39 thoughts on “The Nostalgia That Never Was – Rhys Hughes

  1. “, and really the question we ought to be asking isn’t, ‘Who was the very first man?’ but instead, ‘Who will be the very last man?’”

    No, which is the Last Balcony, is the question.
    Some amazing stuff here about would-be ordinal men, including Noah who “will use his monstrous hand as a rudder to steer the vessel in the weeks to come, to shake hands with the currents in the deeps.”

  2. SHAMHAT

    “…I’ll return to the wheel in my workshop and caress those other curves I know so well instead,…”

    Cf what Noah did with his hand above.
    (Rhys Hughes stuff seems the optimal place for someone called after a sham hat!)

  3. Enheduanna

    “The earliest named writer in history was a woman.”

    Has ‘he’ in her name, though, it seems. From Ur to Glug. And did not someone with another part of her name write Black Beauty?

  4. Ariadne

    “I just lurk by the doorway and give a ball of yarn to any hero who comes along. And a kick in the pants to send him on his way through that portal of doom.”

    All of us are both constructive and destructive, to some extent, to others and to the self, not only from an author’s words but also a perceived way of living?

  5. “That was Ajax, a madman but a very hygienic one. We can smell him even from here, his lemon freshness, and we are filled with the desire to wash ourselves in the same way, tumbling end over end, and pegging ourselves on long lines afterwards.”

    An ironic prophetic mention of today’s POTUS starting the Third World War?
    The joke does depend on knowledge that AJAX was a toilet cleaner in UK when I was younger.
    Followed by the relative sizes of Trojan Horses and gates.

  6. Solomon

    Tim Berners-Lee has had two wives so far, so he is not the single person we seek who changed humanity most?
    Solomon’s wisdom stretched to chopping a single person into two on a breeze block, I believe.

  7. THESPIS

    Writing fiction is a form of acting, corpsing with lacunae, pretending you are the established founder, but only being chance finder, or muser, not actual muse, the one in front but not behind it all, and it’s really someone else thus pretending to be you. The … Fallacy.

  8. Mahavira

    Lao Tzu
    “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. But if you are a millipede, a single step begins with a thousand feet.”

    Confucius
    “I had my last wisdom tooth pulled today and now I no longer know what a journey of a thousand miles begins with…“

    Siddhartha

    =============================

    Trump:
    HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD culturally important targets in Iran.

  9. XERXES

    I have never wondered before why one is cheered UP, and not simply cheered.
    I think X is the only letter — other than, of course, the circular argument of O — that is the same up, down and sideways in either its lower or upper case forms.

  10. Xanthippe

    “, the icing broke and she fell through into the filling.”

    The icing as ceiling, because cakes don’t have roofs. Xanthippe, Socrates’ feisty wife, as he preferred a wife to be. Frosty, too, I guess.

  11. The HIPPOCRATUS and PYTHEAS sections are purely educational, and enthralling. No jokes and little wordplay, other than the cheese in a sock. Made a refreshing change.
    Perhaps this is the counterintuitive start of an evolution of pining nostalgia for the puckish Rhys Hughes we once knew and loved, rather than this Rhys Hughes the staid educationalist?

  12. VIRGIL and CLEOPATRA are the last two in this section, as I learnt something about the latter’s nose I didn’t know before. The author as sporadic educationalist again. Still, all literature is educational in different ways, even when it is at its most absurd. I continue to seek that Holy Grail or Gestalt that Literature as a whole harbours, one that has eluded mankind heretofore and I am confident that the including of this book (so far) in the dish of cultures to be studied has so far been a good decision on my part. Nostalgia for some historical thinkers and figures projected into the future for its retrocausal effect today.

  13. “History becomes more precise, better documented, as it moves forward in time.“

    Ah, there are many interesting different theories teeming in this book, some from its readers, but mainly from its author. Mark or Mint each Pole of Thought.

  14. MARY

    “ …by definition any day on which he was born must be Christmas Day. Christmas Day was named after him.“

    That figures. And we now seem to enter a realm of important Christian figures. Starting with its Parthenogenetic Mother

  15. Jesus

    “After forty days in the desert without eating, Satan”

    Satan brought Jesus to an impossible mountain from the peak of which could be seen all the Kingdoms of the world. Jesus worshipped Satan in return. Ends justifying means. Or vice versa? A telling parable of religious philosophy. I wonder if it will ever be reprinted whereby the whole world can read it.

  16. Saint Matthew

    Hew off a hand, but whose hand will hew off whose hand? If it’s your own hand, choose your hand for hewing carefully. Much about religion is obliquely encapsulated here, even if the author was just an innocent party in opening such implications. Sometimes it takes a rehew to recognise something even the author had missed.

  17. Saint Luke

    Splinter or plank in an eye discussed, and subsequent removal. There was a famous 1967 film called The Plank that teemed with named comedians of the era, a sort of silent film comedy. Eyes were thus important with which to watch it without subtitles.

  18. Liang Na

    “She was an empress who became known for her humility, wisdom and diligence, the wife of Emperor Shun of Han, chosen to be his consort at a young age, together with her aunt, and he took it in turns romping with them.”

    They called it “analing”? Whatever, Liang Na did not like whatever it was being done to her, I gather,

  19. Cosmas and Damian

    “He knew because he wasn’t there.”

    That is the most potentially perfect sentence ever written. The fact it is an arguably generic ‘he’ enhances its perfectibility.

  20. Coelia Concordia

    All I can do here is to quote from Whiter Shade of Pale by Procol Harum, a song that was very significant in my life as a young man in 1967.
    “One of sixteen vestal virgins”

  21. Ntaolo

    To read and understand this, you need to invent not the stepladder but two new brains as appendages for increased storage on each side of the head. But also to continue acting as flaps for the inner ears.

  22. Leapfrogging the joke about Attila, the list of whimsical and tangential thoughts on each of several subjects continues (as I show below) as a sort of companion to this author’s World Muses (I agree with the author on that), but it also demonstrates an astonishing erudition and eclecticism behind the many classic RhysHughesianisms embodied in each article. I don’t think I am exaggerating by calling him the true Renaissance Man of our otherwise dwindling times. I say that in all seriousness.

    Atikah bint Murrah
    Bodhidharma
    Khosrovidukht
    Thor
    Leif Ericson
    Hassan-i-Sabbah
    Giraldus Cambrensis
    Genghis
    Marco Polo
    Ockham
    Mansa Musa
    Chaucer
    Zheng He
    Nicolas of Cusa
    Pachacuti
    Gutenberg
    Marlowe
    Sebastiano Venier
    Shakespeare
    Guy Fawkes
    Don Quixote
    Bashō
    Hakuin Ekaku
    Blackbeard
    Dr Johnson
    Vico
    Casanova
    Hanway
    Berkeley
    Robert Clive
    Frederick the Great
    Lichtenberg
    Épée
    Hahnemann
    Mungo Park
    Napoleon
    Marshall Ney
    Mary Anning
    Daguerre
    Morse
    Cornelius
    Kierkegaard
    Balzac
    Stirner
    Gobineau
    Whitman
    Darwin
    Richard Dadd
    Scarlett O’Hara
    Richard Burton
    Strauss the Younger
    Edward Lear
    Verne
    Victor Tatin
    Mendeleev
    Dewey
    Mrs Beeton
    Mark Twain
    Schiaparelli
    Dostoyevsky
    Sitting Bull
    Remus (2)
    Starley
    Dr Jekyll
    D’Oyly Carte
    Tarzan
    Ed Haley
    Coubertin
    Housman
    Alfred Jarry
    Marconi
    Hiram Maxim
    Steiff
    Marie Curie
    Beijerinck
    Ramón y Cajal
    Bannerman
    Planck
    Buddy Bolden
    M.R. James
    Einstein
    ERB
    Rodin
    André Gide
    Čabrinović
    Paul Klee
    Don Marquis
    Kafka
    Cheiro
    Lovecraft
    Shafiqa Al-Qibtiyya
    Karel Capek
    Lang
    Coco Chanel
    Brecht
    Django
    Carter
    Noel Coward
    Chaliapin
    Parker
    Rudolph
    Gandhi
    Simenon
    Pearl S. Buck
    Hoover
    Gibbons
    Evelyn Waugh
    Robert Johnson
    Superman
    Borges
    Bogart
    Kharms
    Turing
    Veronica Lake
    Hans Fallada
    Asimov
    Jimmy Stewart
    Sartre
    Aslan
    Yma Sumac
    Dylan (1)
    Amos Tutuola
    Pollock
    Bradbury
    Hitchcock
    Sturgeon
    Trippe
    Damon Knight
    Rosalind Franklin
    Charles Beaumont
    Salazar
    Julius Kelp
    Coltrane
    Heilig
    Tito Puente
    007
    Goldfinger
    Glen Campbell
    Robbie-Grillet
    Barthes
    Dylan (2)
    Patterson-Gimlin
    Peter Beagle
    Marvin Gaye
    Buzz Aldrin
    Vonnegut
    Jagger
    Dr White
    Richard Harris
    King Tubby
    Papillon
    Wainwright
    Greer
    Jeff Wayne
    Brautigan
    Barbara Woodhouse
    Bonnie Tyler
    Acker
    Ligotti
    Rayner
    Higgs
    W.G. Sebald
    Mick Aston
    Leonard
    Meldrew
    Pinker
    Diana
    Prince Charles
    Jack Dann
    Julia Roberts
    Lee Child
    Solnit
    Elizabeth Taylor
    E.L. James
    Rupert Murdoch
    Farage
    Trump
    The Reader
    The Last Man

    A fictionatronic wordplay of a buffer against a dwindling in nostalgia. You would think such nostalgia would be being bolstered more seriously or logically when everything else around it is sadly dwindling. The ultimate paradox. Thank goodness for the erudition that prevails in at least one last one among us.

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