tastes like burning

Monday, March 21, 2005


I almost forgot to mention, in that unreadable list of read books, that I read William Golding's The Inheritors, a second-hand dollar buy. I always wondered why one never hears about Golding aside from Lord of the Flies. Well, Golding, at least to my opinion this day, was not a great writer. The Inheritors, a story told by a Neanderthal on the eve of their extinction, is contrived and weak, though the "trick" has its moments, such as the touching of the Ice Lady deep in the cave. But it is specifically that there are not enough of these gracious moments that the book fails. You can't have a whole book that relies on a trick, or that's too clear in purpose.

When I read a book, I don't want to be tricked but I don't want to be led by the hand. If the thought and imagination isn't there, it can't be covered by technique. If the technique isn't there, it can't be covered by wild imagination, though, for me, it will be a more pleasurable read.


Cro-Magnons were logical, efficient and agressive. We can't be sure of their poetic soul, but we can be sure of their superior technique. Neanderthals lost out. Really, that's the sum of it. They had broad flat brows, rather sad and anxious looks in the re-enactments. I'm rather fond of these Neanderthal re-enactments. Their sudden look of rage and disappointment when the fire goes out, or the oblivious flattened expressions when they are occupied in day to day life. There seems to be the soul of the Neanderthal deep inside. Lo, there he glances up with his bruised and empty look, hinting at what could be desired if he could just figure out where he put his stick.

Neanderthals, creeping gently through a cave, trepidation ice thin through their veins, a naturally modest lot. Searching for a pointed object in the dark, or sitting face forwards in a moist sunny fall. The spirit of the Neanderthal is the darkness of the soul in emptiness, a blind desire, eyeless as the worm, that answers itself each time in failure. The eternal failure, the big loser, Neanderthal. Known for being inefficient, lesser, the giant oaf of blankness.

Last night Dacnar asked me if I felt close to the Neanderthal, if I have the Neanderthals spirit within me. At first, no. I said that I've always felt closer to some sort of feline than hominids, which don't impress me with relation. He laughed, and said he felt close, he has always felt close, to the Neanderthal. But when I consider how much I detest our group nature, our hunger to succeed, our lack of grace in failure, I fall back into my dark way of thinking: our species is really a barrel of rats. The road not taken, the Neanderthal road, would we have been any better? Probably not. Doom is a universal inheritance.