onsdag 24 juni 2015

Book News: Richard Wagner -- A Portrait (Lennart Svensson 2015)

Manticore Press has published yet another book by me. Last year it was my book about Ernst Jünger. Now it's a biography on Richard Wagner (1813-1883), the German composer.

"Richard Wagner -- A Portrait" is a book about a genius composer. A book like this, about Richard Wagner, is sorely neeeded. Today Wagner is performed everywhere, all around the world. Reportedly, the mere purpose of building opera houses is to stage Wagner's Ring.

So you can say: Richard Wagner has triumphed. In the 2010’s Westworld, indeed over the whole world, Wagner operas are played and admired by all and sundry. Today Wagner is mainstream, you could say. And yet, he will always be considered controversial.

More than any other composer before and after, Wagner wrote pamphlets and engaged himself in politics. For instance, he took part in the 1848-49 populist rebellion in Germany. Then, at long last, he became a conservative. This is mirrored in the current book – "Richard Wagner – A Portrait" – along with other aspects of the man and his works. The main Wagner operas are surveyed in some detail, a bio of Wagner’s life is given and different aspects of his oeuvre are discussed, such as Wagner and popular culture, Wagner and literature, the scenography of the operas and, of course, the specificity of Wagner’s music.

The book is on 198 pages. You can see the design and layout in the pictures of this post. It's a softcover with perfect binding. According to the publishing house the book gives a fully-rounded picture of Wagner, the man and his music.

Sample Chapter: Wagner and Popular Culture
Buy the Book on Amazon
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My Jünger Bio

A Chapter From my Wagner Bio: Wagner and Popular Culture

I have written a biography on Richard Wagner. He was a classical composer living in the 19th century. He composed operas about heroes and villains, traditional music dramas showcasing the wonders of the western cultural heritage. Today, Wagner's music is loved by both opera fans and movie-goers. Below are some lines from my Wagner bio, an excerpt of chapter 17: "Wagner and Popular Culture". It's about the Wagner Leitmotif technique used in film scores, and the Wagner music employed in "Excalibur". And about a certain CD having helicopters on the cover.

Helicopters on the Cover

Sometimes record companies compilate ”best of”-collections with Wagner ouvertures and orchestral pieces. For example, today on the internet you can buy a compilation of Wagner orchestral pieces and ouvertures on CD, called Twilight of the Gods: The Essential Wagner Collection. The subtitle is: ”Music of Terrifying Power and Transcending Beauty”. It was originally issued in 1998 by Deutsche Grammophon, a venerable label for classic music. Here we get standards such as ”The Ride of the Valkyries”, ”Siegfried’s Funeral March”, ”Siegfried’s Rhine Journey”, overtures to The Flying Dutchman, Tannhäuser and The Master-Singers, ”Good Friday Music from Parsifal” and many more.

This all is very fine and proper. But the cover image might seem strange, sporting as it does American Bell UH-1 ”Hueys” coming at you, the combat transport helicopter employed by US Army in Vietnam. However, the connection is apt; Francis Coppola’s movie about the Vietnam War, Apocalypse Now (1979), in a scene uses ”The Ride of the Valkyries” as a soundtrack. Technically this is not incidental, atmosphere-creating music but so called source, music actually played in the cinematic action itself, since the major in charge of the cavalry battalion in question has equipped his helicopters with loudspeakers that play the actual melody during assaults. This in order to scare the enemy.

When seeing the actual film I didn’t quite like that scene, it gets a little over the top, something of an overstatement: ”Look at the militarist Wagner’s music being used in the most awful of all wars, how fitting...!” That said, now the connection is done – Vietnam War and ”The Ride of the Valkyries” – so I have to admit that the CD in question having that film image of the helis, silhouetted against the sun, is very efficient. It’s got edge, being a smart way of selling classical music to youngsters of today: ”Wagner, terryfying power, awesome man...” I might cater to ulterior needs in saying this. But Wagner’s music is rich and deep and it can withstand a lot, from stagings with modern props to CD covers with the war machines of the NWO.


Richard Wagner's opus lived on, even in the 20th century, even beyond the opera stage. As for Wagner music used in soundtracks my best example is John Boorman’s Excalibur (1981). True, this film also employs music from another classical composer, Carl Orff and his ”O Fortunata” from Carmina Burana, since then a staple in circumstances like these. But the mainstay of the soundtrack is from Wagner. In scenes with Lancelot and Guinevere we hear the Tristan ouverture, and in sir Perceval’s search for the Grail we hear, what else, the prelude to Parsifal.

Then there is the main theme, with parts of ”Siegfried’s Funeral March” from Twilight of the Gods. This music is heard at the beginning, with a text plate saying ”The Dark Ages... The Land was divided and without a king”, followed by rhapsodic scenes of fighting, of Merlin etc. The soundtrack to all this is Wagner and it’s congenial. The same Wagner piece – the funeral march – is there at the end of the film, during the battle in which Arthur is killed by Mordred. Just before he dies Arthur tells Perceval to take Excalibur and throw it into the lake – the lake from which it once was given by the hand of the Lady of the Lake.

Eventually Perceval finds the lake and gets ready to throw the sword. At the same time, in anticipation, the hand of the Lady rises from the surface – and then we hear Wagner’s ”sword” leitmotif, flashing forth simultaneously as a light is reflected in the shiny blade during the throwing. It’s almost better than a Wagner opera. Anyhow, Boorman succeeded in taking old music and having it fit like a glove to this scene, the sword leitmotif sounding out exacly when the hand of the Lady catches the hilt of the sword and then sinks with it, never to be seen again.

All this is very much in the spirit of Wagner. The music isn’t ironically employed as in Apocalypse Now. This is the Wagnerian spirit, translated onto the screen, in a story that coheres. Then there is the employment of the leimotif itself, Excalibur being a sword showcased with Wagner’s sword theme: there is a chance of it getting too clever-clever, too contrived, but no, this just nails it, if I may say so. The use of classical music in Excalibur is on par with what Kubrick did in 2001.

Boorman’s Excalibur, by being produced in the pallid era of the early 1980’s, with cold war, recession and unemployment, could have been a dour, anti-heroic, anti-romantic tale. But true artistry was about in writing the script, in producing and filming it so if you want to ”get that Wagner feeling” on screen, in a non-operatic, modern, cinematographic way, go see Excalibur.

Film Music

Leitmotif, in case you didn’t know already, is a musical phrase that symbolizes a person, a thing, a place or a feeling. Wagner didn’t use the term itself but ever since the premiere of The Ring it’s been widely used to characterize this Wagnerian effect. Musical phrases such as leitmotifs led an embryonic existence before Wagner but he made it into a modus operandi, slightly overemploying it, like in The Ring.

However, after Wagner the leitmotif technique found its way into other musical areas than opera, preferably film music. To have a musical phrase repeating itself in the theme song (the, if you will, ”overture”) as well as here and there in the film score proper, became common practice after sound film came of age. For example the composer Bernard Herrmann (1911-1975), with film scores such as Psycho (1960) and Vertigo (1958), knew the Wagner way of making music. For instance, in the latter film there’s echoes of ”The Love-Death of Isolde” from Tristan and Isolde.

Wikipedia [entry: Leitmotif] says that leitmotifs, in one sense or the other, have occured since the advent of sound film:
Erich Wolfgang Korngold's 1938 score for The Adventures of Robin Hood, for example, can be heard to attach particular themes and harmonies to individual characters: Robin, Will, Much, and Gisbourne are all accompanied by distinctive musical material. A more modern example is the Star Wars series, in which composer John Williams uses a large number of themes specifically associated with people and concepts (for example, a particular motif attaches to the presence of Darth Vader and another to the idea of the Force). In the film trilogy Lord of the Rings the dramatic orchestral score has hundreds of Leitmotifs recurring throughout.

About the Book
In Swedish: Wagner's Ring
Buy the Book on Amazon
Buy the Book on Ablibris (Swedish Net Book Store)
Pic: The Lady of the Lake from Boorman's "Excalibur"

lördag 6 juni 2015

Reflektioner på nationaldagen 2015

Summary in English: Today, June 6, is Sweden's National Day. Below are some deliberations on this. In Swedish only.

Vi firar idag vår nationaldag. Detta är dagen för oss svenskar att fira oss själva och vårt land, Sverige.

Jag säger som jag brukar vid dessa tillfällen: vi svenskar existerar och har rätt till detta land. Detta är ett revolutionärt påstående i dagens Sverige. Men sanningen är alltid revolutionär.

Vi traditionella, etniska svenskar existerar. Vi har rätt till detta land. Vi har, förutom allt annat, sedvanerätt till detta land. Att ens behöva påpeka dylikt är ett tecken på hur vansinniga dessa tider är. Vi har en regim i krig, virtuellt krig med sin majoritetsbefolkning. Enligt regimen ska etniska svenskar alstras bort. Parallellt med det ska de virtuellt utplånas. Vi ska bortdefinieras. Lyftas ska istället mångkultur och ”det nya Sverige”.

Men det verkar som om regimen misslyckats i sitt uppsåt. Jag menar, det må vara så att massinvandringen fortsätter med oförminskad styrka. Men kulturkriget är essentiellt förlorat för regimen och PK-ismen. Tillräckligt många i folkdjupet har genomskådat lögnerna för att det inte längre är möjligt att asfaltera landet utan motstånd.

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Så att, sett ur ett mycket generellt perspektiv, hyser jag viss optimism – optimism gällande framtiden för svenska värderingar, svensk kultur, Sverige som nation och etnisk realitet. Men jag är inget orakel. Den som säger emot får gärna ge sin syn i kommentarsfältet. Och när ni ändå är igång, passa på att spå lite krig och elände. Det gör ju alla idag. Det till 100% förödande kärnvapenkriget är en absolut realitet i kommande tider, det finns bakom knuten, om man får tro såväl MSM som alternativmedia.

Varsågod, börja dagen med att frossa i pessimism...! Det kan man göra såväl i MSM som i alternativmedia. Personligen skulle jag kalla detta självskadebeteende. Men vem är jag att döma. Säkert är dock att det inte blir något storkrig. Om detta har jag talat förr, ja även tämligen nyligen (som i Nya Tider 19/2015). Uttryckt i ett ord så är tidsandan idag emot krig. Men för att se detta måste man tydligen ha ett sjätte sinne och jag kan inte utbilda er i den aspekten.

Nåväl: krig. Det är förvisso så att Makterna idag gör allt de kan för att starta tredje världskriget. Att studera dessa processer IRL, i form av provokationer i Syrien och Ukraina, är på sätt och vis legitimt. Det är inte helt gripet ur luften som fenomen betraktat. Men Makterna kommer inte att lyckas med denna agenda. De har försökt ihärdigt med sitt krigsprojekt sedan åtminstone 2012. Och jag har lika ihärdigt påpekat, sedan 2012, att de inte kommer att lyckas. Pga tidsanda mm, se ovan.

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Det är nationaldag idag. Jag har publicerat dessa nationaldagsreflektioner sedan 2011. Jag började blogga på Motpol det året. Det har blivit något av en tradition att posta dessa texter den sjätte juni. Så här är det: ingen säger åt mig att göra detta. Jag gör detta på eget initiativ. Och jag brukar samposta dessa nationaldagstexter med min andra blogg. Det är i princip enda gången det görs. Svenssongalaxen är min personliga låda, Motpol är något delvis annat, en mer välbesökt, högprofilerad sajt. En sajt som förpliktar.

Nationaldagstal: den oskrivna regel jag har för dessa texter är att det ska vara lite upplyftande, inte för polemiskt. Men i år har jag antagligen blivit väl polemisk. Men vad annat kan man bli när man ser den Sverigevänliga rörelsen bete sig destruktivt, som att profetera om det tredje världskriget, det där som realiter aldrig kommer att bryta ut.

Nåja. Vad ska jag tala om nu då? För att göra det hela lite mer upplyftande? Jag tror jag ska tala lite om Sveriges natur. Ett ämne som är ständigt aktuellt.

Och jag tror i så fall att jag koncentrerar mig på Norrland. Jag är född här och har bott här större delen av mitt liv. Jag bodde ett tag i Uppsala och det var kul det med. Och även vår huvudstad, Stockholm, är mig en kär plats. Jag har under mina 50 år besökt praktiskt taget hela landet. Men nu ska jag tala lite om charmen med Norrland – mitt Norrland.

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Jag föddes i södra Lappland. Detta är en tämligen särpräglad plats. Byarna och samhällena ligger med kanske tio mils avstånd. I andra delar av Norrland, som i Ådalen och i Norrbotten, ligger byarna mycket tätare. Så man kan säga: södra Lappland är Nordens sista vildmark. Marken må vara indelad i skogsskiften men står man på ett berg och ser sig om så är det väldigt mycket ”Call of the Wild” liksom.

Detta är min hembygd, Åsele vid Ångermanälven. Detta är tusenmilaskogen, detta är Sverige, detta är Nordens hjärtland. Här står jag och bekräftar min etnicitet och min kultur. Alla som strider mot NWO och PK-ism, alla som är emot nivellering, utarmning och asfaltering av landet, bör göra detsamma: att ställa sig upp och säga: ”Detta är jag, detta är mitt folk och mitt land. Jag är etnisk svensk levande i Sverige. Detta är vårt ursprungsområde, vår biotop, vår egenart och vår kultur. ”

För att göra ett sådant påstående krävs en sak: viljestyrka. Man måste uppamma sin vilja för att kunna befria sitt land. Man kan inte bara sitta på gärsgårn och förvänta sig att ”utvecklingen” ska börja gå i den eller den riktningen. Eller att ”någon annan” ska göra allt medan man själv njuter av skådespelet. Då är man ett rö för vinden, man är en dandy som lever på hoppet, en dekadent nolla. Man är ingenting. Istället måste man erkänna sin viljestyrka och göra sig själv till en faktor i spelet. Endast så besegrar man materialismens och nihilismens världsordniong, den som idag är i fart med att slita sönder vårt land.

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Vi har i Sverige idag en regim som styr landet mot kaos. Dvs, den styr inte alls. Den så kallade regering vi har fungerar i en enda dimension, den verkställer en fråga: att maximera förstörelsen av det traditionella Sverige. Denna agenda implementeras i första hand med massinvandring. Massinvandringen får inte ifrågasättas, massinvandringen ligger fast.

Detta är inte politik. Detta är en parodi på politik.

Sverige lider under en till 100% negativ agenda: kaos, förströring och ökad entropi är dess mål. Mot detta måste man ställa krafter inriktade på ordning, sans och måtta. De Sverigevänliga krafterna är förhoppningsvis representanter för en sådan uteckling. Men ”för att skapa ordning omkring sig måste man ha ordning inom sig”, som Ezra Pound sa. Och jag betvivlar att den Sverigevänliga rörelsen som helhet har det. Istället ser jag en ofta cynisk, ironisk, ofta kaos-och-mörker-präglad rörelse som spår kärnvapenkrig i tid och otid. Så befriar man inte landet från nihilismens krafter. Att profetera krig är att spela regimen i händerna.

Att spå kaos sprider fruktan. Och den som är rädd tänker sämre.

Därför, anser jag, bör den Sverigevänliga rörelsen sluta sprida visioner av död, kaos och undergång. Istället är en positiv vision för en ny värld, fri från PK-ism och massinvandring, vad som behövs. En värld där varje folk är tryggat i sitt ursprungsområde, där media inte kavlar ut krigsscenarion och där sans och måtta styr, inte ironi och sarkasm.

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Tänk på det, ni Sverigevänner som tenderar att sprida kaos omkring er. För inte vidare varje lösryckt NWO-scenario. Det är ju bara påhitt, hjärnspöken. Förra hösten skrevs det till exempel massor om Ebolaviruset. Sedan bara upphörde det. Varför? För att det var 99% påhitt.

Sluta agera reaktivt, sluta sprid kaos. Istället, projicera ordning. Källan till denna ordning finns inom er. Och har man inte denna ordning inom sig, ja då går det inte att skapa ordning omkring sig som Pound sa. Därför, meditera, bekämpa rädslan, andas. Så läggs en grund för en varaktig befrielse av dig själv och ditt land.

Tack för ordet. Och trevlig nationaldag.

Nationaldagen 2014
Nationaldagen 2011

torsdag 28 maj 2015

Interesting Stuff on Counter-Currents

Good evening. I'm Lennart Svensson. Now for some news.

We have a phenomenon called The New Right. This is the self-styled "real right" of today, not expressly ultra-radical but still more radical than Tories and Republicans.

In America this right has an internet focus in the form of Counter-Currents. Along with being a publishing house it's a site with often updated entries, such as reviews, essays and articles on culture and politics.

A new entry on Counter-Currents is an article on American author Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1987). In later years and in the public mind he's become some sort of liberal atavist, which I can partly understand. But in essence Heinlein was no liberal, he was a staunch conservative and anti-communist. In the article "Heinlein for Right-Wingers" I elaborate on this.

Counter-Currents: My Notes on Heinlein
Jünger and the Craft of Science Fiction
In Swedish: Översikt över Heinlein
Pic: a Signet Book issue from the 1970's of a Heinlein novel

fredag 8 maj 2015

Castaneda: Words and Concepts: A List

Carlos Castaneda was a man. Now he is no more. He died in 1998. Before he left this world he wrote some 12 books on shamanism, magic, flying like a crow and speaking to lizards, about meeting Mescalito high on psychotropic cacti and a metaphysical view of the world. That view was fascinating as it used concepts mostly alien to western esotericism, so to decode Castaneda's concepts this overview might be of some help.

As intimated, the Castaneda creed is a bit odd. A bit insular, a bit specific. It employs a specific vocabulary, not encountered anywhere else. But in essence, the ontological truth Castaneda divulges is the same as that of The Perennial Tradition. And below, in this Castaneda Wordlist, I try to be intelligible for the reader steeped in Perennialism, in the Esoteric Tradition of the Old World.

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Assemblage point -- encasing our physical body is an aura and on that aura (Castaneda says) there's a certain assemblage point, assembling our perceptions. The place of this point decides what we see and how we see it, in other words how the world appears to us. If the assemblage point is moved then we see "something else" and Castaneda experiences this many times with his guru don Juan.

Assuming responsibility -- "Assuming responsibility for your actions means that you are ready to die for them." -- don Juan

Awareness -- consciousness, mindfulness. A glorified, clairvoyant state of mind.

Breaking routines -- in order to release energy you can break everyday routines. You are forced to look at things differently, thus becoming more spiritually limber and agile.

Controlled folly -- consciously acting the fool, taking things seriously only "as if" they were important. For example, to go after things in everyday life such as status and material success but only using the experience as a means to spiritual fulfillment. This technique of gaining Knowledge (q v) is depicted in "A Separate Reality", book 2 in the series.

Death as an adviser -- we're all going to die and by realizing that (= memento mori) you are being taught the essence of being, i e that your physical existence is limited while your spiritual, post-mortal life is infinite. Book 2 in the series, "A Separate Reality", has a lot on this.

Dreaming, the art of dreaming -- how to steer your dreams by will. For starters, try to get sight of your hands when dreaming. Castaneda himself learns this technique. Three other techniques to help you in dreaming are (q v) breaking routines, power gait/gait of power and not-doing. Book 9, "The Art of Dreaming" specializes on dreaming but the concept is mentioned throughout the series.

Dreaming body -- a special body that emerges when you dream, maybe the same as the astral body you read about in western esoteric literature. This astral body, maybe equal to "the soul", is out flying in impossible worlds while the physical body lies sleeping, protected by the coil of the etheric body.

Earth's boost, the -- the power from the earth. Mother Earth is always there to nurture us, protect us and give us energy, "imperceptible jolts of invigourating energy" (book 8, "The Power of Silence"). Earth is a sentient being endowed with an aura. (Book 7, "The Fire From Within", p 222). See also book 8, p 100: the earth is spiritually alive, its mind kan affect the mind of a person. Like Plotinos said: "The earth hears our prayers; she has no organs but she's got senses."

Erasing personal history -- toning down the role of the ego by eradicating your existential footprints and becoming someone else -- yourself.

First attention -- normal consciousness, everyday consciousness, "right side awareness". It belongs to the physical body (while "second attention/left side awareness" belongs to the aura).

Gazing -- to fixedly look at some natural phenomenae like clouds, smoke or running water. Thereby you saturate your first attention giving room for your second attention, and thus for a trip out into the Wild Blue Yonder.

Having to believe -- well, you have to believe...! Like someone said: "Stick to your illusions. There might come a day when they're all that you have left."

Impeccability -- being beyond reproach, sinless. A kind of quietist moral with lodestars like modesty, thoughtfulness, simplicity, lack of pride and self-reflectiveness. Instead of endlessly going over personal problems you rise yourself to the level of impeccability.

Inner silence -- with inner silence you reach silent knowledge. See "The Power of Silence", book 8 in the series. It's a way of finding calm, silencing your inner monologue. Thereby you activate the higher levels of your mind (q v nagual, second attention).

Intent -- "the Spirit", Tao, God, divine energy. Naming God "the Spirit" is fairly common among North American Indians. Castaneda's "intent" is not primarily a being, it's a force you can learn how to use, divine energy as mentioned.

Knowledge -- don Juan's way is called "acquiring Knowledge", "becoming a man of Knowledge". The means for this are (q v) stalking, awareness, intent and dreaming.

Left side awareness -- the other world, the unknown, the separate reality. See also second attention and nagual.

Losing the human form -- when your tonal and nagual minds are united you reach the totality of oneself.

Losing self-importance - to realize your limitations, toning down your sense of importance. You have to be able to take a joke, withstand ridicule, all in order to release energy to reach Knowledge. Cf what's said in book 5, "The Second Ring of Power", chapter 8: you have to break the mirror of self-reflection. "I used to live in a room full of mirrors / all I could see was me" like Hendrix said.

Nagual -- (pronounced nah-wal), the unknown, das Unbedingte, the virgin lands of the metaphysical realm. It reminds you of Tao: "the Tao that can be named is not the True Tao" (Lao Tse). To nagual you can be led by psychotropic drugs (mushrooms, peyote, Jimson Weed, q v book 1, "The Teachings of Don Juan") but this is a somewhat primitive technique, don Juan says. It's better to go the spiritual way, using strategies like (q v) erasing personal history, losing self-importance, assuming responsibility and death as an adviser. -- Nagual (capital N) is also the title of the head magician in the circles that Castaneda depicts: "the Nagual don Juan" and, from the fifth book on, "the Nagual Carlos Castaneda".

Not-doings - freeing yourself of everyday doings, executed with strategies like (q v) erasing personal history, losing self-importance, breaking routines. Book 3, "Journey to Ixtlan" treats not-doing rather extensively.

Places of power -- places of energy. Certain spots in the landscape bring you energy, energetic zones helping you to focus and meditate. In all times churches and temples have been built on such places; Christianity raised its temples on heathen temple grounds, not only to stamp out the old religion but to gain access to these energetic sweet spots.

Power -- energy, probably equal to God and divine energy (q v "intent"). The book "Tales of Power" might then be considered as "Tales of God"...! Don Juan says: "Power provides according to our impeccability." In other words, if we purge our minds of greed and fear then we can more easliy approach God. -- Don Juan also says that this and that is "a sign form Power", "Power pointed it out" etc. Good portents are seen as given by Power. A Christian, a Hindu, a Jew or a Muslim might for their part say that this is a work of God, a sign of God etc.

Power gait -- an occult technique whereby your way of walking might take you to other worlds. How...? Beats me. But Castaneda's world is full of mysteries and shamanic doings. I don't reject their plausibility, I'm just saying that I'm no magician, just an adept and a scholar.

Recapitulation -- to scrutinize your past life in the uttermost detail, noting all mistakes done, admitting the faults and thereby releasing energy for new ventures, new vistas. It's the same as penitence, confessing your sins and repenting but Castaneda never expresses his system in such Christan terms -- almost never.

Right side awareness -- normal consciousness linked to this world, the everyday world. See also first attention and tonal.

Second attention -- the supernatural, higher consciousness, "left side awareness". Second attention belongs to the aura, "the luminous body"; first attention (q v) for its part belongs to the physical body. - There is also third attention which is the highest you can get: seeing God (or seeing "the Eagle's emanations" as don Juan would put it.)

Seeing -- clairvoyance. Emerges when you've (q v) stopped the world by not-doing.

Stalking, the art of stalking -- to mysteriously reach (q v) Knowledge by sneaking around in metaphysical hunting grounds.

Stopping the world -- to realize à la zen that "it's the mind that moves, not the world". Having reached total inner calm then you've "stopped the world". Book 3 ("Journey to Ixtlan") is about don Juan's concept of "stopping the world" which is done by venturing out on a vision quest, a traditional one-man journey into the wild when you shall meditate, fast and wait for the ensuing visions. Castaneda duly obeys and goes out into the wild, eventually striking up a conversation with a coyote. This is ably parodied in a certain "Simpson's" episode with Johnny Cash doing the coyote's lines, but the truth is fascinating also: the original scene in "Journey to Ixtlan". In Swedish I've blogged about it here.

Ascended Masters -- Some Notes
In Swedish: Hur det började
In Swedish: Castaneda = kastanj
In Swedish: Review of "The Eagle's Gift"

onsdag 29 april 2015

Lästips: antiken

Summary in English: these are some reading tips on ancient history. -- Härmed några lästips. De rör antiken, Grekland, Rom och Indien i forn tid. Samt lite arisk historia för svenska nejder.

För att få ett grepp om antiken rekommenderar jag två böcker i Bonniers Världshistoria från 1980-talet. De slår mig som, med dagens mått, rätt konservativa. Det är "Grekernas värld" av Hans Furuhagen samt "Romarriket" av Erling Bjöl och Leo Hjortsö.

När jag läste på universitetet hette basboken om antiken "Medelhavsvärldens historia till 476 e Kr" av Hugo Montgomery. Torr, men korrekt och utan bilder (Bonnierböckerna har bilder vilket kanske är störande).

När man läst dem kan man läsa biografier. Bäst är greken Plutarchos, som dels finns på svenska, men jag läste honom på engelska i Penguin Pocket i "Makers of Rome", "Fall of the Roman Republic" (läs om Caesar, Marius, Sulla, Cicero), "The Rise and Fall of Athens" (Themistokles, Alkibiades, spartanen Leonidas) och "The Age of Alexander" (med bland annat Alexanderbiografin). Plutarchos är lättläst och koncis. Andra bra antika historiker är Caesar själv (Om det galliska kriget), Polybios (mycket krigshistoria) samt Tacitus om man gillar intriger i den tidiga kejsartiden. Herodotos ("Historia") skildrar både det antika Grekland och Persien. Även Plutarchos gjorde intjack i Persien, som i Crassusbiografin.

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För antiken kan även moderna biografier rekommenderas. Som J. F. C. Fullers Caesarbiografi och diverse andras över Alexander. Poängen är att biografier ger en bra bild av en epok. Alltså: även mer nutida sådana kan nog läsas. Folk vill ju läsa om krig och fälttåg och då tror jag inte författaren ids komma med pekpinnar jämt.

Vad gäller indoeuropéer rekommenderar jag en antologi med Marija Gimbutas texter från 1997: "The Kurgan culture and the Indo-Europeanization of Europe". Annars kan man läsa om båtyxefolket, som var de första indoeuropéerna i Norden, i till exempel "Svensk historia 1" av Jerker Rosén eller 1980-talsboken "Den svenska historien 1". Det står väldigt lite om arier i dem, uttryckligen inget alls egentligen, men båtyxefolket var arier och de behandlas kort där. Alltid något.

- - -

Fältet det gäller, antiken, är stort. Vill man ha allmän introduktion i till exempel Mesopotamiens äldsta tid tror jag random översiktsbok kan duga. Det står ungefär samma saker i dem. Även lite äldre böcker (allt från 1800-talet till idag) kan ge basfakta. Så värst mycket nya rön kommer egentligen inte fram genom åren.

Med andra ord: den konservativa synen har dominerat i all andlig odling i västerlandet från begynnelsen till cirka år 2000. Så ta dig an handböcker och biografier från klassisk tid och allt ska gå dig väl i livet, min son.

Fler lästips
Tänk på döden
Bilden har inget med inlägget att göra. Men den föreställer Lidingö, Stockholm.

måndag 6 april 2015

Radikalkonservativ litteratur

Summary in English: this post gives you links to some reviews etc on this blog, entries with a radical conservative slant. -- Den här bloggen har funnits i drygt sju år. Den startades i november 2007. Här ska jag berätta om denna bloggs politiska sida. För att vara exakt ska det handla om länkar till diverse högerpräglad, radikalkonservativ litteratur jag behandlat genom åren. I vid mening högerradikala böcker ska jag avhandla nedan.

Denna blogg är ingen nischblogg. Den innehåller inte bara politik.

Svenssongalaxen innehåller ett och annat. Gå till denna innehållsförteckning och botanisera. Först listar den engelska inlägg, därefter svenska. I förteckningen ges länkar till artiklar om bilar, om politik, om science fiction och annat. Ni finner inlägg om filosofi, esoterism, historia och mitt liv. Och ni finner noveller och länkar till mina romaner, som kan laddas ner före sista april i år.

Men om vi nu pratar politik, vad har jag då att komma med där? Om vi, som utlovat, talar högermässig litteratur, vad kan jag bjuda på?

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Till vad kan jag guida er inom radikalkonservativ litteratur? Jo, detta.

Om vi börjar med högervinklad science fiction kan jag ge dessa två länkar:

. Robert Heinleins "Starship Troopers" var en kontroversiell bok när den kom 1959, ja även senare. Den gav inblick i det operativa, viljedrivna sinnelaget. Mer här.
. Frank Herberts "Dune" kan sägas vara "arkeofuturism i aktion". Boken skildrar en ålderdomlig framtid, en framtid där det nya och skenbart ålderdomliga samsas. Här är texten som tolkar det hela.

Det om sf. Om vi ser till politiska essäer, vad har jag då recenserat? Jo, till exempel detta:

. Julius Evolas "Ride the Tiger" (1961). Det är en bok om att, som radikalkonservativ, i viss mening bejaka den moderna tidens nihilism och materialism. Förutsatt att man har ordning inom sig, och har en tro på högre värden, kan nihilismen vara en renande kraft. Mer här.
. Oswald Spenglers "Västerlandets undergång". Spengler såg, till skillnad från liberaler, inga "eviga framsteg". Nej han ansåg att kulturer lever upp, blomstrar och går under i ett fast mönster. Även om jag är mer av optimist än pessimist så är Spenglers syn berikande. Den är ett rungande alternativ till förnumstiga liberalers framstegstro. Gå hit.
. Friedrich Nietzsche var, utåt sett, en ateist-nihilist. Men under ytan fanns en tro på något högre, det fanns "gudomliga begär", "evig återkomst" och annat esoteriskt. Se här.

Nietzsche påverkade för sin del både Spengler och Evola. Och han påverkade Ernst Jünger, som jag skrivit en del om. Ett axplock ur mina Jüngerartiklar är dessa:

. En biografisk skiss över Jüngers bravader tiden 1945-1998. (Han levde 1895-1998.)
. En recension av romanen "Heliopolis" från 1949.
. En recension av "Das abenteuerliche Herz" från 1938.

Det var några länkar till högerradikala texter på denna blogg. Väl bekomme.

Ernst Jünger -- A Portrait
Ambrose: Eisenhower -- Soldier and President (1991)
Arméstaben: SoldF 1957
Göteborgs konstmuseum

söndag 8 mars 2015

Science fiction: på denna blogg: länkar

Jag gillar science fiction. Denna genre har alltid varit en ledstjärna för mig. Man kan även kalla den "fantastik". Hur som helst har jag recenserat min beskärda del av fantastiska böcker här på bloggen. Genom åren har det blivit en del: man ser i andanom framför sig ett veritabelt länkbibliotek, ett rent fantastikhelvete. Här ska jag försöka guida er genom detta helvete.

1. Teknokrater

För moderna, tekniskt sinnade sf-författare kommer jag osökt att tänka på en sådan som Frederik Pohl. Dennes berättelser är mycket rymd, högteknik och utomjordingar, ofta med en tanke på att det ska vara drabbande och episkt. Han lyckas inte alltid med det som jag påstår i länken. En mer helgjuren sf-man, en som är mer medveten om sina begränsningar än Pohl, är Larry Niven. Med dessa begränsningar skapar han ändå odödlig symbolism som den artificiella jättevärlden Ringworld. Mer om detta i länken.

En finurlig teknokrat synes mig Arthur C. Clarke vara. Han hade alltid en öppning mot esoterism och det gudomliga, samtidigt som hans berättelser var nyktra och strikt vetenskapliga. Slå det om ni kan.

En höjdpunkt i modern sf är i mina ögon "Neuromancer" av William Gibson. Den så kallade cyberpunkrörelsen var egentligen bara denna enda roman: Gibsons övriga romaner var lite lama och övriga författare i denna rörelse var inte lika stilmedvetna och gosiga som Gibson.

2. Stilen

En remarkabel krigsbok är Robert Heinleins "Starship Troopers". Nog sagt.

Heinleins polare Isaac Asimov hade likt Clarke en viss majestätitsk lyftning trots nykterheten och den enkla prosan. Och likt Clarke och Niven var Asimov medveten om sina begränsningar som stilist.

A. E. van Vogt var generationskamrat med Asimov och Heinlein. Alla debuterade i decembernumret av Astounding. van Vogt var dock en mer gåtfull, mer stilmedveten författare, även om han inte var någon James Joyce eller Ernst Jünger. Men van Vogts berättelser tenderar att stanna i minnet.

När det gäller stilmedveten sf så hände det en del på 60-talet. Michael Moorcock redigerade tidskriften New Worlds och sprängde gränser. (Länken ifråga handlar dock mer om hans fantasyromaner, som är goda de med.) Jim Ballard förekom ofta i New Worlds och tog sf till tidigare osedda marker, dock samtidigt mer vardagliga eftersom han bara skrev om människor här och nu. Det märkliga finns mitt ibland oss, det är Ballards budskap från industriområden, forskningsstationer, motorvägar och flygplansvrak.

3. Allting finns

Än mer än Ballard framstår Philip K. Dick som en genuint stor författare, en författare med en speciell röst. En författare som också förmedlar lite godhet bland alla cynismer och eländen som 1900-talsprosaister tenderade att skildra i denna Kali Yugas sista tid. På en lägre stilistisk nivå, men samtidigt på en högre mytisk, befinner sig Frank Herberts "Dune". Jag upphör aldrig att fascineras över sandmaskar, drogen melange och religiösa sekter i hans avlägsna, galaktiska framtid.

Därmed är vi inne på arkaiska tongångar. Robert Holdstocks "Mythago Wood" skildrar hur en forskare dras in i en skog inpå knuten, ett tillhåll för mytiska varelser, tomtar och huldror: the deeper you look into it, the deeper it looks into you. Denna recension rekommenderas starkt, denna bok är unik: en fantasyroman med ett bärande idéinnehåll, Jung och arketyper och skogsäventyr. Det kan inte bli bättre än så här.

4. Egendomligt

Amerikansk weird fantasy har alltid fascinerat mig. Tidigt läste jag Edgar Allan Poes sällsamma berättelser. "Det här är sällsamt" sa jag till mig själv efter att ha läst om den svarta katten, det skvallrande hjärtat och Huset Ushers fall. "Detta är egendomligt, gåtfullt och tankeväckande!" Jag kunde inte för mitt liv förstå hur Poes hjärna var konstruerad. Hur kunde han komma på dessa bisarrerier?

Och det var ändå inget mot för hur jag något senare reagerade på H. P. Lovecrafts noveller. Lovecraft var amerikan likt Poe men tog skräcken och fantasyn till en högre nivå. Samtida med Lovecraft var Clark Ashton Smith som vistades i mer skimrande städer. Båda var inspirerade av engelsmannen Lord Dunsany som helt enkelt är förtjusande, dock med vissa underströmmar av fasa.

Vi närmar oss slutet på denna exposé över Galaxens bokrecensioner, fantastikdelen. J. R. R. Tolkien är förstås central när det gäller meningsfull fantasy. Tolkien är idealist, inte nihilist, och det är viktigt.

5. Svensk fantastik

Åke Ohlmarks var den förste svenske översättaren av Tolkien. Han var den störste! Och den förste - och den siste. Han var den siste swashbucklern, en fejdande man, en resande man. Han visade mer än någon annan vad det är att ha personlighet och förmedla den i sina texter.

En svensk fantasyroman som ännu lever är annars "Maktens vägar" av Bertil Mårtensson. Den är en trilogi med heroiska förtecken men skiljer sig ändå från Tolkien i sitt direktare tilltal, sin svenskhet och elegans. Kolla upp!

Mårtensson för mig osökt in på ämnet svensk fantastik idag. Vill ni veta något om Granström, Alf Yngve och Bjällerstedt-Mickos ska ni klicka på den länken. Det skrivs mycket fantasy och framtidsaktigt i detta land. Kultursnobbarna ignorerar det dock. Tidigare i höst kunde till exempel Horace och Stig Larsson sitta i TV:s Babel och säga, "det finns ingen svensk sf idag"...! Det kan man förstås säga om man är ignorant, blind och döv för Wela förlag, för Alf Yngves och mina texter, för Anders Fager och hela fantasygänget.

Horace och Larsson är obildade. Det beror på att de inte läser denna blogg och därmed inte får tillgång till alla länkar till fantastik som finns här. Vilka länkar? Ja, dessa har jag ägnat detta inlägg att berätta om. Läs om från början ifall ni missat dem.

Katedralbyggare och kritiker
Adams, Dick, Donaldson...
Illustration Esteban Maroto

måndag 2 februari 2015

Junge Freiheit reviews "Ernst Jünger -- A Portrait"

In my Jünger biography I say this: Ernst Jünger was unique, a great author, maybe Germany's greatest author since Goethe. Not everyone has this outlook. But a review of my book in the German periodical Junge Freiheit has noted this strain, this way of lifting Ernst Jünger to the realm of classics.

Junge Freiheit is a German political weekly, a radical conservative forum for debate, culture and politics. The title means "Young Freedom". The paper was founded in 1986 and immediately, or shall we say, in the 1990's, became a subject of controversy, at least for the leftist German mainstream. Otherwise it's rather natural for a country like Germany, with its conservative past, to have a political magazine covering issues with some footing in tradition, moderation, anti-communism and anti-globalism.

The circulation of Junge Freiheit is 22.000 (2012 figure by courtesy of Wikipedia.) I even mentioned Junge Freiheit in my biography. In chapter 4 I touched upon how Jünger apreciated this right-wing, radical conservative newspaper. Therefore I was glad to hear that Karl-Heinz Schuck in Junge Freiheit 6/2015 has read my Jünger bio. Here I'll try to summarize his review, with quotes translated from the original German into English by me.

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Schuck begins by intimating that "Ernst Jünger -- A Portrait" is no academical biography but a portrait by a devoted reader: "To Svensson, Jünger is the greatest German author since Goethe, and this admiration for him shows through the almost 300 pages like a red thread."

Schuck notes how my book takes a wide outlook on the subject of Jünger, with a bio for starters and then summaries and critiques of his central works. Schuck likes the poingnant quotations and the way I explain them in relation to Jünger's philosophical creed.

To conclude, the review says this:
Svensson (...) cleverly connects Jünger's work with that of other authors having inspired him, and also with authors being to some extent like him. Enigmatically, we are shown common traits with the American Science Fiction author Robert Heinlein and Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Anthroposophy. This shows how wide and deep Ernst Jünger's thinking was and that therefore his reputation as a "Writer of the Century" is rightfully deserved.

The review can only be found in the paper issue of Junge Freiheit. However, if you want to check out Junge Freiheit in general, here it is.

As for my book -- "Ernst Jünger -- A Portrait" -- you can buy it on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk. For Swedish customers we for instance have the outlet Adlibris.

My presentation of "Ernst Jünger -- A Portrait" on this blog
Living Traditions' (Australia) review of the Jünger book
Nordic Sphinx: A Svensson Poem

torsdag 22 januari 2015

The Sun in the Dark (poem)

Now I feel like publishing a poem. It's written by guess who. It's called, "The Sun in the Dark".

I'm a central Scandinavian poet. Another example of my poems is this one. But now make room for, "The Sun in the Dark":

The sun shines in the dark
beaming through space illuminating Earth
lighting my way as I go shopping:

- sunripe tomatoes
- solar baked grain
- mellow yellow bananas
- Solisan vitamin drink

Sol invictus! Triumphant Sun!

The sun burns in the dead of space
boils in 5.000 maybe FIVE MILLION degrees
radiating its heat in the abyss
and reaching our clod of earth,
to be filtered by the atmosphere
sieved through the air
shining through a tree
and shining on me
as I go home from the store
with solar bread in my basket.

Book Review of "Ernst Jünger -- A Portrait"
The Adventurous Heart
Jünger the Pious
On the Marble Cliffs
Jünger and the Craft of Science Fiction

onsdag 7 januari 2015

Some Notes on Spengler

Now and then I think about what to post here on Svenssongalaxen. This thinking is mostly done at 9 PM, after I've put out the lights and try to sleep. And now, after some deliberations, soul-searching and meditation, I've decided to give you this piece on Oswald Spengler's relevance today. I concentrate on Spengler's views on culture and art. Moreover I discuss "the city" rather a lot, the way the image of the modern city tends to symbolize Spengler's view on the fate of our civilization.


Oswald Spengler was a German scholar. About 100 years ago he wrote about the collapse of civilization in ”The Decline of the West” (1918-22).

So what, indeed, was Spengler? Just another Grand Old Man saying Profound Things on How Bad Things Are Today? -- I'd say he is grand. And worth listening to. Oswald Spengler’s ideas on the lifecycles of cultures with birth, blossom and death is highly relevant to our age. I’m telling you the truth: this is no mere Untergangsromantik, no indulgence in dark forebodings, although there might be a risk to read him that way too. It’s said that the Right have a tendency to dwell on pessimistic subjects, to secretly rejoice in the death and destruction of a society gone wrong, and maybe Spengler’s book caters to that urge somehow.

Be that as it may. All I can say is: with the help of Spengler we can face the transforming of civilizations. What we need is sobriety in our outlook, all in order to understand ourselves and the world. And in our culture, in the current international world-city civilization we have, as Spengler says, passed the apex. What’s left is reruns, recycling, parodies and copies. No-one takes anything seriously anymore. All that is left is consumerism, populism and panem et circensis. Nietzsche’s ”Last Man” rules supreme.

We’re at the end of a great era. Spengler says that our culture, the West, the faustic confluence, stood at its height around 16-1700. Since then we’ve mostly seen degeneration, the repetition of styles, dilettantism. The artist of the good old days – masters like a Bach, a Rafael, a Milton – created with good measure (Greek metron), learning his craft and confidently producing work after work. The artist of a later, romantic era for his part had to go beyond that, he couldn’t just repeat the Greatness of Old. But in so doing he had a tendency in trying to reach the unreachable, often failing in the task. See here for instance Ezra Pound’s outcry about his "Cantos" cycle: ”I can’t make it cohere!” That never happened to the masters of the great era.

This is a clever observation by Spengler. He for himself exemplifies with Wagner. Neither Wagner can really make it cohere. I myself love Wagner but I admit that the crevices and paddings show in his Great Work. It's somewhat devoid of measure -- metron.


Spengler is right in his critique on romantic fausticism. But otherwise you shouldn’t read him all too programmatically. I mean, if everything in the West after 1700 is Entartung and degeneration then for example Spengler's own work, ”The Decline of the West” from 1922, can't be taken seriously...! So let’s not focus solely on the decline-element. And Spengler himself privately admitted after his work had been published and Europe and the West gathered strength after WW1, that the title of the book should have been ”The Triumph of the West”. For through all the analyses of his work, his constructs by which the pattern of rise-blossoming-decay is to be proved, runs a great admiration of the west and its culture. It is the faustic culture, symbolised by Goethe’s Faust who wants to do everything, know everything, experience everything. It’s a veritable praise of the faustic world, of its geniuses in their cells probing the depths of existence, its explorers mapping every white patch of the globe, its inventors inventing previously unseen things, its schoolboys drawing dreamcars with a view to drive them along never-ending highways: I’m heading out to the highway… Roll on down the highway… Midnight on a never-ending highway…

The West: it’s the architecture where the front necessarily has to express something. That’s a typical western trait. We don’t always notice it since we’re born into it. But: ”Christian temples speak loudly about their interior, Muslim temples remain silent about it, antique temples doesn’t even think about it.” Spengler concludes that the cathedral starts from within, the antique temple from without; the mosque for its part both begins and ends in its interior, in its gilded, arabesque-fretted grotto. Few other scholars can make such succinct, symbolically telling summaries.


The West: it’s about central perspective and analytical languages, about a marching, drum-induced pace along boulevards that seemingly lose themselves in the hazy distance à la Champs Elysée, Unter den Linden, Valhallavägen and Sunset Boulevard. The symbol of the West is the plain, that of the Middle East is the cave.

The West: in Spengler’s vein it’s about the city, the faustic city with its fountains, squares, parks and boulevards, unique elements in a unique creation, living with it and dying with it. But as long as it lives we can walk in these megacities and feel sentimental over the beauty of these fronts with their cranea, volutes and gargoyles, over these interiors with their galleries, exedras, cupolas and pilasters, their halls and marble tables with gold inscriptions like these:
If in Infinity the Self forever flows
repeated endlessly in endless repetition
so arch the sure and numberless porticoes
upon themselves with force and impartition;
from everything out-surges love for life,
from vastest star to smallest kernel
and every pressure, agony and strife
is in the Lord our God but rest eternal.
This poem by Goethe ("Wenn im Unendlichen") was something of a Leitmotif for Spengler’s work: it was the cyclical, recurring pattern in the development of cultures that he wanted to capture. There were other Goethean influences – Faust of course, and the tendency to see history and indeed every aspect of human culture (cities, countries etc) as an organism and not a mechanism. Other than that Spengler was formed by Nietzsche, and here primarily by his Dionysean thought, his vision of the archaic, pre-classical antiquity. Archaic times had a more dreamlike quality, people then living in trance-like states with intuition to the fore, as compared to the late classic times where sobriety, transparence and analysis came to dominate. Spengler then saw the same pattern repeat itself in early European times with the Edda being sung in misty German forests, exuding a dream-saturated, adolescent power that slowly matures in the city culture (= civilization) and becomes overripe in the world city, the phase we now live in: international world-city civilization.


Eulogies for the West aside, we now live in end times and we have to see the signs, read the writing on the wall. And reading papers and watching TV makes it clear that today’s pundits don’t see these signs. Instead, they believe in a never-ending liberal utopia just around the corner, coming real if we only increase this and that aspect (education, free markets, growth) in quantative fashion. So a Spenglerian analysis comes in handy here. Why, exactly are we running out of steam, why is our current culture lacking vigour?

As intimated, the Faustian culture emerged in medieval days and blossomed around 16-1700. Barring some good works of art after this in general it’s a dismal time, a time of decadence. One of these is the cult of the novel, the long, the longer than long prose narrative as the optimal expression of literature. Gone is the archaic, noble héroïde sung in metric stanzas; instead we get bourgeois classics, urban narratives about shopkeepers, dandies, criminals, demimondes and liberated women: ”The latter-day epic focuses on the doings of a Nana, a Bel-Ami, a Hertha, and they’re all sterile.” The modern novel is a product of the city and will have nothing to say mankind of the future – to future man who will live in a more authentic, but not 19th century-like, culture. Instead it might, using Guillaume Faye’s concept, become an archeofuturist world.

Coda: The City

As mentioned the civilization of today is an international world city culture. We're governed by an elite traveling from mega city to mega city; they feel lost in the nearest countryside. Spengler stated this in 1922 and it’s still viable. It’s in the chapter ”The Soul of the City” and here we get his critique in a nutshell. The city is born as an extended village, grows in medieval times around a castle or a dome, blossoms in early modern times and declines successively ever after – declines, not on the surface that gets shinier than ever, but essientially since nothing new is created and everything is a repetition of styles, nostalgia and romanticism.

That the current times are a time of repetition and recycling, of pastische and parody and remakes, is clear to everyone. Everything is basking in the glory of past masters, making covers and commentaries, mimicking the originality of true creators. The demand for ”originality” is long gone. The words cultural fatigue spring immediately into mind.

Spengler is pointing these things out for us. He may be making too broad generalisations sometimes. And he's too pessimistic. I for one don't think that all is lost. Individuals, "aristocrats of the soul" can survive the decay by their erudition and willpower and thus become the leaders of a new era. That said, on the whole Spengler's work is truly enlightening. He learns us to see, to think in greater terms than the ”eternal development, eternal progress” of the liberal mind. After blossoming comes decay, after decay comes interregnum, and after interregnum comes a new dawn with a new birth. Exactly how the New West would appear he didn’t say, he believed that as westerners all our traits and characteristics would disappear and then a totally new culture would arise on top of the rubble. Spengler didn't sketch the next phase too clearly, adhering to the motto: ”It doesn’t pay a prophet to be too specific”, as Samuel Pepys said. To us who will live to see the fall of the West Spengler’s book however is a good companion, the educated man’s guide to the crumbling of the current civilization.

[Note: Oswald Spengler lived 1880-1936.]

Swedish Mystique
The Poetry and Purple Prose of Clark Ashton Smith
Ascended Masters: Some Info
Caza: The Ark
More Poems on This Blog
Top image, Stockholm City. Bottom image, from Härnösand's library

torsdag 25 december 2014

The Quiet Season

Hereby some unstructured ravings and rants.

"Screaming at the window"... thus the song "Diary of a Madman" by Ozzy Osbourne. So why this quote? Am I, Svensson, screaming at the window these days? Not exactly. I just like the tone of that line: "Screaming at the window"... Ozzy knew what he spoke about in writing a song by a madman. He had mental illness in his family and he also wrote "Am I Going Insane", with Black Sabbath. "Diary" was an Ozzy solo song.

Madness rides the starwinds... Lovecraft said. OK. At my house this season there's no tangible madness, it's rather ice cold winds and snow en masse, at least outside. But never mind that. I'll stay inside for some days now.

The picture was taken last autumn. I like it because it's a selfie of the "not posing" kind. Enjoy.

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What's up next on the blog? I dunno. This and that, chit-chat, dissertations, fiction and fact or whatever. As for my current reading habits I now read the venerable Robert Heinlein (American, 1907-1988), mostly his 40's and 50's stuff. Bare-bones operational and scientific narratives by a both knowing and arrogant as well as intriguing and thought-provoking author. You could quote his circa 40 books and both get examples of nihilist reductionism and spiritually affirmative views. But what I nowadays like with the man are the operational, military-style organized adventures such as "Sixth Column", "The Puppet Masters" and "Starship Troopers". As an ex-Navy Lieutenant Heinlein knew a lot about conducting operations, both intelligence-wise and more hands-on. He knew the routines of an operational organization, he knew about managing people, he knew about hierarchies and why they are needed. Keyword: responsibility.

The narratives of his novels are credible; with the speculative, Sci Fi-element added they are deathless yarns, even though the narrative style is a bit bare-bones and devoid of atmosphere. But this is compensated by a catching dialogue, succinct summaries of this-and-that scientific background, some wise-cracking and the en passant-dropping of wisdom.

In short: from, say, 1950 and well into the 1980's Heinlein along with Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke was considered as SF:s "Big Three". Bless the other two but the one in the trio selling the most today is Heinlein and there's a reason for this: readability, relatability, a narrative tone that's personal and yet efficient. Then it's no downside that the man also, in many respects, was a rightwinger: duty, honour country; only by taking responsibility you become free and "there aint no such thing as a free lunch". This was his lasting creed, as I see it.

Related (in Swedish)
Heinleins författarskap: några anteckningar
George S. Patton, Jr
D-dagen 1944
Slaget om Caen, del 1
"Camouflage", en krigsroman jag skrivit


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