John Dunn

John Dunn original writing
Book sales
Thought blog
Thought Pieces
Oxford to Cambridge
Something said
YouTube Videos

Thought blog

Next Entry


Wednesday, 9 June 2021 at 22:35

John Dryden on Dr John Dunn. My Nene Valley YouTube video is coming along at the editing stage. The footage was taken on a motorcycle ride from Aldwinkle, through to Oundle and on to wonderful Fotheringhay. My camera work left me with something of a jigsaw puzzle to piece together, but I am making progress and it will be published this week. What follows will be included in my commentary to the video.

Pictured above: John Dryden


Some spell it Aldwincle - this village is a curiosity in that it has two parish churches, albeit with one of them, All Saints, now being deconsecrated.

At one point there were two villages here, named after their churches, these were Aldwinkle All Saints and Aldwinkle St Peter

As the two villages eventually joined up to become one, it was found that there was no need for two churches and the church of All Saints is now cared for by the Churches Conservation Trust after being declared redundant back in 1976.

This is All Saints

All Saints Church, Aldwincle - Wikipedia

The seventeenth-century poet John Dryden was born nearby and baptised in the church - his grandfather was the rector.

This is St Peter’s, distinguished from All Saints by its spire.

St Peter's Church, Aldwincle, exterior Old village church … Flickr

This church too had its literary connection. Thomas Fuller was born nearby and Christened in the church. Fuller was a 17th century writer, especially famous in his day for his book The English Worthies. I will leave you to look him up.

© John Dunn.

Fotheringhay Castle

Monday, 7 June 2021 at 23:04

Motte on Dr John Dunn. I continue to edit my forthcoming YouTube video which was taken on a motorcycle ride along the Nene Valley from Aldwincle, through to Oundle and on to glorious Fotheringhay. I perhaps overdid the camera work in Fotheringhay, leaving me with too much work to do in prparation of the video, but it will be published this week. In the meantime my research uncovered the following poetic description of Fotheringhay Castle from Tony Ireson's Northamptonshire (1954), which I modified and adapted to include in my commentary to the video.

Founded around 1100 to control an important river crosssing, only the earthworks and the conical motte remain of Fotheringhay Castle, standing on level ground above the peaceful River Nene.
It is regrettable, but somehow right, that time should have swept the castle away. Meditation here would only be clouded by distraction if the banqueting hall still existed, noisy with trippers, keen to use fully their annual subscription to English Heritage. No, far better for Fotheringhay Castle to be “in these latter days a place of quiet, a place of slow flowing waters and flowering thorns and thistles, the haunt of cuckoos and warblers”. It is easier this way, amid the solitude, for the mind to bridge those hundreds of years and to find themeaning of what it sees.

It is a fair scene that surounds the site of the vanished castle, with the splendid River Nene winding through the peaceful meadows at the foot of the mound; often must Mary Stuart have looked out upon it from her prison window.

Today Scotch thistles grow in the grounds where they were planted by that tragic queen and, as if in memory of her death, they thrive amazingly, reaching eight feet high andmore, with stalks six inches round and supporting scores of blooms.
Further details about progress towards the completed video will be annonced on this website shortly.

© John Dunn.


Sunday, 6 June 2021 at 22:13

No Text Fotheringhay

My next YouTube video was shot on a motorcycle ride to Fotheringhay in Northamptonshire. I'm already editing the footage together, but what follows is a section of the supporting commentary covering my approach to the village, almost by way of an introduction and scene-setting.

...Now a right turn for the road to Fotheringhay

As the home of the Dukes of York and the Yorkist kings, Fotheringhay was, for a considerable part of the 15th and 16th centuries, of national standing.

Richard III was born at Fotheringhay Castle in 1452.

The death of Richard III at Bosworth Field and the victory of Henry Tudor altered Fotheringhay'shistory irrevocably. The fortunes of Fotheringhay waxed and waned with the fortunes of Yorkist royalty. From a royal administrative centre of national standing, it was reduced to a village with little impact beyondits parish boundary.

Fotheringhay Castle is also where Mary, Queen of Scots, was tried and beheaded in 1587, and her body lay there for some months before its burial at Peterborough Cathedral and then its final burial in Westminster Abbey.

It is often said that James I destroyed the castle because his mother was killed there

And here we are at Fotheringhay.

Good houses and cottages of limestone, for still we are on the Jurassic limestone belt that runs up from the Cotswolds. These buildings flank Fotheringhay's one street, which is extraordinarily wide as befits a place of historic consequence.

There’s the pleasant little inn on the right - The Falcon.

I’m going to park up here, in front of the famous church, and walk over to the castle...
Further details about progress towards the completed video will be annonced on this website shortly.

© John Dunn.

Pound analysis

Friday, 4 June 2021 at 20:47

Ezra Pound on Dr John Dunn. Pound analysis

The following quotations by Ezra Pound were taken from my book Renaissance: Counter-Renaissance.

Why were they included there in the first place?

The answer for me is straightforward.

It is accepted that Ezra Pound was one of the greatest influences on the literature of the English speaking peoples in the twentieth century. He brought his influence to bear both through his own poetry and the mentoring support that he provided to other writers, perhaps most famously to T. S. Eliot.

However, Pound’s prose works were amongst some of the most insightful analyses of twentieth century global geopolitics, cutting to the core of what is the real block to mankind's struggle upward out of ignorance. This would have been reason enough.

Thus the Commedia is, in the literal sense, a description of Dante's vision of a journey through the realms inhabited by the spirits of men after death; in a further sense it is the journey of Dante's intelligence through the states of mind wherein dwell all sorts and conditions of men before death; beyond this, Dante or Dante's intelligence may come to mean ‘Everyman’ or ‘Mankind,’ whereat his journey becomes a symbol of mankind's struggle upward out of ignorance...

Ezra Pound, The Spirit of Romance.

Jehovah is a semitic cuckoo’s egg laid in the European nest. He has no connection with Dante’s god. That later conception of supreme Love and Intelligence is certainly not derived from the Old Testament.

Ezra Pound, Mang Tsze.

...and we have not realised to what an extent a renaissance is a thing made — a thing made by conscious propaganda.

Ezra Pound, The Renaissance.

The Bible was invented as a substitute-priest. The Canonical prohibition against usury disappeared. Polite society did not consider usury as Dante did, that is, damned to the same circle of Hell as the sodomites, both acting against the potential abundance of nature.

Ezra Pound, An Introduction to the Economic Nature of the United States
Quotations taken from John Dunn, Renaissance; Counter-Renaissance, or the revolt against Jehovian terror.

© John Dunn.

Steiner and Gentile synthesised

Thursday, 3 June 2021 at 23:13

Scaligero on Dr John Dunn. Steiner and Gentile synthesised

Massimo Scaligero (pictured) described as dead thought the thinker’s thought reflected back to himself as though it were a thing-in-itself. It only appears to be a stand-alone reality. The truth however is that this reality does not stand apart, it is in unity with the thought that thinks it. Here lies the difficulty. The unity has to be discovered, explained and pointed out. Rudolf Steiner and Giovanni Gentile separately discovered the unity and separatelty, in their own distinct ways did the pointing out. In many respects, Massimo Scaligero's writingis a synthes is of Steinmer's and Gentile's work. I quote from Scaligero's The Logos and the New Mysteries in support of my observation.

Thought or the concept constitutes, above all, a pre-dialectical unity with the object to which it refers. Such unity, however, is not conscious. The spiritual practitioner has the task of realising it. The reality of the physical phenomenon includes, with the same inevitability, its sensory manifesting and its intuitive content. The phenomenon’s greater or lesser capacity of penetration depends on the possibility of being awareof such content.
In my opinion, the awareness to which this quotation refers stems ultimately from an exposure to the works of Steiner and Gentile, or the synthesis that Scaligero made of their ideas.

© John Dunn.

No nature apart

Wednesday, 2 June 2021 at 22:29

Gentile in library on Dr John Dunn. No nature apart

The object nature cannot be separated from the object man. What we find within a supposedly transcendent nature is, in fact, what we have put there.

Nature as object, separated from the subject man, is what Massimo Scaligero described as dead thought, i.e. the thinker’s thought reflected back to himself as though it were a thing-in-itself. The thinker thereby appears to be mere a spectator of the world about him, with no contribution to make to its ongoing existence. His own thought is lost to the world, appearing to originate in the stimulus of something (nature) outside of him.

This aspect of Scaligero’s thought originated in his reading of Giovanni Gentile, as I hope the following passage from Gentile’s The Theory of Mind as Pure Act with show.

…in the whole chain of evolution, however long we imagine it, the first link is always presented as together with all the others even to the last: that is, even to man who is more than nature and therefore, by his intervention alone, destroys the possibility of conceiving nature in itself as an evolution. This amounts to saying that an indispensable condition of understanding nature, as we understand history, in its movement, is that the object be not detached from the subject and posited in itself, independent, in its unattainable transcendence. As transcendent object it can only be effectively posited as object already thought and thereby it is shown to be immanent in the thinking, but considered abstractly in a way which separates it from the thinking itself. And then it is obvious that what we find within the object is what we have put there.
© John Dunn.

Scaligero on free thought

Tuesday, 1 June 2021 at 22:04

Scaligero on Dr John Dunn. I’m still getting to grips with what Massimo Scaligero defined as free thought. Consideration of this passage from The Logos and the New Mysteries will, perhaps, contribute to some level of understanding.

…free thought has its potential moment in the coincidence of the original connectivity with the object’s calculable or logical structure, which is not its reality. Thought loses this moment. It thus loses the possibility of an essential reality, since it believes that the relation pertains to the object or to the phenomenon, and not to its own power of synthesis. Thought fails to see within itself the relation that is immediate to it. It transfers this relation outside of itself. It undoubtedly exists within the object, but it is one with its principle, which we can encounter only within the inner life of thought. (p.39)

Posted by John Dunn.

June 2021
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
8 9
13 15 16 17
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30      
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
Website design and CMS by WebGuild Media Ltd
This website ©2009-2021 John Dunn