The Literature of Settlement


>>Alright let’s get
started. I wanted to remind you of
something that I mentioned on the first day of the class. We used last time the discussion
of Moby Dick in some sense to give you a sense of where
we were going in the course for the sense of where, to
get you invested in some of the issues now that are going
to become important later on. In the past students
have wondered why it was that we were slogging on
a lot of the different, you know puritan forms and what
the payoff was and I wanted you to see right away
that some of the ideas that the puritans
bring to the new world and that haunt them continue
to haunt writers all the way up through Herman Melville. A writer like Emerson perhaps
we’ll see tries to swerve away in the aftermath of
enlightenment and the beginning of romanticism away from
this sense of puritan, what Melville calls, “The
sense of innate depravity”, right that Puritanic glue. But writers like
Hawthorne and Melville think that the swerve away from
these things, that Emerson, perhaps Thoreau and Whitman
take as quick perhaps, a little too easy; that what
we need to do is to contend with whatever the residue
of Puritanism has become by the time we get to the
middle of the 19th century. So we’re going to
circle back now and think about the very earliest moments
of settlement and do a kind of quick sketch of the
way that settlement worked and then specifically talk a
little bit about Puritanism to prepare you for your
reading for the weekend. So Christopher Columbus,
1492 is his first voyage. That’s drilled into us
when we are growing up. But I want to emphasize
again a conjunction that I mentioned the first day, which is that the
Guttenberg bible, basically the first printed book in Europe is the same
area as Columbus right. Columbus was born three years
before the first Guttenberg bible is printed. In fact, it’s probably in
preparation in about 1450. So they are contemporaries and I
don’t think that’s an accident. The creation of the
printing press so that manuscripts
don’t have to be copied by hand anymore enables — it’s a brand new technology that in some sense
revolutionizes the flow of information. More people now have
access to text and it has an incredible ripple
effect through western culture. It makes writing crucial to the
whole process of settlement. So I think I mentioned
the first day all of these sailors
are also writers. They’re constantly
keeping track of things. They’re sending letters
back to their patrons. And what we will start to see
is the growth of something like a reading public
in the year that they are talking about. So I want you to understand, this is the great
so-called age of discovery. It’s also the great age of text. There’s some who think we might
be on some other great age of something else; the
transformation of print to something else
may herald the kind of information revolution,
that’s possible. We’ll have to see how that plays
out, although I’m interested in conjunctions of digital
medial and textuality. Does the word iPad mean
anything to anybody? As of 1 o’clock it
apparently exists and it’s — you know it’s the latest
cutting edge Apple device and it is all about textuality. It’s about re-presenting text
in a way that will enable it in a way to be more modern and give us a greater
opportunity to interact with it. People say that English
professors are a bit worried about the, whatever you want
to call it, the Googlizaton or the Kindelizaton
of the world. I don’t think so. I think there’s going to be more
need for people to study the way that literature intends
text because there’s going to be more people with access to
text, and many different kinds of text then there used to be. So we’re going to go back to
the great age of the beginning of textuality and this
is one conjunction that I wanted to remind you of. Another conjunction is this
one, Shakespeare right. Shakespeare is writing say
100 or so years after this, but the English are very slow to
become involved in the business of American colonization right. So Shakespeare writes the
Tempest from 1611, you know one of his last plays, the
last great romance, and it’s inspired the story
of a [Sound effects] wreck that actually took
place in the Bermudas. So that you might
say the very end of Shakespeare’s career
coincides with the start of the age of colonization. So that’s another echo that
we want to bear in mind. Shakespeare in some sense
also hovers our course. For this reason and also
because of what you see, part of what Melville thinks he
is doing in writing Moby Dick is to bring a Shakespearean project
finally to American culture, a modern Shakespearean project. Not one for the early
17th century but one that befits the modern age
in another words the middle of the 19th century and
therefore he’s going to use a new kind, a
different literary kind of technology, the novel. And he’s going to be thinking
about the relationship between the novel and
drama as you will discover. So I want us to keep
this in mind as well. The English as I said were
slow to become involved in the business of
American colonization. A couple of brothers named John
and Sebastian Cabot had sailed for English merchants in
the reign of Henry the 7th and Henry the 8th, but it
didn’t go well for them. John was lost at sea in 1948
and Sebastian went to work for Spain, they paid
better I guess in 1512. It was really until the 1570’s that there was real English
interest in the new world and again things
didn’t go very well. Martin Frobisher, Humphrey
Dilbert explored the north of America with very
little success. Sir Walter Raleigh oversaw the
famous colony of Roanoke in 1584 and Arthur Barlow who
was one of the men that Raleigh dispatched gave
this account of what they found. He said, “The 2nd of
July we found Shoalwater, where we smelled so sweet and so
strong a smell as if we had been in the midst of some delicate
garden abounding with all kinds of odoriferous flowers
by which we were assured that the land could
not be far distant. Now the Europeans bring things
with them to the new world. You know you’ve all heard —
disease would be one of them. I suppose Christian
ideology might be another, but they also brought
what we might think of as rhetoric of wonder. They had a kind of
template in their mind for what they were
going to find. Some of thought the might
find the fountain of youth. Some of them thought they
might find the Garden of Eden, but they expected to be amazed. So, a lot of the discourse of
settlement that you would find in all of the different European
traditions, partake some of this discourse of
wonder, the marvelous and that’s part of it right. We get to Shoalwater, we
can’t quite see the land but we smell this
incredibly sweet smell, so we think the new
world must be nearby. So Raleigh and Barlow
take possession of Roanoke for Elizabeth the first. They spend about six
weeks exploring the shore and then they return to England. The next year they come
back and plant a colony. It’s Governor, Richard
Genvalen has a way of alienating the
native inhabitants. And there’s an expedition
famously to Roanoke that’s led by a man named John
White in 1590. What does he discover
when he gets to Roanoke? Did you study this
in high — yeah?>>It’s totally abandoned.>>It’s gone. It’s still a — people say it’s
still a mystery exactly what happened to them. Among the missing people
were White’s own daughter and her family and in fact,
White wrote an account. It used to be in the Norton, but
I don’t think it’s there anymore in which he describes his
discovery of the ruined colony and includes a kind of pointed
account of finding three of his own storage
chests torn apart. This was the Barlow quote. I think I brought the White. He says, “Many of my things
laid spoiled and broken, my books torn from the covers. The frames of some my pictures
and maps are rotten and spoiled with rain and my armor almost
eaten through with rust.” That’s the biggest thing
of this description. And then he says this, “At
my departure I willed them that if they should happen
to be distressed at any of those places, then they
should carve over the letters or make a cross in this
form, but we found no such sign of distress. It was kind of a mystery. Having well considered this
we passed towards the place where they were left
in sundry houses but we found the
houses taken down and the place very strongly
enclosed with a high palisade of great posts, curtains
and flankers”, which are defensive walls. “Very fort like and one of
the cheap trees or posts at the right side of the
entrance had the bark taken off. And five feet from the ground in
fair capital letters was graven, Croatoan, without any
cross or sign of distress. Many of my things” and this
is the passage I had just read to you, “Laid spoiled
and broken, my books torn from their covers. The frames of some my pictures
and maps are rotten and spoiled with rain and my armor almost
eaten through with rust. This could be nothing but
the work of our enemies at Dasa Moon Kapuk
[Assumed spelling] who must have watched the
departure of our men to Croatoan and soon as they were
departed dug up any place where they suspected
anything was buried. White searches around but
the bad weather prevents him from doing too much to look for
his family and he never finds out what actually
happens to them. In 1606 is a second Virginia
colony which is set up and then the first permanent
settlement is established at Jamestown in Virginia in
1607 and that becomes sort of the start of that Virginia
trajectory that was one of the ones that Thomas Bender. A later voyage in
1609 becomes famous when its flagship the Sea
Adventure is wrecked before reaching Virginia and that
is the voyage and the wreck that inspires Shakespeare’s
Tempest okay. So that’s the story you
might say of the English in North America, but of course
the colonization of the north and south begins with Columbus. And so I wanted to take
a look at the writing that we have for Columbus. If you have your first volume of
the Norton open it up and take out to page 32, which is the
letter to Luis De Sant Angel on how — regarding
the first voyage. So this is written basically
back to his patron’s agent. De Sant Angel is a Spanish
treasurer and Columbus wants to impress him with the
success of the voyage right. So this is basically a report
from his — to his employer. “Sir, as I know that you
will
be pleased with great victory with which our lord has crowned
my voyage I write this to you from which you will learn
how to in 33 days I pass from the Canary Islands
to the Indies with a fleet with the most illustrious kind and queen our sovereigns
gave to me. And there I found
very many islands with people too innumerable and of them all I have taken
possession for their heinouses and proclamation made with
the royal standard unfurled and no opposition
was offered to me. And then he talks about naming. What do you immediately notice
about the language of this? “As you know I will be
pleased of the great
victory.” What do we say about this? I mean I’m calling this the
literature of settlement. Sound good to you. What is the language
that he is using here? How would you characterize
it if you had to? Yes?>>Language of
appeasement.>>Language of
appeasement. How — in what way appeasement?>>It’s a lot of like — like you can kind of
detect like pressure under like the officials
and stuff to like –>>So he’s sucking up a
bit?>>Yeah, basically.>>Okay yeah he wants to
— again it’s a letter
to his employer and he wants to impress him. He is perhaps trying to
appease his employers, make sure that he has
fulfilled his employer’s wishes? Yes?>>He’s trying to
like keep their wishes but you can also sense
sort of his responsibility. He gets to the point where he’s like taken possession
of their heinouses.>>Okay.>>Like he know his role
there. He knows what he needs to do.>>Very good. Very good. He says he knows his role. It’s self-promoting right. I have taken possession
for their royal heinouses.>>[Inaudible background
question]>>Right. That’s good. Anything else? Yes?>>It describes a conquest
but
just with passive language.>>Very good. It’s passive but you’re right. It’s conquest. It’s marshal language. At the first sentence, we’re
please at the great victory. I went there. I took possession. I unfurled the royal standard
and nobody made any opposition. Let’s try for a moment to
think of it from the standpoint of the people that are
watching this happen. You know a guy comes
out, trudges. He’s dressed in a way
they’ve never seen before. He takes out this thing, sticks
it on the beach, says some words in a barbaric language. [Laughter] The beginning
of the end, if they could only have seen
what was going to happen, they’d have killed
him right there. But that’s not what happened. Look what he sees. He sees people innumerable okay. And one of the things to say
about Columbus’s letters is that he really is a
— portrays himself as a primary kind of actor. This is in some sense a
drama of his discovery and it’s his discovery. So you might — there’s a
certain way he’s substantiating here a whole genre of personal
narrative that we’re going to be seeing throughout
the course. It’s going to finally culminate
for us in Kalmi Ishmael. Let’s take look at the end
of the passage and see — well no next paragraph. He says, “When I reached
Juana, I followed its coast to the westward and I
found it to be so extensive that I thought it
must be the mainland, the province of Kotaio.” And you can look
at your footnote and see what that means. He thinks he’s in Kafe or China. They were looking for
another way to get to China. China had been discovered. Marco Polo and others had
brought things back to Europe from China like spaghetti. So they were looking for
another way to get to China. They had no idea at first
that there was this continent. There’s a wonderful thing, I should have brought
a picture of it. Maybe I’ll do it next time. It’s called the Christopher
Columbus Chart and it’s — I think it’s in the
[Inaudible] in Paris now. But it’s a weird hybrid
thing of an actual — we call it an actual sea chart, something that would look
recognizably to us like a map on one side, and I think
it’s on the right side. But then on the left
side kind of joined to it is what they call these
portolan charts, which are kind of much more about mythical
places and they have kind of sea beasts sort of there, the
edge of the world kind of stuff. And it’s really interesting
to look at it. I’ll definitely bring
it see these things kind of literally joined as a glued
together to make this think. It’s not even regular in shape. You can see that what they’re
on the verge of is a kind of paradigm shift in the way that they understand the
world, not flat but round. All the things you know
of sun at the center of the universe, not so much. And early on people
were burned at the stake for thinking these things. We’re at the great
age of discovery. That doesn’t only
mean looking for land. People are thinking
of different things and paradigms are shifting and
that chart is a wonderful way of thinking of Columbus as
that sort of guy who’s right in the middle of a sort
of shift in understanding and conceiving the world,
much more so actually than he first understands here. So he says, “Since there
were
neither towns nor villages on the seashore but only
small hamlets of the people of which I could
not have speech, because they all
fled immediately.” I mean what would you do? I went forward on the same
course thinking I should not fail to find great
cities and towns.” Again, he thinks he’s in China. “And at the end of many
leagues,
seeing that there was no change and that the coast was bearing
me northward, which I wished to avoid since winter was
already beginning and I proposed to make for much of the south and as moreover the wind
was carrying me forward, I determined not wait for
the change in the weather and retrace my path as far as
a certain harbor known to me. And from that point I sent
to men inland to learn if there were a king
or great cities. They traveled three days
journey and found an infinity of small hamlet’s and
people without number but nothing of importance.” Okay that’s too obvious. What do we say about that? What has he also brought
with him from Europe, what conception is clear here? Yeah?>>The idea of
civilization
that doesn’t account for anything that’s
not the western. It doesn’t account for anything. It doesn’t really make sense
in this topic, so more western.>>They thought they
were going into the east.>>So maybe he thinks
he’s in the east but yes.>>This idea of European
civilization. It doesn’t exist
within that distinction. It doesn’t exist at all.>>That’s very good. In other words he
has a conception of western civilization
that he’s brought with him. To be civilized you can see some of the things he’s
expected to find. If you’re a civilization
you’ve got a king. If you’re a civilization you
have to have great cities. Presumably you have
many of the other things that are going along with that. He has a certain amount
of social organization and writing will be
one of the things that Europeans are expecting
to have if you’re going to call yourself a civilized
person or civilized society. Did you want to add something?>>I was just going to
add the ultimate area of pride that’s universal,
like in the writings of Smith.>>Yeah, yeah sure. I mean all this people have
a certain kind of hubris — and Smith is even more
Hubristic than most. I mean he’s really
a self-promoter. Columbus looks very
humble compared to him, but I think there’s a Hubris
that they don’t even understand. It’s the moment that we would
call it of first contact, and they have no
idea that the people that they are encountering
should count as people. We called some people here —
people without number but not of importance, not
worth reckoning with. Yes?>>Even from the very
beginning
when they have the early saga of these people of
their civilization — about their civilization is that
mean they are not important, or they already see them
as the same species, and that becomes a big problem.>>Yes, right. It’s almost like they don’t see
them as these people enumerable as the same species and
later on the subtext is that he sees them
as something else. Let’s gone on to the
very end oh about — he’s starting to
describe what it’s like. So let’s go on to about
the third paragraph at the top of 33. ” -The island and all the
others are very fertile to a limitless degree and
this island is extremely
so.” So again, it’s a kind
of progress report. He wants to prove that
everything was worthwhile, all the expense of sending
these ships out there; in it there are many
harbors on the coast of the sea beyond comparison
with others, which I know and christened them and
many rivers good and large, which is marvelous” right. So he’s using what he knows. It’s predictable that you
would do this, christened them as it was in your benchmark. And you’re going to compare
what you find to that and he thinks what
he’s found is better. Again that word, marvelous,
it’s all marvelous. “Again its lands are high
and there are in many sierras and many lofty mountains
beyond comparison with [Inaudible] All are
beautiful of a thousand shapes and all are accessible
and filled with trees of a thousand kinds and tall
and they seem to touch the sky. And I am told that they
never lose their foliage as I can understand for I
saw them as green and lovely as they are in Spain in May. And some of them are flowering,
some bearing fruit and some in another stage
according to their nature. And a nightingale was
singing and other birds of a thousand kinds in
November there where I went. There are six or eight kinds
of palm which are a wonder to behold on account of
their beautiful variety, but so are the other trees
and fruits and plants.” What’s wrong with that account? It says he hears a
nightingale and it’s wonderful. Yeah?>>Well I think that the
map that you forgot to bring in [Laughter] where it’s just
like the clash of kind of strict like [Inaudible background
discussion] I forgot my question now. I’m sorry.>>I think that’s an
example of
what goes around comes around. [Laughter] Raise your
hand when you think of it. But I was asking what’s
wrong with that account? In the back?>>It’s placing more
importance on fruits and animals and the people.>>Well that’s true. That’s really true,
although we’ll get to that in slightly later sentences. Is there anything else that’s
a little dodgy about this? Yes?>>I got it.>>You got it good. Like the literature
of wondering off, like meaning the [Laughter]
just like the practicality. The rivers are really marvelous,
yes because of their beauty but also because there’s kind
of a sense of utility you know. Like we’ll be able
to use these rivers.>>That’s very — the
point
was worth waiting for. Yes. [Laughter] He’s looking at
them all as commodities right. This is resources
we’ve discovered here. It’s amazing, it’s better
than what we have at home. Now again I’m still
looking for what’s dodgy about the account though, yeah?>>[Inaudible background
question]>>Ah yeah, see they
tricked you because they stick the footnote
a couple sentences later to talk about the hummingbird. But there’s no nightingales. That’s one of the big we don’t
keeps, Ode of the Nightingale. Ode to a Nightingale,
everybody read that? Do they still do that? That’s one way in a nutshell
of talking about a problem that we’re going to
encounter later on. You know, how the
hell are you supposed to write a literature
here in this continent where there are no nightingales? What the heck are we
going to write about? [Laughter] How are we going
to have a gothic literature when there’s no castle,
there’s no ghosts and vampires and things like that
in the new world. What are we supposed to do? So Columbus doesn’t
actually notice that. He figures it must be. So I want you to sort
of see a template in place for understanding. And part of that
template is being used to create a sense
of awe and wonder. This place is different. It’s unlike what we have, but he’s not attuned
to the differences. He’s just saying it’s
different because it’s more. It’s better. We can use it. And when he has an
opportunity to note something, it’s got to be a
different kind of bird, no. A certain part of his brain
just simply maps the old world on to the new. And one of the issues we’re
going to be discovering is that can be a kind of
dangerous thing to do, that are certain ways — how many of you have now
seen the top grossing movie in all of history — Avatar? None of you have seen Avatar? Oh come on. [Background sound effects] I
should make it an assignment. You go see Avatar. You go see Avatar. You think I’m joking. You go see Avatar in 3D Imax. You’ll get a sense of wonder. You’ll get an understanding of
Columbus by seeing that movie. You go to a — I mean what is
that movie except for settlement to discovery and
dances with Smurfs. [Laughter] Actually
it was a cheap shot because I loved that movie. I think the movie is brilliant. I have colleagues who think oh
it’s not progressive enough. They should have done more
to with like an echo this and echo that and hybridity. And I’m thinking for a piece of popular art it’s
pretty progressive. You know you go away thinking
don’t wreck the trees [Laughter] you know be sympathetic
to your animals. I mean that’s all
pretty good stuff. I mean who has seen it come on? You’ve not come on, you
mean you all just saw it in the last minute? [Laughter] You weren’t
willing to confess because you didn’t want to — you clearly have not
heard enough about me. [Laughter] So those of
you who have seen it — I’m not going to spoil it for
you for those of you haven’t. I’m serious that you
should go see it though because it partakes in the
same discourse of wonder and then it’s wonder that
if you don’t understand it in the right way
it will kill you. That’s part of what
they discover here, you know that planet. That tough Marine colonel who is
Pandora, the place will kill ya! The battle scar veteran
right, the scars he got are from this first day
on the new world. But the sense of wonder
is captured in that film where the crippled protagonist
suddenly gets his Avatar body and starts to run again. And I think that’s a — just that whole sequence where
he starts to understand the joy of using his legs again, in
this kind of new context. That’s part of this whole thing. I mean the camera is actually
drawing on the same discourse of wonder that marks these texts
and that’s a — for my vision — for my money it’s a better
account of first contact and finding or just the
aftermath of first contact and what it’s like
to be a new world. And that really arty movie
that was called the New World that just went on
about Pocahontas and it just went
on and on, okay. That’s my little editorializing. Hey, but I like pop art. I’m very serious though
about going to see Avatar. If were feeling like it was
not worth your time or your 12 or 16 bucks or however
it was just say, “I’m going because it’s my
American Lit I assignment”, seriously. But take a look again and again
the comparison is the go to — and this is a joke — they
go — it’s a movies joke. They go to this place to find
some Magoffin resource that’s called unobtanium. [Laughter] But you
know they are unable to see the wonder of that world. Really what blocks them from
truly understanding the wonder of the world is that they
see it really as resources, many of the people — the
reason that they are there. And that’s what Columbus does to
with this nightingales business, with singing a thousand birds,
their eight kinds of palm, which are a wonder
to behold on account of their beautiful variety with
several other trees and fruits and plants and there are
marvelous pine groves, and there are very large
tracks of cultivatable lands and there is honey and there
are birds of many kinds of fruits of great diversity. Did I say there were birds,
like he says you know? He’s getting it across in
the anterior of our mind and the meadows and the
population is without number. Espanola, the last thing
he mentions there is minds of metals and of course
we’re going to need people to get those mines
of metals out, right. So luckily there are
people without number. You know there’s a kind
of sinister side we say to this document the drama
of Columbus’s life is that he actually comes to understand what you might
say is the dark underside of this conception
of civilization. The first voyage — let me see
did I bring the first voyage — yes so he makes four voyages. He raises money for a second
voyage in 1493 but he’s racked with doubts when he discovers
that the small settlement that he’s left back in this
place that’s been marveled is a massacre. His third voyage in 1498 is
marked by his own in ill health and by increasingly chaotic
conditions back on Espanola. In fact, at the end of this
third voyage he is stripped of all of his properties and
sent back to Spain in chains. I bet you didn’t know that
about the Columbus story. He finally — you know he
finally gets his reputation back and has a fourth
voyage in 1602 that is in fact a complete disaster and
it sees him finally stranded in Jamaica and that’s where he
writes this letter directly now to the King Ferdinand and Isabella regarding
his fourth voyage on the bottom of 33. “Of Espanola, Paria and the
other lands I never thing without weeping”, he
writes. “I believe that there
example would have been to the profit of others. On the contrary they are
in an exhausted state. Although they are not dead, the infirmity is incurable
or very extensive.” Okay so how many years is
this, eleven years later? “Let him who brought them
to this state come now with a remedy if he
can or if he knows it. In destruction everyone
is inept.” It was always a custom to
give thanks and promotion to him who is a person. Now he is again his
own situation. He’s talking about the
injustice done to him. But he’s also talking about
the cultural situation. “It is not just that he
who has been so hostile to this undertaking
should enjoy its fruits or that his children should. Those who left the Indies
flying from toils and speaking from evil of the matter
in me have returned with official employment. So it has now been
ordained in the case of Oragua [Assumed
spelling] is an ill-example and without profit for the
business and for the justice of the world” and
then he goes on. So you can see that
Columbus learns first hand to see what it means to put
your face in things like Kings and great cities
and there’s a way in which Columbus is
emerging out of these letters as the first of a kind
of type, the first kind of alienated American or the
first American exile perhaps. Now the guy who prepared
a summary of Columbus’ first voyage it
survives today as the diario of Christopher Columbus was
a sailor on the first voyage who later became a monk
and we might say the kind of first new world activist
on behalf of native Americans and that’s the next writer
that’s featured in the Norton, Bartolome de las Casas. And I ask you to
take a look at this. On the bottom of 36 you
get his very brief relation of the devastation of the Indies and you can see you know how
quickly Europeans have altered the way the new world is. This was the first land of
the new world to be destroyed and depopulated by
the Christians. And you’ve got to remember by this time he’s a monk
right, he is a Christian. “And here they began their
subjection of the women and children taking away — taking them away from
the Indians to use them and ill-use them, eating
the food they provided with sweat and toil. The Spaniards did not
content themselves with what the Indians gave them
of their own free will according to their ability, which
was always too little to satisfy enormous appetites. For a Christian eats and
consumes in one day the amount of food that would suffice to
feed three houses inhabited by ten Indians for one month. A bit of an exaggeration, but you see the point
he’s trying to make. “And they committed other
acts of force and violence and depression which
made the Indians realize that these men had
not come from heaven. Some of the Indians concealed
their food while others concealed their wives and
children and still others fled to the mountain to avoid
their terrible transactions with Christians and the
Christians attacked them with buffets and beatings until
finally they laid their hands on the nobles of the villages. Then they behaved with such
temerity and shamelessness that the most powerful
ruler of the islands had to see his own wife raped
by a Christian officer.” Alright so that gives
you a sense of settlement and discovery which really are
misnomers perhaps for conquest. And from this time on, from
1493 onward Europe maintains a permanent presence
in the West Indies. Columbus finds the
mainland of South America. During the 1498 voyage
he finds Central America. During 1502 the Italian
and Portuguese and at that point we’re exploring
the coast of both South and North America
beginning in 1515 under the Charles the
fifth, the grandson of Charles and Isabella. The Spanish enter Mexico,
Florida, the Isthmus of Panama, Cortez is conquering the
Aztecs 20 years after this, only 50 years after 1492
the Europeans have managed to explore the east
coast almost completely. They’ve made major
inroads into the continent and they’ve defeated the
most American civilizations which were the ones in the
south, the Aztecs and the Incas. Fifty years after Columbus
discovered first the new world the Europeans are there to stay. And in some sense the history that we are now talking
about begins. Now part of the problem
I’ve mentioned is that the Indians weren’t thought
to have a civilization in part because they didn’t
have writing. They didn’t have a
written literature but they did have
an oral literature. And I give you to read,
I ask you take a look at the two pieces that the
Norton reprints for us, the Iroquois Creation Story and
the Pima Creation Story just to give you the sense that there
was something here before the Europeans, and it was a culture. There wasn’t just a
bunch of barbarians who were better than
animals, right. They had a culture. But the way they expressed
their culture was oral. And therefore the
Europeans were unable to understand as a culture. Some anthologies of cultural
America chose instead to present you the gap. They don’t present
any of these texts because these texts
are problematic. For one thing anytime you get a
written version of an oral text, you’re getting one
performance of it. So you’ve lost something
about the essential nature, the orality of the text, only because you
don’t hear it spoken, but because an oral text lives with variations and
it’s passed on. Any single rendering of it
is just one performance, as if you — I mean I
suppose we’re used to doing that as what a theater
critic does. He goes or she goes to one
performance and makes a judgment about the way the
entire is play, wondering whether it’s a
particularly good night or a particularly bad night. So we need to keep that
with a grain of salt. The other thing of course is
that these are transcriptions of oral presentations and
therefore they are mediated. There’s somebody in between the
oral presenter and the audience who is the reader,
even you might say if that oral presenter
is himself the writer or transcriber. Somebody who writes down an
oral story is also mediating it for us. And I think the Norton
introducer and I disagree about the extent to which it
seems likely that the second of these Pima stories is
actually mediated in that way. There are ways in which you
might say a European audience would expect to see certain
hallmarks of creation in the creation story. There should be a creator. If you are a believer
in the literal truth of the bible you would say
there would have to be a flood so these things work
their way in. It’s unclear whether
there really were part of or the extent to which they
are part of the original story. So what you might say
is what you’re getting in some sense is a damaged,
a very damaged version of the original story
that was here. Nevertheless, I think for our
purposes it’s worth having even that damaged version to
call attention to the way in which it’s damaged to
bring it out of chronology. If we were going to read
these in chronology in terms of the time they were printed, these are mid 19th
century texts. They don’t belong at the
beginning of the course. But we have them here
to again give us a sense of the justice that’s
being done when we talk about something as virgin land. So I think it’s important
to remember that these Native American
creation stories we should consider to be literary but
they belong to an oral rather than written literary tradition. And that jester that Columbus
has in his first letter of naming, showing us the
names that he’s giving to the island is actually
an important thing. I mean one of the
things that you would say that the Europeans do is
they go and name everything and take possession of it. Sure you can stick a stand in
the sand and unfurl your banner. You can bring in soldiers but
it’s really when you start to rename everything and
bring in your culture that you are actually
taking possession of it. And so, one of the things
that we might say is that this has become a kind of understanding among many
contemporary Native American novelists and artists about the
way that the conquest worked. This is a wonderful
novel, which if any of you like 20th century
literature I would imagine that you should read this one. It’s one of the brilliant
novels I think of the late 20th century. It’s Leslie Mormon’s
Silk of Ceremony which is about a Native American
who has gone off to fight in World War II and comes back
kind of shell-shocked and tries to reintegrate himself
into his community. It looks at first glance
like a kind of wonderful, modernist text but
one of the things that she is doing is trying to
incorporate the oral tradition of the Laguna Pueblo
Indians into a kind of western novelistic tradition. This is one moment
from that novel and I think it’s worth thinking
about just for a second. This is described in the
Christianized Indian called — she’s the aunt of
the protagonist so she’s called Auntie. And the narrator tells us this, “An old sensitivity
had descended in her surviving thousands of
years from the oldest times when the people shared
a single clan name and they told each
other who they were. They recounted the actions
and words each of their clan and taken and would take
from before they were born and long after they died. The people shared the
same consciousness. The people had known
with a simple certainty of the world they saw how
everything should be.” Pre-columbian, when
people say pre-columbian that means before
Columbus’ discovery. So that’s in some sense
the pre-columbian vision, the first four worlds. But the fifth world had become
entangled with European names. The names of the rivers, the
hills, the names of the animals and plants, all creations
suddenly had two names, an Indian name and a white name. Christianity separated the
people from themselves. They tried to crush the single
clan name encouraging each person to stand alone because
Jesus Christ would save only the individual soul. Jesus Christ was not like the
mother who loved and cared for them as their
children, as her family. And you get a sense of
that mother figure in one of the stories, right. In the Iroquois story, which
is really very different from the account of creation
that we would get in Genesis, and we get in Genesis right. I mean the Pima story is
a little more like that, although again it’s
not quite certain why. In the Iroquois story we
sort of start in the middle. There isn’t like this
moment of creation. There’s a greater
emphasis on motherhood, on process on collaboration,
on community. Again in contrast to the
kind of radical individualism that certainly from a Native
American standpoint we would see in Christianity and I think
it’s worth remembering this idea of individualism because it
will become important as we go on for much of U.S. ideology
is predicated on the idea that that individualism is a
good thing that’s created many good ideas like natural rights
and other things like that and we’ll get to the flowering
of it in Emerson and we’ll talk about self-reliance as the way to develop not only a
culture but a person. So you might say that our
liberal system is based on the idea of individualism. It’s a strange idea from
another cultural perspective. Solko gets at that
and I think some of these stories will
suggest that as well. A different kind of culture
another words is going to come out of a creation story
like the Iroquois then out of a creation story like
the one that we find in Genesis. Compare the Iroquois
mother of the world in that story therefore to
the you know male God figure in the Christian tradition. The monsters in the dark are not
evil in the way that Satan later on and his devils are evil. They belong you might say to
a different way of thinking about the world and
they come together and they collaborate
in the creation. So when the good
twin begins the work of creation it can’t
be completed until the bad twin is
able to partake in that. So I think that’s a really quick
of sketching you might say some of the limits of the ideological
tradition that comes along to the new world
with Christianity. So I want you to look at
those accounts and think about the ways in which — you know even the Pima account
is different in certain ways. Joworta Makai becomes a
kind of trickster figure. He makes mistakes, not that there aren’t
mistakes that are made. You know human beings
aren’t acting so well, let’s wipe everybody out except for a single family
and start again. So there’s some of that in the
Christian tradition as well. But you get the sense that
there’s more of a kind of trial and error process, sort of
the creator figure as a kind of trickster even
in the Pima account and he makes the world four
times until he is satisfied, which scholars think corresponds
to the emphasis that’s placed on the number four in many
native cosmologies including the Pima which would correspond say
to the four directions as a kind of significant number. So I wanted just to put those
out there for you as a way of indicating something like
this was here and a lot more of it and we can’t every
really know what it was like. That’s what cultural theaters
would call a situation of cultural damage. The cultural damage is profound. Some tribes are completely
wiped out. You know the Puritans completely
wipe out the Pequots later on. That will become important
to our friend Ishmael. So again I want to just
emphasize the contrast between the oral and
literary traditions. Now I want to talk a little bit
— okay we’ll do it this way. I wanted to talk to you a
little bit about the ways in which the Puritans interpret
the bible that will help you to read some of the stuff — to
think about some of the stuff that you’ve read already and to
read the stuff that you’re going to start to read
over the weekend, which include John
Winthrop’s very famous sermon, A Model of Christian Charity
and then later on the account of the captivity
of Mary Rowlandson. So one thing to understand is that the Puritan’s
have a particular — and you will have a piece which you definitely should
read carefully by Bruce Kuklick which will go over
the same material. So I’m going to give it to
you now, you can read it and then it all — you’ll
start to understand. Because I think you
will find in a way that it’s counter-intuitive
or at least paradoxical. One thing to understand about
the Puritans I talked a lot about cosmopolitanism in
the first couple of classes. The Puritans are what we would
call counter-cosmopolitans. They are fundamentalists
and whatever it is you think of fundamentalism you should
think about the puritans. I mean they are people
who believe that they have the one true way. Do you remember a little bit of your English history there’s
a whole big reformation that’s going on in Europe. The English are a little
bit late to the party and it’s not for
the best reasons. Henry the eighth decides
he what needs a male heir. He’s tired of his
catholic Spanish wife so he decides to divorce her. Slight problem with that,
Catholics can’t divorce. So what’s the solution? Let’s not be catholic anymore. So Henry the 8th founds
the Anglican church, becomes the head of the church,
grants himself his own divorce and marries Ann Berlin
and he keeps going on until he finally gets a male
heir who doesn’t last very long and is succeeded by his
eldest daughter with Catherine of Aragon, Mary the First. She has another name,
a nickname. We drink it. [Laughter] Some of us drink it.>>Bloody Mary.>>Bloody Mary. Why is she called Bloody Mary? Actually she should be called
something like Roasty Mary, because what she did
was actually burn a lot of Puritans at the stake. And then Elizabeth who is
a Protestant succeeds here and then things switch
around again. But Elizabeth —
the Puritans don’t like Elizabeth much more either. Elizabeth is a great politician
so she is trying to mediate between the different religious
constituencies that she has. So you have to imagine that in
this period it’s the Catholics who are the right-wingers. They represent the
conservatives, the long traditions
of the church. The Puritans are
big left-wingers. That’s what I mean
by counter-intuitive because the way the
cultural system is turned around if you found
a puritan in front of you today you would think of
them as right-wing in comparison to our current ideological
alignment. And there are the lefties and the Anglican’s are
somewhere in the center right. Some people say that when Henry
the eighth changed the church around all he did was
basically translate the liturgy out of Latin and into
English and left it there. But you were still going to find
a lot of incense and all kinds of other rituals in
high Episcopal services. The Puritans don’t
line any of that. They think it’s all
kind of graven images. They think the church has
become — and rightly so – they think it’s become
this bloated institution which has gotten away
from the true faith. When was the church
great, in the early years of the first apostles
and martyrs, when the saints were
walking among us. They think of themselves
as return to those days. That’s what they
are trying to do. They are trying to create small
congregations that are going to mirror the early
church and luckily for them in fact the have a Catholic
persecuting monarch who’s creating new martyrs
and new saints. One of their revered books in
this period is called Fox’s Book of Martyrs that talks
about all this. So Puritans come to create a
theocracy, quite literally. A separation of church
and state, they would find that
idea ludicrous. For them church is state, it’s
the only reason to have a state. Now they bring with them a
particular interpretation of the old and new
testaments and the relationship between the old and
new testaments and you might say
a part of this — there’s some key books for them. Certainly Genesis
and the Account of the Fall are key books.>>The Gospels.>>The Gospels. The — Some of the
Epistles of Saint Paul talk about it a little
bit with Winthrop, because there’s a
certain kind — certain part of Paul’s
message that they want to adopt and a certain other part
that they want to leave aside and then the Book of Revelation. Why the Book of Revelation? Again think of the Puritans,
the Berkovich article on Puritan Vision of the New
World is very good on this. They have a different sense
of history than we have. We live in what they think of as a secular history
or debates history. They live in the sense of sacred
history and it’s comforting to live in sacred
history in a certain way because you know what, there’s
a roadmap in sacred history. What is that roadmap? Yeah it’s the Bible. It starts in Genesis, has
a few bumps along the way but eventually it leads to
the day of judgment and they like the day of judgment. Why? Because they think they are
living close to the end times and they think they are God’s
chosen people re-created. In fact, you could say they
think they are really God’s chosen people. The previous version of God’s
chosen people was just a warm-up for them. So they think of themselves
as living in the end of days and they’re looking forward to
that second coming of Christ and all that comes with it. So they go back, and
under the influence of John Calvin they start to interpret the Bible
in a certain way. They think of the Bible as in
Genesis establishing a covenant. God establishes a covenant
between himself and human kind, between himself and Adam. They regard this
as the covenant. It’s called the Covenant
of Works. And it’s a kind of
a strange title but what it basically means
is that given the nature of that covenant all of Adam’s
works were going to be good. Adam didn’t know the difference
between good and evil. There was no distinction
between good and evil. So, all of Adam’s works
were guaranteed to be good, so long as Adam obeyed God. And Adam pretty much said he
could have all these beasts and depending on which version
you pay more attention to — has anybody — how many of you
have actually read Genesis? You ever notice that
there is certain kinds of repetition in Genesis. It’s like there’s one
creation of the world in which Eve has a certain
role and gets created in a certain time and then
somehow a few verses later there’s another one and she
gets created out of the rib. Have you ever read
the story of Noah? Everybody remember the
story of the dove and Noah and how many days, forty
days and forty nights? That’s the one you remember? Who remembers the raven in Noah? There are two different versions
of the Noah story and the Bible, if you do sources studies of
the Bible which they start to do in the 19th century, you find
that there are different sources and there is thought to be
an editor, a redactor figure who brought these
things together and sometimes the seams show. It’s kind of a wonderful
exercise. It’s kind of beyond
the point here. People who are in my Con
West class may have seen it. But if you’re interested
I’ll put up a little piece that you can read about this. But the Noah story is wonderful because you can almost pull
them apart, almost perfectly and read one entire account
written by one source that tells the story
that features a dove. An entire other account
that works in its own logic
features a raven instead. One of them has forty
days and forty nights, the other has a slightly
different chronology. The two of them however
are intertwined with one another
in the actual text. There have been in
fact attempts to say that they aren’t separate,
they go together and that in fact you could make a kind of chronological
sense to all of this. I would suggest that you
just read it and take a look and see what you think yourself. In any case there was
at least this one idea, and at least one story was that
Adam is basically supposed to go and he’s God’s agent
on the ground. He’s going to name things. He’s going to take possession
and the world is created for his dominion so long as
he obeys one little rule, “Do not touch the fruit
of that tree over there.” That tree over there
happens to be the –>>Tree of knowledge.>>Yeah it could go by
the tree of knowledge but it also has a longer name, “The tree of the
knowledge of good and
evil.” Puritans, diehard
Catholics would probably say, “You know what, God could
have picked any tree.” These are logical implications
because you could say if it’s the tree of
knowledge of good and evil that God doesn’t want
to people to eat from is because he specifically doesn’t
want them to know the difference between good and evil so that
there presumably wouldn’t be evil. Others could say,
“You know what, the thing that’s important
is just God’s commandment.” It could have been the
tree of the recipe of how to make sugar cookies [Laughter] and he could have
decided that was it. So, basically it was obedience
that was fundamentally at stake, not the knowledge
of good and evil. Okay, either way
Covenant of Works. So you know the story right? The serpent is that
right, not exactly right. Satan, but he’s not
the serpent yet, he’s some other form
that we don’t know. He talks to Eve. He had a little chat with her. “This fruit really
tastes pretty good. It actually does, why
don’t you have it.” [Laughter] “It’s good
stuff.” So she has it and then she
goes to her husband and either because he’s seen what
she’s done and he realizes that he’s got to take part in it
or just because he’s convinced that it’s good stuff,
he eats it too. What happens next?>>They’re chased
from the garden.>>Okay, before they’re
chased from the garden what’s
the first thing they know?>>What?>>They realize they’re
naked.>>They realize they’re
naked. So they cover themselves. [Laughter] I want you to
remember that conjunction. Especially when we get
to The Scarlet Letter, which I hope will look radically
different to you with me than it does — by the
time we get to it — then it did in high school. But there is something about — look at the connection
that is being made there. If you assume that
the knowledge of good and evil is important the
Puritans are going to say — what’s the first bit of
knowledge that’s evil that they know, stuff about sex. [Laughter] It’s the
woman’s fault. [Laughter] I mean
just think about it. The Catholic tradition —
I’m being a little irreverent but not much — the Catholic
tradition reveres the Virgin Mary. There is no kind of
feminist counter-weight, equivalent in the
Puritan tradition. It’s much more patriarchal,
much more difficult. And I think that
will give you — and if you keep that in
mind you’ll get a real sense of the achievement
of Mary Rowlandson and Bradstreet as writers. So we’ll get to that next
week and the week after. But they know the knowledge,
the have the knowledge of good and evil and all of a sudden
and it has everything to do with good and evil; so sexuality
and knowledge, very important. And Hawthorne gets this and
that’s why he writes the story that he does and
when you get to it, or if you’ve read
it you’ll remember that she is being
punished for a sexual sin that she has been
proven to have committed. But in the course of what looks like her penance she is
sinning a lot more — the sins of intellect. And there’s a connection
that is being made between those two things. Okay so covenant of words
broken, chased out of the garden of evil, Satan takes the
form of serpent and now which is taking the form that we
know it has, which it’s forced to wriggle on its belly and it has an enemy
forever with man and woman. Human beings have to
toil for their labor. Instead of getting nice fruit
of the tree you have to work, you’ve got to plant stuff. You’ve got to kill stuff. Women [Sound effects]
Child birth, this doesn’t mean
anything to most of you. I’ll presume most of you yet. But, child birth — I’ve
seen child birth way up close and I haven’t experienced
it myself, but I’ve seen it. Painful! [Laughter] I mean
when you look at it you say, “Who made up this
system.” [Laughter] But then if you say,
“Oh, but it was
punishment.” But the thing about
God though however — the God of the Old
Testament is a loving God. He’s very severe. But the Israelites are
always the chosen people and he is chastising them, but
he always cares about them. That’s one thing,
even when they’re in captivity and
prison you know. They know that they
are the chosen people and that it will work out. They have that promise. So that’s one of the things
you’ve got to understand. The New Testament is
a different story. From the Old Testament we get
the doctorate of original sin. The doctorate of original
sin is a bit problematic because why should all
of human kind be punished for one guy’s mistake. And you might say — and I
think I mentioned this — that God knows, that whole bit
about providence at the end of the first chapter
of Moby Dick. God knows that I’m
going to do this. So was it really Adam’s fault? Didn’t he kind of
set up the situation. Like using reverse
psychology on my four year old. “Don’t eat the tricky
fruit.” [Laughter] “Susie you can’t
possibly dress yourself before I come into the room, can you? I’m sure you can’t.” So is it really — I mean come
on is it really Adam’s fault? Fine, and all that
stuff that is going on is happening pretty
quick as far as we can tell. So, Adam hasn’t learned
very much. But God is merciful. So the doctorate of
original sin is really bad. The doctorate of original
sin means not only that you have work and you
have to bear life birth and all that messy stuff,
but you’re also going to hell at the end of that. Yes, human beings are
now eternally damned. Really I mean it, the hot place. You’re going to hell. That is the meaning of the
doctorate of original sin. It will have a name and it
will be called total depravity. But God is merciful. Human beings deserve
nothing, nothing. But God does still love them. So he creates a new deal. The new deal is another
covenant. It’s called by the Puritan’s
the covenant of grace. Anybody have an idea
who seals this bargain? You’ve all heard it. Yes?>>Jesus Christ.>>Jesus Christ that’s
right,
God’s only begotten son comes down to the world to
extend God’s mercy. So what does Jesus do? He sacrifices himself. There’s a certain way of which
the Old Testament is still partaking of a certain kind
of old and logical sacrifice. And remember Jesus is Jewish. He found Christianity,
but he’s Jewish. He sacrifices himself
on the cross as the supreme act of love. That’s the interpretation
that they get from Paul. Paul is the one. If you think about why — if
you’re skeptical of Christianity for any reason you say
why do Christians revere that kind of bloody crucifix? It’s because they
don’t see it that way. They see it a supreme
symbol of love, somebody that loved other people
so much that he was willing to undergo that and
you might say that kind of wipes out the books. Human beings owed God more
then they could possibly repay because of the doctorate
of original sin. But Christ suffers so much
that he wipes out the books. [Sound effects] and
that is the new covenant and it’s the covenant of grace. And according to Puritan
logic, the covenant of grace is actually better. The covenant of words is fine. It’s in the Garden of Eden. It’s scenery, good
food, but is God above. Covenant of grace, where did
those who received grace get to be — Garden of Eden, no — at God’s right hand with
the angels, up there. It’s better so there’s a certain
logic that’s in place there. This was good, and we
broke it and we suffered but we got back,
which is better. It’s through suffering that
we achieve something greater. This mode of thinking
is called typology. And the larger mode of thinking
is typological hermeneutic. So hermeneutic — hermeneutic
is a way of interpreting and hermeneutics pleural is
you might say the science of interpretations. When you put it together
it means a way of interpreting through
typology. A typology — and it’s a way of
interpreting first the Bible. Now typology depends
on the existence of types and anti-types. And they don’t mean exactly what
you think they’re going to mean. And type is the first thing. When I don’t know. On the day of the iPad this
seems radically inaccurate to be saying this. But it’s like a font of type. Maybe I should say
like a stamp pad. Maybe like the dye
that you use to create, maybe like a reverse image. So you take your stamp pad, you
ink it and what is that you care about the stamp itself? No you care about the
image that you create. The image is the anti-type. The type is the kind of
reversal of the anti-type. The type prepares the
way for the anti-type. The type’s meaning
only comes clear when you encounter
the anti-type. You don’t care about
the stamper. You care about the
image that’s produced. You don’t care about the
dye that produces the coin. That’s the relationship. Now in the Puritan understanding
the Old Testament is full of types. That’s what they are. Like the recurrence of forty,
forty days and forty nights, [Inaudible] at forty days
all pre-figures Christ out in the desert struggling
with Satan and his conscious for forty days and forty nights. The meaning of forty days and
forty nights only comes clear through the life of Christ. And you pick any
number of things. And if you actually go back
and read the gospel according to Saint Matthew
especially you will see that he’s very concerned
to show that some of things that Christ does
fulfills scripture. Christ is the fulfillment
of what has been predicted or foreshadowed in
the Old Testament. And so it has that relationship. It’s a way of reading the
Bible in other words that gives of pride of place in the New
Testament over the Old Testament and it says that the
Old Testament is kind of like John the Baptist, it
has a preparatory relationship for the New Testament. This all really comes out
of their understanding, comes out of Calvin’s Institute
of the Christian’s religion. The Puritans, so this is on
the eve of the Bradford’s and the other Puritan’s coming
to the new world in 1620. There’s a big meeting
of the church elders in Holland called
the Synod of Dort. And they agree on a kind
of official interpretation of Calvin’s Institute and that’s
the one that they start to put into practice with
the new world. So this is the idea that
comes out of original sin, the total depravity
of human kind. And I mean total, right. You’re totally depraved right? You’re born. You’re going to hell. However because God
is mercifully and there is a thing called
unconditional election that takes place. It doesn’t mean you vote. This means that you
become among the elect. It means that you are saved
and you receive grace. It’s unconditional because
there’s no strings attached to it, not on God’s
end and not on yours. There’s nothing you
can do to earn it. This is the point
that I have to stress. For the Puritans there is no
way to do enough good works to balance — to
pay off your debt. Only Christ can pay
off your debt. So there is no way that
good works can earn your way into heaven and if
you think that’s true for them it’s a heresy. They call it the Arminian heresy after the Dutch thinking Jacobus
Arminius who propounded it. So any chance good works
getting you into heaven? No, no, no, you could be the
worst sinner in the world, but if you’re converted and you
receive grace boom you’re in. The best person in the
world, not received grace, sorry the gates barred to you. But there’s another hitch
I forgot to mention — did I mention Christ died for
not quite everybody’s sins. He died for those who were
already going to be elect. So Christ’s atonement for
these sins is limited. Christ died for the
chosen people and who are the chosen people? Funny how that works right? The Puritans are
the chosen people. But good thing is there’s —
grace is nice and irresistible. I mean when you read accounts
a little bit, which we will, it’s like receiving grace, whoa. And guess what once you
have it you always have it, perseverance of the saints. It’s probably more correct
to use the French theory who say you always
already had it. Because God always
already knew who was going to receive grace and who wasn’t. So these are five principles that I would like
you to remember. They will help you
as read the Puritans. Can anybody thing of a way? No Con westies.>>TULIP.>>Yes, TULIP — total
hereditary depravity, unconditional election, limited
atonement, irresistible grace and perseverance of
the saints, TULIP. Are there any questions
about it? No [Laughter] we’re not
going to play that one yet. We are almost as you
can tell at the end. But I want to know if there’s
any questions about it this? Yes?>>[Inaudible background
question]>>Well we’ll talk about
this. I mean the goal is the
Puritans believed — hope that all of them are
going to have been saved. But the goal is here
in their theocracy here in the new world is they want
to try to create a church that is close to what they
will call the invisible church. So it’s actually God’s church
that is actually real and exists in heaven and God’s mind. And they want to
mirror that on earth. So they really want only
the chosen to be there. Than there’s a kind of an
epistemologic kind of problem, how do we know who’s
chosen and who isn’t? I mean it goes without
saying that John Winthrop or William Bradford,
they’re chosen right. And what about their kids — kids don’t seem to have
the greatest experience, that proves to be a problem
later on and they have to figure out ways to deal with it. So there’s a kind of —
there’s a couple weird paradoxes that I want you to
be thinking about. One is if God has already chosen
all of this, how can there by anything like free will? How can that work? And we have an idea
of providence and what’s called
pre-destination and also have free
well at the same time. Don’t those constitute
mutually exclusive ideas? So that’s one thing that
the Puritans are going to wrestle with. And how do you know if you
have the signs of grace? And it’s going to be really
important if you’re trying to create a society or even a
politics that’s based on this. You gotta now who’s
in and who’s out. But only God knows really
who’s in or who’s out. So you’ve to figure
out ways of guessing. That’s one of the upshots
of this, but what I want you to see is the way in which
what we have here is a kind of haunted imagination. Everything means something. Nothing is neutral. Typological hermeneutics starts
as a way of reading the Bible but becomes a way of history
and their own daily experience. In other words, if strictly
speaking typological hermeneutics is a way of
reading the New Testament, or reading the Old Testament in
the light of the new or the way of reading New Testament that
says that’s the fulfillment of the Bible, for the Puritans
typological hermeneutics starts as that but it radically
becomes something else. It becomes a way of reading
their own history and experience and seeing the entire Bible as
a type that they are fulfilling or full of types which
they are fulfilling. They are they say, “The
latter day Israelites.” That means the previous
Israelites only mean something with the appearance
of the Puritans. It’s only with the
appearance of the Puritans who are the anti-type, the
meaning of the Israelites that it finally becomes
clear and fulfilled. That’s you might say
the ultimate hubris of their way of thinking. But it’s comforting in a certain
way because when things start to get bad here in
the new world, and like Avatar the new
world kills a lot of them, they have comfort because
they know it’s for a purpose. They know that God
cares about them and when things go really
bad they blame themselves and say God is punishing us. But it’s only because
he wants us to get back on the straight and narrow. It’s not unlike we break
the covenant with them and Winthrop will use
this language of covenant but we can always
re-establish it just because there’s a precedent for
that — the covenant of words, the covenant of grace. We establish that we are
still God’s chosen people. That’s comforting for them. But it means, go
back under this point under this point they’re always
trying to figure out ways of understanding
what things mean. So the littlest thing
can be read typologically and these things are. People look at the
tiniest events and try to understand them. But understand, they’ve
got this kind of template. It’s another template. Columbus has the
template of wonder; these guys have the template
of typological hermeneutics. Let me give you one
instance of this and then we can be
done for the day. Take a look — if you
have it with you — take a look at the piece
that’s called Mourt’s relation and you can see — you’ve
got this thing printed out, which I hope you do, take that
out and then at the same time go to the first volume of the
anthology and turn to page 116. [ Sound effects ]>>Now this Mourt’s
relation is a pamphlet. It was published
in England in 1622. It’s thought to have been
written by William Bradford and Edward Winslow in the
colonies and brought back by this guy named George
Mourt to be printed. And it’s — not unlike
Columbus’ letter it’s kind of like a pitch. It’s almost like prospectus
for further colonization and it’s kind of
a justification. So when you read it you will see
that in some sense it partakes of that same kind of
discourse of wonder. Okay they get to — “On Wednesday the 6th
of September the wind, coming east northeast,
a fine small gale, we lose from Plymouth. Having been entertained
kindly and courteously by diverse friends we had their
dwelling and many difficulties in boisterous storms that
landed by God’s providence. Upon the 9th of November,
falling at the break of day, we spied land upon which
we deemed to be Cape Cod and so afterward it proved. And the appearance comforted
us, especially feeling so goodly at land and would it to the
brink of the sea cause us to rejoice together
and praise God that had given us once
again to see land.” And what you — if you
read through it you see that they just can’t believe, again like Columbus they’re
comparing it to what they know and they can’t believe
how lush it is. “And later on circle on
the entrance which is about four miles over
from land to land, compassed from the very sea
with oaks, pines, junipers, sassafras and other sweet wood. It is a harbor with a thousand
sail of ships, may safely
ride.” Good to know for
the future right, if we wanted people
to come here. And then at the end they start
exploring the shore a little in the shallop, which
is a little ship. And the very last
paragraph we have. “As soon as we could we
set ashore, 15 or 16 men, well armed with some to fetch
wood as we had none left so as to see what the land was and inhabitants they
could meet with. They found it to be a small neck
of land and the side lay the bay and the furthest side the
sea and the ground or earth, the sand hills much
like the downs in Holland, but much better. The carse of the
earth a spit’s deep, excellent back earth all wooded
with oaks, pine, sassafras, juniper, birch, holly,
vines some ash, walnut. The wood for the most
part open and underwood, fit either to go or ride in. At night our people returned
but found not any person.” Unlike Columbus they don’t
see anybody at first. “Not any person nor
habitation and laden their boat with juniper that smelled
very sweet and strong and which we burned many
of the time we laid there.” Alright again this
pamphlet partakes in the discourse of wonder. Go ten years into the future and you get Bradford
writing the history now of Plymouth Plantation. And if you look on the bottom
of page 116 at chapter 10, you will see an interesting
date. “Being thus arrived at Cape
Cod the 11th of November and necessity calling them to
look at a place for habitation as well as the masters
and mariners, they having brought
a large shallop with the [Inaudible]
stood on shores of the ship they now got her out and took their carpenters
to trim her up. But being much bruised
in the ship with foul weather they saw
she would be long in
mending.” Okay we’ve got the same dates. This is another account of
the same event and they talk about — he goes on
and talks about all of this stuff [Sound
effects] that’s going on here. One of the things I want
you to see is the way in which Bradford is re-writing. From the time that he
gets Mourt’s relation to this he is re-writing. And the way to understand
how the re-writing works is through typology. Alright so what I want you
to do over the weekend is to go back right
before the place that I’ve just brought
you, which is chapter 9, which starts off September
6th, which is the same place of the excerpt from
Mourt’s Relation. And what I want you to think
about is what is the difference between this earlier
account and the account that we see in Mourt’s Relation? What has Bradford done to filter
his account through the idea of typological hermeneutics? Where would you find moments
of typological thinking? You should be looking
for moments where he’s comparing
the Puritans to the saints earlier on? What is the logical
of those comparisons? Who had it worse, the apostles
being shot at or these guys? And remember this idea of the
lush, wonderful wilderness that they’ve come to
in Mourt’s relation, how is it portrayed here? Is it the same kind
of wilderness or is it something else? And if it’s something else,
why portray it in that way? One last thing and this
you would find in the — probably the single place to
look at the exemplary place to look at would probably
be in the middle of 115. He says that they
didn’t find anybody but in the Plymouth Plantation
he brings those people that they didn’t find into
his account right here in a particular way. Why do that? What’s the point? Okay, this is one of the
earliest books we might say — Plymouth Plantation is one
of the earliest histories of the Americas —
of North America. And the think to understand is
that at the moment you might say that American history
writing is being created. It’s revisionist history. It’s re-writing. Why? That’s where we’ll start
when we start next week. [Background sound
effects] Thank you. [Music]

local_offerevent_note September 20, 2019

account_box Matthew Anderson


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