“The so-called 'Left-Hand Path' - that of Kaulas, Siddhas and Viras - combines the... Tantric worldview with a doctrine of the Übermensch which would put Nietzsche to shame... The Vira - which is to say: the 'heroic' man of Tantrism - seeks to sever all bonds, to overcome all duality between good and evil, honor and shame, virtue and guilt. Tantrism is the supreme path of the absolute absence of law - of shvecchacarī, a word meaning 'he whose law is his own will'." ― Julius Evola, The Path of Cinnabar.

“It is necessary to have “watchers” at hand who will bear witness to the values of Tradition in ever more uncompromising and firm ways, as the anti-traditional forces grow in strength. Even though these values cannot be achieved, it does not mean that they amount to mere “ideas.” These are measures…. Let people of our time talk about these things with condescension as if they were anachronistic and anti-historical; we know that this is an alibi for their defeat. Let us leave modern men to their “truths” and let us only be concerned about one thing: to keep standing amid a world of ruins.” ― Julius Evola, Revolt Against the Modern World: Politics, Religion, and Social Order in the Kali Yuga.

“We are born into this time and must bravely follow the path to the destined end. There is no other way. Our duty is to hold on to the lost position, without hope, without rescue, like that Roman soldier whose bones were found in front of a door in Pompeii, who died at his post during the eruption of Vesuvius because someone forgot to relieve him. That is greatness. That is what it means to be a thoroughbred. The honorable end is the one that can not be taken from a man.” ― Oswald Spengler, Man and Technics: A Contribution to a Philosophy of Life.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Jonathan Bowden on Hans-Jürgen Syberberg

Your world is dying and it deserves to die.

In response to a partially confrontational but not entirely ignorant email questioning the shift in orientation toward Tradition, I will say this; anyone who has followed my previous writing, in public and private venues, will note that I have never expressed anything but contempt toward “Enlightenment” ideals of “equality” or pure, narrow rationalism. Even when subscribing to a species of “humanism” I usually qualified it as more akin to Renaissance humanism rather than that of the Enlightenment – basically a “humanism” that was Faustian in orientation, while being absolutely anti-egalitarian and anti-democratic in the extreme.  I acknowledge a shift in position to something I would describe as “upstream” in relation to human devolution. I no longer subscribe to even a qualified Renaissance-style humanism, ultimately at its nucleus the root of everything repellant about Enlightenment-style humanism, which is the root of everything repugnant about the liberalism, egalitarianism, democracy, and narrow rationalistic reductive materialism of our current (non/anti) “culture.” It should be clear that writings of Guénon and Evola were instrumental in this shift from a radical-aristocratic anti-egalitarian idealization of the “Renaissance” or “Faustian” man (which however stratified remains horizontal in essence and correspondingly flawed and vulnerable to “leveling” erosion), to a vertically oriented perspective that is only more deeply anti-reductive/rationalist/materialist, anti-egalitarian, and anti-humanist – the perspective of Tradition. The question implied a reversal of position where in reality the position is only shifted deeper into the original direction, liberated from false assumptions.

The assumed dichotomy of Immanent vs. Transcendent is a fallacy. “Consensus” is essentially a species of pernicious cognitive democracy, one that implies your inner experiences are not “real” unless capable of being understood and shared (“reproduced”) to the letter by your fellow humans, who are only assumed to be peers based on a dogma of common human equality, a dogma more far-fetched and absurd than any dogma ever imagined to be held by any “religion.” Criteria of “objectivity” in matters of an internal nature are ultimately constructs of the human mind itself, ultimately every bit as “subjective” as the matter under scrutiny, only restricting “truth” status to that which can be reduced to the lowest common denominator. Truth is not for everyone and never will be.

The philosophical orientation is expanded to include higher principles of reference. The political position is solidified and rendered only more extreme, as a vantage point from which there are no “good guys” or “winners” in the present scenario – only an ongoing descriptive narrative of the pathologies of decay and destruction. Your world is dying and it deserves to die.

I throw this in the pond because it continues to amaze and amuse me that anyone cares what I think about anything.

More later…


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Evola in Relation to the Traditionalist School

In response to this paragraph from the Sophia Perennis website:

Baron Julius Evola was an Italian Traditionalist, a close associate of Rene Guenon, and a writer of many brilliant books on various aspects of traditional culture, religion, and esoterism, only a few of which have been translated into English. He was a bit more “Nietzschian” than the other Traditionalists, however, and entertained certain “hopes” for Mussolini and Hitler, though he also criticized them, and was never a member of the Fascist Party. (These hopes were ultimately disappointed.) Though he worked and wrote on a much higher level than most “occultists,” his practice of what he termed “magic” and his lack of personal commitment to a single revealed religion are among the things that led Frithjof Schuon, and most of his followers, to largely reject him. He nonetheless retains a large following in Europe, and is one of the philosophical ancestors of the “intellectual Goths.”

I could assemble a bullet-list of quotations from most of the leading names of the “Traditionalist School” (so-called, not a term Guénon or Evola were comfortable with), every bit as anti-democratic and almost as racially charged as anything culled from Evola. Where the substantial (in my opinion) controversy enters regarding the “Traditionalists” vs. Evola, aside from the question of the Kshatriya/Brahman hierarchical order, is in the evaluation of the survival of authentic initiatory circuits within any or all of the surviving religious traditions, east or west.

Schuon and his followers are the most “liberal” in advocating alignment with existing “traditional/revealed” religions, as such, with an awareness and application of their esoteric aspects, basically “making the best of it.” Guénon was more skeptical and “conservative” in his evaluation of the probability of any surviving initiatory circuits in the western traditions, conceding the possibility of vestigial survivals within traditional (lower-case 't') Catholicism, and some very specific orders of esoteric masonry, but ultimately pursuing his path in esoteric Islam. Most followers of Guénon and Schuon consider affiliation with one of the great exoteric religious traditions an imperative. Evola considered most of these traditions, all of them in the west, as decadent, essentially hollow shells devoid of any authentic initiatory content and entirely bourgeoisie in nature. For Evola, anyone of a genuinely rarified nature attuned to Tradition, affiliation with the empty forms of once-traditional spiritual currents would likely be more spiritually distractive if not regressive.

Regarding the Kshatriya/Brahman question, In Guénon’s lifetime, he and Evola diverged on the issue of Spiritual vs. Temporal power, or the hierarchical relation between Brahman and Kshatriya functions in the Traditional order. Evola was explicit in emphasizing his message was not for everyone, but for a very differentiated action-oriented Kshatriya-type, for whom the path of “bhakti” or contemplation such as advocated by Guénon and Schuon is completely inappropriate (or at least inadequate in itself). Evola’s assessment of the condition of the modern world determined an active approach to initiation more valid than a contemplative approach, thus his assessment of Tantra and Magic as valid spiritual disciplines for this type of person. Followers of Guénon and Schuon for the most part are inclined to elevate contemplation and prayer as the optimal orientation.

Paradoxically, being more “conservative” regarding the existence of authentic Tradition and initiatory circuits as and within existing religions, as well as questioning the Guénonian conception of strictly “bureaucratic” models of initiation, places Evola in the position of being “radical” or “experimental” by having to take the position that transcendence (initiation) is only available to a very specific differentiated type, born to the role, and forced more or less to reconstruct his own ladder of ascent from vestigial remnants of Tradition to be found, such as (in Evola’s case) the Hermetic Tradition, Tantra, and Magic (in Evola’s specific conception, more akin to Theurgy). I use the term "radical" here not only in the sense of "going to the root or origin" insofar as Evola agreed that the principals were anterior and superior to any specific manifestation, thus "going to the root or origin," but also "radical" in the sense of operating outside of specific formal “bureaucratic” manifestation of initiation (by circumstance or choice). Evola’s assertion of the differentiated “Kshatriya” path, of effecting alignment with God by becoming God rather than by “submission,” is what qualifies his way as the “Left Hand Path.” From the now-dominant perspective of the Schuon “school,” with its emphasis on attainment through contemplation/devotion/bhakti, this is very much “off the reservation.” Thus the controversy.

I happen to agree with Evola on these points because I think he is correct about the present conditions, not because he is a "rock star" as seems to be the case with some of the would-be "traditionalist" journalists kicking around. Although in all fairness the personality cult surrounding Schuon probably dwarfs that surrounding Evola. Particular foibles of secondary human in-group/out-group psychology doesn't detract from the actual value of either of their works. 

These specific points aside, it is evident that Evola regarded the works of Schuon highly. He quotes from them with tacit approval in Ride the Tiger, The Path of Cinnabar, etc. Schuon may be second only to Guénon in the quality and quantity of his work on pure Traditionalist Metaphysics.


Ps. The above commentary is not an attack on the Sophia Perennis website or anyone writing for it, they provide an invaluable resource and are greatly appreciated.


The following excerpts are from a lengthy unfinished and unpublished commentary I was writing on Might is Right, that will never be finished or published, written well before I fully encountered the works of Evola and Guénon, which were game-changing. Evola and "Ragnar Redbeard" are fundamentally irreconcilable. From the Evolian perspective, "Redbeard" is more or less a modernist and liberal humanist. "Humanist" as in "man being the measure of all things," and "liberal" as in retaining some vestigial idea of "progress" in the 19th century rationalist evolutionary sense. Most of the general outward descriptive contours remain standing. This is the Kali Yuga. But "humanism" is repulsive and erroneous. I am with Evola.

Pessimism is warranted – life is short, death is certain, misfortune is likely. Strife and friction are the conditions of life – problems are ubiquitous and constant. The history of life on earth, including human life, history, literature, art, every aspect of culture, is a pageant of turmoil and conflict, physical or psychological. The story of mankind is the story of man vs. nature, man vs. animal, man vs. man; individual vs. individual, individual vs. group, group vs. group, and group vs. individuals. The roots of the will-to-power are entrenched in the soil of conflict, its trunk and limbs grown strong through resistance against the hurricane winds of existential uncertainty and misfortune.... From the cataclysmic and slow-grinding processes that brought the cosmos into existence, to the warring bacteria within the primordial slime that birthed life on earth, from cell to gelatinous mass, from swimming to crawling thing, to the scaled slithering reptiles and fanged and clawed beasts that were our ancestor’s ancestors, from the sordid cannibalistic cavern-dwelling man-apes to the gross misshapen beast that first walked on two legs, to those who look like us, all lived by killing, gnawing, and eating every other living thing, man, animal, and plant, and warring to carve out its brief miserable existence in a hostile landscape, in drenching rain, against flooding waters, parched earth, freezing cold and searing sun. Life itself is Total War. Only the strong survive.

Man is just another predatory animal with no special standing in the greater universe. He is not an extraordinary creation of a supernatural god with a privileged seat at the table reserved for him in some supernatural heaven. The blind material forces of nature ride roughshod over his sentimental delusions and feeble existence with a cold, inanimate, and routine indifference. His prospects are severely constricted, bleak, and grim. His condition is terminal. His prognosis is poor. Few among this tribe of petty, vicious apes possess the fortitude to look into this black abyss without falling face-first into a bottomless pit of self-destructive despair. Those who possess the strength to confront the abyss find no comfort in cheap ideals, insipid “spiritual” consolation, counterfeit excuses, or consciousness-annihilating soporifics – those with the spine for it become addicted to the unvarnished brutal facts of life and take strength therefrom.

Force or threat of force rules the world of man. “Rights” are inventions of man, only defined by man, and only enforced by man. Every contract and constitution of the world is nothing without a legion of armed thugs to enforce its statutes and stipulations, without the bludgeon or bullet, the paper is useless. Brute force is the gold standard of written constitutions, without it they are snot-rags, wallpaper, or fish wrappers.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Maya Deren - The Divine Horsemen: Living Gods of Haiti

Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti (1985) is a black-and-white documentary film about dance and possession in Haitian vodou that was shot by experimental filmmaker Maya Deren between 1947 and 1954. In 1981, twenty years after Deren's death, the film was completed by Deren's third husband Teiji Ito (1935-1982) and his wife Cherel Winett Ito (1947-1999). Most of the film consists of images of dancing and bodies in motion during rituals in Rada and Petro services. Deren had studied dance as well as photography and filmmaking. She originally went to Haiti with the funding from a Guggenheim fellowship and the stated intention of filming the dancing that forms a crucial part of the vodou ceremony. In 1953, Deren's book Divine Horsemen: The Voodoo Gods of Haiti, on the subject of vodou, was published by Vanguard Press. The film that resulted, however, reflected Deren's increasing personal engagement with vodou and its practitioners (Wilcken, 1986). While this ultimately resulted in Deren disregarding the guidelines of the fellowship, Deren was able to record scenes that probably would have been inaccessible to other filmmakers. Deren's original notes, film footage, and wire recordings are in the Maya Deren Collection at Boston University's Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center and at Anthology Film Archives.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

"Death, the final boundary of things." Flemish, c. 1570

Flemish, c. 1570: Mors ultima linea rerum Copperplate print, 18.7 x 12.2 cm Probably published by Philips Galle. Translation of the Latin: Mors sceptra ligonibus aequat "Death makes sceptres and hoes equal." Mors vltima linea rerum "Death, the final boundary of things." After Horace Divitiis flores, et maiorum nobilitate te iactas, et exsultas de pulchritudine corporis et honoribus qui tibi ab hominibus deferuntur. Respice te ipsum, quia mortalis es, et quia terra es, et in terram ibis. "You flourish in wealth, and boast of the society of the great and powerful; you rejoice in the beauty of the body and the honours which men pay to you. Consider yourself, that you are mortal, that you are earth, and into the earth you shall go." Quotation from Prosper Tiro of Aquitaine

Monday, December 17, 2012

Books Around the House

Miscellaneous old and new acquisitions.

Spiders at My House

I typically let spiders live around the house unless they are obviously of the poisonous variety. I like the spiderwebs and enjoy watching them. This is probably the biggest species in-house. This is a good example, but I've had larger specimens.


My Homunculus experiment subsequently died.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Rat Children of Pakistan

In Pakistan, microcephalics-babies born with abnormally small heads-are known as 'rats' and credited with god-like powers. Also known as Hanuman-Reincarnation in Hinduism.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Friday, November 2, 2012

Sir Richard Francis Burton vs. The Jews

Interesting item at auction:
BURTON, Sir Richard Francis (1821-1890). Autograph manuscript treatise entitled 'Human Sacrifice among the Sephardine or Eastern Jews', almost entirely unpublished, n.p. [Trieste], n.d. [1877], written in brown ink on recto (17 pages in blue), footnotes and emendations on facing verso, occasional later annotations in pencil (by W.H.Wilkins), leaves numbered in autograph, watermark of Smith and Meynier, Fiume, a few newspaper cuttings pasted in, approximately 180 pages, 340 x 220 mm, and 126 pages, 220 x 165 mm. Early 20th-century pebble grain red cloth for Henry Sotheran and Co., titled in gilt on the upper cover (spine partially detached, some wear, extremities rubbed).
Provenance. Sir Richard Burton -- Lady (Isabel) Burton (1831-1896) -- Mrs Elizabeth Fitzgerald (her sister and literary executor, d.1902) -- W.H. Wilkins (d.1905) -- Henry Sotheran and Co -- Henry Frederick Walpole Manners-Sutton, fifth Viscount Canterbury (1879-1918)] -- the Trustees of the Board of Deputies of British Jews (by deed of assignment from the executors of the estate of the late Lady Burton, 1909). THE ORIGINAL AND ALMOST ENTIRELY UNPUBLISHED AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT WRITTEN AFTER HIS RECALL FROM DAMASCUS; ONE OF A FEW SUBSTANTIAL AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPTS BY SIR RICHARD BURTON REMAINING IN PRIVATE HANDS The manuscript comprises: an introduction addressed 'To the Reader', a preface (in 3 parts), and six chapters, two appendices, an earlier draft of the first appendix, and drafts and notes entitled 'Anthropology of the Jews' and 'Jews'. The posthumous edition by W.H.Wilkins of three manuscripts by Burton (The Jew, the Gypsy and El Islam, London, 1898) includes in Part I the preface and most of chapter VI of the present manuscript, corresponding to approximately 70 pages in Burton's hand. The unpublished chapters describe (in chapters I - IV) the events surrounding the disappearance of Padre Tomaso, a Capuchin friar, and his Syrian Christian servant, in Damascus in 1840, when thirteen members of the Jewish community were arrested and accused of having committed ritual murder. Some 'confessed' under torture, but all were eventually acquitted. In chapters V and VI Burton gives his views on the continuity of 'the tradition of human sacrifice', with a historical aperçu of accusations made in Syria, Lebanon and parts of Europe. Appendix I ('Jews in Roumania') gives a version of the arrival of the Jews in Moldavia and Wallachia, and their situation at the time of Burton's writing. Appendix II is largely a dismissive commentary on Dr Alexander McCaul's pamphlet (published in 1840) which by examining Rabbinical writings refutes the ritual murder accusation. The manuscript is Burton's final and complete autograph copy. The accusation of ritual murder made against the Jews was largely mediaeval in origin, and had parallels in charges made against various heretical Christian sects. The common form of it was the notion that at the Passover Christian blood was used in Jewish rites. Invariably, the accusations led to violence, and often to tragedies for whole Jewish communities. By the 19th Century such tales were no longer given credence in Western Europe, but they continued to occur among the more fanatical Christian communities of the East, and in 1881-1882 allegations of blood libel were raised again in the clerical publication Civiltà Cattolica in Rome. Towards the end of the century they were revived in parts of Eastern Europe including Roumania, and particularly in Russia where they were instrumental in provoking massacres. By reviving interest in the events of 1840, Burton sought to reopen an issue which informed public opinion had already largely rejected as untrue. The introduction includes his justification for the work, that 'The statements contained in these pages must, if untrue to fact, be speedily buried in the limbo of vagaries and dreams. If true, they open up an unknown chapter of Modern History which deserves careful perusal'. He repudiates the judicial investigation of Padre Tomaso's case ('the preposterous preference of fiction to fact'), and the 'peculiar action of the British authorities', preferring to believe the statements of 'native Christians quite as well informed in their own way as, and far more acute than, the average higher orders of our own countrymen'. The preface consists of a 'General Opinion of the Jews', an 'Opinion of the Jew in England', and 'The Jew of the Holy Land and his destiny', largely a disquisition on the differences between the Ashkenazim ('who have brought from Northern climes a manliness of bearing, a strongness of spirit and a physical hardness ... They will travel by night over difficult and dangerous paths ... They can endure extremes of heat and cold of hunger and thirst') and the Sephardim who, if more intellectual, are not their equal in 'manliness', the quality which Burton placed above all others. Chapters I and II comprise an extensive, detailed and often obsessive account, based on contemporary narratives and unspecified documentary sources, of the life and death of 'the Martyr Padre Tomaso' and the consequent events. Chapter III discusses the procès verbal of the alleged murderers with frequent interpolations by Burton disputing the statements of the defendants and their witnesses, and Chapter IV includes the 'Confessions' or testimony of the 'Doctor (Hakham) Moshe Abu'l Afiya' [the principal Jewish witness]. These chapters also incorporate Burton's views of the varying responses of the different European consuls to the investigation, from which only the Frenchman, Count Ratti-Menton [a known anti-semite] 'who had to fight the battle single-handed', emerges with credit. A digression on the riots in 1860 and disturbances during his consulate in 1870 permits the inclusion of some self-justificatory passages on 'Captain Burton's' efforts to check 'vested abuses' while his reports to his superior were ignored, contending that the hatred felt by the 'mob of "homicidal Damascus" [the Muslims] for the Christians rested upon its resentment of the protection of the minorities by the European powers. This subject allows Burton to introduce contemptuous references to those statesmen responsible for legislation to remove Jewish disabilities, including Lord Palmerston (who had acted 'with that ... superficial regard for right which in later life justified the large Irish land-holder in concealing the growth of Fenianism') and Lord John Russell, equally 'unopen to reason', both in Burton's eyes to blame for the problems of the English consuls in Damascus ('The most melancholy result of the priest's death was the protection extended to the Jews by the European powers'). The final appendices and notes, composed in expectation that South Eastern Europe will 'at some not distant period become a focus of disorder', include some colourful writing on the Roumanians, 'still bearing the brand of the sloth and ignorance, the sensuality and moral degradation which characterised their Turkish rulers', and on recent history and the new wealth and influence of the Jews ('the Juggernaut car of Hebrew plutocracy'). Burton's indefatigable quest for anthropological and ethnological facts is curiously combined in the manuscript with his obsessive pursuit of his principal theme, self-justification for his actions in Damascus, details culled from anti-semitical tracts to underpin his argument, passages of description and observations about the contemporary political scene in the Near East. There is little to suggest that before Burton was appointed consul in Damascus he was anti-semitic. Not long before he had written 'Had I choice of race there is none to which I would more willingly have belonged than the Jewish' (The Highlands of Brazil, 1869, I, 430), and in the present manuscript, despite his hostility, he shows admiration and even envy for the social and political cohesion of the Jewish community and the 'prodigious superiority of vital power' which he saw in it. The change that he underwent at Damascus was directly related to his perception of the humiliating circumstances of his recall. Damascus was the most fanatical of the cities of the Ottoman Empire. All the Christian and Muslim divisions were represented there, and it had a sizeable Jewish community, mostly of the Sephardim. Rumours, slanders and intrigues were a constant feature of inter-communal relations, and violence easily flared. The events of 1840 had led to many Jews being killed, prompting Sultan Abdül Mecid to issue a firman repudiating the ritual murder accusation as a calumny, and ordering their protection. In 1849 the British Government instructed its consuls to extend their protection (already given to the Christian minorities) to the Ottoman Jews. Burton came bitterly to resent this. In his first eighteen months as consul he fell foul of the Ottoman Governor of Syria, Mohammed Reshid Pasha, as well as of the Consul General in Beirut and, above all, Sir Henry Elliot, the Ambassador at Constantinople, who had strenuously opposed his appointment, predicting that Burton, famous for his participation in the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, would be regarded as an infidel by some and a renegade by others. In January 1871 the Porte delivered to Elliot a complaint about Burton's long absences on various excursions, and his denunciations of the Muslims in their proceedings against Christians. The Pasha insinuated that by spreading rumours that Turkey was about to declare war on Russia he might precipitate an uprising against the Christians (of whom many had died in riots in 1860). Elliot himself complained that Burton's conduct was no more satisfactory to British subjects there, whether Christians or Jews, than to the Muslims. He was involved in an 'affray' at Nazareth and made unauthorised visits to the leader of the Druse, and to a heretical Sufi sect. The letter of recall reached him in August 1871, and it was recommended that he be re-employed in 'some post unconnected with the Mahommedan faith'. This ended permanently his hopes of an embassy in the Arab world. To Burton however the fiasco of his consulate was the result not of his relations with the Ottoman authorities but of complaints of him made by three of the 48 Sephardic Jews under his protection, to whom he had refused to extend the assistance required by his consular instructions. He was said to have 'lost the composure befitting the Diplomatic Service'. On his return to England, full of resentment and anger and for over a year on half-pay, he used his enforced leisure to gather material for the present work, to add to the information he had acquired in Damascus about the events of 1840. He completed the manuscript in May 1877, when he wrote to a publisher that it was ready, adding 'you must tell me that you want it, or rather that you are not afraid of it' (Fawn Brodie, page 363, n.7). He seems to have been dissuaded from publication only by friends, fearful of the harm it might do to his reputation. The history of the manuscript after Isabel Burton's death was eventful. The trustees of her will included her nephew, Gerald Arthur Arundell (15th Baron Arundell of Wardour, 1869-1939). Her sister, Mrs Elizabeth Fitzgerald, her secretary, Miss Plowman and W.A. Coote were appointed her literary executors. Isabel's and her husband's letters, journals and manuscripts were to be burnt by Miss Plowman, according to separate instructions. The recent discovery of her 'Last Wishes' in the Arundell Papers in the Wiltshire Record Office has revealed a direction that 'a manuscript about the Jews - Richard's fair and rough copy - must be burnt' (M.S. Lovell. A Rage to Live, London 1998, page 789). The burning of the papers was, however, delayed so that Isabel's editor, W.H. Wilkins, might have access to them to complete her autobiography. Mrs Fitzgerald meanwhile was eager for the publication of the manuscript. In October 1897 The Athenaeum carried an advertisement for the publication by Hutchinson and Co. of a work by Burton entitled Human Sacrifice amongst the Eastern Jews: or the Murder of Padre Tomaso, edited by Wilkins. This caused great concern, in particular to the Board of Deputies in London. The trial of Alfred Dreyfus in France two years earlier had provoked violent reactions, and arguments for and against his innocence continued to rage in the French press. The 1890s also witnessed an upsurge of violence against the Jews of Eastern Europe, and ritual murder accusations were used to trigger the waves of renewed anti-semitism. Against this background the Board of Deputies expressed their opposition to the publication of a work which would revive 'a cruel and absurd mediaeval legend' and inflame racial hatred. Under threat of a libel action the book was withdrawn. Wilkins removed many names, the chapters relating to Padre Tomaso and to 'human sacrifice', and the appendices. He included the preface and most of one chapter in The Jew, the Gypsy and El-Islam, misleadingly referring to the much more substantial withdrawn portion of the manuscript as 'an appendix'. In 1904 Wilkins (whose ownership of the manuscript was doubtful) gave it to Sotherans and it was sold to Henry Frederick Manners-Sutton. In 1908 Manners-Sutton, through his publishing business, approached Gerald Arundell for permission to reprint the chapters published by Wilkins in a new and complete edition of the work. Arundell, his co-executors, and Wilkins's executors objected strongly and in 1909 the ownership of the manuscript and of all the rights in it was transferred by deed of assignment to David Lindo Alexander, K.C., who was President of the Board of Deputies. Manners-Sutton gave it up only after a ruling in the High Court on 27 March 1911, when he was ordered to surrender it. Included in the lot is a copy (manuscript) of Isabel Burton's will (28.12.1895); a page from The Athenaeum with Messrs Hutchinson's advertisement (16.10.1897); two indentures in which Isabel Burton's executors and the executors of W.H. Wilkins assign all their rights in the manuscript to D.L. Alexander (24.3.1909); the statement of the latter's claim and the judgement delivered in the High Court (27.3.1911); and related correspondence. BIBLIOGRAPHY Richard Burton. The Jew, the Gypsy and El Islam (ed. W.H.Wilkins, 1898) Fawn Brodie. The Devil Drives (1967) B.J. Kirkpatrick. Catalogue of the Library of Sir Richard Burton etc (1972) M.S. Lovell. A Rage to Live. A biography of Richard and Isabel Burton (1998) Dr Alexander McCaul. Reasons for Believing that the charge lately revived against the Jewish People is a baseless falsehood (1840) Frank McLynn. Burton: Snow upon the desert (1993) Stanford J. Shaw. The Jews of the Ottoman Empire (1991) Hermann Strack. Das Blut im Glauben und Aberglauben (Berlin, 1886) A. Vincent. 'The Jew, the Gypsy and El-Islam: An examination of Richard Burton's consulship and recall' (in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1985, pages 155-173) Sir Arnold Wilson. Richard Burton (1937)


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Essays in Satanism in Hardcover to be Discontinued

As of Walpurgisnacht, April 30th, 2013, the HARDCOVER edition of Essays in Satanism will no longer be available. At that time it will be taken off the market. So if you want it you should purchase it before that time.
The status of the Paperback ed. is in limbo. At the moment I intend to keep it available, but if that changes I will post notice here.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012