There is a new writer in town and her début novel was just released.
I am sure you have heard of Bill Clinton’s crime drama set in the American White House, where the author has the First Lady killed. Consider this an alternative read that approaches the contemporary psychology of the Judeo-Christian family and femininity from a more sensitive and psychologically and clinically correct perspective.
Historically, this work of literary fiction offers a return to the glorious Age of Innocence, when America invested in sophisticated mores and ethically edifying literary pleasures.
Here is what to expect if “Melanie” makes it to your reading list for this year’s Fourth of July Holidays:
After the death of his mother, the future First Family embraces their old friend, the Virginia senator’s twelve-year old son Buck as their own. The boy grows attached to the family, which provides for his needs, and finds solace from his grief. Soon after his departure for Westpoint, Buck abruptly and inexplicably terminates contact with his benefactors. The sexually matured young man has fallen hopelessly in love with Melanie, the future First Lady, and subjects himself to deliberate exile. As his father begs him to attend the inauguration of Trent and Melanie as First Family, however, his secret is revealed to her. Melanie’s task now is to master the circumstances without hurting anyone even as she discovers Buck’s feelings are not without resonance in her heart.
Armed with reading this 4th of July?
REVISIT THE AMERICAN AGE OF INNOCENCE
The counter-revolution is better in writing & less bloody! Get on the fair side of history with this breathtaking novel.
Bill Clinton kills the First Lady in his début novel. Here is a more sensitive and human alternative: “Melanie,” a European-style romance in the tradition of Bovary & Karenina, set in the American White House just out for the 4th from Lighthouse Christian Publishing https://lighthousechristianpublishing.com/products/melanie-by-dixie-quinn, also available on Amazon
As always the work and quality you have learned to appreciate on this website address the moral quandaries of the times and reflect on the sacred teachings of the Bible as our only signposts to sanity and psychological health.
Having researched the intricate networks of culture and psychology for decades, Dixie Quinn bring psychological depth and knowledge to Scripture, making the moral substance of the human condition palpable and believable.
We are never more alone nor more vulnerable than at the times we mourn the loss of someone we love. The devastating event that deprives us of the beloved forces a thorough reorganization of our reality principle and re-creates the world we inhabit from within.
Love is intimately related to our ability to mourn. The first object of love we encounter is formed in the process of mourning: it is what remains after we have mastered our separation from the maternal body. The infant doesn’t know that the mother will return and thus experiences the first deprivation of her presence as a traumatic event. The moment mother leaves the room and leaves the infant alone is baby’s first encounter with death. The fact that she returns cannot erase the horror the infant has experienced in the meantime and this terrifying memory becomes part of the maternal imago, the first and to some degree the only love object in a given lifetime. Every subsequent love object as well as the placeholder of self-love will assume the basic contours of the maternal imago, which becomes the solid kernel of our individuality. The basic task of every culture is to master, frame, and cultivate the consequences of this originating event, which can also be called the birth of the human psyche or mind.
The kernel of our being is paradoxical. It receives its form in the process of mourning, the series of emotional and ideitic responses to the absence of the maternal body. Yet, because its dissolution would entail the disintegration of the entire psychic apparatus, the kernel remains intact and absolutely unmournable for the duration of our lifetime. It contains the memory bank of the mechanisms that form the basic structure of the individual mind. We develop these mechanisms to cope with the trauma of separation from the maternal body. They become the central framework for our being in the world, the structure of our attachment to the world, and are absolutely unique to every individual.
How does this paradoxical kernel maintain its integrity while initiating countless periods of processing loss? The introduction of the third person, the father, in the mother-child dyad initiates a secondary mourning process. The father represents the law and the conscious symbolic order of language. The foundational structure of secondary mourning is rooted in the individual patterns of the primary mechanisms, which remain unchangeable throughout our lifetime, but it also produces our conscience and consciousness, giving the mourning period its distinct meaning in the cultural symbolic order we inhabit. Thus, though the basic kernel of being remains rooted in the culture of the mother, the law of the father allows us to share it with others, to give it expression, and to design it according to the laws of the cultural-symbolic system we inhabit.
Love and Death
The love and death instincts are intimately intertwined from the very beginnings of our mental life. Our ability to attach to objects and environments outside the self is predicated on our mastery of the stage of mourning. This truth was buried in the mythology of ancient classical cultures, both Greek and Jewish.
The myth of Cupid and Psyche, recorded most thoroughly in Apuleius’s “Golden Ass,” anticipates the psychology of mourning in the formation of libidinal attachments. Psyche, the breath of life, soul or kernel of being, awakens to love and life by the very agent of her demise, Cupid, who was sent by his mother to destroy Psyche. Instead of piercing her with his arrow, however, Cupid scratches himself and falls in love with her. Their union is symbolic of the birth of the soul in a union that is dangerously close to death.
Likewise, the virgin Mary experiences the visitation of angel Gabriel as the moment her soul awakens to eternal life as she conceives the Redeemer.
St. Labre passed at the tender age of 36 during Holy Week over two centuries ago, but remains one of the most fascinating figures for poets and writers, not least because his patronage includes mental illness, a condition most serious psychoanalysts considered a prerequisite for creative achievement.
He was denied access to a number of monasteries because the abbes feared he was mentally ill. He went on to serve the Lord by becoming a homeless pilgrim traveling to the major shrines of Europe, dwelling as it were near those rare openings onto the heavenly realm, earthly intimations of the infinity and prodigality of spirit, sustaining himself through little more than the bread of the Eucharist and ministering to beggars and those who, like himself, found themselves abandoned by human company because of their perceived or diagnosed “mental illness.”
Benedict is reputed to have spoken little, but that may be an inversion of the truth since he was able to heal with words and actively helped convert sinners to the faith, which bespeaks a gift of eloquence.
The Eucharist was the holiest of sacraments to him because it replaced earthly food with spiritual nourishment as ontologically superior principle of fulfillment.
Though St. Labre became the patron saint of beggars, sinners, and the mentally ill, his existence was a poetic testimony to the special kind of internal perfection and sophistication earlier social orders had the privilege to strive for and build on, but which the dawning mercantile and banking order was abandoning, and with it all the gifts that flow from poetic exercise.
A common depiction of the virtue of caritas, believed to be a gift from the Lord, the allegory of a crowned young woman with an infant at her breast, symbolized nurturing care for others. The fire emanating from her fingers symbolizes divine love and the flaming crown on her head divine rulership. In this allegorical figure, the virtue of love and of just rulership are combined into one. The painting was commissioned by the Florentine body that determined disputes among merchants, a public court of sorts that aspired to incorporate and embody Christian virtue.
On closer inspection, however, the flimsy comparative connections among the disparate parts that compose the allegory, don’t necessarily hold. A mother’s love for her suckling is instinctive, not virtuous. Virtue requires the overcoming of the flesh and it’s desires, whereas there is nothing more basically instinctive and of the flesh than a nursing breast’s attachment to its suckling and vice verse nothing is more instinctive than the child’s attachment to the breast. In fact, psychoanalysis teaches us that the psychic apparatus, the soul, begins to form through its mastery of the separation from the maternal breast. It is doubtful the instructions Moses received at Sinai and the kind of love — Caritas — Christ placed above all other commandments were of the carnal kind depicted in this allegory worshipped by merchants. What kind of love would encourage indulgence of the flesh and withhold the far more valuable experience of support during the phase of withdrawal and separation from the source of nourishment, the rupture in which the mental apparatus is born and “nurtured!” It is clear why those who made a living out of unbridled consumerism would worship this kind of mental regression and support its elevation to the level of virtue.
Shakespeare was among the first to contemplate this peculiar and contradictory condition of dawning modernity and its order of mercantile and banking rulership. The portrayal of Lady Macbeth as a woman who has given suck and is yet capable of plotting a cold-blooded murder is far from spurious. Though the Macbeths hail from rural Scotland, which was yet to join the new world order of bankers and merchants, their very backwardness proved a potent measuring tool of the damage the new order inflicted on old Christian virtue. Lady Macbeth is progressive by all critical accounts, and obviously well versed in the new mercantile symbolic order. She invokes the very image of the virtue of caritas even as she plots the murder of the old Christian King Duncan. Shakespeare was an allegorical thinker. His portraits are seldom simple individuals and always larger figures for the conditions of the times. His plays are prophetic allegorical sketches of the modern and postmodern condition of humanity, which is fettered by the order of banking and mercantilism that replaced the old rulership by the sacred body of a Christian head.
In true Christianity, the crown is worn by the child that was sacrificed in order to redeem the source of all sin, the flesh under the Edeitic curse of its instinctive desires. Only then does the mother receive her crown from Him. The mercantile allegory appears to reverse this process, also called the Second Creation, the “milk of human kindness,” and revert to the order of creation under original sin. When Lady Macbeth fears her husband’s weakness and calls him “too full of the milk of human kindness,” she is in fact referring to true Caritas, the kind that attaches to the Ghost returning from the grave, the Holy Ghost indwelling every Christian mind, which is both the source and true suckling on the breast of true Caritas. In the context of Lady Macbeth’s symbolic universe “the milk of human kindness” is precisely NOT the same as the real milk of the breast she has given, but the kind that causes a remorseful Macbeth to see the ghosts of his victims.
hit hungry eyes and bounce back to lend fake diamonds
an empty shine, illusions of love
rehearsed, sighed, feigned and faked through countless hours of laborious repetitions and
deadening to sense and faculty and living harmonies of mind and heart, music that’s dug deep scars in the mind like thousand jelly-fish stings immunizing the mind to its fresh beauty; rehearsals, repetitions,
illusions, delusions, perfection
won with oceans of pain & loss
None more devastating than the cancellation of the premiere,
encores postponed indefinitely
just the dread night of failure ahead
success denied, the one saving grace, the heart blow that could have reanimated the heavy limbs and given it precious glorious life back
withheld, indefinitely, taken
like a writer whose manuscript has been relegated to the dustbins of printing warehouses and grey offices that never see sunlight