Posted on

Let Me Tell You About Sweden

My name is Lennart Svensson. Manticore has published some books by me. See this entry.

In that post I also tell you this and that about myself.

This post, the one you’re now reading, I will dedicate to some general info about my native country, Sweden. Some unique info from the horse’s mouth, as it were. I’m born in Sweden, I live in Sweden and I still speak and write Swedish, though my writing in English has made me virtually bi-lingual.

So then, Sweden. Some general, not overly controversial, rather interesting facts and circumstances regarding it…!

Like geography. Sweden is partitioned into three parts: Götaland in the south, Svealand north of Ostrogothia-Westrogothia and south of the Dalälven River, and Norrland north of Dalälven. I personally live in Norrland, on the east coast by the Bothnic Bay.

The general cultural geography of Sweden is characterized by woodland, coniferous woodland. We have a lot of hardwood, too — but — I’d say, the coniferous afficionado will have a field day in Sweden. Everywhere, even in Stockholm suburbs, you see pine and spruce. Only in the extreme south, in the county of Scania, the plain and the deciduous tree dominates.

Indeed, in Sweden we have farmland and cultivated plains and valleys here and there, even in the north. But the main feature of the land is the dark, murmuring wood. Take a train ride from Malmö to Kiruna and you’ll see.

In short, this is the taiga of the palearctic zone.

+++

I will now concentrate this geographical survey on the Swedish part I know best, Norrland. Except for the coastal plain, much of Norrland is hilly. Then, in the west, in the borderland towards Norway, we have the fjälls, “the boundless hills”. Being a high country no trees are growing here, it’s above the timberline. This realm is quite exotic, rather inspiring with its wide plains, steep mountains and spare but quaint flowers. A subarctic tundra, this is a favourite haunt for hikers.

The highest peak of the land is Kebnekaise, 2111 meters above sea level, situated in the far north. As such this peak isn’t so steep. In the summertime you can walk up to it virtually without the aide of climbing equipment.

Finally, some lines about the Norrland wildlife. In short, we have virtually all of the nordic/arctic speciemens of fauna like moose, deer, reindeer (semi-wild, herded by Saamis), wolf, fox, bear, lynx/wildcat, wolverine, rabbit, beaver and diverse small fellows like squirrel, vole, mink and such.

Personally I’ve only seen some stray reindeer and moose in the wilds. I’ve heard a beaver once, making its trademark splash against the water in a bogland river. I also saw the trademark gnawed-off trees and dams that this animal builds.

Further, in my life I’ve spotted the one or the other exotic bird like harrier, crane and Canada goose. The last one isn’t so exotic, actually, it was introduced here some 70 years ago by biologist Bengt Berg and since then it’s become something of a nuisance. We even have them in the urban area where I currently live, an island of parks where they thrive in the summertime chasing you along the walks.

The most exotic Swedish animals, in my mind, are bear and lynx. I grew up in southern Lapland and there we had bear in the woods, brown bear. Not a creature you would like to meet. I mean, a wolf you could “handle,” you wouldn’t get psychologically stunned by it, but with a bear it’s a different story. The sight of it evokes a primeval fear — in Swedish, “björnfrossa”. A she-bear guarding her young is a ferocious beast. A strong, violent being, it can virtually outrun a horse.

As for the lynx it’s a long-legged, yellow-to-grey cat, “a Swedish mountain lion” if you will — though, of course, it’s not related to the puma. The lynx has a rather small heart so it can’t run fast for so long.

That was some things about Sweden on my mind for now.

Related

Blog Post Presentation of Me

My Amazon Author Page

Posted on

Heard about Moorcock?

Heard about Moorcock?

There’s no danger if you haven’t.

Just read chapter ten of Science Fiction Seen from the Right. It will tell you all you need to know.

It’s like this. Michael Moorcock is an English fantasist, born in 1940. Usually, when his work is discussed, it’s all about him having written about the decadent dandy Jerry Cornelius, having edited the mag New Worlds in the 60’s and having written a pamphlet against Heinlein.

I, on the other hand, in Science Fiction Seen from the Right, focus on Moorcock’s fantasy, his Eternal Champion saga. This epic hasn’t been properly estimated in the literary community.

About this saga I for instance say:

The Eternal Champion is a tapestry of adventure, ontology and moral. The main purpose is entertainment but the saga has a way of sneaking up at you and delivering some profound wisdom. And, to this, some bare-bones nihilism… [however, this] nihilism you have to live with in the Moorcock lands.

There might be some “passive nihilism” in the Eternal Champion saga. Moorcock is no Tolkien. However, Moorcock has many other qualities. He is, indeed, “a myth-maker, an epic fantasist”. And he has written song lyrics for Blue Öyster Cult, like “The Great Sun Jester”: a fine myth that one, a fire clown, going all over the place and lighting up a grey culture.

The chapter in question covers many a good aspect of the Moorcock epic. I also note that Moorcock has some traits in common with Philip K. Dick (1928-1982), uncrowned master of sf. They both wrote short novels, brimming with energy. Then I make this list of what they more have in common:

. Being Men of the Left but not letting this influence dominate their fiction as a whole, making their respective fiction into a tapestry of Life, the Universe and Everything.

. As writers sometimes said to suffer from the hectic pattern of ”having to write another paperback in an instant” but as a mere result the novels seldom came out bad.

. The novels having a slightly repetitive pattern, a kaleidoscope slightly turned around for each new opus, seemingly new and perfectly recognizable at the same time.

. Their novels tend to focus on one hero, venturing out by way of Fire and Movement, the sky’s the limit.

There you have it. Moorcock and Science Fiction Seen from the Right are worth checking up. Apart from Moorcock the book covers fantasy authors like Tolkien, Dunsany, C. S. Lewis, Lovecraft and Robert Holdstock. And in the realm of science fiction proper it looks at Heinlein, Dick, Herbert, Pournelle, Niven, von Harbou, Huxley Boye, Bradbury and Borges. All this, and H. R. Giger, are waiting for you in Science Fiction Seen from the Right.

Related

Info About the Book on My Blog

Manticore’s Presentation of the Book

Buy the Book on Amazon

 

Posted on

Review: Heathen Call Calling

heathen call

Heathen Call Calling

Review: Juleigh Howard-Hobson

Coming in at fifty pages, Heathen Call #9 is more of a journal than the zine it bills itself as. An imprint of The Heathen Circle, it has grown from a photocopied venue to a professional saddle stitched heavy paper publication. Recent issues have included the poetry of Robert N Taylor (whose retrospective poetry collection Remnants of a Season has just come out), articles such as “Kupała (Summer Ritual practices in Poland)” by Ziemisław Grzegorzewic and interviews with heathen musicians from Norway’s Eliwagar to the legendary neo-folk band Changes.

This particular issue is a turning point for Heathen Call, not only does it feature a glossy cover, it includes four previously unpublished poems from Sweden’s preeminent traditionalist philosopher Lennart Svennson. Many readers will know him from his book Borderline: A Traditional Outlook for Modern Man published by Numen Books last year. His poetry will not disappoint those who find his philosophic musings intelligent and insightful.

“The Glory of Hyboria” is a paean to the mythology of Scandinavia:

 

Hyboria is gone, Middle Earth is no more

crumbling in the upheavals of Ragnarok-

gone with its rivers, land and circumpolar abyss.

 

A paean that ends on a lamenting hopeful note:

 

Hyboria is gone but Arya lives on.

The poem “Vittra” is a nod to the numinous, opening with:

My grandmother told me about vittra,

shiny, silvery people roaming the Norrland woods.

They were not men. They were superhuman, they

were of elven kin, demigods ruling the land

along with the devas of vegetation.

I will not ruin the beauty of reading Svennson’s poems by yourself, in their complete forms, by quoting any more from them. I will merely say that all four are as mystical and as well wrought as the small glimpses I revealed of two of them. I find it hard to believe that English is not Svensson’s native language, his words fit so precisely and his poetic ear is impeccable.

Svensson is not the only treasure to be found in Issue 9—there is an article on Slavic Rodnovery: “Perun and Weles, the Divine Duel” by  Ziemisław Grzegorzewic “Emulation & Ritual” by Derrek Burton and two interviews. One with Erntegang (aptly billed as “20+ pages of Philosophy & Heathenry from the voice of a German Neo-Folk musician”) and one with Urfyr (Germanic Neo-Classical / Neo-Tribal music)—both interviews are much more detailed and personal than the typical online or music-zine interviews tend to be.

Pan-European pagan faiths are not relegated to specific safe sacred spaces and certain sacred ways—Europa’s heathen poetry, art, music, philosophy and daily life itself all hold sacred acknowledgement of the divine. Heathen Call’s editor B. Z. Mayoka does a splendid job of showcasing this in a contemporary and glorious manner.

 

(NOTE: While I have a poem and an article in this issue, there’s no need for me to review them – but I will say that I am honored to have work included, and doubly so to share literary space with Numen Books’ author Lennart Svensson.)

Borderline: A Traditionalist Outlook for Modern Man


List Price: $19.95 USD
New From: $18.88 USD In Stock
Posted on

SF Novels: Three Good Reads

In Science Fiction Seen from the Right I speak about the science fiction genre as I know it. And since I’m a conservative it’s done from a conservative point of view. The book gives you an opinionated overview, presenting 20th century sf literature, film and comics from the angle of eternal values. I’ve mentioned this before on the blog, when presenting the book by looking at Robert A. Heinlein.

Heinlein is a portal figure of the study. And I liked re-reading some Heinlein books before writing it. Now, as for other books I enjoyed checking up I’d mention these three, viable conservative sf classics that have some pizazz, energy and allure to them, in this or the other respect. They convey timeless wisdom and they are good reads.

First, I’d mention Dorsai! (1960) by Gordon R. Dickson. In the book’s chapter 32 I summed it up thus:

With its brainy reflections, its elaborations in a tight but eminently readable framework, Dorsai! is an alltime lodestar, not just of military SF. It’s the novel to read for the executive, responsible mind. Also, Dorsai! portrays a human interstellar culture (= no aliens), thus forming a conceptual chessboard of grand-scale politics, strategy and technology. — Dorsai! burns with a quiet fire, a Dune before Dune, an Asimov with a sense of urgency.

Another sf classic of the conservative kind is L. Ron Hubbard’s Return to Tomorrow (1954). It might not be overly original as such, this story of a young man becoming a spaceman and learning to assume responsibility. However, compared to Robert Heinlein (God bless him) and his similar space stories Hubbard’s had more allure, more basic artistry. In chapter 28 of my study I for instance say this about the book:

This is also a novel about taking responsibility, praising the traditional values of the service life: duty, courage, self-restraint and self-determination. Memorable is a scene at the end where Alan has become the captain himself. A navigator comes onto the bridge and sits down by the plotting table, putting a whisky bottle on it. He’s an alcoholic and the former captain tolerated this drinking while on duty. But now Alan grabs the bottle and throws it into the wall, shattering it. There’s a new regime on deck – Alan’s regime. That’s a symbolic scene of resonsibility and leadership, credible as such, mirroring the life at sea that Hubbard knew as a naval officer. Smashing the bottle (…) brought the message home, that of the Responsible Man taking charge.

Finally, as for discreet sf classics of the conservative kind I’d pick That Hideous Strength by C. S. Lewis. This is part three of his “space trilogy” — and if part one and two were entertaining reads with a traditional slant then it was all taken to an even higher level in part three, being both an impressive stance against negative nihilism and a good read. In chapter three of my study I say this of the book:

That Hideous Strength (1947) stands in line with Nineteen Eighty-Four, Anthem and Brave New World as a critic of our times, a warning against the forces of nihilism and leveling and an apology for spiritual values and humanity, all the more efficient by being set in contemporary England but still having fantastic elements. And by stressing the need for the spiritual dimension, for individuals to acknowledge the Inner Light, the spark of the Divine Light, the soul-light that essentially makes us human.

There you have it. As intimated all the quotes are from Science Fiction Seen from the Right, published by Manticore Books in 2016, possibly the only modern study conceptualizing the sf genre from a traditional point of view. I mean, virtually all the others are cosmopolitan and left-leaning (q.v. Aldiss, Disch, Lundwall…).

Related

Buy the Book on Amazon

Hommage à Heinlein

Publisher’s Presentation of the Book

Posted on

“Borderline: A Traditional Outlook for Modern Man” by Lennart Svensson — Heathen Harvest

“To exist is nothing insignificant.” —Frithjof Schuon Borderline, by the Swedish writer Lennart Svensson, is not a book to read in a sudden burst, but rather, it is a book to take up chapter by chapter, to be read carefully, and to be pondered, which is how it should be. All philosophical books ought to […]

via “Borderline: A Traditional Outlook for Modern Man” by Lennart Svensson — Heathen Harvest

Posted on

New Book: Richard Wagner – A Portrait

richard wagner, lennart svensson

richard wagner, lennart svenssonFollowing his English language literary debut Ernst Jünger – A Portrait, author Lennart Svensson concentrates his focus on another controversial character, Richard Wagner.

In Richard Wagner – A Portrait Svensson offers a well-rounded biography of Richard Wagner’s life and work. As a long-term admirer of Wagner’s music, Svensson is also unafraid to look at the controversial aspects of the composer’s life – including his relations with Friedrich Nietzsche and the influence his music would come to have in German Nationalist circles and in the work of the Italian poet d’Annunzio.

In addition to relating the personal history of Wagner in the biography, Svensson also examines the compositions themselves, such as The Fairies, Rienzi, The Flying Dutchman, Tannhäuser, Lohengrin, Wieland the Smith, Tristan and Isolde, The Master-Singers of Nuremberg, The Ring of the Nibelung and Parsifal.

Svensson’s new biography also provides an in-depth analysis of the themes that Wagner chose to work with in his compositions, such as forbidden love, Teutonic mythology, the Grail saga, and tragedy.

Lennart Svensson holds a BA in Indology and his previous works include Antropolis and Camouflage. Ernst Jünger – A Portrait was his debut in English.

Posted on

Jünger the Pious – Svensson

Lennart Svensson, Ernst Junger: A Portrait

“Throughout his life Ernst Jünger (1895-1998) was inspired by religion. He was a pious esotericist in his own right, a stout free-thinker and at the same time drawn to the power of organized religion. Maybe the motto extra ecclesiam nulla salus – “without the church no salvation” – affected him. However, with or without organized religion, Jünger above all warned against atheism. And in this he was rather unique as a 20th century author.”

Posted on

New Title Coming Soon: Ernst Jünger – A Portrait

Ernst Junger, Lennart SvenssonErnst Jünger – A Portrait by Lennart Svensson is a book about Ernst Jünger (1895-1998), Germany’s greatest author since Goethe. This is a popular Jünger biography for the English speaking world, a personal portrait painted by an avid Jünger reader. The book starts out with a thorough biography of Jünger’s life. Then there’s a look at the controversial sides of the man, plus a discussion of Jünger’s role as an outsider, mentioning something about the reception of his works today.

More details here: http://manticorebooks.net/ernst-junger-a-portrait/