Kenneth Hite (princeofcairo) wrote,
Kenneth Hite

[Eliptony Core Sample] Hen-Hs

Holiday, F.W., The Dragon and the Disc (W.W. Norton, 1973).

Let me preface this section by noting, as I have before, that the Core Sample doesn't always bring up the most important or valuable book in a shelf. (In this case, for example, it has missed Eric Hoffer's The True Believer and Richard C. Hofstater's The Paranoid Style in American Politics, two absolutely vital texts for the serious political scientist.) It brings up, in this case, one of the earliest "case studies in multidisciplinary eliptony" that I ever read, "Ted" Holiday's Dragon and the Disc. Put simply, Holiday takes UFO reports and cross-correlates them (in Northwest Europe) with lake monster reports. From there we go into dragon legends and the architecture of Stonehenge. (Round, you see, like a UFO.) Building on the previous research of Aimé Michel, which established (if that's the word I'm looking for) a link between ley lines and UFOs, he lays out a beautiful pattern of ancient myth and culture focused on the two phenomena he started with. It's a masterpiece of tautology, and the fascination -- for me, anyhow -- is the ability Holiday has to build such a cosmic, even numinous implication from picked-over shreds of nonsense. He does it the same way Lovecraft does; the rigorous accumulation of telling details which allows the reader to see ahead with a shudder, punctuated with Big Reveals which alter vertiginously the entire complexion of the tale. If there is a literature of eliptony, as opposed to simple accumulated cruft, it is practiced thus.

Honorable Mentions: Hesemann, Michael, UFOs: The Secret History; Hoagland, Richard C., Monuments of Mars: A City on the Edge of Forever.
Tags: eliptony core sample
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