Part 2 of 2 (Part 1 here)
Here is where Hesse meets up with Evola: the two post-First World War writers share a number of themes, though what Evola would have called their “personal equation” gave them decidedly different interpretations. Demian, for example, treats of initiation, paganism, esoteric knowledge, and construction of elites, in ways comparable to Evola’s personal investigations with the UR group; but apart from Hesse’s overall Jungian lens, his war-derived pacifism would have disgusted Evola. And his Buddha “is certainly not the one depicted by Hermann Hesse in his novel [Siddhartha].”
But in the ‘30s, both Evola and Hesse began to seriously meditate on the post-war need for an Order. Their “personal equation” determined that Hesse would seek an aesthetic, pacifistic Order, Evola a more militaristic one.
Hesse, as we’ve seen, had already written his “Lodge Novel” in the early ‘30s. By 1936, according to Ziolkowski, he was already expanding it by adding the idea of a unifying game of ideas to serve as a unifying principle, both for the Lodge and the narrative:
What is the “Glass Bead Game”? In the idyllic poem “Hours in the Garden” (1936) which he wrote during the composition of his novel, Hesse speaks of “a game of thoughts called the Glass Bead Game” that he practiced while burning leaves in his garden. As the ashes filter down through the grate, he says, “I hear music and see men of the past and future. I see wise men and poets and scholars and artists harmoniously building the hundred-gated cathedral of Mind.” These lines depict as personal experience that intellectual pastime that Hesse, in his novel, was to define as “the unio mystica of all separate members of the Universitas Litterarum” and that he bodied out symbolically in the form of an elaborate Game performed according to the strictest rules and with supreme virtuosity by the mandarins of his spiritual province. This is really all that we need to know.
Well, maybe we need a little more info. This would be the tedious point of explaining the Game, but fortunately for all of us, the intertubes (a sort of Glass Bead Game itself) brings us a chap calling himself Servitor Ludus who has done the job for us:
People have had trouble explaining exactly what this Glass Bead Game (GBG) thing is all about since Hesse first wrote about it in the 1940s. His novel won the Nobel Prize for literature, despite it being a scathing critique of the academic Ivory Tower literati.
The story itself is about a future utopian society, where the world’s intellectuals have walled themselves up in monastic orders to study their chosen arts and sciences. Chief among these pursuits is a strange GAME played by the monks that involves making connections between disparate ideas. My favorite quote from the novel, which many other people have also used to describe the game, is as follows:
The Glass Bead Game is thus a mode of playing with the total contents and values of our culture; it plays with them as, say, in the great age of the arts a painter might have played with the colors on his palette. All the insights, noble thoughts, and works of art that the human race has produced in its creative eras, all that subsequent periods of scholarly study have reduced to concepts and converted into intellectual values the Glass Bead Game player plays like the organist on an organ. And this organ has attained an almost unimaginable perfection; its manuals and pedals range over the entire intellectual cosmos; its stops are almost beyond number. Theoretically this instrument is capable of reproducing in the Game the entire intellectual content of the universe.
Heady stuff! Still, Hesse takes it further. There’s a new language that has to be invented in order to compare and contrast all of these ideas on equal footing. Also, in this postulated future age, where religion seems like it’s lost its hold on people, the GBG becomes a virtual sacrament that delivers deep meaning to its players.
The Game, then, kind of anticipates structuralism, and perhaps also the Internet, or at least the idea of hyperlinked texts. But as Ziolkowski observes, this is really a universal idea that Hesse has merely foregrounded for his purposes here:
For the Game is of course purely a symbol of the human imagination and emphatically not a patentable “Monopoly” of the mind.
And what is that purpose? Significantly, for a character who bills his blog as “Thoughts on Old School Role-Playing Games and Hermann Hesse’s Glass Bead Game,” the political dimension is missing.
For the scholars do not merely “wall themselves off” for their own purposes, but to serve as a model of the pursuit of truth – or, I suppose, Truth – untainted by commercial or political considerations – and thus, distortions – so that modern civilization – implicitly, Western or European civilization – can recover from the intellectual perversions that drove the Age of Wars (what we know as the twentieth century).
In short, metapolitics. But a peculiar, idealistic, aesthetical, defeatist kind of metapolitics. Recognizing the impact of ideas on politics, these scholars no longer seek to influence society directly at all; they choose to contribute to society by not contributing, other than contributing the example of their own ascetic devotion to the ideal of Truth as a kind of societal Standard Meter Rod that measures nothing – cannot measure anything – but sets the standard of measurement for society’s activities.
Well, I think we can see the problem here. As a commenter at Counter-Currents recently noted:
Castalia was dead, not rigid. The players didn’t preserve the “intellectual integrity of a future” as much as they cataloged an old library in slightly novel ways. As in a modern university (and almost the entire modern world) all the arts and all original thought were dead. Source material was used as fodder for the Game, not produced or studied on its own merits. Like Leftists with their many isms (different styles of playing the Game) players filtered everything of value from the past through an inane system with the goal of gaining the recognition of other sterile players and receiving a prestigious post. . . . This wasn’t a problem of rigidity, but of the leveling impulse of bureaucracy and modernity.
Castalia is not the answer to the modern world, but the ultimate form of it, to the extent that the PC university lumpenstudenten are seeking to impose its own form on the whole of society: Castalia, the Pedagogic Province, is the ultimate Safe Space.
But so far, we’ve been unfair to Hesse. Like those who try to create their own Glass Bead Games, to take Castalia as Hesse’s utopia is to miss the whole point of the book. As Ziolkowski notes, the ultimate irony of the book is that the Introduction, “The Glass Bead Game: A General Introduction to Its History for the Layman,” and which is likely the only part some people read, is a sort of PC, corporate boilerplate brochure written by a full-on ideological believer, who, as the “biography” of Knecht progresses, comes to agree – somewhat – with Knecht, that Castalia is both doomed, and not really worth preserving, anyway.
And why is it doomed? Because it has deliberately neglected politics. The over-bred Castalians have come to consider politics as a vaguely dirty necessity, best ignored, an almost ignoble concession to practical life; like the way liberals view the military, or evangelicals sex.
In the two central chapters, “Two Orders” and “The Mission,” Knecht is sent to snoop around a Benedictine monastery that has served, over the centuries, as a sort of Bilderberg where world leaders meet up; there he confronts the imperatives of history in his discussions with Father Jacobus, a venerable historian (who counsels, however, “a profound distrust of all philosophies of history”). The Castalians arrogantly assume their Order to be an obvious benefit to society – when forced to think of society at all; indeed, perhaps a timeless feature of nature. Father Jacobus, however, sees it, like all human institutions (his Church, of course, is created and maintained by God), as fragile structures, each finite and ultimately doomed; despite his “distrust of all philosophies of history,” he is, in effect, a Spenglerian:
It is through Father Jacobus that Knecht truly comes to understand that the rarefied study of aesthetics and art, divorced from realpolitik, can only end in terminal decline, while pragmatism is the key to understanding how true harmony must be achieved by the synthesis of the discrete world views offered by Castalia, the monastery, the world and the searchers for self-knowledge. Without Father Jacobus, it is likely that Knecht would have remained a successful Magister Ludi for the rest of his days, presiding unknowingly over the decline of the organisation he loved. Instead, he renounces his magistracy and, in so doing, saves both Castalia and himself.
Another thing that impresses Knecht is the Benedictine Order itself. Though presumably sustained by God himself, its millennia-long survival cannot help but suggest it may know a thing or two that its Younger Brother (to bring back the Chinese scholar’s self-deprecating title) could learn about survival.
One obvious difference is the lack of what Traditionalists would call “the vertical” axis. The lusores (or “losers” in the ominous slang of hoi polloi) have no particular reason to exist, no purpose or goal, other than playing the Game and educating new players (drawn from the pool of students provided by their secular educational institutions). As you’ll recall, the Gamers, to use a contemporary term, have divorced scholarship and intellect from political or social concerns, so as to shield both from the intellectual perversions of ideology. But can an Order, or a society, long exist without a goal or ideal?
One might even compare the conceptual knot here to the inconsistency that stands behind another science fiction vision, the world of Star Trek, as outlined by Trevor Lynch:
Star Trek combines two incompatible worldviews, both of which appeal to large numbers of people.
First, there is the Faustian quest for exploration and adventure, the desire to see mankind ascend to space and explore the universe. . . . Faustianism is primarily a white thing, as whites for better and worse are largely responsible for the scientific and technological progress that we call modernization. This is what appeals to me about Star Trek. This is what kept me coming back.
This is what we’ve been calling the vertical dimension, the need for a goal (here expressed in Spenglerian terms as well).
Second, there is liberalism, multiculturalism, and (literal) universalism, which assume that everybody in the universe (except the bad people who wish to cling to their eccentric identities), no matter how apparently different, is basically the same insofar as they can become part of a United Federation of Planets.
[This corresponds to the “universal” language and institutions of the Game.]
Unfortunately, as we have discovered since Star Trek first debuted in 1966, Faustianism and multiculturalism are not compatible. Thus if you want to make Star Trek‘s Faustian utopia real, you need to put away liberalism, multiculturalism, and other childish things and devote yourself to the most serious cause of all: fighting for White Nationalism.
Thus Hesse’s (or rather, the Castalians’, as he conceives them) vision of politics without metapolitics, as well as metapolitics without politics, is, in the literal sense, a utopian vision: a futile illusion.
And here’s another contemporary, real-world, example:
The Alternative Right [i.e., metapolitics] only has relevancy insofar as it pushes back and destroys establishment control. When that battle has been won, it is up to White Nationalists and White Nationalists alone to capture the center ground. No other group has anything to offer except the same mishmash of soft communism, third world colonization, and our racial apocalypse. As Neoreaction was rendered obsolete by the Alternative Right that dared to incorporate ethnic nationalism, White Nationalism dares to make high flying talk a practical reality. Although we embrace intellectual critique, in the end we speak in about objective goals.
It is implicit White Nationalism that drives the success of the Alt Right. When you strip away the civic nationalist shills and controlled opposition, the real Alt Right is a coalition that serves to destroy what prevents White Nationalists from building anew. New states are founded [not] merely by opposing existing states, but by groups of self-sacrificing radicals who stand on their ruins, striving for a vision that can be built when the previous era has been swept away. Destruction is fun, but creation takes work. For this reason, we White Nationalists must maintain our identities and swell our ranks as the establishment burns. When the establishment goes down, the fire of the Alternative Right will fizzle out, but the fire of White Nationalism [metapolitics with a practical vision to create] will rise, ushering in a new Age of Truth.
What, then, of Evola? Given his aristocratic background and his Traditionalist worldview, it’s clear that Evola, like Heidegger, would be equally repulsed by what the latter called the “great pincers” of both Bolshevism and Americanism.
As today and in the imminent future, a decisive struggle is being waged against the tide of dark forces tied to the symbols of the various internationals.
Yet for the same reasons, Evola could only take a dim view of what we might call “really existing” Fascism and National Socialism, which he saw as insufferably and irredeemably plebian and indeed modernist movements; so infra dig.
As John Morgan writes:
He also saw Fascism as flawed, especially in its socialist aspects – Evola had no tolerance for any form of socialism, whether nationalist or internationalist – but he nevertheless believed that it had the potential to become something better, especially if it were to become guided by Traditional principles.
Evola had no illusions that he could convert the entire Fascist movement into a Traditionalist one, but he did hope that he might be able to help to forge a Traditionalist elite within the Party by influencing some of its intellectuals and leaders. [italics mine]
Specifically, as Morgan observes, “he had respect for the SS for being an order along the lines of what he had desired to see in Italy.” [italics mine]
And so we see that almost simultaneously, during the chaos of the ‘30s and ‘40s, both Evola and Hesse began to grope towards the idea of an intellectual and spiritual Order that would rise from the ashes of “the Century of Wars” (Hesse) or the Kali Yuga (Evola) to preserve the fragments of Tradition and pass them on (traditio) to a new age.
The conclusion of the Second World War put paid to that idea, and as we’ve seen, Evola himself would have been about as welcome as Leon Trotsky in the Greater German Reich. Still, as John Morgan writes:
Although he remained on friendly terms with political activists, it seems that Evola himself gave up on the idea of a political solution to the problems of our age after 1945. His advice, as he offered in post-war writings such as his book Men Among the Ruins, was to establish orders of elite individuals who could preserve Traditional principles and pass them down through a chain of initiations until an age would return in which their seeds could again bear fruit. But Evola had no interest in the democratic party politics of our age. [italics mine]
It would seem, then, that the two men, from very different starting points, both gravitated toward the same solution to the problem of modernity – an intellectual and quasi-spiritual Order – while then pursing widely divergent paths.
Hesse, snug in his little Swiss village, begins by imagining an isolated, apolitical, supposedly “spiritual” Order, but as he develops the plot of his novel he – the narrator – and the reader come to learn, along with his protagonist, that metapolitics must be as much politics as it is “meta.”
Evola, by contrast, plunges into what we might call “occult politics” in Rome, attempting to create “magical chains” of initiates to influence Mussolini, then writing Pagan Imperialism to persuade him to abandon the Catholic Church; stymied, he re-writes it in German as Heathen Imperialism, playing up the Nordic content to interest the National Socialists, only to be checkmated again by Himmler’s disinterest. Finally, he gets his chance to work with the SS itself, cataloging confiscated Masonic documents in Vienna, where he receives a crippling injury while deliberately wandering the streets during an Allied air raid, spending the rest of his life in his Rome apartment.
As John Morgan writes: “In later life, Evola advocated for what he terms apoliteia, by which he meant disengagement from political affairs.” A return to Castalian isolation?
It seems we have come full circle, but not quite. As always, in true or Traditionalist metaphysics, the apparent circle is really a spiral, leading not to repetition but to a new level.
Evola did leave his Rome apartment at least once, on the occasion of his Autodifesa:
[T]he speech he gave in his own defense when he was tried by the Italian democracy for “defending Fascism,” “attempting to reconstitute the dissolved Fascist Party” and being the “master” and “inspirer” of young Neo-Fascists. Like Socrates, he was accused of not worshipping the gods of the democracy and corrupting youth.
Indeed, he became, as Morgan says, “something of a guru to the various Right-wing and neo-fascist groups which emerged in Italy in the first three decades after the war.” To paraphrase a well-known remark at the time, he was our Hesse, only better.
But long before Hesse’s ‘60s guru period, he had already projected such a future for his Magister Ludi:
On the contrary, all the trappings of office, the strictures of rigid Castalian life, they serve only to obscure from Knecht his true purpose. And that, he realises finally, is to teach, to pass on the harmonious understanding of life and existence to a new generation, to boys as yet untouched by formal learning and discipline.
Both men had come to learn, each in his own way – Hesse through imaginative projection in the form of a novel, Evola through bitter experience – that what was needed was not an Order, or a League; not another institution, no matter how noble in purpose, but rather something outside of any institution: the primal Männerbund, outside of society and the family but necessary for their survival. As in Brian de Palma’s The Untouchables:
Malone: [to Ness as they assemble their team] If you’re afraid of getting a rotten apple, don’t go to the barrel. Get it off the tree.
Indeed, at the end of the novel, as Knecht strips down and dives into the icy lake – a rather pointless and ultimately fatal act of daring, intended to somehow inspire his new pupil – we sense we have transitioned into a primitive and semi-mythical realm; the Narrator’s Castalian intellectual conscience requires him to title this chapter of rumors and suppositions about Knecht’s fate “The Legend.”
Speaking of stripping down and diving into icy lakes, something like this seems to be on Jack Donovan’s mind:
I want to be surrounded with people who share not only my vague common ancestry, but my values and beliefs. Anyone who read Becoming a Barbarian knows I don’t care about “the politics of the Empire.” I want to leave it all behind. I just want to hang out in the woods with my friends and build something beautiful — I want to build a new culture. I want to invest in the people I know personally and my family and the people I am oathed to — my tribe, The Wolves of Vinland.
I’m not a White Nationalist, I’m a Wolves Nationalist.
My aim as a writer isn’t to get you to support some major political movement or to join mine.
It’s to inspire you to find a group of people you’d be willing to say the same thing about.
Seeing the death of Knecht as part of a myth somewhat redeems Hesse’s ending, which when looked at more prosaically seems to be simply a rather sudden and crude way to end the novel. In the past, I’ve dismissed such concerns as being merely “genre conventions”; the story is over, and has to end somehow.
But Knecht’s somewhat pointless death is actually intended to, as Donovan would say, inspire his pupil, and presumably, the reader as well. How? To answer that, let’s go back to Evola; as John Morgan writes:
In later life, Evola advocated for what he terms apoliteia, by which he meant disengagement from political affairs. But if you really examine what he says on the subject, he never advised that one shouldn’t become involved in politics. Rather, what he meant is that one shouldn’t become attached to whatever result might come from such activities. In this, again, Evola is being consistent with what many of the sacred texts have to say on this. So in other words, sure, get involved with a political party or join the military or vote for Trump or whatever, but do so because it helps you to attain the goals that you set for yourself rather than because you have staked everything on its success and will be shattered if it fails. In Kali Yuga, political restoration may not be possible, but the opportunity still remains for the individual to triumph over modernity in his own way. Besides which, the fact that we may lose the battle doesn’t mean that we are absolved of the responsibility of fighting it and standing for what is true.
The best illustration of this that I know of comes from the Bhagavad Gita. At the opening, a Prince, Arjuna, is preparing to fight a battle against an opposing army. Although he knows his cause is just, he hates war, and knows that there are members of his own family on the other side who he may have to kill in order to win. The god Krishna is acting as his advisor. Just before the battle, Arjuna loses his resolve, and tells Krishna that he will put down his weapons and go into the forest to meditate instead of fighting. Krishna basically says to him, “Stop being such a pussy! You’re a kshatriya (the Hindu warrior caste)! It’s your job to do your duty and fight for justice. Meditating in the forest is for brahmanas (priests).” The rest of the Gita is Krishna explaining the entire metaphysics of existence, and Arjuna’s place in it, and at the end, of course Arjuna does his duty. [italics mine]
Knecht’s icy plunge is likely symbolic of bravely entering the dangerous waters of phenomenal existence; that he dies doing so is also a lesson: do what is right, because it is your duty, no matter what the cost, and even if it is futile. So are Evola’s “men among the ruins,” still standing; or Spengler’s Roman soldier buried under the ashes of Pompeii because he was never ordered to leave.
It’s a message Keven Costner seems to deliver well:
Jim Garrison: “Let justice be done though the heavens fall.”
Ness: [in court] Never stop, never stop fighting till the fight is done.
Capone: What’d you say? What’re you saying?
Ness: I said, “Never stop fighting till the fight is done.”
Ness: You heard me, Capone. It’s over.
Capone: [sneering] Get out, you’re nothing but a lot of talk and a badge.
Ness: Here endeth the lesson.
But before the lesson endeth, here’s a little reward for all you proto-Castalians who have followed us this far: a wonderful bit of nonsense about Hesse and fascist hobbits. Enjoy!
1. And as recorded in their journal, later reprinted in three volumes, the first available in English as Introduction to Magic: Rituals and Practical Techniques for the Magus (Rochester, Vt: Inner Traditions, 2001). See also my “Battle of the Magicians: Baron Evola Between the Druid & the Dancer.”
2. Gianfranco de Turris, Preface to The Doctrine of Awakening (Rochester, Vt: Inner Traditions, 1996), p. xv.
3. Foreword to The Glass Bead Game, p. ix (Bantam edition).
5. See my review of James Arthur Anderson, Out of the Shadows: A Structuralist Approach to Understanding the Fiction of H. P. Lovecraft.
6. Indeed, it bears more than a little resemblance to the drug-induced state of “loose cognition” which Michael Hoffman has identified as the basis of the religious experience and ritual. Psychedelic experience a la Steppenwolf but with strict rules and meditation. My own modest contributions to this site might also be described as attempts to create a Glass Bead Game effect: “Reading James O’Meara is a psychedelic experience.” – Jack Donovan, jacket copy for The Homo and the Negro (San Francisco: Counter-Currents, 2012).
7. Such perversions are well described by Evola: “[A] culture, which even when it comes to that which is most sacred to us, like the ancient Roman world, remains confined to the same patterns of a positivistic ignorance, decked out with academic conceitedness, which really belong to the Enlightenment and the rationalistic world of the previous century.” See “The SS, Guard & Order of the Revolution of the Swastika.” The significance of this passage in an article on the SS will become clear in what follows.
8. “AE,” posted August 21, 2016 at 1:21 am; Permalink. Could “AE” be Evola, who used the pseudonym EA, reborn?
9. “But apart from being a mild political manifesto, the novel relies on the German philosopher Oswald Spengler’s famous Decline of the West (Das Untergang des Abendlandes, 1918-1923) in order to define its main categories. . . . In Spengler’s terms, Castalia is conceived by its author as a a-historical, artificial society, built on the logic of the spiritual ‘province’. In The Decline of the West, Spengler also stipulated an antithesis between two destinies of culture, defined respectively as the culture of the city and the culture of the province. Both represented in their author’s mind a way of spiritual survival within the organic process of turning the organic ‘culture’ into a hyper-organized ‘civilization’, which consists the decadent end of each culture. The culture of the city – Spengler asserted – is based on the social logic of the impulsive and faceless mob, which fixes the destiny of cultural evolution by turning it into distraction and intelligence, as contrary to the culture of the province, which keeps tradition alive, preserving its organic vividness through wisdom and originality. Spengler imagined that in a hyper-socialized, incessantly massifying Europe, the spiritual cloistered enclave can be a solution for culture, by the natural tendency of the ‘cultural province’ to produce a highly qualified and dedicated elite. Spengler’s idea has always been very familiar with Hesse, whose other great novels – Demian, Journey to the East, Steppenwolf, or Narcissus and Goldmund – have been built on the logic of the spiritual elite.” “Hermann Hesse’s ’Glass Bead Game’” by Ştefan Borbély.
10. Tom Conoboy’s blog.
11. Another odd synchronicity: Evola stayed in a Benedictine Monastery – in the 1930s, when Hesse was writing Journey to the East and The Glass Bead Game – but hated the atmosphere and left ASAP. See The Path of Cinnabar (London: Arktos, 2012), p. 133. Fr. Jacobus calls Knecht “arrogant,” as Eliade did Evola.
12. See his review of Star Trek: Beyond.
13. Bain Dewitt, “The Fire Rises.”
14. “This Europe, in its unholy blindness always on the point of cutting its own throat, lies today in the great pincers between Russia on the one side and America on the other. Russia and America, seen metaphysically, are both the same: the same hopeless frenzy of unchained technology and of the rootless organization of the average man.” Martin Heidegger, Introduction to Metaphysics, p. 40. See Collin Cleary’s “Heidegger: An Introduction for Anti-Modernists, Part 2.” For a comparison of the two anti-modern thinkers, see Greg Johnson’s “Notes on Heidegger & Evola.”
15. “The SS, Guard & Order of the Revolution of the Swastika,” loc. cit.
16. See the aforementioned post-war books Notes on the Third Reich and Fascism Viewed from the Right.
17. See “What Would Evola Do?”, the text of the talk that Counter-Currents editor John Morgan delivered to The New York Forum.
18. For instance: “While the Jewish-Communist press tries to depict the SS as a sort of GPU, we, considering these possibilities and in the hope that in the near future they will be, even only partially, realized, are instead inclined to see in the ‘black corps,’ the guard of the revolution of the swastika, the men of the ‘rune of victory,’ the ‘lightning rune,’ and the skull symbolizing the oath of loyalty to the death, the seed of an Order in the higher, traditional sense, and hence of a spiritual solidarity that could become supranational.” See “The SS, Guard & Order of the Revolution of the Swastika,” loc. cit.
19. Interviewer: “And what in your opinion is the tragic element of our epoch?” Céline: “It’s Stalingrad. How’s that for catharsis! The fall of Stalingrad was the end of Europe. There’s been a cataclysm. Its epicenter was Stalingrad. After that you can say that white civilization was finished, really washed up.” “The Art of Fiction No. 33,” Louis-Ferdinand Céline interviewed by Jacques Darribehaude and Jean Geunot; Paris Review, 1960. Interestingly, Céline, a supposed “Nazi” collaborator, was banned in NS Germany, like Evola. Communism is not the only revolution that eats its own.
20. Morgan, “What Would Evola Do?”
21. See the application of this to topics as various as Henry James and the folly of Western harmonic theory in the essays in my collection The Eldritch Evola . . . & Others: Traditionalist Meditations on Literature, Art, & Culture; ed. Greg Johnson (San Francisco: Counter-Currents, 2014), as well as my film reviews, which will be collected in the upcoming collection Passing the Buck: A Traditionalist Goes to the Movies.
22. E. Christian Kopff, “Julius Evola, An Introduction” in Julius Evola, A Traditionalist Confronts Fascism: Selected Essays (London: Arktos, 2015).
23. According to John Morgan, “[t]he leader of the neo-fascist Italian Social Movement, Giorgio Almirante, famously remarked of Evola that he was ‘our Marcuse, only better.’”
24. Conoboy, ibid.
25. As Ziolkowski explains in his Foreword, Hesse had planned several small novellas, but eventually the one set in the future absorbed his attention. Three other completed novellas, set in various past eras and lands, are printed as “Joseph Knecht’s Student Writings,” under the pretext that Game students are required during their “Years of Freedom” only to write one such work per year. The pious Narrator is quick to point out that these were exercises in imaginative identification with the past, and no literal belief in reincarnation was involved; however, we’ll see evidence that Hesse knew what he was playing with, as his own intense involvement with the East would lead us to believe.
26. See “A Band Apart: Wulf Grimsson’s Loki’s Way” and “‘God, I’m with a heathen’: The Rebirth of the Männerbund in Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables,” both reprinted in The Homo and the Negro. As the future M, Judi Dench, intones at the beginning of The Chronicles of Riddick: “In normal times, evil would be fought with good. But in times like these, well, it should be fought by another kind of evil.”
27. We might compare it with Evola’s “testing his fate” by walking around Vienna during air raids; see his discussion of this in The Path of Cinnabar.
29. When Lily opens the box in Kiss Me Deadly (Aldrich, 1955) and turns into a pillar of fire, this is not the punishment of a femme fatale but rather her triumphant apotheosis; Steven Spielberg’s homage to this ending, in Raiders of the Lost Ark, is rather a crude melodrama where the good guys “don’t look in the box!” and live, while the bad guys are liquified. See “Mike Hammer, Occult Dick: Kiss Me Deadly as a Lovecraftian Tale” in The Eldritch Evola, op. cit.
30. Morgan, “What Would Evola Do?”
31. Oliver Stone, JFK (1991). William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield: Fiat justitia, ruat coelum.
32. Brian De Palma, The Untouchables (1987); script by David Mamet.
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