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  • 18


     
    D.H. Lawrence on Fenimore Cooper's White Novels
    Philosophy; Posted on: 2009-07-03 07:09:58 [ Printer friendly / Instant flyer ]
    The TOQ Classics Corner

    Benjamin Franklin had a specious little equation in providential mathematics:

    Rum + Savage = 0. Awfully nice! You might add up the universe to nought, if you kept on.

    Rum plus Savage may equal a dead savage. But is a dead savage nought? Can you make a land virgin by killing off its aborigines ?

    The Aztec is gone, and the Incas. The Red lndian, the Esquimo, the Patagonian are reduced to negligible numbers.

    0u sont les neiges díantan?

    My dear, wherever they are, they will come down again next winter, sure as houses.

    Not that the Red Indian will ever possess the broad lands of America. At least I presume not. But his ghost will.

    The Red Man died hating the white man. What remnant of him lives, lives hating the white man. Go near the Indians, and you just feel it. As far as we are concerned, the Red Man is subtly and unremittingly diabolic. Even when he doesnít know it. He is dispossessed in life, and unforgiving. He doesnít believe in us and our civilization, and so is our mystic enemy, for we push him off the face of the earth.

    Belief is a mysterious thing. It is the only healer of the soulís wounds. There is no belief in the world.

    The Red Man is dead, disbelieving in us. He is dead and unappeased. Do not imagine him happy in his Happy Hunting Ground. No. Only those that die in belief die happy. Those that are pushed out of life in chagrin come back unappeased, for revenge.

    A curious thing about the Spirit of Place is the fact that no place exerts its full influence upon a new-comer until the old inhabitant is dead or absorbed. So America. While the Red Indian existed in fairly large numbers, the new colonials were in a great measure immune from the daimon, or demon, of America. The moment the last nuclei of Red life break up in America, then the white men will have to reckon with the full force of the demon of the continent. At present the demon of the place and the unappeased ghosts of the dead Indians act within the unconscious or under-conscious soul of the white American, causing the great American grouch, the Orestes-like frenzy of restlessness in the Yankee soul, the inner malaise which amounts almost to madness, sometimes. The Mexican is macabre and disintegrated in his own way. Up till now, the unexpressed spirit of America has worked covertly in the American, the white American soul. But within the present generation the surviving Red Indians are due to merge in the great white swamp. Then the Daimon of America will work overtly, and we shall see real changes.

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    News Source: TOQ

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