Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: Macroinformation.org &
Knatz.com / Personal / Writing / Fiction /
About pk’s King, 1990
A man is fleeing through a primeval forest. It’s a mistake. He’s not the one they want. His brother is dead and now they want him.
It’s not fair. He’s not even good at running away. They’re the hunters, trained, coordinated. All his life they’ve just fed him. He’s useless, a drone. They’ve never even succeeded in fattening him up.
He manages to evade them till dark, finding the lianas where he hid through his manhood ceremony. He’s doomed. Even if he escapes, he can’t survive without the group feeding him. He’ll run past the end of the world and die alone.
In the morning he’s tackled hard and bound to a travois. But the hunters’ treatment of their captive is strangely reverent. He’s dragged to a ceremony. They cut him. They drink his blood. Then his wounds are tended as they transfer him to a cave, the same cave his brother died in. He’s their new sun god. They don’t dare expose him to the dangers of normal life. The cave-cocoon is his holy royal tabernacle; the ceremony was his coronation.
You wish you were rich? You hope your son will be president? Think again. Do you really want the secret service watching him while he pees? Do you really want the chances of his being murdered to be astronomically higher than the norm? Onassis’ young heir has more duennas protecting her than Columbus’ Queen Isabel ever had.
Shakespeare shows King Richard murdering left and right for the crown. But avoiding ascention as you would a plague is another known behavior of candidates throughout the long sad history of royalty.
Any study of history that does not include a thorough reading of Sir James Frazer’s The Golden Bough is trivial. I’ll say the same for any study of religion, theology, sociology, anthropology, magic, or science. My own public education had a sentence on cavemen, a paragraph or two on Egypt, and then reams on the Greeks, Romans, Charlemagne, England, and us. Sorry: that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
I started reading Frazer when Lionel Trilling assigned him as necessary background for the study of modern literature. Yes: I ratify his assertion that no single book is more important in understanding what happened after Dickens that made a Faulkner. I’ve read it for decades and finally, over the past few years, began again from scratch and read the vast one volume condensation in order: first page to last. I now say further that no single book is more important in understanding the whole of human behavior. I’ll summarize (see magic), but don’t take my word for what I say. If you’ve studied it yourself, you should recognize the essence. If you haven’t, then everything around you is bewildering: from the government spending thousands on a coffee pot to people castrating themselves while they wait for a space ship. But perhaps it’s not too late. I sincerely hope I can get you started on an understanding that I believe is our only chance at having surviving grandchildren.