like you doing in a place like this?

Whore: Looking for trouble.

Hero 1: Looks like you just found it.

Whore: Oh?

Hero 1: What? I was just trying to get to know you. I’m trying my best and now everything is getting real complicated! I don’t know why I’m even talking to you!

Whore: Be nice.

Hero 1: Yes ma’am.

and so on. The men all fall into two categories: 1) American drunks as above, and 2) Prudes who blush and are very chivalrous and Protestant, and tedious.

The women are all either total whores or supercilious prudes who about once every three books say something risqué with a Roger Moore-esque raised eyebrow, and then return to being terrible snooty cunts

It is, in short, the kind of series The Viking would enthuse about thus: “Doh ho ho! These are seriously cool books! They are like really cool and stuff because people are always like um uh sarcastic and stuff and then the good guy, who is basically me, kills the bad guy, who is like you or the Devil or something, and then he marries this woman who is like his mother and she says, doh ho ho, you are a brave strong Viking warrior and you look like my son! Doh ho ho! And that is like seriously cool and stuff.”

Here is a picture of David Eddings:

3. i gather that Eddings may have written the entire series with his wife; perhaps she even was the main writer. It would explain the oddly strangled sexuality, which i suppose goes well with what are essentially children’s books. People often criticise Tolkien for almost totally ignoring sex and romantic love, but the story itself simply gives few occasions where men and woman meet, and when they do (Eowyn and Aragorn/Faramir) there is an erotic tension.

For all i enjoy the Belgariad, it is terrible; the defect is not merely the characters or derivative plot – it is rather the Weltanschauung, which is fundamentally American and bourgeois. i find it the most irritating with the women, who are almost all high-handed sneering know-it-alls, much like the women in Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time books. i didn’t make a note of any particular passage but it’s generally thus:

Hero 1: I just killed a dragon and now I’m covered in dragon’s blood! Agh!

Snooty Cunt: Yes dear, try not to get any on your shirt. I just washed it this morning.

Hero 2: Oh God! I accidentally killed my best friend!

Snooty Cunt: Men! If you must wave your swords about all the time, accidents will happen! Now sit down there while I make supper! Hero 2, go and fetch me water from the river!

Hero 2: I killed my best friend! No!!!!

Snooty Cunt: Yes dear, now stop being self-indulgent and fetch me water or you won’t have your supper and then you’ll cry, I suppose.

i find it more curious that i didn’t loathe the female characters in my teens – i think because Eddings (or his wife) were writing from a young-teenage perspective, in which women are either dirty whores or aloof and scornful goddesses, and so at that time i presumably thought this was realistic.

Now i know better.

They are all dirty whores.

4. Actually, i suppose in a Jungian sense one has to incorporate both masculine & feminine aspects in oneself, and cease to have illusions (either negative or positive) about the biologically-distant aspect. A curious thing: of my favourite Fantasy books, and the ones i would say are actually good books, most are written by women (Susan Cooper’s Dark is Rising Sequence, Ursula le Guin’s Earthsea Trilogy (the rest are shit), and Katherine Kerr’s first 4 Deverry books).

There seems really nothing at all feminine in any of these books, but nor do they seem masculine – they are, rather, human. By odd contrast, Stephen Donaldson’s first 6 Thomas Covenant books (the rest are shit) and Tolkien are indisputable masculine.

5. Here’s another thought – although Fantasy novels should really be timeless, Eddings’ seem to me undeniably of the 80s, just as i can’t imagine The Lord of the Rings coming from before the First World War, or after about the 1970s. i think only Ursula le Guin’s Earthsea Trilogy feels authentically mythic and so beyond authorial provenance – which makes it the sadder that the later books are, more or less, feminist tracts. Tolkien “cordially disliked” allegory and so though people have tried to read Sauron as Hitler, Nazgül as Nazis, Saruman as Stalin, the Ring as the Atomic Bomb, etc., these are unsatisfactory. In Tolkien, it is rather the case that any power will magnetise evil, and corrupt the good, thus creating a plurality of evil powers seeking the same supremacy. The Scouring of the Shire is a good example of Tolkien’s mythic depths: i think some have likened it to to the post-war ration system but if anything it resembles modern England with ruffians and ne’er-do-wells given power over the peasantry, and inexplicable regulations everywhere, whose only purpose is to intimidate and humiliate. Myth may begin in the present moment, as a disguised allegory, but if it reaches beyond such surfaces it comes to seem prophetic.

6. Eddings is a hamfisted writer though i was amused to note that his bad guys, the Murgos, are a swarthy Eastern race who infiltrate the West in the guise of merchants and then fund revolutionaries to overthrow legitimate monarchs for the sole purpose of creating a useful bloodbath and anarchy, as one sees today in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, everywhere the globalists under Bush and Obama have swung their schlongs. i vaguely thought of the Murgos as Muslims in my youth, but in truth perhaps the Thulls (a brutish Eastern nation, comprising a race of idiots) would be better candidates; and for the Murgos, the destabilisers of nations, the infiltrators, the “regime change” operators – well, more of a tendency one could call neo-liberal or neo-conservative, but i would just label “globalist”.

Eddings is, in spite of all his extreme limitations, not all that bad. He can pace the story well, which is harder than it looks. And he seems to like his characters; they are bathed in an authorial affection. It’s corny but there it is. i doubt i would have got past the first book, had i read it for the first time within the last 20 years, but perhaps because in a sense i grew up with these characters and this story, realer and more interesting and familial than my actual (worthless) teenage life, i find i’d rather re-read these books than some worthy new book about some middle-aged Jewish accountant whose wife cheats on him with his cousin and so he quits his job and eats a bagel with lox in Times Square until a sultry Jewish temptress takes him to the World Series and he gets a home run and in the moment of catching the ball experiences an epiphany about something American.



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