Anyone who tries to follow this blog will find it redundant. The reason is that I bow to marketing principles to this extent--so long as my book isn't selling, and the public isn't paying attention to my work, my best chance is that somebody will happen on this blog, recognizing the value of what I'm doing and that I'm not, actually, self-deluded. Therefore, each entry has to stand alone as an introduction. I will, perhaps, choose to stray from my topic if and when my work is more popular. Until then, I can't afford to indulge in entries which do not, in fact, welcome that maverick soul who understands and appreciates what I'm doing. I can write as many entries as I feel like writing, but they must all serve this purpose.
This morning I continued proofreading my 13th chapter. Chapters 13 and 14 are the repositories for the additional evidence I discovered, after publishing the first version of this e-book in year 2012. As I have mentioned, before, a great deal of the narration is taken up in establishing my past-life authorship, as Mathew Franklin Whittier, of various works under dozens of different pseudonyms. If Mathew had simply signed his name to these things, my book would be a fraction of its current size. But had he signed his name, and had there been no disputes about his authorship of these works, my reincarnation case would have been weak.
That's because they would be publicly known (and probably famous). That, in turn, means that I could have known about them before making my reincarnation claim, which would render it moot. This way, it is impossible that I could have had prior exposure to these works--making anything in them potentially evidential.
If, in year 2012, I report a memory or a past-life impression; and if I can find evidence for that impression in one of Mathew's published works, which is claimed by or for another author; and if I can subsequently prove that this was written by Mathew, himself; then I had an impression for which I could not possibly have seen the evidence. This is made even stronger because many of these works were only published in period newspapers, and are difficult to come by, today.
If I could do this once or twice, it would be interesting; three or four times, impressive; but if I could do it multiple times, it stands as a strong challenge to Materialism. Because contrary to the "damage control" that certain skeptics are now attempting to indulge in, via voo-doo physics, ancient alien vistations and other theories, if reincarnation is proven real, Materialism is out.
Which is precisely why I have been focusing on it, like a magnifying glass focused on a dry leaf, since 1997.
What I am seeing, as I go back over this material in my book, is that I first wrote it while I was discovering it. At that time, it seemed very difficult to prove Mathew's authorship of these various works. But now, going back, with the totality of the evidence in, I know that they have been proven as his. I realize, as a result, just how strong the case is. What seemed, at times, as though I was grasping at straws, now looks like a very nasty, very concerted effort to squash Mathew's legacy--a result that he, himself, ended up contributing to out of either an excess of modesty, or an extreme lack of self-confidence.
I have listed the names of people who stole Mathew's work, or claimed it, in a previous Update. Sometimes other people misattributed it; at times, I think Mathew, himself, swore people to secrecy. Only one of these people ever partially broke ranks, and that was Benjamin Penhallow Shillaber, who called Mathew a "genius" that had pioneered writing in Yankee dialect. Even this was a partial testimony, because Shillaber misattributes a large body of Mathew's work in his comic weekly newspaper, the "Carpet-Bag."
Mathew published over 800 pieces from age 17 to his death, at age 70, in many genres--adventure stories, humorous sketches and parodies, reporting, poetry, essays, and travelogues. His work put several people, who stole, claimed or imitated his work, on the literary map. His legacy was almost entirely erased; and even what remained, is mostly forgotten, today. Except that some of those stolen pieces became famous--"A Christmas Carol" (co-authored with his wife, Abby); "The Raven" (claimed by Edgar Allan Poe); the most popular parody of "The Raven," entitled "The Vulture"; and then there are works which were popular in his day, which are now remembered only by historians, such as his "Dr. Digg" and "Ensign Stebbings" caricatures written for the "Carpet-Bag" (attributed to Benjamin Drew).
Through a researcher, I got into Benjamin Drew's private papers. Have any historians, who blithely repeat that he was the author, done that? My scholarship, in my narrow little area, has been better than that of the academicians whose work I have run across, which bears on my topic. Far better. These people, for the most part, repeat what someone else has written--the "party line." They don't delve into the original sources as I have--and not for eight years, as I have.
One point I had wanted to make, when I had earlier contemplated writing this entry, was that my book has grown as large as it has, not because I am pontificating ad nauseum, as one finds in many scholarly works. It has grown because I found so much evidence. That means that this book is packed with fascinating information. The parallel which immediately comes to mind is a book about early advanced civilizations in the earth's pre-history, a mention of which I have come across in casually poking into this topic. It is a very large book--but it is large because it is crammed full of discoveries and artifacts. Mine is the same way. If one is starting to feel bored, one only has to wait a few pages before the next astounding discovery. It's that good.
And when I say "astounding discovery," I'm not blowing smoke, here.
Meanwhile, I have insured that it reads as smoothly as possible. Many books on non-fiction topics are difficult to wade through. This one isn't, at least, not in my opinion. Here is where I am in my proofreading, right now. I haven't poked around looking for the most interesting material. I have said that Mathew was like a Lee Camp of the 19th century. You won't know all the period references in his satire of the Mexican-American War, below (I go on to interpret some of them), but you can get the gist of it. I will leave you with this excerpt, and simply conclude by saying you have no idea what you are missing...
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
On Dec. 31, 2014, I found further evidence that Mathew may have been the originator of the “Ensign Stebbings” and “Dr. Digg” characters, in the form of what may be two literary “missing links,” or transitional pieces, published in the July 1, and July 9, 1847 editions of the Boston “Chronotype,” respectively. Both are written from Hornby, but by a new character: one “Bellicose Smythe.” Unlike Ethan Spike, Bellicose Smythe speaks in correct, educated English, and neither misspells nor slips into malapropisms. But for all that, he remains just as morally ignorant as Spike. This is a profound observation, or what might be called a “meta-observation,” which I believe was the primary purpose of the change in characters. At the same time, by writing these pieces, Mathew has put the lie to the characterization of himself as only being capable of writing in the “Spike” style. Staring at this name, I soon realized that “Bellicose Smythe” resolves, phonetically, to “bellicose myth.” The initials, meanwhile, are “B.S.” Whether the colloquialism “bullshit” was used in this way in 1847 is a matter of historical contention, but it is generally agreed that “bull,” was. I feel that Mathew would have compressed as many hidden meanings into the name as he could.
Smythe can definitely be interpreted as a precursor to Stebbings. In his July 1, 1847 letter on the front page of the “Chronotype,” he chides Boston for planning only one fireworks display honoring the Mexican war, while Hornby will be honoring it with an entire, elaborate programme, which he goes on to describe in great detail:
1. Grand exhibition of Tin Lanterns.
2. Display of “Blue Lights,” such as were used at the Hartford Convention;—from the original recipe in the possession of the Editor of the Boston Post.
3. American Glory, supported by magnificent columns of skulls and cross bones.
4. An illuminated transparency, representing Gen. Taylor “giving the Mexicans Hell.”
5. A correct representation, in gold and silver lace work, of Gen. Scott holding a Roman candle, as he appeared at Vera Cruz.
6. Flights of Pigeons and Serpents.
7. Representation of Gen. Koo-Shing attacking a regiment of Mexican Ladies. At the opening of the piece a regiment of ladies to the number of several hundred is discovered on the extreme right. Gen. Koo-Shing appears at the left, a little lame from his recent fall. The General advances briskly to the charge, stopping occasionally to allow the artillery of his eyes to have its full effect. When opposite the centre, the General executes the difficult manoeuvres of fandango and chasse, brandishing the ring bestowed by the Massachusetts Ladies, and discharging several vollies of smiles in quick succession. The General appears about to attack the centre, but changing his intention he performs the Pas de Danube, and rushes upon the right wing. Great confusion prevails; the enemy yields, and falls before the victorious arms of our countryman. The General returns to camp victorious.
8. Triumph of Mars and Venus.
9. Representation of the bursting of a shell in the interior of a Mexican dwelling.
10. Flight of Serpents.
11. Flights of Sub-Treasury Rockets with Showers of gold rain.
12. Procession of the skeletons of those who have fallen in the Mexican war, bearing banners with the inscription, “This is Glory.”
13. Temple of James as opened by James K. Polk. This magnificent structure, of gold and silver fire, is supported by Editors of war newspapers of both political parties, surrounded by a statue of Henry Clay as he appeared when wishing “to kill a Mexican.” The columns in front are composed of the Reverend Clergy who view the war as affording opportunities of converting the Mexicans, and who consider “every soldier a colporteur.” The names of Scott and Taylor are emblazoned upon the wings, surrounded by circles of red fires.
Music opening this page: "Daytime TV" by the author,
borrowing a music bed from a work by Paul Oakenfold