Book Review: Love in the Age of Dispossession by Loretta Malakie

Love in the Age of Dispossession by Loretta Malakie

This is a deceptive book.

Oh, it delivers what it promises, and more, but in the beginning there’s a little essay about the decline of rural America, farm country (in this case, Upstate New York) and Le Grande Remplacement. Then for a while it seems to be a Generation X teen romance. A high school Goth girl is sitting on a park bench in a small town in Upstate New York:

“It’s 1993, and when a boy loved a girl he made her a mixtape.”

Catherine “Kitty” Burnes is an Irish-Catholic wannabe rebel who’s been accepted at Ivy League schools, but there’s a sense that Something Is Not Right with her world. The first part of the novel subtly hints at the coming troubles, the emptying and degradation of small town America and the great White die-off that would follow. But on first reading you might think it’s something else, an almost photo-realistic description of one young American woman’s life, upwardly mobile, out of the sticks and away from the hicks and on to New York City, the vibrancy and the multiculturalism and the thousand different ethnic restaurants. The media ecology around her, and us, relentlessly tells us this is what we want, the pinnacle: Freedom! Freedom from, from neighbors who know your business, your stupid high school friends and limits on your “self-expression” and, most of all, freedom to have sex when you want, with who you want, without pain or fear or guilt. By the time Kitty arrives to live as an adult in New York the relentless propaganda for Erica Jong’s Zipless F*** is well into its second generation. And instead of fulfillment, it delivers anomie.

The sequence of events here is a deadpan, devastating parody of what Cosmopolitan and Sex and the City and a score of network comedies have sold to rest of America as The Good Life: Kitty goes to Cornell, Kitty goes to Europe (though we read only the barest details of her time there), Kitty goes to New York City, Kitty goes to law school and clerks for a federal judge. And none of it satisfies or fulfills or brings any real happiness, because she’s detached, from her people and her nature as a woman. She knows something is wrong. Always something is missing.

It’s tribe that’s missing, the home ground, people who know you, knew you as a towheaded child and still see that sun-kissed hair when you pass them on the street as an adult, people who know what to expect from you. New York is the land of constant, wearing uncertainty, except for those for whom it is the home ground.

Ms. Malakie delivers a surprisingly complete and colorful picture of those for whom the city is home ground, especially the Orthodox Jews that Kitty ends up spending time with. She captures the essence of their comfort with each other and the city. For a time, during law school and after, Kitty associates with them almost as a substitute family, though eventually the inherently unsatisfactory nature of these relationships comes home to roost. The novel also has two vividly drawn, college-educated black New Yorkers and one black affirmative action nightmare. As unrepresentative as former may be of the average, they lend a certain verisimilitude to work life in the city.

The art of the book is in the building; building complexity as Kitty grows up, building realization of the existential crisis she and her people are facing. The last section, which could only be spoiled by any explicit description of events, builds toward Kitty’s realization of her true nature and of what can redeem her, and us.

The novel has some imperfections that a good editor would have caught. There is some rather heavy-handed foreshadowing earlier in the book that could have been cut, and also an instance of the third-person narrator being an “I.” There’s one paragraph that looks to have got mangled in processing. These imperfections are far outweighed by the skillful, gradual increase in tension and depth as the story unfolds, and a moving last section that delivers on the book’s premises and the promises the reader has come to expect from what came before.

Love in the Age of Dispossession subtly and movingly shows the pathologies of feminism, modernism and materialism. More importantly, it artfully discovers and describes the life-affirming alternative.

Love in the Age of Dispossession is available on Amazon

Loretta Malakie tweets @lorettatheprole

Neovictorian is the author of Sanity, a Novel.

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Book Notes No. 1, July 2018

Posting here has obviously been light, lately–seven posts since February, all about books, and mostly about my book, Sanity. Others have taken care of things quite nicely in the  the politics/government/social commentary department; if you haven’t yet, do go over to Social Matter and sign up for the email list, which will get you “This Week in Reaction,” which will likely be plenty.

I’m sure I’ll do some more essays, someday. For now I’ve found my groove with books, writing them and also spending more time reading them and less on “news” and commentary. So just to keep the blog on some kind of regular schedule I’m going to do at least a monthly book post. This is No. 1. Continue reading

“The Powers of the Earth” by Travis J. I. Corcoran–a Review and an Appreciation

About a year ago I opined on The Right Sort of Reactionary Fiction here, while I was in the middle of writing Sanity. As I wrote then:

What’s needed is an interesting story and interesting characters. What’s needed is what any good novel needs, making the reader care about what happens next…What I’ve found is that if you just write the story, there are plenty of opportunities to slip the Dark Enlightenment and the Red Pill and whatever other points you want to make in as a natural part of the narrative.

I just finished Travis J. I. Corcoran’s The Powers of the Earth, and while it’s not necessarily, precisely DE/RP, it’s…a great book. It’s great as “hard” sci-fi, it’s great as satire on Political Correctness and the various idiocies of Current Year and politicians and DC and socialism. But what makes it more than good is the way these strands come together in a great, big story, a story in which the reader an hardly wait to find out what happens next.

I’ve read thousands of novels, friends. This is the Real Deal.

I’ll let the Author explain his own plot (from the Amazon description):

Earth in 2064 is politically corrupt and in economic decline. The Long Depression has dragged on for 56 years, and the Bureau of Sustainable Research is hard at work making sure that no new technologies disrupt the planned economy. Ten years ago a band of malcontents, dreamers, and libertarian radicals bolted privately-developed anti-gravity drives onto rusty sea-going cargo ships, loaded them to the gills with 20th-century tunnel-boring machines and earthmoving equipment, and set sail – for the Moon.

There, they built their retreat. A lunar underground border-town, fit to rival Ayn Rand’s ‘Galt’s Gulch’, with American capitalists, Mexican hydroponic farmers, and Vietnamese space-suit mechanics – this is the city of Aristillus.

There’s a problem, though: the economic decline of Earth under a command-and-control economy is causing trouble for the political powers-that-be in Washington DC and elsewhere. To shore up their positions they need slap down the lunar expats and seize the gold they’ve been mining. The conflicts start small, but rapidly escalate.

Yes, there will be fighting.

The thing I’d point out, though, is just how vivid are the characters. They’re masterfully built up so that shortly after the first chapters I cared about them. And some of the most interesting and memorable characters are Dogs, with a capital “D”–I won’t say too much about them, except Dogs are people too…

I am a great admirer of Robert Heinlein’s work and anyone who’s read Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress will soon realize The Powers of the Earth has some interesting echos of it. Corcoran even brings them up himself, with characters discussing TMIAHM within the book. He manages to pull off exploring some of the same themes as Heinlein, giving tribute to Heinlein but taking things in new (and often surprising) directions. This is not rehashed Heinlein, nor is it really Galt’s Gulch on the Moon–though it has some elements of Atlas Shrugged, too (especially Rand’s gift for creating Bad Guys and Gals That Work for the Government).

The Powers of the Earth is a vivid, riveting page-turner that had me caring a great deal about its characters, and what’s going to happen next. And it ends on the perfect cliffhanger…luckily the second book Causes of Separation is already loaded, so I’m going to go find out.

Richard Carroll Reviews “Sanity” at Thermidor Magazine

Richard Carroll, refined literary blogger at Everything is Oll Korrectreviews Sanity in Thermidor Magazine.

At Thermidor: “Our Aesthetic is lucid madness.” Interesting how well that does fit with one of the things I was trying to do with Sanity, explore the balance of Apollo and Dionysius, reason and ecstasy, in a well-lived life.

It’s a generally favorable review, but more important to me is that Richard took the time and had the intellectual chops to understand the book and communicate that. There’s nothing a writer wants more, deep down in his soul.

A sample:

I bring this all up because preachiness was my main concern going into today’s novel, Sanity, written by Neoreactionary blogger Neovictorian. Since I only know him through his articles and am unaware of any previous experience he may have writing fiction, I feared that his book would turn out as either a political tract thinly disguised as a story or a wish-fulfilment fantasy. Though there are NRx and broader dissident Right gang signs all over the joint, they never get in the way of the narrative and the end result is, I’m happy to say, a genuinely good novel that stands well on its own as a novel.

You can follow Richard and read his most interesting takes on a universe of topics at @CheshireOcelot

Some Background on Sanity – the Novel

I’m pleased and grateful for the comments and feedback I’ve received on Sanity so far. I thought a bit of background on the origin, the sources and the writing process would be interesting to some readers. Just a taste, though. As with a woman, mystery about the thing is vital to continuing interest.

Like many of you I’ve been an avid reader from the beginning, that is from the earliest days I can remember learning to read. Anybody who has read a good book and has a spark of creativity has thought about writing one themselves, how it gets done and what it takes, the time and the struggle. I remember when I was 15 talking to a woman at our church who had published several successful “Young Adult” books: “I have so many good ideas for books!” She just smiled and said: Continue reading

How Scientology Could School the Neoreaction

A couple of years back I wrote a piece at The Mitrailleuse, Opus Dei Could School the Neoreaction, of which the eminent Nick. B. Steves wrote, “He gets very much very right.”  High praise.

Recently I read Anti-Puritan’s post Scientology, training routines, and the post-rationalization of abuse and it occurred to me that Scientology also might “school” the NRx and that my personal knowledge-set made me the man to write about it. As I commented:

 I have a good deal of knowledge of Scientology, and a somewhat different take on the results of these exercises. Enough to finally do a new post on my own blog, which will appear in a day or two.

As that was approximately 26 days ago, let’s just say that I was pondering all this time about the right approach.

Ars longa est.

Continue reading

Quo Vadis, Reaction?

In the apocryphal Acts of Peter the original The Rock is said to be fleeing Rome and probable death by crucifixion when he meets Jesus on the road. Peter asks, “Quo vadis?” (Where are you going?”), to which He replies, “Romam eo iterum crucifigi” (“I am going to Rome to be crucified again.”), upon which Peter turns around goes to meet his fate.

It’s been almost three and a half years now since I started blogging here about “NeoReaction” (caps in the original) and the “Dark Enlightenment.” The story of that beginning is here. At any rate, I must say that I saw NRx then as an intellectual hobby of sorts, full of people more interesting than the political types I’d been working for, and with, since 1998. I never truly thought, then, that by whatever name, it would be a thing, written up in national magazines and talked about on the Old Media Sunday shows.

Yet, here we are.

It turned out that the label “Alt-right” would be the one that caught fire, with its hint of racist catnip that Big Media just could not resist. Hillary Clinton, in a move that did absolutely nothing to get her elected, opened her trap and gave “Alt-right” about $100 million in free publicity, Donald Trump became President of the United States (I’m still surprised, to be honest), his advisor St. Steve Bannon was/is excoriated daily as the Alt-Right éminence grise racistis (I know, I know) and in the last few days we’ve had a long Andrew Sullivan piece indeed and entire issue of New York magazine devoted to the Reaction, Alt-right and whatever other terms of opprobrium trembling Acela corridor scribes have vomited out.

Since I don’t want to get too confused, and confusing, myself, for the purposes of the rest of this I use the term Reaction as an umbrella to describe something that has surely evolved and changed from the original trichotomy, which was about Neoreaction, not “Alt-right” whatever that is. Still, I find it helpful after all these years:

trefoil2

Where Based Stick Man, Dark Triad Man and the various young blonds fall in there, I’m not sure, but let us proceed.

Where are you going, Reaction?

Breaking things down:

Facts

A list of things  I find basically indisputable (you’re welcome to dispute then, though):

  • Muslims will continue to out-breed everyone else in Western Europe. The conflicts there will simply ratchet up, a little at a time, until we get Soumission. I don’t think there is any amount of persuasion, demotic politics, blog posts and/or Tweets that can change this. Therefor, Traditional Europeans are going to have to form enclaves and possess the real weapons needed to protect them, or…mass deportation sparking civil war as the only real alternatives to converting. This comes to a head within 8-10 years. No Pan-European Right Wing Savior is going to be sent by history to recapitulate the Gates of Vienna. Suck it up for the long haul Europeans–and have as many children as you can, even if it’s just as a big Middle Finger to your would-be conquerors.
  • Eastern Europe is generally going the opposite direction, and will resist Brussels pressure even unto leaving the EU. They actually seem to understand in Warsaw and Budapest that survival is more important than marginal lifestyle gains from trade! Americans and West Europeans will be migrating there in greater and greater numbers over the next decade. Especially men, for the obvious reasons. How long until we read a piece by some freaked-out feminist that advocates immigration laws stopping Western bros from moving over there and mating with the slim, young, pretty homemaking E. Euro girls? Maybe it’s already out there; if not, remember me when you see the first one.
  • For the United States, let’s lay out some more hatefacts: Black people are not going away, they’re going to be basic thread in the fabric for the long term, so don’t write posts that fantasize about how Awesome things would be if they went somewhere else. America is going to be a multi-racial society for our lifetime and more. As in Europe there is going to be more and more movement toward enclaves of the like-minded, both physical and Phyle or Order types, as in The Diamond Age novel that inspired the background and basis of this blog. I posted about this a good while ago, and stand by what I wrote then.

Trump

  • The sharpest minds in the field, like Moldbug and Land, have consistently warned that democracy was the problem, thus amelioration could never be found by Electing the Right People ; none the less, almost all our friends hoped in their hearts of hearts for a Trump victory, as a way to slow the Decline, a breathing space, and in some maybe just a secret tiny hope that he would Drain the Swamp and found the House of Mar a Lago, or whatnot. Sorry, we’re not getting a National Monarchy in the States anytime soon (some good fiction may disagree) and Trump v. Deep State has been one-sided so far…how does one root out the Deep State in the U.S.? American Reaction can only route around it, and is actually doing a fair job of that. If all you do is read the online Reactosphere you wouldn’t know how much is going on behind the scenes and “IRL” – it’s considerable.
  • Any attempt to remove Trump through impeachment or the 25th Amendment route would precipitate considerable pushback by the Deplorables and probably act as an enzyme to rapidly speed up the American societal changes described above. So it is to be hoped for–and the smarter Democrats seem to realize this and are backing off the impeachment talk. Trump will serve his term.
  • Even given that, just keep going to the shooting range on a regular basis and keep restocking your ammo. Seems probable to me that in the next 0.1 to 10 years there’s going to be city-level terrorist act in the U.S. It won’t directly affect 99% of the country, but the supply chain and utilities disruptions and consequent urban riots will.

The Rectification of Names

  • #AltRight – Brett Stevens did an excellent summary piece on the term “Alternative Right” last August. In a previous post he had written: “[T]he Alternative Right is an alternative to white nationalism as much as the Republicans. The goal of the Alternative Right is to establish principles by which civilizations thrive, in contrast to the dying principles upon which we base our current time.”
  • Which to me sounds a great deal like how Neoreaction (#NRx) was defined by some, sometimes. The difference, well summarized in 2015 by Butch Leghorn channeling the dear departed Bryce Laliberte is that Neoreaction is a culture. #AltRight is not a culture. Leghorn also identified, in the broadest sense, #NRx with Land’s Cult of Gnon: Gnon is no less than reality, whatever else is believed. Whatever is suspended now, without delay, is Gnon. Whatever cannot be decided yet, even as reality happens, is Gnon. If there is a God, Gnon nicknames him. If not, Gnon designates whatever the ‘not’ is. Gnon is the Vast Abrupt, and the crossing. Gnon is the Great Propeller.
  • This far, far different than Stevens’ Alt Right. In my Rectification of Names, Land’s Dark Enlightenment is the Base of all the rest, of “Reaction,” #NRx, #AltRight, Human Biodiversity, European New Right, “White Nationalism” (however defined), Archeofuturism and various other people and things in their Infinite Variety.
  • One must first be Darkly Enlightened to understand any of the rest of it. It’s not necessary that one read Land’s series; people had managed to Darkly Enlighten themselves and each other long before that.
omega

Mysterious Awakening Image

By whatever name(s), this phenomenon only began and could only have grown and risen higher after the internet and the rapid memetic mutation it enabled. That’s why it’s so hard to categorize and control. Like water, the harder you try and grasp it, the more it slips through your fingers. But like water, it can gradually erode and even destroy the foundations of a…Cathedral. And it will go where Gnon wills it.

All we as individuals can really do is train. Lifting, shooting, unarmed martial arts, and especially mental training. Conscious control of brain states, logic, memory. Teaching our children and other young people we are in a position to influence All of the Above. “Luck is the residue of design.” Strong individuals are the only strength of the Reactionary Collective Unconscious.

That’s where I’m going. I can feel, I can sense, I know that you’re coming with me, because there is no alternative but surrender.

And that’s not you.