Jacques Pluss: His comments on a forum

Historians in the News

I post again to thank those scholars who have taken the time to comment on my work, whether in agreement or disagreement. One of my primary aims was to engender debate, and I've clearly done that, even though I did not anticipate the debate would begin until the publication of my research (probably in about a year). Yet I continue to be surprised by the reactions of those commentators who have not grasped that carrying on research in a post-modern, post-structural mode means bending the rules of research until they give in to pressure and break, giving rise to a completely new methodology. For example, in one of my graduate seminars at Fairleigh-Dickinson University, I had my students compare and contrast Mary Shelley's Frankenstein with Foucault's History of Madness and with Freud's Totem and Taboo, all along attempting to align their comparisons and contrasts with Poe's lines: "While, like a ghastly rapid river, Through the pale door, A hideous throng rush out for ever And laugh -- but smile no more." I expected a conclusion on their parts, but I did not anticipate any particular response. To do so would have been to violate the integrity of their method and thought processes, culled up from within them individually. Hence, I could not violate the integrity of the freedom of direction of my own method and thought when I researched the neo-Nazi's, who were, for me, a "hideous throng" from the very start. On another note, it's interesting to view the "official response" offered about me by the National Socialist Movement, which is packed with falsehoods and patronizing statements (www.nsm88.com). "I'm mad, I'm a fabricator, I'm a story teller (apparently, they don't grasp the notion of the directions "historical fiction" can take), I was really a true Nazi for a while, I was jealous of the advancement of others in the Movement, and other patronizing garbage. And, of all things, they hope I will be well." But, after all, what else could they come up with? Remember that a neo-Nazi doesn't lie when he/she scratches his/her forehead. He doesn't lie when he folds his arms. He doesn't lie when he wipes his hand across his cheek. He/she lies when he/she opens his or her mouth. Finally, for those of you who seem to believe that I spent my career in adjuncthood, it should be recalled that I hold a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago (medieval History, 1983), did two years as a postdoctoral Instructor there, and then rose to Associate Professor (tenured 1988) at the William Paterson University of New Jersey -- all before leaving academia in 2000 to co-own and operate a horse farm, the passion of my youth. My brief time at Fairleigh-Dickinson University (2002-2005) was completely "adjunctive" to other, more compelling pursuits.
Read entire article at Chronicle of Higher Education Forum: 'Becoming' a Nazi to study Nazis?

comments powered by Disqus

More Comments:

Jacques Anthony Pluss - 4/5/2009

So sorry, Vikki, about the typo of "if" for "of" in my statement above about "walking soil." To bad that I'm right. But still, imagine this scene, against a 1940's film, set in black and white: as the snow falls, lightly, against a grey, clouded sky, they share a cigarette, in a stolen moment, as they gaze upon the blackish ash-covered "memorial" to the "victims" of the crematoria at Dachau. And he turns to her, noting the Schutzstaffel wedding band he sports on his left ring finger, and whispers "ashes. So many ashes. Too few ashes." She nods, and they walk on, remembering such better times.
Is there poetry in ethnic cleansing? Is there romance in a memory of glowing embers? Is there strength and hardness in the pure, vital lust firing between two displaced souls? Of course. Of course there is. That is what you truly wanted from me. That is warmth cast against a snowy, grey backdrop.

Jacques Anthony Pluss - 4/4/2009

Hello, Vikki -- I've been going through some old posts which did not require any immediate response on my part, and, well, I came up with yours! I am very glad that I made such an impression on you, but, of course, I always knew that I did. Yet I am very disappointed in you, former student of mine. I most assuredly did not "soil" a thing! I have remained true to my cherished beliefs through "thick and thin," and disguised them only because it was my professional duty to do so. When it no longer was my duty, I was bound by no authority other than my allegiance to the SS Creed, the teachings of Adolf Hitler, and the orders of my superiors in "Stille Hilfe." You, on the other hand, are a walking piece of soil. Your interest in learning from me was motivated not by a desire to acquire "knowledge," but by your desire to have a "private" relationship with me. That, my dear, was obvious to the whole History Department. When you could not fulfill your desires, you left--only to reappear a number of years later, divorced, remarried or "attached" to a man to whom you were unfaithful, and clearly still wishing to kindle a relationship with me. Your primary "essence," if you remember your Thomist instruction, was that of a harlot. A harlot is a piece if walking "soil." And I'm sure that, if I wished it now (and I don't), you'd come running to me, ready to "bow," shall we say, to my every wish. Shame. Shame on you, my dear.
Dr. Jacques Reinhard Heydrich Pluss, Leader, The New American National Socialist Party, ANNP, and Independent Scholar.

Victoria A Mastrodomenico - 4/6/2006

Professor Pluss was so formative to my awakening in the world of thought and ideas. He looms larger than life in my since-stunted intellectual development.

His influence was a light switch in my soul at a critical time so my initial reaction, upon randomly google-ing him, was utter disbelief. This could not be the same guy I utterly worshipped as an undergrad!

The whole affair reeks of showmanship if the idea of him as a poseur or infitrator is to be believed. Sort of like a recent episode of SVU?!

But even if the whole thing is a hoax I would be concerned about the effects on his soul of even saying the words and going through the motions. With any beleivable shred of conviction the emotional charade would leave an unpleasant imprint.

He has soiled himself!