Mental Radio, by Upton Sinclair, , at sacred-texts.com
What are the principles upon which I have classified the drawings, as between successes, partial successes, and failures? I will use this series, number eight, to illustrate. There are eight drawings, and I have set them down as one success, six partial successes, one failure. The success is the rooster (fig. 61), called "a rooster," even though it "looks like a coffee pot." The partial successes are, first, an electric light bulb, very crudely imitated as to shape in three drawings. Perhaps this was hardly good enough to be counted; it was a border-line case, and probably the poorest that I admitted to the classification of "partial successes" (fig. 63a).
Second, the ascending sky-rocket, already printed as fig. 38, giving rise to six different drawings of whirligigs and light. Third, the following drawing, for which Craig wrote: "See spider, or some sort of legged pest. If this is
not a spider, there is a spider in the lot somewhere! This I know!" (fig. 64):
The fourth partial success was a drawn bow, with arrow fitted, ready to be launched. Craig
wrote as follows: "Picked this up and saw inside as it dropped on floorso did not try it. Suddenly recall I have already 'seen' it earlier." Before starting the tests, along with her written mention of "a rooster," she had drawn a bow and crude arrow, and the resemblance is so exact that it seems to me entitled to be called a partial success (figs. 65, 65a):
Fifth, the wagon hub (fig. 60), which became the deer's muzzle. And finally the laced-up football (fig. 15) which became a belly-band on a calf (fig. 15a).
As for the failure in this series, it is a cake of soap, which was called "whirls." There are a couple of other drawings in the series, marked: "Too tired to see it," and "Tired now and excited and keep seeing old things"meaning, of course, the preceding drawings.
I tried to avoid drawing the same object more than once, but now and then I slipped up. In series eleven I drew another rooster, and there followed, not one "anticipation," but several. Drawing number one was a tooth; Craig wrote: "First see rooster. Then elephant." Drawing number two was an elephant; and Craig wrote: "Elephant came again. I try to suppress it, and see lines, and a spike sticking some way into something." She drew it, and it seems clear that the "spike" is the elephant's tusk, and the head of the "spike" is the elephant's eye (figs. 66, 66a):
Next, number three, was the rooster. But Craig had set "rooster" down in her mind as a blunder, so now she wrote: "I don't know what, see a bunch, or tuft clearly. Also a crooked arm
on a body. But don't feel that I'm right." Here are the drawings, and you can see that she was somewhat right (figs. 67, 67a):
This series eleven, containing fourteen drawings, is marked: "Did this lot rapidly, without holding (mind) blank. The chicken and elephant came at once, on a very earnest request to my mind to 'come across.'" I have classified in this series two successes, five partial, and five failures: throwing out numbers twelve and fourteen, because Craig wrote: "Nothing except all the preceding ones cometoo many at onceall past ones crowding in memory"; and again, "Nothing but everything in the preceding. Too many of them in my mind."
The anticipations run all through this series in a quite fascinating way. Thus, for number
four Craig wrote: "Flower. This is a very vivid one. Green spineleaves like century plant." She drew figure 68a:
And then again, for drawing number seven, she did more flowers, with this comment: "This is a real flower, I've seen it before. It's vivid and returns. Century plant? Now it turns into candle stick. See a candle" (fig. 69a).
All this was wrongso far. Number four was a table, and number seven was the rear half of a cow. But now we come to number eleven, the plant known as a "cat-tail," which seems to resemble rather surprisingly the lower of the two
drawings in figure 69a. My drawing is given as figure 70, and the one Craig made for it is given as 70a.
Comment on the above read: "Very pointed. Am not able to see what. Dog's head?"
Drawing five was a large fish-hook; and this inspired the experimenter to a discourse, as follows:
[paragraph continues] "Dog waggingsee tail in air busy waggingjolly doggietail curled in air." And then: "Now I see a cow. I fear the elephant and chicken got me too sure of animals. But I see these."
Now, a big fish-hook looks not unlike a "tail curled in air." But when we come to number seven, we discover what Craig was apparently anticipating. It is the drawing of what I have referred to as "the rear half of a cow." It is badly done, with a cow's hoof, but I forgot what a cow's tail is like, and this tail that I drew would fit much better on a "jolly doggy," you must admit (fig. 71):
Drawing number six was a sun, as children draw it, a circle with rays going out all round. Craig wrote: "Setting sun and bird in sky. Big
bird on wingseagull or wild goose." This I called a partial success. Number nine was the muzzle end of an old-style cannon, already reported in figs. 46, 46a.
I conclude the study of this particular series with drawing thirteen, to which was added the comment: "Think of a saucer, then of a cup. It's something in the kitchen. Too tired to see" (figs. 72, 72a):
In series fourteen, drawing three, Craig wrote: "Man running, can't draw it." She drew as follows (fig. 73a):
Next came my drawing four, as follows (fig. 73):
In series thirty-five I first drew a fire hydrant, and Craig wrote, "Peafowl," and added the following drawing, which certainly constitutes a partial success (figs. 74, 74a):
My next drawing was the peafowl, as you see. For this Craig wrote: "Peafowl again," and apparently
tried to draw the peafowl's neck, and a lot of those spots which I had forgotten are an appurtenance of peafowls (figs. 75, 75a):
In series twenty-nine I drew an elevated railway. If you turn it upside down, as I have done here, it looks like water and smoke-stacks. Anyhow, Craig drew a steamboat (figs. 76, 76a):
And then came my next drawinga steamboat! Craig wrote: "Smoke again," and drew the smoke and the stack (figs. 77, 77):
She added two more drawings, which appear to be the wheel of the boat in the water, and the smoke (figs. 77b, 77c):
In series thirty I drew a fish-hook with line, and you see it turned into a flower (figs. 78, 78a);
Then came an obelisk, and Craig got it, but with novel effects, thus (figs. 79, 79a):
Now why should an obelisk go on a jag, and have little circles at its base? The answer appears to be: it inherited the curves from the previous fish-hook, and the little circles from the next drawing. You will see that, having used
up her supply of little circles, Craig did not get the next drawing so well (figs. 80, 80a):
In series twenty-two I first drew a bed, and Craig made two attempts to draw a potted plant. My second drawing was a maltese cross, and Craig turned it into a basket (figs. 81, 81a):
But she could not give up her plant. She added: "There is a flower basket in this lot, or potted plant." The next drawing was a fleur-de-lys,
which looks not unlike a potted plant or hanging basket (fig. 82):
In drawing four she got the elements of a door-knob pretty well, and added: "See head of bird, tooeagle beak." Drawing seven was a crane, with beak open.