Revelation of John

…Updike, that is.  In 1997 he wrote a novel, Toward the End of Time.  It is set in the first few months of 2020.  A war with China has drastically thinned our population and has resulted in the collapse of the federal government .  States or clusters of them have become the sovereign polities.

Do you want to see our future? Read it and weep. (And no offense, Kurt Schlichter, but: Updike is your daddy!  This novel is accomplished prose.)

i wish this great, prolific  writer were still alive to witness  how prophetic his vision proved.  And I credit his prescience to the fact that he closely and carefully observed and chronicled his society for so long.  When you are extremely, intimately familiar with an entity, person or nation, perhaps you develop some ability to predict that entity’s future.

Have you read  it, O Ratty?

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16 thoughts on “Revelation of John”

  1. You sure fooled me with the title!

    No, I never read it. I was advised once not to read any book written after 1950 and as  a generalization it is good advice.

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  2. Precognitive remote viewing. Actually it is said that I was the model for Daryl Van Horne in Witches of Eastwick when I was involved with Suky Sedgwick. Updike knew the family I think.  Either that, or a very weird coincidence. Jean Stein used to call my flat in North Beach looking for Suky when she and George Plimpton were writing “Edie.”

    Thomas Pynchon[1] was in some of my classes. Gold was filling in for Vladimir Nabokov who was off writing the screenplay for “Lolita”. Herb introduced me to European literature (Dostoyevski, Goethe’s Faust, Tolstoy, Proust). I would see him outside of class either in Willard Straight Hall or in Noyes Lodge where C. Michael Curtis, Kirk Sale, Richard Farina, Peter Yarrow, Tom Pynchon, Sergio Sismondo and other emerging literati and people of talent would gather. Curiously and uncannily enough, Noyes Lodge was given to Cornell by the grandfather of my far future Grand Passion Suky Sedgwick of six years in honor of her grandmother, Julia Gilman Noyes. Suky’s grandfather on her mother’s side was Rudyard Kipling’s close friend and a partner of Railway Baron, E.H. Harriman. The entire story is to be found in the book, “Edie”, by George Plimpton, editor of the Aga Kahn’s “Paris Review”, and Jean Stein, heiress to the MCA super-fortune left by her father, Jules Stein. Even more remarkable is the fact that her paternal grandfather wrote an essay in 1908 that anticipates the New Physics in which the Future causes the Past. Herb Gold[2] explains all this in Chapter One of his book fitting me into the Bohemia of Jack Kerouac, Gregory Corso and Lawrence Ferlinghetti in that sizzling cauldron of creativity that is San Francisco’s North Beach. Gold connects North Beach of the latter 20th century to the Bohemia of Vienna, Paris, London and Greenwich Village of years gone bye. Gold’s richness of prose is a joy to read. Gold’s book should be made into a docu-drama. Like Mel Brooks, Yiddish Vaudeville would have been for me, were it not dead and were I not partially waspified by the Cornell Savoyards in my tender years when I first met Herb at Telluride House in the Groves of Academe in 1957. It was in Ithaca with Herb Gold that the imprint of the Penelope archetype was made on my Wandering Jewish Soul that appeared in my future liaisons with several Amazon Women who run with Wolves — and bite like them too!

    My connection to the Sedgwick karma thickened because two years later in 1981, Leila Minturn Dwight introduced me to her aunt, Suky Sedgwick, who was Edie Sedgwick’s baby sister. I fell in love with Suky’s magical qualities. I did not know about Edie, nor was I consciously aware of the connection to young Hanfstaengl. The Sedgwicks seem to have an Orphic connection to Hades as might have been imagined by Edgar Allen Poe. John P. Marquand, Jr., a Sedgwick himself writes:

     

    “Have you ever seen the old graveyard up there in Stockbridge? In one corner is the family’s burial place: it’s called the Sedgwick Pie …In the center Judge Theodore Sedgwick is buried…his tombstone, a high rising obelisk…The legend is that on Judgment Day when they arise and face the Judge, they will have to see no one but Sedgwicks…He was a political ally of Alexander Hamilton and George Washington…Minturn had always been very much involved in the traditions of the Pie…Kennedy knew all about the Sedgwick Pie, and Minturn wondered after having watched the…Kennedy funeral – the casket on the horse drawn cart…if perhaps Mrs. Kennedy hadn’t ‘borrowed’ the idea from us…He stocked up on simple coffins…got into them and ‘tested’ them.”…

    Suky was charming brilliant and sexy. She loved to give dinner parties to the music of Ella Fitzgerald [9] and Louis Armstrong. Suky played classical piano and was a great Italian cook. Like the Henry Jamesian American Princess abroad that she was, she had married an Italian count and was fluent in Italian as well as French …

     

    Suky’s bedroom contained a leather-bound set of the autographed works of Rudyard Kipling that she inherited from her De Forest grandmother. Her grandmother nursed to health after a severe illness at their Long Island estate. British Parliament opened with “God Save Kipling.” and they sent a letter of thanks to Suky’s grandparents.

     

    David Weisman’s and John Palmer’s film “Ciao! Manhattan” stars Edie. The plot involves a UFO contactee in a relation to Edie which strangely precognizes my future relation to Suky. I did not see the film until my romance with Suky was over—for then, at least.

     

    Suky’s grandfather Henry Dwight Sedgwick wrote a prophetic essay “House of Sorrow” in 1908 in which he says that the future creates the past. His imagery is almost identical with that of Sir Fred Hoyle’s in his book “The Intelligent Universe.” I believed back then in the 1980’s that the quantum force of destiny, or the Ghost of Henry Dwight Sedgwick, had guided me to Suky. I would not have known about Henry Dwight Sedgwick’s idea that the future causes the past were it not for Suky.

     

    Herbert Gold is a distinguished author and journalist in San Francisco. He has just published a history of Bohemia that will appeal to both cultures literary and scientific. Gold has joined company with John Updike whose books; “The Witches of Eastwick” and “Roger’s Version explain the “New Physics” better to the public than Stephen Hawking’s editors did in the over-hyped “Brief History of Time”.

    “Sukie steered the conversation away from herself…Van Horne talked about himself, his hopes of finding a loophole in the second law of thermodynamics. ‘There has to be one,’ he said, beginning to sweat and wipe his lips in excitement, ‘and it’s the same fucking loophole whereby everything crossed over from nonbeing. It’s the singularity at the bottom of the Big Bang… And what kind of a force is it that operates across space instantaneously and has nothing to do with the electromagnetic field? … There’s a formula out there, and it’s going to be as elegant as good old E = mc2. The sword from the stone, you know what I mean? … Sukie laughed … Why couldn’t a wild man like Darryl blunder into one of the universe’s secrets?”

    from my Autobiographical Notes

    pp.134-5 “The Witches of Eastwick”

    Pp.3-9 EDIE by George Plimpton and Jean Stein. (Knopf, 1

     

    George Plimpton was also was a friend of my Cornell Professor Herbert Gold who wrote about my physics of destiny in his 1994 book Bohemia.

    [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Pynchon

    [2] Herbert Gold telephoned me on Feb 25, 2020 saying we could no longer be friends essentially because of my support of Donald Trump. He is 95 and bit demented perhaps, also he is not able hear well. I had similar falling outs with David Green, Tim Jerome, John Alexander and other knee-jerk liberals suffering from TDS.

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  3. Jojo:
    Sounds scary.

    Actually, life goes on pretty much as usual.  Because: commerce.  People still want things, want to go places.  Another way in which Updike’s vision was prescient was that everything ends  up being run by UPS. Which was the closest thing we had back then to the huge info networks which would very soon develop,,like Amazon, Google.
    No books since 1950, eh?  Well I kinda envy you:  you’ve got a lot of great stuff waiting, if you get bored.

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  4. OMG Jack Sarfatti: are you the Comte de St Germain?  Casanova?  I mean, model for Van Horne, devil incarnate!  Do you appear in the sequel to Witches? 

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  5. Curiously enough, Fred Alan Wolf and I briefly lived in what was alleged to be the flat of the Marquis de Sade near the Odeon in Paris when we were being indoctrinated into the mysteries of the Qabala by Carlo Suares who introduced us to Frank Malina, partner of Jack Parsons – see book “Strange Angel.”

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  6. I have always loved Updike, well, since I began reading the grownup stuff.  I’m sure I read this in 1997.  I never until today noticed it is set in 2020; that date woulda seemed as hazy, impossibly future, as 1984 , 2001, once did.
    Updike really didn’t live to be very old (76)  but in his later articles he referred to himself as a time-traveler.  He always had that sense of himself; there’s a story, or maybe just a chapter of one of his novels,  called Atlantis,  where he’s driving around his suburban neighborhood and remembering how it was when he and his friends were all hot young ah, Couples  on the make: the landmarks are there, a sunken world.  (And BTW Couples  is a great book.) To me it seems he chronicled almost every year, from the early 50s when he came of age, up to the end of his  time (and the novel I’m referencing is about facing that too).  People will read him the way we now read Austen.
    He wasn’t very good on women, mostly, although Sarah in S  was perfectly believable.  I don’t care.  To me he’s the Great God Pan of American Lit. Salve! 

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  7. Jack Sarfatti:
    Curiously enough, Fred Alan Wolf and I briefly lived in what was alleged to be the flat of the Marquis de Sade near the Odeon in Paris when we were being indoctrinated into the mysteries of the Qabala by Carlo Suares who introduced us to Frank Malina, partner of Jack Parsons – see book “Strange Angel.”

    I knew it!
    Have you ever visited the I AM church on the Wissahickon outside Philadelphia?

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  8. No. I don’t think so. I was only in Philadelphia three times I think.

    Once, during the 1964 Republican Convention.

    Second staying with Ira Einhorn and poor Holly 1975 when I met Arthur Young (who knew L Ron Hubbard and Jack Parsons).

    Third at an APS meeting staying with my brother who lives there,

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  9. No. I don’t think so. I was only in Philadelphia three times I think.

    Once, during the 1964 Republican Convention.

    Second staying with Ira Einhorn and poor Holly 1975 when I met Arthur Young (who knew L Ron Hubbard and Jack Parsons).

    Third at an APS meeting staying with my brother who lives there.

    Yeah, Updike died too young. He was into my kind of physics. He wrote a novel involving Anthropic Principle too I seem to recall. Too busy to check.

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  10. Maybe I did read Rabbit, Run long ago and didn’t like it. I think he and his “hot young couple” friends were not in the same world as my parents. I like  my parents’ better.

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  11. I never have read any of Updike’s novels, though I had a girlfriend who was a big fan of his. She was a Columbia alum (yes, I have dated non-cheerleaders) and she tried to get me to read his books, but I never got around to it. Guess I should have listened to her.

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  12. Mike LaRoche:
    I never have read any of Updike’s novels, though I had a girlfriend who was a big fan of his. She was a Columbia alum (yes, I have dated non-cheerleaders) and she tried to get me to read his books, but I never got around to it. Guess I should have listened to her.

    Knowing you, Mike, I think you were distracted when she was talking to you.

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  13. 10 Cents:

    Mike LaRoche:
    I never have read any of Updike’s novels, though I had a girlfriend who was a big fan of his. She was a Columbia alum (yes, I have dated non-cheerleaders) and she tried to get me to read his books, but I never got around to it. Guess I should have listened to her.

    Knowing you, Mike, I think you were distracted when she was talking to you.

    Reckon so. 😎

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  14. Jojo:
    Maybe I did read Rabbit, Run long ago and didn’t like it. I think he and his “hot young couple” friends were not in the same world as my parents. I like  my parents’ better.

    Mike LaRoche:

    10 Cents:

    Mike LaRoche:
    I never have read any of Updike’s novels, though I had a girlfriend who was a big fan of his. She was a Columbia alum (yes, I have dated non-cheerleaders) and she tried to get me to read his books, but I never got around to it. Guess I should have listened to her.

    Knowing you, Mike, I think you were distracted when she was talking to you.

    Reckon so. 😎

    Mike LaRoche:
    I never have read any of Updike’s novels, though I had a girlfriend who was a big fan of his. She was a Columbia alum (yes, I have dated non-cheerleaders) and she tried to get me to read his books, but I never got around to it. Guess I should have listened to her.

    Yes, Mike, you shoulda!  And now would be  good time  to catch up.  You’ll find him a kindred spirit, I promise!

    Jojo:
    Maybe I did read Rabbit, Run long ago and didn’t like it. I think he and his “hot young couple” friends were not in the same world as my parents. I like  my parents’ better.

    Awww! Do tell!  Well, if you haven’t been reading anything  written since 1950, somehow this doesn’t surprise me…

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  15. “Set in the near future of 2020, this disconcerting philosophical fantasy depicts an America devastated by a war with China that has left its populace decimated, its government a shambles, and its natural resources tainted. The hero is Ben Turnbull, a sixty-six-year-old retired investment counselor, who, like Thoreau, sticks close to home and traces the course of one Massachusetts year in his journal. Something of a science buff, he finds that his disrupted personal history has been warped by the disjunctions and vagaries of the “many-worlds” hypothesis derived from the indeterminacy of quantum theory. His identity branches into variants extending back through the past and forward into the evolution of the universe, as both it and his own mortal, nature-haunted existence move toward the end of time.”
    Toward the End of Time: A Novel Paperback – August 25, 1998
    by John Updike  (Author)

    From: Jack Sarfatti <jacksarfatti@gmail.com>
    Date: Monday, March 30, 2020 at 5:46 PM
    Subject: Re: America

    I love you Michel, but you have been brainwashed by the Communist Chinese/Deep State Lame Stream Fake News Radical Globalist “Progressive” Media.

    I follow Trump very closely on C-Span and he is a great POTUS in terms of what he is doing and has done.

    What you say about your mother in law’s health etc is based on fantasy – no truth to it.

    If you want to really know the truth, then start watching this.

    https://www.c-span.org/executiveBranch/

    But you need to watch the whole event and then compare it to how the Fake New Lamestream Media distort it.

    And if you want the truth about the Democrats

    Get Kindle of

    https://www.amazon.com/Profiles-Corruption-Abuse-Americas-Progressive/dp/1094149683

    America is split and if things go South, we will have a shooting Civil War here.

    Think N. Ireland, Yugoslavia, Syria …

    The Chinese Communist Party has started World War III with their CV-19 bio-attack Pearl Harbor on US, UK, EU with sacrifice of their own citizens as cover and plausible deniability.

    We are in a Twilight “Phony War” phase. China will launch a Second Strike in the Fall if not before.

    I hope I am wrong of course.

    Chinese agent “honeypots”  have infected US Naval Forces with CV-19 in anticipation of a military strike.

    Joe Biden is senile and completely corrupt and is a Puppet of the Chinese Communist Party. Same for Senator Feinstein, Speaker Pelosi, Waters, Nadler, Schiff et-al.

    Chinese agents will attempt to eliminate Trump and Pence with a bio-agent before Nov 2020 to install their Quisling Pelosi as POTUS.

    They will then send their Proxies the Drug Cartel’s MS13 et-al across the Mexican Border, with ultimate goal of occupation of at least Pacific Coast with Chinese troops after disabling US Navy including our Nuclear Submarines.

    From: Michel
    Date: Monday, March 30, 2020 at 4:55 PM
    To: Jack Sarfatti <jacksarfatti@gmail.com>
    Subject: America

    Dear Jack, I have respect and affection for you and I continue to admire your intelligence.

    It saddens me to observe that, in the recent past, you have become a groupie of this arrogant nobody named Trump. And this worries me, coming from you.

    Please come to your senses, your brain should still be operational. Just try to freshen up your grey matter.

    And leave the Chinese communist party alone, (or Boris Johnson’s sickness concerns for that matter), there are more pressing issues right now.

    The life and death of your fellow Americans (and the health of my mother-in-law and my wife’s siblings’) are at stake and your “commandante” is not cutting it. He’s certainly not the leader that America needs right now and his SHOWS are no longer amusing. He’s a DANGEROUS uneducated individual rejecting basic science and the urgent calls for consistency and an appropriate action plan that most respected scientists are voicing.

    Michel

    On 31 Mar 2020, at 10:18 am, Jack Sarfatti <jacksarfatti@gmail.com> wrote:

    Since we are here in America living it I must say I’m very proud of my president but I understand why you feel the way you do because most of the media hate him because they’re working for the Chinese communist party

    On Mon, Mar 30, 2020 at 4:17 PM Jack Sarfatti <jacksarfatti@gmail.com> wrote:

    Michel I don’t know what fake news papers you were reading but I listen to the president live to everything he says that he’s doing a wonderful job I think even Jagdish agrees with me on that one you can’t trust the newspapers and magazines to read because most of them just hate Trump and the propaganda they’re not objective

    On Mon, Mar 30, 2020 at 4:16 PM Michel   wrote:

    The evidence shows that YOUR PRESIDENT is an ignorant clown. He is putting America to shame. I no longer recognise the America that I knew and held in high regard and esteem.

    His supporters and other persistently silent Americans will pay dearly for his Caligula-like actions and more importantly for his inaction.

    Harrowing!

    Michel On 30 Mar 2020, at 3:51 pm, Jack Sarfatti <jacksarfatti@gmail.com> wrote:

    We can’t. We don’t have enough doctors here for Americans.

    When Castro got sick he went to New York City.

    https://twitter.com/cov_Gretchen/status/1244309921623130112?s=20

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