On maintaining roots

H.P. Lovecraft, in his private writings, appears to have spent a good deal of mental energy pondering over how to maintain a connection to his English roots, which he believed to be genetically hard-wired into his soul and mind. This may seem a peculiar belief, from a more Americanized point of view, but let’s face it: Lovecraft would not have been Lovecraft, as we his readers know him, if he had been a more “typical” American.

Here he writes about this:

”Thus in the English world — America has suffered, so far, in only a limited degree; because the forces of ancestral culture have continued to function despite the severance of the political link. But we now have deteriorative agencies—mechanisation, foreigners, etc.—more hostile to continuity than anything which the disunited Hellenic world had to face; so that our ability to preserve a culture of satisfying significance depends greatly on the exact degree of closeness of our linkage to ancestral sources. Nowadays we need more than the mere fact of being English in heritage and speech in order to keep so.

We need the added and positive factors of being consciously and symbolically so, in order to offer the tangible resistance (a vigorous back pull, and not mere inertia) necessary to check decadence. When we fight the ideal of quantity and wealth, we must have the positive English ideal of quality and refinement to pit against it. We must have a rallying point of our emotional life in order to prevent the disorganising influences around us from recrystallising our milieu into definitely hostile and repulsive shapes.

It is useless to fight meaningless recrystallisation unless we have a strong hold on the meaningful order behind us, and a solid coordination with the other surviving parts—especially the recognised centre and nucleus—of that order. What little of our past we merely passively harbour, we can lose with tragic ease. We must get a firm and virile grip on it—must recognise and cherish it, and seek solidarity with those parts of the world where it is most strongly entrenched.

Possibly you may admit this, yet say that political union is not necessary in order to achieve it. To this one may not reply dogmatically—though one may say that political separation is at least a very evil sort of symbolism, and that in practice it has worked hellish tragedy with the life and standards of the ill-fated, power-and-money bloated, mongrelised United States….that is, the life and standards of such social or territorial parts as have really departed from their inheritance.

Of course, vast sections are still English—Vermont, South Carolina, Virginia, the old hill in Providence, and so on. […] I am a part of any region where English people live in an English manner…be it R.I., Charleston, Devonshire, Australia, Nova Scotia, or any where else. My own position in insisting on unpolluted Englishry is purely selfish and cynical. I want a good time—hence I work for the only environment which can give me a good time.

As for the intensity of my emotions about the matter in a cosmos where nothing really counts—I will merely remind you that emotion is not a matter connected with reason. I have the emotions I do, simply because accident has given me a certain sort of glandular systems and filled my subconscious mind with a certain set of images and impressions.

I hate the rebels of 1775 because they commenced a wreckage which is making their territory unfit for their descendants to live in. God Save the King!”

Lovecraft, from a letter written November 6, 1930

I can only guess that, could Lovecraft have foreseen what our country and culture would be in another century or two, he would have been appalled, what with Anglo-Saxons deposed from their original dominance, and most people so deracinated and so many ashamed of their origins — both here and in the other areas of the Anglosphere. Can this ever be reversed?

4 thoughts on “On maintaining roots

  1. Thank you for introducing me to Lovecraft and for your careful selection of this extract from his writing.

    Without knowing of his existence or thoughts, The Thinking WASP is practicing his advice.

    The following words piqued our interest:

    “Nowadays we need more than the mere fact of being English in heritage and speech in order to keep so. We need the added and positive factors of being consciously and symbolically so.”

    and

    “Of course, vast sections are still English—Vermont, South Carolina, Virginia, the old hill in Providence, and so on. […] I am a part of any region where English people live in an English manner…be it R.I., Charleston, Devonshire, Australia, Nova Scotia, or any where else.”

    Today we call this the Anglosphere. It is alive, well and prospers. It continues to drive the world forward.

    The Thinking WASP is ‘consciously and symbolically’ ‘positive’ about, as Lovecraft describes, our ‘Englishry’.

    For our breathtaking achievements, click here: https://thethinkingwasp.wordpress.com/category/achievements/

    For our heroic exemplars, click here: https://thethinkingwasp.wordpress.com/category/exemplars-leaders/

    For our mouth-watering cuisine, click here: https://thethinkingwasp.wordpress.com/category/cuisine/

    For our spellbinding artistic expression, click here: https://thethinkingwasp.wordpress.com/category/arts/

    For our quaintest hamlets, click here: https://thethinkingwasp.wordpress.com/category/hamlets-villages-towns-cities/

    For our scientific and technological advancements, click here: https://thethinkingwasp.wordpress.com/category/science-technology-invention/

    For our sporting life, click here: https://thethinkingwasp.wordpress.com/category/sport/

    For the values which make us great, click here: https://thethinkingwasp.wordpress.com/category/values/

    And finally, for a cohesive call-to-action so that our roots are maintained, there is this personal letter to you from The Thinking WASP right here: https://thethinkingwasp.wordpress.com/mission/

    We in the Anglosphere are culture cousins. It is time we bound ourselves together.

    Thank you for your timely post and for allowing me to contribute.

    Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

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