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(Philosophy 57, January 19th.)

... tree, the -- Pierre came out in 19- -- 1852, and it remained unread. And it was reprinted in 1929, as you have heard, for the first time. That is to say, this man lied -- lay buried for 80 years. He lived, physically, 40 years of this life of nonexistence. And you have to -- I hope you will carry away, from the last meeting and this, the fact that men like Melville or Whitman, can at times be condemned not to exist, which is real hell. You have heard that Walt Whitman did not live for the -- first 36 years. Now with Melville, the strange thing is that he did not live, was not allowed to breathe, so to speak, publicly but just physically. His son takes his life when he's 18, so the father cannot impart his spirit to him in the midst of the 60s. From 1852 to his death, he's dead. This is very serious, and we haven't even yet found expression to this. Are -- there -- his biographers are very silly about it. There's a book on Melville which is called Tragedy of Mind, which is ridiculous. It's a tragedy of the human soul. His mind was in perfect shape, a very great mind.

But in this country, you see, the whole academic world has a conspiracy -- which is much worse than the Communist conspiracy -- always to confound and confuse you by saying "mind" and "soul" are the same. You can study in Nietzsche, in H”lderlin in Germany, and in Melville, and even in Whitman in this country that soul is something utterly different from mind. The soul of Melville was saved by writing Pierre, but he had nobody to embody this, and his mind became very weak. He compromised after that. He went to the Holy Land and wrote a terrible, boring, stupid poem, because his father-in-law paid the voyage and it was a kind of sanitarium, kind of spa undertaking, and they wanted to rescue the poor man, you see, from his complete despair and despondency. And the soul was in hell. And to call Tragedy of Mind this -- this -- this book by {Sedgwick}, is a typical academic misunderstanding of our situation in reality, you see. When a man is feeble-minded, when a man has a tumor in his brain, he loses his mind, you see. But what he -- this man was roasted and tormented by was the -- that his soul was sick. Soul sickness is not the same as mind sickness. Tragedy is always a question of the soul, never of -- a question of the mind. It's not tragic when a man goes insane. That's a physical in- -- ailment, I mean. That's something very different, something secular, I would say. But the soul, that's your fate. That is your place made out for you in history.

Now at this point, I only want to point to this complete misunderstanding of modern literary criticism, which makes Melville into a "tragedy of mind," when for us it is a problem of the soul to live through various generations, and

to represent other generations to the present generation. This Melville has done like nobody else, because he brings, as I've shown already in the dates of his publication, to us today, you see, something that has been lived in 1852, and never meant anything to the people there. He hasn't existed after Moby Dick in any way in -- in the -- and he died, as you have heard last time, a forgotten man. Nobody knew who he was, when the papers mentioned that he died in -- was it '90 or '91?


'91. I think that's very important, the central issue, that we have to do with the soul in Melville.

Now some other factual things. Benjamin Franklin, and Rousseau, and Thoreau, and all these good people in -- in Concord, Massachusetts, as you know, have worshiped nature. The great step which makes Melville important -- seems to me in this respect -- is that as far as the time 1750 to 1950 is concerned as the typical secular line of American life -- from Franklin, you may say, you see, and the lightning rod, via Ktaadn to Mr. {Washburn} and our Arctic Institute, this taking on nature. Melville goes to the end of nature, to the South Sea and says, "Let's look at the real nature," and thereby -- always when a dream is practically realized, it comes to its end. In Melville, then again, our -- your generation, you see, which may still play with this fantasia of a good nature, that nature is good and just man is bad, or some such thing, nature has an ethical character of divinity or something, it is already overhauled, and is already correc- -- stands corrected, because he did anything you might dream when you go in summertime out to -- to -- to Alaska or to Hawaii and try to -- not to hunt the white whale, but to find the innocence of nature.

And in this sense, I feel that Melville again has rendered us a tremendous service by doing -- a hundred years ago, you see, in his South Pacific exploits, you see -- something that we couldn't even do -- do -- do today, because Bikini is already evacuated and is used for atomic bombs. There is no native anymore pa- -- native paradise. No earthly Eden. So he has lived it in -- in good time and has left us this desperate attempt to find that which Rousseau proclaims was there before kings, and popes, and priests, and -- and cities, and k- -- , you see, and tyrannies existed. And I feel -- would you make this -- this point? Any line of vision, or dreams -- any utopia -- comes to an end when the utopia is constructed. Socialist utopia -- Thomas More's -- comes to an end when Mr. Lenin and Stalin do it. And now we can see what a Communist plan does mean, you see. And so in the same sense, Melville's realization of the primitive nature in his going to the South Sea is a tremendous medicine, I should think, to put the vision, you see, in the place where it has to be either done or dismissed.

You can no longer afford to, as you -- as your -- the former generations still did before the Second World War. As you know, Thoreau was very much en vogue. Who has read Ktaadn, by -- by Thoreau? No one? It's all over? That was a favorite, you see. {Sidney Cox} stood here for -- for this -- who has still met Mr. {Cox}, you see? He was the last of the Mohicans, really. And he believed in individual salvation by meeting nature. We still have one man on this campus who suddenly can stop on this campus, and you ask him what he's doing, "I commune with nature." And then he has intercourse with divine nature. He's a remarkable man, but I think he's absolutely crazy.

You have to- -- however, I do- -- leave this to you, gentlemen, since you are young. It is still your temptation as Americans to believe that nature in itself is good. I was brought up with this romantic notion. I have come to know that God did not make nature good and us bad, you see. This is -- good and evil are not to be found in nature, the evil as little as the good. And it is both wrong to proclaim that nature is evil or that nature is good. It is just -- has nothing to do with these qualifications which only belong to you and me. This is I think of great importance.

So would you kindly date this? 1750, the dream of a -- of a holy nature, of a -- the Emersonian, Thoreau, Franklin dream -- that nature is good and we are only stupid because we do not appreciate the goodness of nature, you see, is in Melville drawn -- brought to its conclusion. And the greatness is, however, that it takes a hundred years before we -- you and I -- put Melville in this place. Nobody in 1850, you see, accepted this {message}, so -- that although its utterance, accidentally printed in 1850, the great sermon of the Franklinites in 1750 -- secular, nature, salvation, you see -- just -- Voltaire did -- said this, the encyclopedists did it, with -- Mr. {Wilson} has written this book on Diderot, you see, who had -- who held to this belief. In 1750, the dream. In Melville's own existence, the realization how far at -- can we execute it, so to speak. And in { } time, the imperative. You have to say goodbye to the Enlightenment, gentlemen, or America cannot survive, or the whole Western world cannot survive. This is a big order. And you as individuals will -- do not even know how big the order is. But it means that the purely secular, in the sense that the secular can find its frame of references, it's the principles of explanation, its way of interpreting life by watching the spider, or by watching the bee, or the anthive, you see, leads to terrible things. I -- you know how all anthropologists still are in this -- temptation. They look at the bee, and they look at the ant, and then they say, "You must be -- beehive or an anthive," you see. {Can be}. I mean, this -- this -- this -- or {Our Poor Relations}, by Mr. {Ruten}, you know, the book on the apes. People are still -- in all special fields of human interpretation today completely hipped on this nature business. Nothing is explained for you and me when we know that this occurs somewhere in nature, because in nature, it is neither good

nor evil. What we must know -- whether we should do it. Now in order to know what we should do, you see, we are not helped by any observation in the -- in the state of the animal kingdom, for example. This has tremendous consequences.

I would say, gentlemen, this was then here the universal dream. Here it was the practical attempt -- of which, by the way, the emancipation of the slaves is a -- is an outcome. You have to do it now. If all men are born equal, for Heaven's sake, we must even have a civil war. You see, nature must be respected. Now we know, as you well know, that the assimilation of two races is a very painful -- process and has ver- -- cannot simply be based on -- on an abstract proclamation. That has to be done in time, and in due time, and with many restrictions. And this is here I think your -- you are provoked to dismiss the frame of reference given by the term "nature," because you cannot say that by nature you are anything. We are nothing by nature. Man is that which -- being which has in every moment to get a new nature, obviously. Every generation has to get a new nature.

So if I may put here this figure of 1950, you see how Melville is in eclipse for a hundred years, that his voice carries into our ears with much more meaning than it did in his own day, which is, in itself, gentlemen, a tremendous problem of the generations again. If you put here the figure 1890, and if you will recall that I said this man lives one generation, his soul can embody; and another generation, his soul has to live disembodied. And you see that another 40 years it takes before he has heard, and now you -- we can embody his problem, so to speak, in actual -- actuality. You will perhaps see that the whole system of this -- of this lecture is again applied -- I have tried to show you that what we call "Old Testament" and "New Testament," "antiquity" and "Christianity," "Church" and "state," "world history" can be ex- -- seen even in the working of two generations, that this is the analogy, but not one generation. The last century -- liberalism, you see -- has tried to find the life of Christ in one man's life. This atomization, the life of Jesus, you see, is just -- we live by everybody -- is wrong. I have tried to show you that between two generations, the secret of real living can be found perhaps, but not between -- in- -- inside one life. And I have drawn your attention in Melville's case to the fact that, after all, he covers two generations. That's not a one-generation, you see. That's in himself a double problem. And he pays with -- by one generation of his existence for the glory of the other.

So the primary atom of history, gentlemen, are two generations, not one generation. I think that is a tremendous item to be learned again in Melville's own existence. We did it with William James and Henry James. Now I do it inside one man's existence, you see. This is the first unit, the first digit, so to

speak, you see, in counting time in real history.

And this is very difficult for you again, but it does away with all the Enlightenment. What we called "nature," gentlemen, was timeless life -- that is, just one generation, the matter of one age. And this frame of reference of Benjamin Franklin, or of Cooper -- that it all matters, you see, what one generation thinks or does -- this must be repudiated. This isn't true, because all the sufferings of Melville are only meaningful if you accept the fact that he paid by one generation for the other, waited for further generations to come, to do justice to his -- to his ending as a first man in America, the dream of naturalness.

Something else. In his Pierre, he undertakes to show that a man who is really "self" still needs the other sex. In the sister, the man who does not want to live beyond his own generation -- he doesn't want to be son or father, who breaks away with the old ancestry and doesn't want to have children, will still have to be supplemented by one other human being of the opposite sex. It's a very profound thing in this Pierre, that the possible fianc‚e who -- with -- from whom he could have children, and his real mother and father, who -- project his life into the past, you see, are replaced by this child -- sister out of wedlock, {which is} pure nature that is simply the contemporary person, you see, in his own ex- -- selfhood -- selfishness.

Now gentlemen, this is, I think, the greatness we have to ascribe to Mr. Freud and the whole problem of today, of psychoanalysis: that man -- even if he escapes into space, into self out of time, when he unable to procreate, or to feel procreated -- that he still needs one other person to fulfill himself. That is, the natural man of psychoanalysis are still two -- very different from Rousseau again, and Franklin and the self-made man, you see, and the individualism of the -- of the 19th cent- -- 18th century, where the people say, "A equals A." Well, it isn't true here in -- in Melville's case, so what do we say? This "A times B," this brother-sister proposition, be -- as the self, you see, that has to be sacrificed as it is there. They both perish, so to speak, into nothingness, into just their own moment of fulfillment.

This then is -- already outside the vision of -- of Rousseau, and of Thoreau, and of the self-contained, self-autonomous, you see, reasonable being, because man is haunted by sex, and he isn't "self," you see, with -- reason doesn't do anything to his real existence. The -- so reason is replaced by sex. And I think we should subscribe to this. And again this is only meaningful in 1950, gentlemen, that nature, which -- Melville re- -- places the secular nature in the place of reason in 1750 is, so to speak, valid today because you would say today what we find as natural in man is his sexuality, but not his reason, because with reason I have ulterior motives, you see. And depth psychology shows that you

can reason out anything if you want to have something, and usually somebody of the other sex. That's just rationalization, as we say.

So there is a second thing to be learned, gentlemen. His -- he replaces the vision of self as a homo sapiens, of the rational being, by the -- this definition, so to speak, in Pierre, that the self would still have to break all laws of the universe to fulfill itself with the next of kin. Not to step into time. When self is considered a being in space, incest is the consequence, as it is in all modern literature, by the way. When you have no task in life to fulfill, not to free the slaves, not to -- go west, not to discover the universe, not to -- not to invent the airplane. That is, when man has no historical task to fulfill, you see, he is thrown back on his sexual nature much more than on his rational nature.

All this I wanted you to under- -- to begin to see how miraculous people live. And this last point I wish to make, before I stop here and leave the rest for the next meeting, is this: if you go beyond 1750, backward, in Melville's ancestry, you find Shakespeare, and you find the Bible. You find the King James Version of -- of 1611, and you find another 150 years thrown in for good measure, so to speak, for his wavelengths, for his vocabulary, for his eloquence. You know this very well, as a reporter, don't you, I mean, and he -- you -- that he's -- just very knowingly read Shakespeare before he wrote Moby Dick, to fill himself up with the whole -- with the whole barrel, so to speak, of -- of spirits of -- to -- to get this eloquence.

Gentlemen, when we -- any literary man, any man who really speaks, any orator -- I too, here, gentlemen -- when I want to convey truth, it isn't myself that speaks, but it's time, a great stream of time out of which my words emerge. And I only let them pass through my receptacle, my vessel of clay. You must learn again that a teacher doesn't teach as long as he speaks himself. That's nonsense. You have this idea that -- and if you are decent receptacles of the truth, gentlemen, you don't listen yourself. You listen with responsibility that is, even if you don't do anything, you will still have to pass on the truth to somebody else, whether it's your child or your friend -- that is, in a real emergency -- you may say, "I didn't heed the warning of the class in -- Philosophy 57, but you may need this, so I pass it on to you. Try it. I mean, this strikes me as pertinent to your case." In every case, gentlemen, that we speak, we travel on some wavelength that is beyond our own generation. You too, in listening, and this is the most difficult thing for you to -- to think, that -- I am not talking to you at all as mere "selfs." I cannot talk to a "self," because "selfs" have ulterior motives. I do not talk to you for letting you pass an examination. I'm not interested in this. You may be interested in this, unfortunately. But that's a by-product of the course. If I would think, "How do I make this boy bypass a course," you see, I certainly couldn't teach you anything.

Therefore I -- try to save the truth beyond you, through you. But you are just the -- the -- the -- the hose through which the water must be -- you see, poured so that it reaches out into the future. Don't take yourself as a -- never ask this question, "What do I get out of this?" This is impossible for you to solve. The truth is not there to be taken -- so that you can get something out of it. The truth is much more important than you, because it connects you and makes you out of selves into links of the whole edifice.

Therefore I -- try to save the truth beyond you, through you. But you are just the -- the -- the -- the hose through which the water must be -- you see, poured so that it reaches out into the future. Don't take yourself as a -- never ask this question, "What do I get out of this?" This is impossible for you to solve. The truth is not there to be taken -- so that you can get something out of it. The truth is much more important than you, because it connects you and makes you out of selves into links of the whole edifice.

Therefore, gentlemen, Melville has a second wavelength on which he travels with -- in his eloquence, he covers three centuries. Here is the year 1600 that reaches America poignantly once more, after the divines and their servants have exhausted themselves, after nobody's -- reads the Bible. But if you read Moby-Dick, you still read the Bible, because the -- the perception is still there of a cosmic universe in which God has man -- has loved man so much that He has sent his inborn son into the world. The cosmos, the whole creation is -- is in Melville.

This makes you perhaps understand why his -- his importance begins only today. It took him a whole century to get a hearing, because he is reaching be- -- backward -- beyond -- Franklin and Cooper, and -- and whom d- -- else did we have? Well, I would say Emerson, or Thoreau, but whom else did we treat? Well, even beyond Edwards with his -- division of the natural man and the religious man. In -- he is still a man of 1500. That is, before this country is -- is reached, so to speak.

This I think is terribly important that you begin to see that this is the reason why he couldn't be heard in his generation. Anybody who travels on a wavelength that is so long, of course can only get a hearing by ears that are not given to the immediate, only. Now you will admit that in 1850, this country slunk into the Provi- -- Missouri Proviso, The Sociology of the South was written, the '50s have -- the Know-Nothing Party was founded -- that is, the early McCarthys. In 1858, they tried to -- yes, they tried to write the McCarran law even worse than today, you see, taking away full citizenship from the -- from the newcomers to this country. Everything in the '50s was exactly of the same class of hopeless, faithless, immediate selfishness, and without this -- that's why the Republican

Party had to be founded in 1854, you see, because it was such a low ebb in -- in America. You can hardly imagine. If you read The Sociology of the South, where slavery is recommended as a -- the natural institution, you see, as final, as -- as the best thing to be -- you must read this. The Sociology of the South is a very important book. In Europe at the same time there was written the book on the inequality of the human races by the Count de Gobineau. And it was the moment which God really seemed to hold His breath, because sla- -- all the injustices were suddenly consecrated, seemed just, you see -- life seemed to have -- lose all its direction. In France, the -- the workers had been, as you know, crushed by Napoleon III, so the reaction was everywhere. In this moment, Melville tries to {cry}, you see. And there is no reaction. And in his Pierre, he pro- -- so to speak predicts that selfish man that must come out of such a spiritless life. If every generation is only left to itself, this is the result.

The whole endeavor, I try to make you, is to build carefully out of this two-generation unit the larger units of history, gentlemen. Once you understand that the times do not consist of one moment, and then more moments, and more moments, but always consist of the dialogue inside every one of you, between what you have received and what you have to hand on, then you see that this dualism, of holding onto part of the past and creating something in the future, is the two-generation principle. And it's worth looking at this, because it explains what we have to do today. It explains that -- for example, the teacher-student relationship, the parent-son relationship -- is at the heart of all our understanding of living, because it has been marooned. It has been abandoned. I mean, the parents just do not dare to tell the children anything.

Today we get a call. Mrs. Huessy wanted to go skiing with a young mother who needs it badly. She's completely overworked. She has a 14-year-old daughter. The daughter has decided that she wants to stay at home. She feels -- doesn't feel well. She went out too many evenings. It's a very simple thing. So the mother says, "She would feel lonely if I went skiing." So I -- since this girl doesn't go to school, she must stay with this girl. This is this kind of parent-slavery, which you have today. It's utterly ridiculous, you see, why -- if she -- the girl would go to school, she would allow herself to go skiing, but of course this child is just -- has to sleep out, so to speak, because she had too much pleasure the last four years, the mother must even have no pleasure on the fifth day. The logic is -- you see, too -- too exalted. Well, they found a wonderful way out. The younger boy of 10 decided then not to go to school, either. Then the mother said, "Now I can go skiing, because they both can play together."

But it is this idea that for the first 20 years of life you have only to have pleasure and willfulness, you see, and after this, you have nothing, absolutely nothing. This is -- we have Heaven first and hell later, today. You will see that,

when you have to wash the dishes.

So come forward with your { }, will you?

(I don't know that I have time to read it, Sir. I might run a few minutes over.)