INTRODUCTION TO THE BLACK LISTS

 

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.

PJJP

Concord, Massachusetts May 5. 1977

Nota Bene:  The Original Black List of Melanchthon and the eighteen various addenda follow in these pages.

THE BLACK LIST

The BLACK LIST,
Being a Compilation Of the Books Which the Writer Thinks Should be Edited, Written or Compiled.

1) EX NIHIL NIHIL FIT ¹
2) THE OTHER END OF TIME
3) LIGHTNING IN A CLEAR SKY
4) NEW PARADIGMS, or Modifications Changes and Provisions
5) TO SEE THE SUN IN SQUARES, or The Dead Hour
6) LUX MENTIS, LUX ORBIS ²
7) TO SHOW WHITE FOR BLACK
8) SO GOES THE WORLD
9) EVENTS THAT NEVER HAPPENED
10) SCREAMING TO THE FOUR WINDS
11)  Το όμορφο είναι πάντα αγαπούσε ³

 

¹ From nothing, nothing is made.

² Light of the Mind, Light of the World

³ The Beautiful is Always Loved

 

7.27 (IV) (20:6) #321

Conditioned Reflex

 

They finally construct that perfect figure whose center is everywhere and circumference nowhere. Upon completion they decide that it is not bringing in a large enough profit and so convert it into a factory specializing in the fabrication of darkness.

None of the townspeople raise their voice for, naturally, they make up the bulk of the payroll.

 

mm.dd ( ) (nn.n) #nnn

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At the Burial of a Dead Idea

 

 

 

 

The people came from miles around. A few had journeyed to pay their respects.  But most came out of curiosity or, more to the point, simply to gawk. They were rowdy and ill-mannered. They were foul-mouthed and foul of breath. They were hucksters hawking their wares and painted ladies selling their discount virtue.  They pressed in around the small plot where the minister was mindlessly mumbling the forgotten words of a forgotten prayer.  As it was lowered into the ground to its final resting place there was a tear or two among the mourners but mostly guffaws and loud hurrahs.

 

 

 

12.6 (II) (24:20)

ID EST

 

 

The Saint awakes one morning and decides to search for Truth. It is not an enviable task, in this day & age, but he has been selected by fate, he reasons, and so he persists. He immediately contacts the intelligence community and acquires all the latest equipment in electronic surveillance. It is a long drawn out and thankless task.

The years come and go, blowing by like chaff in the wind. Finally, he realizes that there must have been some mistake and he regretfully resigns his position.  As for a successor — he advertised in the papers but there were no takers. He, therefore, decides to write about his adventure in a long-winded monograph which is never published.

The paper’s conclusion: ‘Observe the survivors & learn.’

 

 

6.10 (III) (19:4) #304