A Brief Introduction to the Controversy Surrounding the Stupi Cycle

 

Controversy has smouldered and flared over the precise status of the status of the tales of Stupi for longer than any of us may care to remember.

Hagan Carrytorlet, followed later by Dumpis Manacan (and later still by Count Mikelard, though he is but a shadow), has devoted his life to a singlehanded attempt to push this body of stories to the margins of knowledge, arguing that they have nothing to teach us today. Others hold that, irrespective of their standing in history, the tales have a great deal to tell us about the flaw hidden deep within the psyche of our species, about which we should be well acquainted, in case it should ever find its way to the surface again.

Rather than address this point, Carrytorlet and his school concentrate on an obsessive questioning of the detail and provenence of the stories. They have even made clumsy attempts to fabricate their own tales in an attempt to discredit academics and universities who are not of their persuasion. Their latest attempt was broken within weeks when analysis of their ink in the 'discovery' showed evidence of modernity. Despite this clumsy failure, they combine to challenge the status, not only of the tales of Stupi, but also the facts relating to the historic record.

In view of their persistent attacks, we are obliged to return to the archaeological facts: it is regrettable that due to the extreme scepticism of one overly influential academic, we are obliged to direct our energies into establishing the plain facts of the case and we apologise to the many intelligent students for whom this is, if you will excuse the expression, ancient history.

It is generally agreed (with the obvious exception) that Stupi is an acronym for the Stratum of Toxic Uranium Pollution Infill, which refers to a relatively recent layer that is detectable in many parts of the geo-archaeological record. Hagan Carrytorlet makes much of the fact that the record is patchy. He argues shrilly that it would be utterly illogical that the toxicity evidence should be concentrated in the very areas where the people of the time are thought to have made their settlements. In putting forward this argument, it is clear that Carrytorlet and his school have not understood the essential nature of Stupi itself.

It is in this denial that he bases his second criticism - in what he terms the dualistic nature of the case. On the one hand ( he says) there is the fossil record of a stage of human development, and on the other, a linguistic record, part written, part spoken. What relationships (he asks) can we infer from these two facts, one drawn from physics and the other from human culture? How can they possibly be reconciled?

We hold that it is precisely in the over emphasis of the difference of physics and psychology that the problems of Stupi arose. Which is not (as HC would try to make out) to repeat the elementary mistake of those who reduce psychology to physics or physics to psychology. We will not be devoting valuable headspace that intellectual hall of mirrors.

The essence of the debate is that Carrytorlet cannot accept that the tales of Stupi reflect in some way - whether literally or figuratively - a condition that humans once fell into, and against which we must forever be on our guard.

It matters not a scrap to this point of view that there is a multipicity of tales, or that they come in many different versions. These are merely the spectral light refracted through the words of the storytellers and writers who conserved the truth to the best of their ability. It matters not that the central tale, the Healer of Stupi, disappeared for generations, only to turn up on a computer disk in a hospital ( or as some say a rural health centre) record. It matters not that the doings of the people seem so illogical (the tale of the Great Slaughter is often quoted in this regard) that no rational being could possibly give credit to them.

In the end, the facts speak for themselves. The stories exist, and they owe their existence to the human mind. Whether they are a reflection of a reality that once existed, related to the archaeological and paleontological record or whether even (to grant Carrytorlet his fullest credibility for the sake of argument) they are a product of one or several human fantasies - it matters not. I speak as one who has devoted his life to these matters. They stand before us as a warning.

 

 
© 2001 R. Lawson This page was last updated on 13.11.04