torsdag 29 november 2018

Commanders: presentation på svenska


A text in Swedish, presenting this book. -- Min senaste bok heter Commanders -- American Generals from Lee to Schwarzkopf. Du kan köpa den på Adlibris. Eller på Bokus.




Amerika. USA. Detaljer åsido, ett land med en historia där det hänt en del.

Men man måste vara skeptisk...! Som jag till exempel. Som jag säger i förordet till Commanders -- American Generals from Lee to Schwarzkopf, så tvivlar jag på den officiella versionen av Gulfkriget. Och AVK.

Men med det sagt så innebar ju dessa och tidigare, amerikanska krig också en del intressanta episoder. Och personer. Och dem berättar jag om. I Commanders -- American Generals from Lee to Schwarzkopf.

I Commanders får ni läsa om amerikanska generaler från Robert E. Lee till H. Norman Schwarzkopf. Ni får läsa om inbördeskriget, FVK, AVK, Koreakriget, Vietnamkriget och Gulfkriget. Och stilen är obeskrivligt min: en mix av anekdoter, taktik, vapenkalibrar och kulturhistoria.

En läsbar bok, förhoppningsvis. Det är iaf ingen akademisk avhandling. Det är populärhistoria för den bildade mannen på gatan.

- - -

De generaler som porträtteras är till exempel Lee, "Stonewall" Jackson, Grant, Custer, Pershing, Patton, MacArthur, Eisenhower, Yeager och Claire Lee Chennault. Den sistnämnde var chefen för Flygande tigrarna i Kina.

Lägg till detta kapitel om Korea- och Vietnamkrigen. Samt en titt på amerikanska krig i film och litteratur. Och du har ett fynd på 177 sidor.

En del kapitel har tidigare publicerats på bloggen, på svenska. På vägen till bokmanus har texterna reviderats en del. Och översatts; boken är som sagt på engelska, glöm ej det...!

Iaf, dessa är de figurer i boken som tidigare porträtterats här på bloggen:

U. S. Grant

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Charles "Chuck" Yeager

Det om detta. Boken påbörjades i mitten av 90-talet. Jag råkade då läsa en rad amerikanska generalsbografier. Och sedan kom tanken att göra en bok av det hela. Genom åren har texten slipats till, kortats ner och nu nått kommersiell nivå. Döm själv. Enligt dessa röster torde jag ha mitt värde som författare på engelska:
“A biography of the very highest caliber.” (Living Traditions Magazine om Ernst Jünger – A Portrait, 2014). -- “With a title like Science Fiction from the Right, one can consider this an automatic purchase for anyone on the Alt Right.” (Counter-Currents om Science Fiction Seen from the Right, 2016). -- “A wonderful read! It opens many doors.” (Amazon kundrecension av Actionism – How to Become a Responsible Man, 2017).

Köp boken på Adlibris.

Köp boken på Bokus.




Relaterat
Trotylstorm i öster
U. S. Grant
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Charles "Chuck" Yeager

torsdag 22 november 2018

Elvaårsjubileum


In Swedish. -- Denna blogg startades för elva år sedan. Den 22/11 2007 postades bloggens första inlägg.




Jag har drivit denna blogg i elva år nu. Genom högt och lågt, genom halva Sverige, genom eld och vatten.

Jag fick helt enkelt en dag infallet att börja blogga. Och sedan har det rullat på.

- - -

Här tänkte jag länka till olika inlägg som kanske än idag är intressanta.

Vi börjar med två inlägg om modernt och framtida krig.

. Hollywoods kurs i att skriva krigsberättelser: alltså hur man inte ska göra...
. Det moderna slagfältet: om "high-tech" krig

- - -

Härmed två musikinlägg, om grupperna Judas Priest samt Blue Öyster Cult.

. Judas Priest.
. Blue Öyster Cult.

- - -

Här har vi en följetong i 17 delar... Jag förväntar mig inte att folk läser den rakt av. Nätläsning ska ju vara korta texter. Men dock. Denna följetong har blivit läst. Den handlar om Melina Starr, en svensk Modesty Blaise. Engagerad i detta lands befrielse från imperialismen.

- - -

Vill man ha en lista med inlägg kan man gå hit. För detta är bloggens innehållsförteckning. Först listas engelskspråkiga inlägg, sedan svenska. Listan är selektiv men representativ.

- - -

Härmed en serie artiklar i tidsföljd. Det hela ger, kan man säga, ett tvärsnitt av bloggen.
. 2008: en samling stories om typer i vårt land.
. 2009: en hyllning till bilföretaget Koenigsegg.
. 2010: en reflektion över att hantverk inte ska bedrivas för perfekt, perfektionismen får inte härska oinskränkt.
. 2012: ett bildreportage från Mannaminne i Nordingrå.
. 2013: ett inlägg om kreativitet, med citat av vad storheter som Baudelaire har att säga i ämnet.
. 2014: det år då engelskspråkiga inlägg hade något av en högkonjunktur på bloggen: några rader om Clark Ashton Smith.
. 2015: mer på engelska, en "konsumentkortis" om Julius Evolas måleri.
. 2016: en handfull dikter på engelska, som den asbra "Flower in the Desert".
. 2017: ett inlägg där jag drar mig till minnes min tid som sf-fan.

- - -

Det om detta. Jag kunde länka till fler inlägg. Men detta får räcka.

Välkomna att fortsätta följa Galaxen.




Relaterat
Ett rike utan like
Redeeming Lucifer
Målning: Robert Svensson

fredag 16 november 2018

Good Reads, November 2018


Hallelujah. Hereby some good reads lately.




Heinrich von Kleist, Penthesilea (1808): a curious mixture between bronze-age rigorism and rococo silliness.

Diverse poems by Stefan George (1868-1933). He was a traditionalist. And, details aside, he was great. For instance, like T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound he demonstrated that you could write poetry with a traditional feel, and render it in free verse. The style of George is grave, elevated. Every word counts. And he speaks up, doesn't murmur as Eliot often do. -- George is like "the Jünger-style, expressed in poetry". A search for spirituality in a time of materialism, a voice acknowledging German tradition. The poet as seer, as shaman. That's the grandeur of George. -- Btw. his name should be pronounced, not Anglic "Djodsch"; instead, in Teutonic fashion, "Ge-ORR-ge".

Montgomery of Alamein, A History of Warfare (1968). The best history of war from the beginning to our times. Very succinct. And not making any misleading, general history statements, such as J. F. C. Fuller does in his Decisive Battles of the Western World (1953). Monty focuses on war and warfare. "Cobbler, stick to your last!"

Gregory Kern, Monster of Metelaze (1973). Damn good space opera. Very tight, 140 pages. Kern (aka. E. C. Tubb, 1919-2010) was a veteran of science fiction who knew how to spin a yarn. Memorable characters, vivid scenes. Even a chase scene in a subterranean sewage system is exciting. (I read the Swedish version called Monstret från Metelaze. More of the same by Kern and rather fine is Enemy Within the Skull -- Sw. Vansinnesdrogen.)

Poul Anderson, The Broken Sword (1954). A rather credible fantasy in the realm of heathendom, witch-craft, elves and changelings, having a kind of nihilist feel over it all. Doom and gloom, no salvation: there's a certain lack of spiritual elevation, as in all of Anderson's novels. However, the painterly prose of the first circa 30 pages is fine, Anderson credibly writing in an "olden-old" style. Many obsolete words, without it getting cringy. Eventually the plot and the fate of the main characters develop into nothingness. However, as a mere artistic creation this is a fantasy novel above the average.

Sir Thomas Mallory, Le Morte d'Arthur (1485). I have read the 1892-style edition with Aubrey Beardsley's (ugly) illustrations. Text unabridged, and with many medieval peculiarities of vocabulary and syntax retained. Thus, a little hard to read. A prosaic, sometimes dull style, but of course, having a lot of strange and fascinating events too (like the Lady of the Lake etc. etc.). (Parsifal by Eschenbach (in Penguin Classics, with original verse turned into prose) was a little more vivid. The Arthur saga is tragic, Parsifal is spiritual and uplifting, the hero of it being victorious in the end, becoming the new Grail king. Actionism in nuce.)

John Tolkien, Bilbo (1937). The underlying mythic pattern gives the book some strength. As does the realistic background of the calendar, like now and then during the story noting what date and month it is. The book plays during a full year = the unity of time. The mimesis of landscapes and scenes is also great, more detailed than in C. S. Lewis's Narnia. However, the children's book style of Tolkien's narration destroys the illusion at times. And the Bilbo character is essentially anti-heroic, betraying the dwarf master he serves. -- For his part, the dwarf king Torin Oakenshield is a returning king, like Aragorn in Lord of the Rings: echoes of Richard Lionheart, and even more so of Parsifal. "I am the king and I have returned..." there is some strength in such as story, be it medieval legend, be it fantasy novel from the 20th century. -- Tolkien could paint with words, he had some talent for creating vivid scenes. Especially when we get to the wilderness of Smaug the story becomes rather fine. However, I wasn't so carried away by the book now as when I read it thirty years ago. Good to have in the shelf though.




Related
Good Reads, September 2018
Ballard: War Fever (1990)
"Burning Magnesium" (2018)
Bibliography of Svensson
Ernst Jünger -- A Portrait (2014)
Science Fiction Seen from the Right (2016)
Actionism (2017)
My grandfather's '55 Chevrolet.

söndag 11 november 2018

Fantasy Art by Robert Svensson (1963-2016)


Above we see "Leopard and Waterfall" by Robert Svensson. Robert was my brother and he was an artist. Obituary in this post. -- In this post today I will show some fantasy art by the man. -- [Dödsruna på svenska över Robert här.]




A dream...

I am visiting my brother Robert in Uppsala. It’s a kind of dorm house, many people sharing it. They point down a meadow or lawn, go there they say, the door over there goes to Rob’s room. So I go down this slope, greensward in the sun and a door ahead, nice to meet your brother etc.

The next scene I’m in the room and there’s a complete change of atmosphere. The room is empty, it isn’t even a room, just an empty space of scaffolding. Dark skies all around. It all says “empty, nobody home” like nothing on earth. Bringing this message home: “Your brother is dead, you can’t visit him anymore, now you can’t go to Uppsala and see him.”

- - -

Empty room, empty scaffolding... It’s over. He’s gone. And then the cataclysm and then the ice age.

OK. I don’t believe in either ice age or whatever major menace ahead. But sometimes you have to acknowledge a somber mood visiting you. “Don’t say it’s rosy when it isn’t.”

“The sun goes down”... this is a moody piece by Phil Lynott. The last Thin Lizzy single. And I always come to think of Robert now when hearing it.

Rob was an artist and he left a lot of paintings behind. So, in a way, he’s still with us. He died relatively young, at 52.

- - -

He left paintings behind and now I will show some. The theme is "fantasy art". All of them are oil paintings; some are on canvas, some on masonite. Some rather big, some smaller. First some works with discernible motives, then some abstract ones. Finally, some photos of the man himself.

(Click on the pictures to enlarge them.)




Future City.




Detail of 'Future City'.




Detail of 'Future City'.




Spaceship. [We see a winged vessel about to land.]




Ship in Colorful Space.




Head Planet. [We see a planet in the shape of a head.]




Detail of 'Head Planet,' used on the blog to illustrate this story.




Aqueduct.




Tower on Aqueduct.

Dream Cats.




Primordial Planet.




Venturing Out. [In Swedish, "Utfärd".]




Centrifugal Motion.




Shapes of Things to Come.




Explosion in Color Factory.




Sentimental Sun.




Detail of 'Sentimental Sun'.




Detail of 'Sentimental Sun'.




Time Tunnel.




Shape and Color.




Detail of 'Shape and Color'.




Detail of 'Shape and Color'.




Detail of 'Shape and Color'.




Rob (left) and me LS, Venice 1976.




Rob in his studio, 1996.




Rob sketching, somewhere in central Scandinavia in the 00s.




Related
Obituary in English
Dödsruna på svenska över Robert
Retrospektiven i Sundsvall 2017

måndag 5 november 2018

Book News: Commanders -- American Generals from Lee to Schwarzkopf (Svensson 2018)

My new book is out now. It's called Commanders -- American Generals from Lee to Schwarzkopf. Buy it on Amazon. -- Swedes can buy it on Bokus.com. And even on Adlibris.



The first draft of this book was written in the spring of 2000. On a manual typewriter, in Swedish. And, now, at long last, I've completed it in this form, in English, as befits a subject like this: American war history.

I take a look at American Wars from the Civil War through the Gulf War by way of the generals fighting them. I focus on personalities and anecdotes, on everything that might interest me: culture, tactics, weapons, everything beside politics per se. For, I well know that "American Wars" and why they were fought is a controversial subject. In the introduction I intimate that I doubt the official narrative of the Gulf War, and even WWII.

However, I don't go into politics in this particular study. But you still get a lot in Commanders. On the Amazon page we read of the book:
Commanders is a collection of biographies about American generals. (...) Written as popular history, each general is individually described. Author Lennart Svensson does everything from telling anecdotes, reflecting on culture, war and history, to musing over operational details, meticulously narrating each general’s story. Commanders provides “good stories, well told” in the genre of the historical essay. At the end of the book there is also a chapter examining topics such as the mirroring of American wars in literature and film.

As Svensson says in the introduction: “these are war stories, told by the fireside with a glass of whisky in the hand”.
The study includes the following generals:

Robert E. Lee
George G. Meade
U. S. Grant
Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson
George B. McClellan
George A. Custer
John J. Pershing
George C. Marshall
Douglas MacArthur
George S. Patton
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Omar N. Bradley
Claire Lee Chennault
James H. Doolittle
Leslie R. Groves
Charles E. Yeager
H. Norman Schwarzkopf


A sample chapter of the book is this one, about Charles Yeager (1923-).

Buy the book on Amazon.

If you are a Swede, you can buy the book on Bokus.com

Buy the book on Adlibris.




Related
Sample Chapter: Charles Yeager
Burning Magnesium
Biography of Svensson