I was first alerted to the (onetime) existence of Melanchthon in a rather obscure passage in the work of Nathaniel Hawthorne in which he makes a veiled reference to a certain fellow called ‘Blackened Earth’ whom he describes only as a ‘mysterious traveller’.
I took note of this rather odd name but it quickly passed from my memory. This strange creature was again thrust upon my awareness when Franz Kafka named his name in his JOURNALS (he called him. a ‘heresiarch’). He, also, attributed the following statements to the man: (1) IT IS A TERRIBLE THING TO FIGHT SHADOWS and, (2) THE ORDERING OF EVENTS BELONGS ONLY TO GOD.
It was then that I decided to pursue the matter. My correspondence with Jorge Luis Borges concerning the enigma led to my discovery that prophets are the children of a civilisation in dissolution but little else about Melanchthon excepting the fact that he, once or twice, came upon references to the man but would commit himself to nothing other than that he was referred to in various Saxon myths as ‘The Proclaimer’ and ‘The Mouth of God,’ and that he, also, possessed the attendant ability to ‘…rave in a long, loud & unseemly manner.’
I have not yet ascertained where or even when the man lived (if he did at all), but I have discovered through a long series of chance events a series of prospecti which The Proclaimer drew up concerning his future intentions.
I do not know what to make of these BLACK LISTS (as he seems to have called them), and present them here, for scholars & other folks of learning to make of them what they might.
Concord, Massachusetts May 5. 1977
Nota Bene: The Original Black List of Melanchthon and the eighteen various addenda follow in these pages.
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