January 7, 64
I have read with great attention your last letter-article. Again, as before, I find that you have very interesting, even exciting ideas; but your way of presenting them makes your writing to a mine of thought and information but not to a book. You should really try the advice I gave you. In your last writing I would have separated several themes and each handled under its own heading.
The meaning of sacrifices, also of hosties, etc. and bloody sacrifices to Hathor of the Sphinx (this not a heading but the description of what you wrote). (This idea occurred to me, too.)
The historical reason for making Jews to sacrificial victims. Also fear of Negroes (actually two ideas and should be elaborated in two chapters).
The bringing back into the collective human mind the memory of the catastrophes would be accompanied by affects and disturbances, possibly on a global scale, and may be dangerous.
The prolonged darkness in the time of the catastrophes was the prime cause of engendering the great fear (I would believe that this was only one of many causes: the battles in the sky, the noises of the meteorites, the erupting ocean, the conflagrations, etc).
To this you have added with no apparent order in the narrative your excourse about the fleeing slaves and the children of Apopi and other tangential associations. As to the battle or intended battle at the Red Sea, it appeared to me long ago that the prime purpose of the advancing of the pharaohs army to the eastern frontier was not in pursuit of the Israelites and the erev-rav but in an effort to protect the eastern frontier (it could have been the western, at that time) from the invading Amalekites who left already their domicile in Arabia following the plagues of insects etc., and directed themselves towards Egypt. Actually the Hyksos worshiped Seth-Apopi when in Avaris. But I may be wrong and there may have been an effort to halt the fleeing population.
With the very many projected books (3 additional volumes to Ages in Chaos, 2 to Worlds in Collision, and a few others), I wished that somebody else should write The Great Fear; I wondered whether it could be written also by a group of authors, you and I being authors of separate chapters, and some of my correspondents who wrote on the same subject taking over each a chapter or two; Stecchinis article could be reworked and he could write about Lucretius and about the time of Reformation. Now let us make an additional effort. Rework your material and extract from it on the origin of hatred of the Jews; touch the vision of furnaces and hell in the Gospels and tell of what happened in our days in Germany and occupied countries; this is a stupendous theme. Keep all other ideas related to the Great Fear in separate chapters, if you like to write them, too.
I hope you understand the spirit in which I make you this constructive criticism. For composing a book it is also good to have the manuscript double-spacedly typed with large margins so that any small corrections or additions can be made in the text and if rewriting of a page is necessary it is easier if it has only 28-30 short lines. These are advices from somebody who has a little experience and wishes very much that you should succeed whether in writing a book or contributing a few chapters to a collective volume.
After I finished this letter I received your letter of January 2 with a quote from Goodenough and another quote from his letter. Thanks!