Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Welcome to the future!

March 7, 1877 Letter to Catherine Gansevoort Lansing
page 3 of 4, detail


"How about President Hayes? I chanced to turn over a file of your Albany Argus yesterday, and was all but blown off the stool by the tremendous indignation fulminations of that indignant sheet.-- But what's the use? life is short, and Hayes' term is four years, each of 365 days." -- Herman Melville on disputed election of 1876
Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library. "Letter to Catherine Gansevoort Lansing" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1877. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/5f45d7b0-48e9-0137-2460-041ef56914b0


Firesign Theatre bit on breaking the Fake President from I Think We're all Bozos on This Bus:


Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Crazy prophecy in Melville's CLAREL

From Melville's religious epic Clarel: A poem and pilgrimage in the Holy Land part 4 (Bethlehem), canto 21 (Ungar and Rolfe):
Whatever happen in the end,
Be sure 'twill yield to one and all
New confirmation of the fall
Of Adam. Sequel may ensue,
Indeed, whose germs one now may view:
Myriads playing pygmy parts —
Debased into equality:
In glut of all material arts
A civic barbarism may be:
Man disennobled—brutalized
By popular science—Atheized
Into a smatterer ——

                                “Oh, oh!”
“Yet knowing all self need to know
In self's base little fallacy;
Dead level of rank commonplace:
An Anglo-Saxon China, see,
May on your vast plains shame the race
In the Dark Ages of Democracy."

 -- Clarel Part 4 Canto 21