D.H. Lawrence and Carl Jung's Writings on American Literature and Psyche.



Phtograph of a Pawnee Indian and Apache.
Bureau of American Ethnology. (Reproduced in
'The American Indian' by
Clark Wissler, 1917).




Although there are some obvious resemblances between Lawrence and Jung's writings on America, it's not clear weather Jung had read Lawrence, whose writings had preceeded his own. Both made trips to America: Jung as a European (Swiss-German) visitor, and Lawrence as a British immigrant in search of 'The Spirit of Place'. Some of these similarities are probably owing to an idea which had become popular amongst anthropologists and ethnographers in the late 19th and early 20th century, first through the statistical analysis of American soldiers (after the civil war) by Gould and Baxter, and then by the work of Franz Boas (The Influence of Environment upon Development, 1920 [see Appendix for a brief selection]); namely, that when a people settle a foreign land their constitution changes, even without the admixture of blood, owing to the influence of the land itself. It was said that these changes in the physique and physiognomy of the new arrivals made them resemble the aboriginal inhabitants, and that these differences were even noticeable in the first progeny of the immigrants, and could be measured empirically (such as changes in the size and shape of the scull and hip bone). The mysterious mechanism by means of which this physical transformation was wrought were attributed to the influence of the particular 'soil and climate' on the development of the organism. After all, didn't each landscape have its own unique flora? It was as if the land somehow contained an image of its own aboriginal type and made its distinct mark upon the life planted within it; as if 'constitution' (individual) and 'soil and climate' ('environment', milieu) where indistinct, the former being a constellation of the elements of the latter. So that against the top-down process of 'colonization' we see a bottom-up process of 'aboriginization' whereby the arrangement of parts of the organism are broken down and reassembled according to the 'lay of the land'.  




Nicolaus Lenau, who, like Lawrence, fled Europe to go to America in search of freedom, in a book he wrote about his experiences there (which provided Ferdinand's Kurnberger with the basis for his famous satirical novel Picture of American Culture), observed that "there are no nightingales, indeed there are no real songbirds at all." He described the nature of the land as 'so monotonous that it destroyed the personalities of those dwelling there' (paraphrased in Hating Ameria: A History). "Nature is terribly languid [here]", he wrote, and after describing the people and their habits as slovenly, added "the nightingale is right when he does not want to come to these louts." Regic Michaud, a Frenchman who taught French Literature in American Universities, wrote a book about the country in which he described it as "a geographic mass without harmony, a country of contrasts and disparities on a grand scale with a violent climate." W.H. Auden, who, again like Lawrence, was born in England but later immigrated to America, reflected this sentiment about the inhospitable nature of the landscape:
The truth is, Nature never intended human beings to live here, and her hostility, which confined the Indian to a nomad life and forbids the white man to relax his vigilance and his will, for one instant, must be an important factor in determining the American character.

Faced with this immeasurably vast landscape, the culture transplanted there seeks a retreat into its own forms and falls into caricature, hedged about by the fear of its 'influence', until the land, at length, 'conquers the conqueror' and rebuilds them after its own fashion.


Certainly, both writers were familiar with Oswald Spengler's writings on the isomorphism of 'Land' and 'Race' contained in his Decline of the West (written at the end of the first World War),  as they both refer to it.

A race has roots. Race and landscape belong together. Where a plant takes root, there it dies also. There is certainly a sense in which we can... work backwards from a race to its 'home'... . If in that home the race cannot now be found, this means that the race has ceased to exist. A race does not migrate. Men migrate, and their successive generations are born in ever-changing landscapes; but the landscape exercises a secret force upon the plant-nature in them, and eventually the race-expression is completely transformed by the extinction of the old and the appearance of a new one. Englishmen and Germans did not migrate to America, but human beings migrated thither as Englishmen and Germans, and their descendants are there as Americans. It has long been obvious that the soil of the Indians has made its mark upon them- generation by generation they become more and more like the people they eradicated.  (Spengler, Decline of the West, Vol. 1, 1919).

(I will reproduce a selection from this section of Spengler's book in the Epilogue, even if only because it formed an essential part of the intellectual background in Europe after the first world war, although fell into obscurity after the second world war, only to resurface quite recently. See here for a selection from the first volume, and here for a selection from the second volume). 

"The World is divided into Old and New; the name of New having originated in the fact that America and Australia have only lately become known to us. But these parts of the world are not only relatively new, but intrinsically so in respect of their entire physical and psychical constitution. Their geological antiquity we have nothing to do with." (Hegel, Introduction to the Philosophy of History).
If we see New Holland sitting alongside America in the European New World, as one of its continents, then these writtings take on a re-newed significance for us in Australia. Lawrence saw the island of Australian looming in the distant future, behind the emergence, upon the stage of world history, of the American continent, and Jung saw a simple truth expressed in the Australian aboriginal lore that says a land cannot be conquered, as such, because in it there dwell ancestral spirits that will re-incarnate themselves in the new arrivals, until the land, at length, 'conquers the conqueror.

Note: see essay by Australian author P.R. Stephenson Genius of the Place [a reference to Lawrence's 'Spirit of the Place'] and published in
the paper The Australian Mercury in 1935.


(I have included a selection from an essay by Nicholas Rothwell written for the Australian in 2008 called 'Dust and Fragments' in the Epilogue.)

The following selection is from the chapter The Spirit of Place in Studies in Classic American Literature written in 1923 by D.H. Lawrence.

As a preface to this selection I will quote the introduction that Leslie Fielder wrote for it in an anthology he helped put together in 1971 called 'The Cosmos Reader':

"Prophecy... has always flourished in this country [America], which began by thinking of itself as a model for things to come and has not ceased to project new Utopian fantasies just because it has conspicuously failed to achieve the older ones. Yet we have seemed to need in the twentieth century new immigrants to dream our new dreams- recent refugees from worlds with a longer history of failure and a tradition of cynicism or stoicism to which we remain somehow profoundly alien.
 D.H. Lawrence came to the United States just after World War I, in quest of what he had already called 'The Spirit of Place,'... . [H]e headed directly for the Southwest, where he could live among the Indians whom he thought of as providing a model for the new kind of men that Americans might, under favorable circumstances, become. At the close of the 1960's, when the Indian has returned to the centre of our imagination and has become once more a central character in [the] American [mythic imagination], Lawrence seems a prophet justified. Had he lived long enough to see young people returning to the land, organizing themselves into 'tribes,' and dressing themselves in the garb of the red man, he would surely have believed that the total transformation of the European in the New World, which he foresaw five decades ago, is now an accomplished fact."

And here is Lawrence's text:

"It is natural that we should regard American literature as a small branch or province of English literature. None the less there is another view to be taken. The American art-speech contains a quality that... is not inherent in the English race. This alien quality belongs to the American continent itself.All art partakes of the Spirit of Place in which it is produced."

"America, the new continent,... has produced us the familiar American classics, of Hawthorne, Poe, Whitman, or Fenimore Cooper, for example. We read the English utterance without getting the alien American implication. We listen to our own speech in American mouths, but our ears have been shut to the strange reverberation of that speech."
"It is time now, for us [the English], who have always looked with indulgence on the decadent or uncouth or provincial American literature, to open new eyes... . It is time for us now to see that our great race experience is surpassed and exceeded."

"There is a stranger on the face of the earth, and it is no use our trying any further to gull ourselves that he is one of us, and just as we are. There is an unthinkable gulf between us and America, and across the space we see, not our own folk signalling to us, but strangers, incomprehensible beings, simulacra perhaps of ourselves, but other, creatures of an other-world. The connection [between the old world and the new] holds good historically, for the past. In the pure present and in futurity it is not valid. [...] The oneness is historical only.The knowledge that we are no longer one, that there is this inconceivable difference in being between us, the difference of an epoch, is difficult and painful to acquiesce in."

"[T]here is always a dual import in... works of art: first, the didactic import given by the author from his own moral consciousness; and then the profound symbolic import which proceeds from his unconscious or subconscious  soul, as he works in a state of creation which is something like somnambulism or dreaming. Also we must wake and sharpen in ourselves  the subtle faculty for perceiving the greater inhuman forces that control us. It is our fatal limitation, at the present time, that we can only understand in terms of personal and conscious choice. We cannot see that great motions carry us and bring us to our place before we can even begin to know. We cannot see that invisible great winds carry us unwitting, as they carry the locust swarms, and direct us before our knowledge, as they direct the migrating birds."

"[E]very great era of civilization seems to be the expression of a particular continent or continent region, as well as of the people concerned. There is, no doubt, some peculiar potentiality attaching to every distinct region of the earth's surface, over and above the indisputable facts of climate and geological condition. There is some subtle magnetic or vital influence inherent in every specific locality, and it is this influence which keeps the inhabitant stable. Thus race is ultimately as much a question of place as of heredity. It is the island of Great Britain which has really determined the English race... . [...] The place attracts its own human element, and the race drifts inevitably to its own psychic geographical pole.We see this in Roman history. We see the city of Rome gradually losing its psychic-magnetic polarity, the Roman individuals gradually loosed from the old stay, and drifting like particles absolved from the original influence, falling imperceptibly into two currents- one setting northwards towards Milan and Gaul, one setting east towards Constantinople and Asia. Africa has always been connected with Rome herself- Rome and Carthage were the positive and negative poles of a stable, vital current... . After the removal of the Empire to the east [to Constantinople] a new circuit began, the circuit of... Italy and Germany. There is, and has been, since the break of the old Roman-African circuit, a natural and inevitable balance between Rome and Germany."

"[T]he main polarity of Europe, from the time of Diocletian [early 4th century A.D.] to the Renaissance, lay between Italy and Germany. About the time of the Renaissance, however, this circuit exhausted itself, as the Italian-African circuit had been exhausted a thousand years before. Italy suddenly scintillated, and was finished in her polar potentiality. The old stability of Europe was gone, the old circle of vital flow was broken. It was then that Europe fell directly into polar unison with America. Europe and America became the great poles of negative and positive vitalism."

"When the great magnetic sway of the medieval polarity broke, then those units which were liberated fell under the sway of new vital currents in the air, and they were borne helplessly as birds migrate, without knowing or willing, down the great magnetic wind towards America, towards the centrality in the New World. So the first individuals were caught up and swept overseas in the setting of the great current. They had no choice, because the influence which was upon them was prior to all knowledge and all option."

"Legend is supposed to be race-memory. But surely it is just as likely to be a kind of race-clairvoyance. Montezuma [the ruler of the Aztec capitol at the time of the Conquistador Cortez's arrival] was filled with mystic apprehension [the Aztecs apparently had a legend that white men would one day come and reclaim the land as their own, and it was in terms of this legend that the Aztec ruler is said to have interpreted the arrival of the Spanish Conquistadors]. The Aztecs, subject to the fine vibrations in the ether, given off by vital Europe, highly religious and mystical in their natures, only expressed in their legend of the coming of the white stranger that which their innermost, sensitized souls knew beforehand as a fact. If we can understand the sending of wireless messages from continent to continent, can we not much more readily understand that the unthinkably sensitive substance of the human intelligence could receive the fine waves of vital effluence transmitted across the intervening space, could receive, and, as in a dream, plainly comprehend? [...] They knew the white, bearded strangers hundreds of years before they could see them. And they knew so perfectly because, in their semi-barbaric state, their consciousness was fluid, not mechanically fixed, and the
rarest impressions upon the physical soul, from the invisible ether, could pass on occasionally into uninterrupted consciousness.Prophecy, the mystery of prophecy, is no absurdity. It is no more absurd than the sending of a wireless message. A people, or an individual, need only most delicately submit to the message which is being received all the time upon its own finest tissue, and it will be able to prophesy. But it is easier for us to invent sensitive machines than to avail ourselves of our own extreme and marvellous sensibilities.We may see, then, how Spain was called across the Atlantic, in the spell of the positive magnetism of the great western continent. And we may understand better the departure of the Pilgrim Fathers. It is not enough, it is never enough, upon an important occasion to accept the plausible explanation offered by the protagonist. The protagonist will always assert that he moves of his own intention. The Pilgrim Fathers sailed off in an enthusiastic, stern vigor of desire for religious freedom. They sailed to find freedom of worship- so they say. But it is a palpable fiction. Because at once they instigated the most cruel religious tyranny in America, equivalent to the Spanish-American Inquisition."

"[I]nto Puritanism and Calvinism had... entered the dangerous negative religious passion of repression, this passion which so easily becomes a lust, a deep lust for vindictive power over the life-issue. It was on the hard recoil of this destructive religious passion that the Pilgrim Fathers left Europe. America, dark, violent, aboriginal, would lend them force to satisfy their lust of anti-life. It is absolutely necessary to realize... that... enthusiasm... has a dual motion: first a motion of liberation, of setting free; and secondly a motion of vindictive repression of the living impulse, the utter subjection of the living, spontaneous being to the fixed, mechanical, ultimately insane will."

"It is the will of man rising frenzied against the mystery of life itself, and struggling insanely to dominate, to have the life-issue in... control, to squeeze the mystic thing, life, within the violent hands of possession, grasp it, squeeze it, have it, have... power over it. Whereas, if we have one spark of sanity, we know that we can never possess and direct the life mystery. [...] The life-mystery precedes us. Our simplest spontaneous movement precedes all knowing and willing. [...] Our knowing is always secondary and subsequent to our being, which is an issue of the creative unknown. And our volition is always subsidiary to our spontaneous arrival.But there lies latent in the soul... the desire to reverse this order... [a] latent passion to control and compel the issue of creation, by force of the self-conscious will. We have a latent craving to control from our deliberate will the very springing and welling-up of the life-impulse itself. This craving... carries mankind to unthinkable lengths in the frenzied, insane purpose of having the life-issue utterly under human compulsion.The Jew of old became established in this lust: hence their endless purifications, their assertion of control over the natural functions; hence also the rite of circumcision, the setting of the seal of self-conscious will upon the very quick of bodily impulse. The frenzied, self-mutilating Christians... do but assert the utter tyranny of deliberate will over every spontaneous, uncontrollable motion."

"The great field for the lust of control in the modern world is America. Whether we read the history of Spanish America or of English-speaking America, it is the same, a disheartening, painful record of the lusting triumph of the deliberate will. On the one hand, the Spaniards in America, following the Spaniards of the Inquisition, lusted in the overweening sensual desire for repression of freedom in the spiritual self, whereas the North Americans lusted spiritually for utter repression in the sensual or passional self. The New Englanders.... struck down the primal impulsive being in every man, leaving only a mechanical, automatic unit. [...] The spontaneous passion of social union once destroyed, then it was possible to establish the perfect mechanical concord, the concord of a number of parts to a vast whole, a stupendous productive mechanism. And this, this vast mechanical concord of innumerable machine-parts, each performing its own motion in the intricate complexity of material production, this is the clue to the western democracy.It has taken more than three hundred years to build this vast living machine."

"After only two generations in New England the fist Yankees noticed that their stock had changed. The sturdy, ruddy, lusty English yeoman had disappeared, the long-jawed, sallow American took his place, with a pale, nervous women-folk such as England has only lately begun to reckon with. Uprooted from the native soil, planted in strong aboriginal earth, this thing happened to the English stock. The natural impulsive being withered, the deliberate, self-determined being appeared in his place. There was soon no more need to militate directly against the impulsive body. This once dispatched, man could attend to the deliberate perfection in mechanized existence. This is what makes good business men. And in this the American is like the Jew: in that, having conquered and destroyed the instinctive, impulsive being in himself, he is free to be always deliberate, always calculated, rapid, swift, and single in practical execution as a machine. The perfection of machine triumph, of deliberate self-determined motion, is to be found in the Americans and the Jews. Hence the race talent for acting. [...] Only, Americans and Jews suffer from a torturing frictional unease, an incapacity to rest. They must run on, like machines, or go mad. The only difference between a human machine and an iron machine is that the latter can come to an utter state of rest, the former cannot. No living thing can lapse into static inertia, as a machine at rest lapses. And this is where life is indomitable. It will be mechanized, but it will never allow mechanical inertia. Hence the Orestes-like flight of unrest of Americans and Jews.
And yet it cannot be for this alone that the millions have crossed the Ocean. This thing, this mechanical democracy, new and monstrous on the face of the earth, cannot be an end in itself."

"This sheer and monstrous reflection of Europe, Europe in negative reality, reflected to  enormity on the American continent, will surely vanish swiftly, like one of the horrifying dreams. This is not the reality of America. It is only the reality of our own negation that the vast aboriginal continent reflects back at us. There will come an America which we cannot foretell, a new creation on the face of the earth, a world beyond us. The early Christianity produced monstrous growths, monstrous reflections of the world then dying, distorted and made huge by the new spirit. These monstrosities, like enormous horrifying phantoms that men do not care to remember, disappeared, leaving the new era to roll slowly on to the European summer. So the mechanical monstrosity of the west will presently disappear. It was not for this that myriads crossed the seas, magnetically carried like birds in migration, without knowing why or whither, yet conducted along lines of pure magnetic attraction, to a goal. Spaniards, Puritans, Jews,... went in recoil of negation from Europe.
They went in the lust for deliberate control of the living issues: lust for sensual gratification in pride or power or slave-tyranny on the part of the Spaniards... ; lust for spiritual gratification on the ethical control of all life on the part of the Jews and Puritans. But this was not the final motive for departure. This was the negative [reactionary] impulse. The positive is more unsearchable [as unsearchable as destiny itself]. They went like birds down the great electric direction of the west, lifted like migrating birds on a magnetic current. They went in subtle vibration of response to the new earth, as animals travel far distances vibrating to the salt-licks [harsh weather exposes salty mineral deposits, called salt-licks, that draw animals from miles away for a taste of needed nutrients]. They walked a new earth, were seized by a new electricity, and laid in line differently. Their bones, their nerves, their sinews took on a new molecular disposition in the new vibration.They breathed a savage air, and their blood was suffused and burnt. A new fierce salt of the earth, in their mouths, penetrated and altered the substance of their bones.  Meat of wild creatures, corn of the aboriginal earth, filled and impregnated them with the unknown America. Their subtlest plasm was changed under the radiation of new skies, new influence of light, their first and rarest life-stuff transformed.Thus, through hundreds of years, new races are made, people slowly smelted down and re-cast.
There is the slow and terrible process of transubstantiation. [...] [W]ho can tell what will come when the new world sets in?For every great locality has its own pure daimon [presiding spirit], and is conveyed at last into perfected life. We have seen Asia, and North Africa, and a good deal of Europe. We know the white abstraction of the Arctic and Antartic continents, the unspeakable immortality of the ice... . There remains America, and, beyond, the even farther-off Australia.Every great locality expresses itself perfectly, in its own flowers, its own birds and beasts, lastly its own men... . [...] The very strata of the earth come to a point of perfect, unutterable concentration in the inherent sapphires and emeralds. It is so with all worlds and all places of the world. We may take it as a law. So now we wait for the fulfilment of the law in the west, the inception of a new era of living. At present there is a vast myriad-branched human engine, the very thought of which is death. But in the winter even a tree looks like iron. Seeing the great trunk of dark iron and the swaying steel flails of boughs, we cannot help being afraid. What we see of buds looks like sharp bronze stud-points. The whole thing hums elastic and sinister and fatally metallic, like some confused scourge of swinging steel thongs. Yet the lovely cloud of green and summer luster is within it.We wait for the miracle, for the new soft wind. Even the buds of iron break into soft little flames of issue. So will people change. So will the machine-parts open like buds and the great machines break into leaf. Even we can expect our iron ships to put forth vine and tendril and bunches of grapes."

"It only wants the miracle, the new, soft, creative wind: which does not blow yet. Meanwhile we can only stand and wait, knowing that what is, is not. And we can listen to the sad, weired utterance of this classic America, watch the transmutation from men into machines and ghosts, hear the last metallic sounds. Perhaps we can see as well glimpse of the mystic transubstantiation."



The following selection is from an essay called 'The Complications of American Psychology' (Originally titled 'Your Negroid and Indian Behavior') by Carl Jung (1930):


 "In 1909 I paid my first short visit to the United States. [...] I remember, when walking through the streets of Buffalo, I came across hundreds of workmen leaving a factory. The na├»ve European traveller I was then could not help remarking to his American companion: “I really had no idea there was such an amazing amount of Indian blood in your people.” “What,” said he, “Indian blood? I bet there is not one drop of it in this whole crowd.” I replied: “But don’t you see their faces? They are more Indian than European.” Whereupon I was informed that probably most of these workmen were of Irish, Scottish, and German extraction without a trace of Indian blood in their veins. I was puzzled and half incredulous. Subsequently I learned to see how ridiculous my hypothesis had been. Nevertheless, the impression of facial similarity remained and later years only enhanced it. As Professor Boas maintains, there are even
measurable anatomical changes in many American immigrants, changes which are already noticeable in the second generation."

"To a keen European eye there is an indefinable yet undeniable something in the whole makeup of the born American that distinguishes him from the born European."

"Slang means a language in the making, a thing fully alive. Its images are not worn-out and moth-eaten metaphors, pale reflections hallowed by immemorial age, smooth, correct, and concise conventions, but figures full of life, carrying all the stamina of their earthly origin, and the incomparable flavour of local conditions peculiar to the strange and unprejudiced soil of a new country. One feels a new current of strange life in the flow of the old English language, and one wonders where it comes from."

"All American life seems to be the life of the big settlement- real town-life."

"The country is wonderful, nay, just divine, still with the faint perfume of unhistorical eternity in the air... . [O]ne feels peculiarly at ease [with the Red Indians] because they are obviously under the spell of their country and not on top of it [as the Europeans are]."

"I know the mother-nations of North America pretty well, but I would be completely at a loss to explain, if I relied solely on the theory of heredity, how the Americans descended from them acquired their striking peculiarities. One might suppose that some of them were the product of the old pioneer and colonist attitude. [...] There is a much better hypothesis to explain the peculiarities of the American temperament. It is the fact that the States are pervaded by the Negro... . Some States are particularly black, a fact that may astonish the naive European, who thinks of America as a white nation."

"What is more contagious than to live side by side with a rather primitive people? Go to Africa and see what happens. When it is so obvious that you stumble over it, you call it 'going black'. But if it is not so obvious it is explained as 'the sun.' [...] In reality it is a mitigated going black, counterbalanced by a particularly stiffnecked conventionality (with its subdivisions of righteousness and conspicuous respectability). Under the pressure of all this conventionality people simply dry up, though they make the sun responsible. It is much easier for us Europeans to be a trifle immoral, or at least a bit lax, because we do not have to maintain the moral standard against the heavy downward pull of primitive life."

"Just as the coloured man lives in your cities and even within your houses, so also he lives under your skin, subconsciously.  Naturally it works both ways. Just as every Jew has a Christ complex, so every Negro has a white complex and every American a Negro complex."

"American music is most obviously pervaded by the African rhythm and the African melody. It would be difficult not to see that the coloured man... has infected the American 'behaviour.'"

"The white man is a most terrific problem to the Negro, and whenever you affect somebody so profoundly, then, in a mysterious way, something comes back from him to yourself. The Negro by his mere presence is a course of temperamental and mimetic infection... ."

"I am quite convinced that some American peculiarities can be traced back directly to the coloured man, while others result from a compensatory defence against his laxity."

"Man can be assimilated by a country. There is an x and a y in the air and in the soil of a country, which slowly permeate and assimilate him to the type of the aboriginal inhabitant, even to the point of slightly remodelling his physical features."

"The foreign country somehow gets under the skin of those born in it. Certain very primitive tribes are convinced that it is not possible to usurp foreign territory, because the children born there would inherit the wrong ancestor spirits who dwell in the trees, the rocks, and the water of that country. There seems to be some subtle truth in this primitive intuition. That would mean that the spirit of the Indian gets at the American from within and without. Indeed, there is often an astonishing likeness in the cast of the American face to that of the Red Indian... ."

"The external assimilation to the peculiarities of a country is a thing one could almost expect. There is nothing astonishing in it. But the external similarity is feeble in comparison with the less visible but all the more intense influence on the mind. It is just as though the mind were an infinitely more sensitive and suggestible medium than the body. It is probable that long before the body reacts the mind has already undergone considerable changes, changes that are not obvious to the individual himself or to his immediate circle, but only to an outsider. Thus I would not expect the average American, who has not lived for some years in Europe, to realize how different his mental attitude is from the European's, just as I would not expect the average European to be able to discern his difference from the American. That is the reason why so many things that are really characteristic of a country seem to be merely odd or ridiculous: the condition from which they arise are either not known or not understood. They wouldn't be odd or ridiculous if one could feel the local atmosphere to which they belong and which makes them perfectly comprehensible and logical.
Almost every great country has [what] one might call its genius or spiritus loci. Sometimes you can catch it in a formula, sometimes it is more elusive, yet nonetheless it is indescribably present as a sort of atmosphere that permeates everything. [...] In a well-defined civilizaiton with a solid historical background, such as for instance the French, you can easily discover the keynote of the French espirit: it is a 'la glorie,' a most marked prestige psychology in its noblest as well as its most ridiculous forms."

"America is... one of those countries that are not settled by one shot. European prejudice would say: Money. [...] But America is not as simple as that. Of course there is any amount of ordinary materialism in America as everywhere else, but also a most admirable idealism which hardly finds its equal anywhere else. [...] The American, unhampered by the burden of historical conditions, can make and spend money for what it is worth."

"America has a principle or idea or attitude, but it is surely not money. Often, when I was searching through the conscious and unconscious mind of my American patients and pupils, I found something which I can only describe as a sort of Heroic Ideal. [...] The moving pictures abound with heroes of every description. American applause holds the world's record. The 'great' and 'famous' man gets mobbed by enthusiastic crowds, whatever he may be 'great' in.... [...] America is perhaps the only country where 'greatness' is unrestricted... ."

"There are many Europeans who are infected by feelings of inferiority when they contact America and meet her[? their?] heroic ideal. As a rule they don't admit it, and so they boast of Europe all the louder or begin to ridicule the many things in America which are open to criticism, such as roughness, brutality and primitivity."

"The old European inheritance looks rather pale beside these vigorous primitive influences. Have you ever compared teh sky-line of New York or any great American city with that of a pueblo like Taos? And did you see how the houses pile up to towers towards the centre? Without conscious imitation the American unconsciously fills out the spectral outline of the Red Man's mind and temperament.
There is nothing miraculous about this. It has always been so: the conqueror overcomes the old inhabitants in the body but succumbs to his spirit. Rome at the zenith of her power contained within her walls all the mystery cults of the East; yet the spirit of the humblest among them, a Jewish mystery society, transformed the greatest of all cities from top to bottom. The conqueror gets the wrong ancestor spirits, the primitives would say: I like this picturesque way of putting it. It is pithy and expresses every conceivable implication."


The following is from an essay called 'Mind and Earth' by Carl Jung (1931):


"[I] must go... into the nature... of the unconscious if I am to deal adequately with the conditioning of the mind by the earth. [...] [T]he psyche... is a much more comprehensive and darker field of experience than the narrow, brightly lit area of consciousness, for the psyche also includes the unconscious."

"Its contents, the archetypes, are as it were the hidden foundations of the conscious mind,... the roots which the psyche has sunk not only in the earth in the narrower sense but in the world in general."

"Perhaps I may be allowed a comparison: it is as though we had to describe and explain a building whose upper storey was erected in the nineteenth century, the ground floor dates back to the sixteenth century, and careful examination of the masonry reveals that it was reconstructed from a tower built in the eleventh century. In the cellar we come upon Roman foundations, and under the cellar a choked-up cave with neo-lithic tools in the upper layer and remnants of fauna from the same period in the lower layers. That would be the picture of our psychic structure. We live on the upper storey and are only aware that the lower storey is slightly old-fashioned. As to what lies beneath the earth's surface, of that we remain totally unconscious.This is a lame analogy.. for in the psyche there is nothing that is just a dead relic. Everything is alive, and our upper story, consciousness, is continually influenced by its living and active foundations. Like the building, it is sustained and supported by them."

"Just as, in the process of evolution, the mind has been moulded by earthly conditions, so the same process repeats itself under our eyes today. Imagine a large section of some European nation transplanted to a strange soil and another climate. We can confidently expect this human group to undergo certain psychic and perhaps also physical changes in the course of a few generations, even without the admixture of foreign blood. We can observe in the Jews of the various European countries marked differences which can only be explained by the peculiarities of the people they live amongst. It is not difficult to tell a Spanish Jew from a North African Jew, a German Jew from a Russian Jew. One can even distinguish the various types of Russian Jew, the Polish from the North Russian and Cossack type."

"The greatest experiment in the transplantation of a race in modern times was the colonization of the North American continent by a predominately Germanic population. As the climatic conditions vary very widely, we would expect all sorts of variations of the original racial type. The admixture of Indian blood is increasingly small, so it plays no role. Boas has shown that anatomical changes begin already in the second generation of immigrants, chiefly in the measurements of the skull. At all events the 'Yankee' type is formed, and this is so similar to the Indian type that on my first visit to the Middle West, while watching a stream of workers coming out of a factory, I remarked to my companion that I should never have thought there was such a percentage of Indian blood. He answered, laughing, there would not be found a single drop of Indian blood. That was many years ago when I had no notion of the mysterious indianization of the American people."

"Another thing that struck me was the great influence of the Negro, a psychological influence naturally, not due to the mixing of blood. [...] The peculiar walk with loose joints, or the swinging of the hips so frequently observed in Americans, also comes from the Negro. American music draws its main inspiration from the Negro, and so does the dance."

"America is still a pioneering nation on virgin soil."

"In africa... the white man is a diminishing minority and must therefore protect himself from the Negro by observing the most rigorous social forms, otherwise he risks 'going black.'"

"[T]he American presents a strange picture: a European with Negro behaviour and an Indian soul. He shares the fate of all usurpers of foreign soil. Certain Australian primitives assert that one cannot conquer foreign soil, because in it there dwell strange ancestor-spirits who reincarnate themselves in the new-born. There is a great psychological truth in this. The foreign land assimilates its conqueror. But unlike the Latin conquerors of Central and South America, the North Americans preserved their European standards with the most rigid puritanism, though they could not prevent the souls of their Indian foes from becoming theirs. Everywhere the virgin earth causes at least the unconscious of the conqueror to sink to the level of its indigenous inhabitants. Thus, in the American, there is a discrepancy between conscious and unconscious that is not found in the European, a tension between an extremely high conscious level of culture and an unconscious primitivity. This tension forms a psychic potential which endows the American with an indomitable spirit of enterprise and an enviable enthusiasm which we in Europe do not know. The very fact that we still have our ancestral spirits, and that for us everything is steeped in history, keeps us in contact with our unconscious, but we are so caught in this contact and held so fast in the historical vice that the greatest catastrophes are needed in order to wrench us loose and to change our political behaviour from what it was five hundred years ago. Our contact with the unconscious chains us to the earth and makes it hard for us to move, and this is certainly no advantage when it comes to progressiveness... . [...] Plurimi pertransibunt- but he who is rooted in the soil endures. Alienation from the unconscious and from its historical conditions spells rootlessness. That is the danger that lies in wait for the conqueror of foreign lands, and for every individual who, through one-sided allegiance to any kind of -ism, loses touch with the dark, maternal, earthly ground of his being."

Epilogue: 


From the chapters 'Soul of the City' and 'People, Races, Tongues' in 'The Decline of the West':

Primitive folk can loose themselves from the soil and wander, but the intellectual nomad never. Home-sickness for the great city is keener than any other nostalgia [he wants to live in the middle of the city, in its densest nucleus, for otherwise he could not feel himself to be the urban man that he was]. Home is for him any one of these giant cities, but even the nearest village is alien territory. He would sooner die upon the pavement than go 'back' to the land. Even disgust at this pretentiousness, weariness of the thousand-hued glitter, the daedium vitae that in the end overcomes many, does not set them free. They take the City with them into the mountains or on the sea. They have lost the country within themselves and will never regain it outside.

The intelligent visage is similar in all races- what is recessive in them is, precisely, race.

A race has roots. Race and landscape belong together. Where a plant takes root, there it dies also. There is certainly a sense in which we can... work backwards from a race to its 'home'... . If in that home the race cannot now be found, this means that the race has ceased to exist. A race does not migrate. Men migrate, and their successive generations are born in ever-changing landscapes; but the landscape exercises a secret force upon the plant-nature in them, and eventually the race-expression is completely transformed by the extinction of the old and the appearance of a new one. Englishmen and Germans did not migrate to America, but human beings migrated thither as Englishmen and Germans, and their descendants are there as Americans. It has long been obvious that the soil of the Indians has made its mark upon them- generation by generation they become more and more like the people they eradicated.

[S]cience has completely failed to note that race is not the same for rooted plants as it is for mobile animals... . With its talk of adaptation and of inheritance it sets up a soulless causal concatenation of superficial characters, and blots out the fact that here the blood and there the power of the land over the blood are expressing themselves... .

But besides the energy of the blood- which coins the same living features ('family traits) over and over again for centuries- and the power of the soil- evidenced in its stamp of man- there is that mysterious cosmic force of the syntony of close human connexions. [...] It is a matter of common observation that elderly married people become strangely like one another.

[T]he race-expression of a human head can associate itself with any conceivable skull form, the decisive element being not the bone, but the flesh, the look, the play of feature [physiognomy].

It cannot be too often repeated... that the little that is really illustrative in skeletal structure is a growth of the landscape and never a function of the blood. [...] It would be true, in a measure, to say that 'race' has travelled as flesh over the fixed skeleton-form of the land.

From Nicolas Rothwell essay published in the Australian in 2008 called 'On Dust and Fragements':

When I left the Middle East, the sense of things in dust and fragments seemed very strong: I went back to my home in Darwin, and started trying to forge my thoughts into a continuous narrative, a smooth stream of words - but soon I fell into composing in fragments; I would write nothing more than stray snatches of story; and it was not just that I was failing in my tasks - for what author is not always distorting and betraying the first image that forms in his mind's eye of his work? No: the fragment, the symbol-laden fragment, rather than the flowing sequence, was the necessary form for what I had to say: what I meant was in fragments, and dust; it was best told in fragments - fragments were all that I could manage, and even they seemed too controlled, too much a bid to reimpose order on a flux of shimmering, glancing, barely causal connecting chains.

I have a persisting sense that the novel sits uneasily in the Australian context, in the Australian landscape... . My impression is that the Australian bush has not been successfully transformed into a Western space fit for established models of writing. It is not a landscape that offers us easy grace, or immediate redemption: it does not have the flavour of settled, European or New World landscapes, against which epics of social progress and personal discovery can be straightforwardly played out. There is always something further in the landscape. It is more a place for tales, for deep-hidden meanings, and symbol-laden fragments - and all this is connected to religion, and the religious centre of gravity of the continent.

 
The growth of cities bred a new culture, reflecting the social and artistic patterns of the mother country, but fast developing individual accents; and that helter sketler transformation continues to this day, edged, always, by the anxiety of influences.


The Influence of Environment upon Development by Franz Boas, 1920.


During the last ten years I have carried on a number of investigations on the relative influences of heredity and environment upon human types. On the whole the results show that each hereditary type can be considered as satble only in  a stable environment, and that with a change of environment, many of the characteristic features of the body undergo changes. These results have been corroborated later on by investigations on immigrants in Boston and in certain respects also by Dr. Hrdlicka's observations on Americans whose ancestors have been residents of this continent for several generations.