The Universal State of America Part 1: Coming Soon

Long term readers may remember that it was almost a year ago where I announced I had had a eureka moment in relation to my next book project and was going to take two weeks away from the blog to write it up. That’s right, I sincerely believed I could write the whole book in two weeks. Now, in fairness to myself, this estimate was based on the assumption that I already had most of the material written and, at least as far as I understood the concept for the book at that time, this was true. Of course, I didn’t (fully) understand the concept. I only thought I did.

Well, it’s now almost a year later and it’s fair to say that the writing gods have duly punished me for my hubris. I am not exaggerating when I say I have thrown away half a million words to arrive at a book that is less than one hundred thousand words long. The goods news is my punishment is over. As I began yet another editing review at the start of this week I finally had that feeling that I recognised from past books. The it’s done feeling. At time of writing, I’m about halfway through what should be the final edit. After that, it’ll just need a proof read to pick up any lingering spelling and grammatical errors.

Trying to figure out what genre the book belongs to has been a very difficult task and I still don’t have a good answer. What I would like to call it is “archetypal history” – history analysed through the lens of archetypes – but that genre doesn’t exist. The reason why archetypal history works is because the inspiration came from me asking a seemingly simple question after the publication of my book The Devouring Mother. The question was: when did the Devouring Mother become the dominant archetype of the modern West? That is a question of history. It’s a strange, but not unprecedented, way of thinking about history. Both Freud’s Totem and Taboo and Jung’s Answer to Job are in the same vein although both of those works were primarily about other matters.

The short answer to the question of when the Devouring Mother became dominant in the modern West is with the founding of the United States of America. Unbeknownst to me when I began writing the book, Jung had already described it from a psychological point of view. Americans, he once wrote, “as a result of the extreme detachment from the father, are characterised by a most enormous mother complex…” Thus, the Devouring Mother has become dominant to the extent that the United States has become dominant.

Putting this claim together with the notion of archetypal history has eventually given me the title of the book: The Universal State of America: An Archetypal Calculus of Western Civilisation.

Anyway, that’s a very long-winded way of saying that I won’t be writing a post this week as I’ve deliberately cleared out my week in order to get the final edit of the book done. Starting next week, I’ll take a few posts to give an outline of the main thesis of the book and, if the stars align, the book will be available by the end.

See youse next week.

9 thoughts on “The Universal State of America Part 1: Coming Soon”

  1. Yeah I thought the two week idea was doubtful and funny. You Giacometti your words waaaay down to the thin DEVOURING MOTHER. James and I were both impressed with how much breadth…expanse…and detail in such a seemingly slim tome that almost seemed cute demure…unexpected in its intensity and depth of focus.

    That takes much much thought time and ruthless editing.

    In my own books, my beginnings were shallow and flippant until I killed the silly jokes and eviscerated them for the bone and gristle underneath that had me hiding under the bed at times. Anyone’s bed, at that.

    So I’d never hurry you; I want the best you’ve got as it’s worth the wait. Especially in Now Times.

    In fact you shouldn’t be beholden to us freeloaders and I hope you disappear into the writing madness and forget people and write for eternity. So the book never gets old.


  2. Erika – hah, about six months ago I considered splitting this book into three, maybe even four, separate books. Hey, if I was getting paid George Martin rates, I would have considered it. Instead I decided to squeeze every last drop of juice out of the orange. So, that’s what it will be. Extra pulp, no sugar 😛

  3. Your devouring mother insights have inspired me to be fascinated over fetal-position-horrofied, and have given me an architecture for understanding all this going on in the madness (for each madness at its core has a logic, a fundamental rationality, you just have to pay attetion) the reasons at the Giacometti skeletal core, what is really going on? …so that I can see if the counter to that fits as a healing response.

    Which doesn’t mean cooing and hugs, but could entail serious wedgies and merciless ridicule: The Older Brother Salve.

    We are trapped in a devouring mother in her final psychotic suicidal throes. Now what? She’s Mama…

    We are One.


    Simon, in the immortal words of SOS Band, regarding such an inspired work:


    Because in the broadest of terms, Gen X has to rediscover The Elders and what that looks like. Not Madonna gyrating into eternity. Nor polyester double knit slacks with mounded seam pleat down the front legs.

    However… I have just pink-glittered cat eye glasses and a group of little kids screamed as I rode my bike past ’em, singing loudly.

    This is when I than God for Ruth Gordon leaving behind Columbo and Harold and Maude.

    TAKE YOUR TIME AND DO IT RIGHT BAYBAY! it’ll be an instruction manual for some of us. Not just me.

    It’s Good Work.

    It’s solid and works in Real Life. That’s my test as a crazy art chick.

    P.S. Take your time… do it up Hella Right.


  4. I’m typing this on a tablet so forgive misspells. James has computer and if i don’t type this now I never will. I forget to write the majority of the love letters I happily compose in my head each day. No tiiiime!


  5. Erika – hey, i just realised it’s almost exactly four years since the lockdowns. Four years is enough time to do it right. I remember Hannah Arendt saying how 1933 was the year when she was forced to deal with what was actually happening. Same for us. I guess we can call ourselves the 2020 babies. It was like being born again. Again.

  6. Hi Simon,

    Good luck and best wishes for a speedy conclusion. If I may dare say it bluntly, that when it comes to hubris: You brought that poop down on your own head. 🙂

    Hope the editing process goes smoothly.



  7. Chris – maybe I needed to delude myself into thinking it was going to be easy 😉

  8. It sounds like a book Ugo Bardi would like! Are you two still in touch? Is he still alive? He’s in the demographic that’s most likely to be finished off by Covid and its consequences. (Still killin’, whether you believe it or don’t!) I lost track of him because he kept shifting blogidentities. “Cassandra” was squelched by the Censorship Mediandustrial Complex; he juked away from its successor for some reason I forget, and I was never into the Chimeras blog enough to make it a regular read. There’s so much else spewing out of the Information Firehose! Covid, Ukraine and Gaza occupy most of my screen time, and I’m talking hours every day. Easy to do since I’m permanently unemployed. I didn’t always agree with Ugo, especially in recent years, but I force myself to squizz dissenting opinions so I don’t fall into the confirmation bias trap. He is (was?) a Big Picture man who made me think Deep Thoughts.

    I look forward to reading your summaries of the new book in coming weeks. From my (former) insider’s perspective, it will be interesting to see your take on Amerikastani kultur. I tend to view U.S. actions as a product of corporate and militaristic domination, which seems to be a masculine trait to me. The Devouring Mother dynamic of PC and DIE (sic) that it projects is like a sugar-coated cookie concealing the razor blade baked in. Most people want to THINK their country is tolerant and and nicey-nice. People prefer Mom to Dad (unless she’s a screaming neglectful alcoholic). Dad is the one who takes off the belt and whips your arse with it. Momerica looks so friendly, with those captivating movies and TV shows that fill the world’s screens. Whaddyamean that they’re Long Con brainwashing?!?

    Anyway, I’ll keep up with the coming posts. And I’ll try not to reply! You know how long I go on…

    Edited to add — I wrote this offline, then saw you had dropped a “real” post on the topic on Monday. Which was a holiday! Nobody expects a post on Labour Day! Anyway, I wrote this, so I’m going to throw it out there.

  9. Bukko – “Most people want to THINK their country is tolerant and and nicey-nice.”

    I disagree. That’s a very modern attitude. The ancients had no problem whatsoever in raping, pillaging and whatever else took their fancy. It was a “might is right” world. Nobody gave a damn about being seen to be nice. The word “nice” comes from the word for “idiot” in Latin and that’s how the Romans would have viewed us 🙂

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