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Old 05-11-2017   #31
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Re: Aickman's Philosophy

I don't get what American political bifurcation has to do with British monarchist Robert Aickman.

'I believe in what the Germans term Ehrfurcht: reverence for things one cannot understand.'
― Robert Aickman, An Essay
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Old 05-11-2017   #32
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Re: Aickman's Philosophy

LINCOLN WAS A REPUBLICAN!

TEG
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Old 05-11-2017   #33
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Re: Aickman's Philosophy

Well, this got childish even faster than I would have predicted. One thing I agree on--The Southern Democrats are no more representative of the Old Time Liberals I admired than this new intolerant breed...

Maybe we should do away with the study of history. It makes things too confusing, right?

The point is this, James--Aickman wasn't necessarily a racist because he was a Conservative Traditionalist.

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Old 05-11-2017   #34
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Re: Aickman's Philosophy

I agree. Conservatives aren't necessarily racists. I'm just tired of everything devolving into dull American political discussions, even when they're somewhere utterly irrelevant like a discussion about Aickman. Do we really think he would have liked Clinton or Trump? Democrats or Republicans? Of course not.

This entire discussion came about in another thread when I expressed my distaste in modern hack writers appropriating Aickman as some sort of progressive alternative to Lovecraft when he was in many ways further to the right than Lovecraft, and he was definitely less civil than Lovecraft in many ways. The guy was a capricious Edwardian aristocrat living in another time. The idea anybody would even have to try to paint him as a conservative is ludicrous. He was profoundly and flagrantly conservative. Him not being racist (and if I'm honest I think this point is debatable when I consider some of his comments) doesn't change that he was fundamentally a social elitist who saw what he perceived as 'imposed egalitarianism' to be one of modernity's greatest sins.

Again, none of this is meant as a criticism. I love the man. I just hate that people are misrepresenting him to a degree he would despise. I have been genuinely shocked to see Mark Valentine, whom I admire a great deal and consider to be an expert of the field, describe Aickman as a rationalist and sceptic. To me that is as wrong as saying Machen was a materialist or Lovecraft was a devout Christian.

'I believe in what the Germans term Ehrfurcht: reverence for things one cannot understand.'
― Robert Aickman, An Essay
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Old 05-11-2017   #35
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Re: Aickman's Philosophy

This 'conservative or not?' controversy can be easily settled. Start a "Best Strange Story of The Year Award." Commission Gahan Wilson to create a bust of Robert Aickman for the trophy. Present the award to Daniel José Older, regardless of the dreck he churns out, and see how he reacts. Done deal.
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Old 05-11-2017   #36
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Re: Aickman's Philosophy

Personally, Ben, I'd choose a bust of William Scott Home, leaving everyone confused and scurrying for dictionaries.
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Old 05-12-2017   #37
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Re: Aickman's Philosophy

Quote Originally Posted by Druidic View Post
Personally, Ben, I'd choose a bust of William Scott Home, leaving everyone confused and scurrying for dictionaries.
LOL
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Old 05-12-2017   #38
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Re: Aickman's Philosophy

Anachronism is often the enemy of biography, and history. To me, the most useful question is, was Aickman a conservative by the standards of his time? By comparison with, say, leading contemporary conservatives in the Churchill, Eden and Douglas-Home administrations?

I have sought to show that he had some things in common with them, but other things distinctly not (see the lists in my second post here). Is it helpful, then, to describe him as a conservative in the context of his time?

This is without considering his actions as distinct from his thought. The founding of the Inland Waterways Association was a great communitarian endeavour, leading to common ownership and use of the restored waterways in Britain. Certainly Aickman was later peevish about aspects of this, but since he was a highly intelligent man we must assume he knew what he was doing.

As for what Aickman would have been in periods other than his own, that's an amusing game (Roundhead or Cavalier? Yorkist or Lancastrian?) but it's not biography or history.
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Old 05-12-2017   #39
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Re: Aickman's Philosophy

Well, if we have to speculate, him being anti-nationalist, anti-racist and potentially feminist how that he would certainly not be a conservative today.To compare someone like that to Lovecraft is downright insulting.Truth be told, until recently I had no idea that Aickman is a "contested territory". This forum showed me that, and showed me to what length conservatives will go in order to misrepresent history to their liking.

Quote Originally Posted by T.E. Grau View Post
LINCOLN WAS A REPUBLICAN!
Obviously, just like Aickman was deeply religious traditionalist right winger!

And speaking of Aickman's membership in the society dedicated to the research of paranormal phenomena, Stephen Volk happens to be a member of Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena yet he is very much a sceptic trough and trough, and his interest lies in debunking such occurrences and discovering their social and cultural causes
https://humanism.org.uk/about/our-pe.../stephen-volk/

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Parapsychology and anomalous phenomena often find their way into his writing and he likes to keep up with research and new ideas. He is a member of the Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena (ASSAP) and engages with the idea that the paranormal is largely a cultural construct – but the fact that people experience things they can’t explain, and the way they do, fascinates him.
I think that it is safe to assume that it was same for Aickman, given how he used "supernatural" as an allegory
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Old 05-12-2017   #40
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Re: Aickman's Philosophy

I do think that Sand was making a valid point in suggesting that Aickman cannot simply be labelled a Conservative, in that his beliefs, actions (and the results of his actions) often set him apart from traditional Conservatism. “Traditionalist” seems a much better term, so quite how we got to discussing Republicans and Democrats and Gahan Wilson’s statuette is beyond me. (Is there a TLO equivalent of Godwin’s law causes any discussion to result in posts about Lovecraft and American politics?)

Like James, I wouldn’t describe Aickman as a rationalist Libertarian, although there are certain aspects of his beliefs that certainly do sound Libertarian. In certain respects Aickman was anti-state, and he wanted to be free to pursue his own interests, but he didn’t necessarily want that translated into a wider political philosophy that would give those freedoms to everybody else.

I don’t believe that Sand claimed Aickman for the “Left”. I would be interested to know where such claims have been made.
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