1000 Posts for the End

Back!, at the: there I have just running the new Queens of the Stone Age record, Era Vulgaris, with a three week or so delay and oh, are these guitars ever so wonderfully bold! Stephen Thomas Erlewine, over at allmusic, takes Josh Homme outside the time stream and makes him a temporal refugee, Lovecraft style.

Josh Homme is a man of many talents, but he’s not quite a man of his time. He floats outside of it, sniping and sneering at it, but he’s not part of it — he’s too in love with rock & roll to belong to a decade that’s seeing the music’s slow decline.

If the decline of rock & roll sounds thus, may it never again start not to decline: hail to the band that’s pumping and twisting guitar speedfire riffs like they mean them.
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Back! First! Now that my seminar on the apocalypse is drawing to a close, I feel…do I say it?…a certain confidence in the final things, strong enough, indeed, to finally launch the inquiry on the third subchapter of the longdrawn multi-month inquiry Lovecraft and Race. The original list of agenda points read thus –

(- Race in Lovecraft scholarship)

(- Race and Decay)

– Race and Apocalypse

– Race and the Reader

– the brackets closed around the two points I have so far tried to deal with. Both chapters involved pretty far-strung and detailed readings of a limited text corpus, prose from both Lovecraft and his critics. These readings, if nothing else, helped clarify in how far certain concepts were purposeful to a reading of Lovecraft as part of an apocalyptic tradition – think participation mystique and chronos/kairos, both of which, among others, I will be able to refer to when I go on to put a more definite shape to my working assumption that in Lovecraft’s case race, horror, and apocalypse necessarily go in productive unison, reserving him a unique place not only in the American Gothic, but in fact pushing the literary mode in a distinctly modern direction and introducing a vital and important division – Gothic Apocalypse. Both Gothic and Apocalypse involve definitions and re-definitions of concepts of power and race, prior to and after Lovecraft’s time bracket: he combines the two in an innovative way and in the process introduces new and radically efficient varieties of alterity and hybridity. Or, bereft of the jargon: racism was never quite as creepy.

My plan for the upcoming weeks and months into the inquiry, as far as it occurs in this blog, go into a timid table (leaving enough space for any late entries). Quite unabashedly I confess that this is in preliminary study of chapters 4-6 of my dissertation, Providence and Apocalypse – chapters on Apocalypse and Power, Apocalypse and Race, and Gothic Apocalypse [working titles, all of them], as well as in preparation of more quotable scholarly articles. For all the jouissance of the online-writing experience, I want to see this go in a direction where it has my main concern, the diss, in its eye.

The table, timidly, looks thus –

Apocalypse, Decay, and Race

1) The Frontier as Apocalyptic Place

1.1) Melville’s Indian-Hating Revisited

1.2) The Riders of the Purple Sage and the End of History

1.3) A free state for the final things: Californian Apocalypses (Jack London – The Scarlet Plague/Nathanael West – Day of the Locust/George R. Stewart – Earth Abides)

1.4) Black Hole Sun, anyone? Southern heat, apocalypse, and race in Erskine Caldwell’s Tobacco Road.

1.5) Witchhunts in the final days: Puritan Apocalypses

1.6) Apocalyptic Borderlines: Apocalypse as Frontier experience

2) Gothic Frontier/Frontier Gothic

3) “Those accursed tomb- legions...”: WWI, Race, and the End of History

4) Lost Cities, Puritan Pastiches: Lovecraft’s rebuilt Frontiers

5) Terror from the Stars: New and old Frontiers in Lovecraft’s Fiction

6) Hybridity as the final frontier

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That’s still a little botched and unbalance. I need to re-balance these points a little, I guess. So I might as well add another one –

0. Musings in Preparation of the End

– and with this point I’ll wrestle some more, also to avoid redundancies with my previous blogging on the complex. In any case, the above outline will give me months of blogging material, all the more because there are subchapters hiding under each point.

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