The Hathaway Epics;Six Classic Tales Told in Epic Verse
What inspired you to write The Hathaway Epics?
Well, there were a number of inspirations. One was a person – a man I met in Canterbury, England during my graduate studies at the University of Kent. I met him at a nice men’s clothing store where he worked and helped me select a tie for suit I just purchased. The tie was blue which he described as Saxon blue.
“That’s a very important color,” he said. I still remember how gentlemanly, strong and earnest he was as he said those words. I wish I could find him to let him know he inspired the story This Mantle of Saxon Blue
. That was the first story I wrote in epic verse so I’ll always remember and admire that man.
Another inspiration was Bo Derek. I was astonished by her beauty and that day I began writing in verse with some seriousness. It was June 7, 2004 to be exact. I wanted to capture her beauty, but more particularly, the beauty of the West European race.
Another inspiration was reading The Iliad
and The Odyssey
. I also was inspired by Virgil’s Aeneid
You rewrote The Odyssey, didn’t you?
Yes. Yes, I did. I retold it in rhyming iambic pentameter which is known as heroic couplet. It’s a shorter version which I call, The Little Odyssey
Ok. Those things inspired you. Now, why did you write The Hathaway Epics?
Well, if you asked that question a few months ago, I would have given you a different answer than the one I’m about to give you. Of course, I’ve always known why I wrote it but the words just crystallized recently: truth and beauty. I wrote for the sake of truth and beauty.
This, I feel, was the very heart of the Romantic Philosophy which began in the Eighteenth Century and is the Sublime Resistance, as I call it. The Romantics were closer to nature. I would describe them as being opposed to the overtly civilized … opposed to the overtly rational. Again, this is the Sublime Resistance.
Now, let me hasten to add, I’m not against rationalism … that’s for sure. So I have tried to create a Rational Romanticism the materialization of which would be a decentralized national government which is subordinate to reason and culture which, in turn, is subordinate to nature.
Wouldn’t that be great?
It seems the Western world has forsaken truth and beauty in many ways. One can see this in our art which mirror’s our society. I feel our art should be more beautiful and truthful in a Keatian way. That is, based on Keat’s words in Ode on a Grecian Urn.
“‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty,’ – that is all,
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
So … well … to answer your question more succinctly, I wrote it to reintroduce truth and beauty and this thing I call Rational Romanticism. That is the Sublime Resistance. And it’s really just getting back to nature, that’s all.
Why verse instead of prose?
Well, you can say much more with fewer words in verse. That’s why I like verse. Without getting too technical, verse allows a transcendence of the conscious mind that is attuned to rules. We need rules. We literally would perish in a terrible chaos without them. Yet, sometimes we need to let them go in order to see those hidden things deep within each of us.
Any other reasons you wrote The Hathaway Epics?
Well, yes. I wanted to create some fresh European culture – perhaps even some mythology that transcends the conscious mind like verse. I feel that we need new, good, wholesome stories to draw us toward our destiny. That’s the underlying purpose of myths, folklore and culture – to draw us toward our destiny.
And what’s our destiny?
Should you go to church, if you do that sort of thing, for what purpose do you go there? What are you reaching out for? Or should you recreate yourself in a walk in the ancient forest, why are you there? If you backpack in the Alps what do you hope to see? Are you reaching out for lies and ugliness?
I don’t mean to be repetitive or trite, but you’re reaching out for truth and beauty. This is our destiny. This is what it must be if we hope to survive within the context of the highest and best civilization – a natural civilization.
So, generally speaking, our destiny is truth and beauty. Specifically, it’s a safe, wholesome, healthy society. But what will it take to implement such change so that we have a society like that?
That’s a rhetorical question I presume?
Right. Meant for thought.