fredag 17 maj 2019

Good Reads, May 2019


Some good reads lately. Mostly way-out stuff. -- A similar post to this one can be found here.




Frank Herbert: Dune (1965). -- A reread. Damn good. "Every word a preachment, every paragraph a sermon, every chapter an epic"... Along with the Heinlein opus 1939-1959, C. S. Lewis's Narnia and space novels, and Tolkien, this is the core conservative fantastika. As I've said in this book. -- Herbert's novel (part 1 of the saga; even part 3 and 4 are kinda remarkable) astounds you every time, there's wisdom all over it (and drama, psychology, echology...). The style is a bit pedantic but everyone writes like this now, psychological introspection is the mainstay of almost every novel. Herbert does it within an enjoyable framework: a traditional, conservative framework, all with a futuristic twist. More about Herbert's Dune saga in this book.

Emerald Tablets of Thoth (1930 translation). -- Strong and shiny. And not so hard to understand if you've read The Ancient Secret of the Flower of Life by Drunvalo Melchizedek (2000) first. -- Follow Thoth as he grows up on Atlantis and becomes a master of wisdom. Eventually he is taken to the mysterious, interdimensional Halls of Amenti where he meets the Lords of Creation. He even meets Death and after that becomes immortal. Then Atlantis goes under -- but Thoth and friends escape in a vessel and go east to found the Egyptian culture. He builds the sphinx, he builds the pyramids... This and more in an immortal perennial classic. Online version here.

Arthur C. Clarke: A Rendez-Vous with Rama (1973). -- This one came after 2001. And it turned out that Clarke couldn't write another 2001. Of course he couldn't. That one was "one in a lifetime;" in Rama he settled for less. And Rama isn't essential reading. However, it does have its allure... An alien object soars into the solar system and a mission is sent to investigate it, basically, this empty can of enormous proportions. 50 km long. The inside is explored. There's a city in it. Empty. And so the story ends without any special denouement. Disappointing. Yet, in the dry descriptions, and between the lines, there are some hints of alien presence, cosmic eternity and all that. More about Clarke in this book. And in this post, a review in Swedish of the Rama novel.

Ray Bradbury: The Fire-Balloons (1950). -- One of the stories in The Martian Chronicles. This one is about religion. Some narrow-minded Christians go to Mars to preach and missionize. However, in the wilds they encounter aliens in the form of fire balloons. Because these balloon fellows are advanced this is close to a cliché story (man to be lectured by aliens on his bad ways) but Bradbury almost steers clear of the pitfalls. I remember it as a warm story of belief, of faith. More about Bradbury in this book.




Related
Good Reads, March 2019
Science Fiction Seen from the Right
In Swedish: Möte med Rama
Illustration: Robert Svensson

söndag 28 april 2019

Autointervju, april 2019


In Swedish, an interview with yours truly. An online audio variety is this one. -- Härmed en intervju med mig. Gjord av mig. En tidigare variant på temat är denna. "F" betyder fråga, "S" betyder svar.




F: Du har på senare tid publicerat en del inlägg om rymdens erövring. På denna blogg, på engelska. Som denna. Kan du här, på svenska, förklara vad detta handlar om?

S: Så gärna. Rymdens erövring har jag propagerat för länge och väl, sedan jag 1983 publicerade en fanzineartikel i ämnet ("Ut i rymden människa", augusti 1983). Rymdkolonisering är vägen: att människan ger sig ut i rymden, främst till Mars, och etablerar sig där permanent. Vad det än leder till (terraforming av sagda värld mm.) så är det en typ av STRÄVAN som den faustiska människan måste ha för att inte stagnera. Vi västerlänningar ska ta ledningen i äventyret kosmos: som rymdfarare, erövrare och kolonisatörer.

F: Satsa på rymdraketer alltså, rymdkadetter i det blå? Borde man inte satsa resurserna här på jorden istället?

S: Rymden är målet, jorden är medlet. Vi ska fostra en sund ungdom som tar ansvar och strävar mot högre mål. Vi kan inte ha det som idag med negativism, defaitism och stagnation.

I: Vad har du för bakgrund, Svensson? Du gör påståenden om ditt och datt men kan du "walk the talk"? Har du levt som du lär, med viljestyrka-och-vision?

S: Jag har försvarat detta land med vapen i hand. Se här. Militärlivet är en bra skola i viljestyrka. Vidare så har jag skolat mig till skribent, först i fanzineform, sedan som professionell skribent. Jag hade visionen att bli skribent, och jag satsade allt på att bli det -- och så blev jag det. Vidare så har jag skaffat mig kunskap om tillvaron genom liv och blod, inte bara genom att läsa om den. Jag har till exempel jobbat på krog 1986-1989 och utbildat mig till kock.

F: Du nämnde nyss "detta land", vilket är det?

S: Sverige. Ett land med ett strävsamt folk, de etniska svenskarna. Ett folk som historiskt med hårt arbete, vilja och vision gjort ett kargt land vid polcirkeln till en förebild av tro och tradition i samverkan. Historiskt alltså, fram till cirka 1950. Sedan bar det utför pga. elitens sinnesförvirring mm. Mer i denna bok.

I: Du är som sagt en rymdguru. En förespråkare för rymdkolonisering. Men du är även lagd åt spekulationer om detta, om rymd och framtid och okända världar.

S: Vad tänker du på nu...?

F: Jag tänker på detta: att du har gett ut en bok om science fiction. Och du skriver själv romaner, inom t.ex fantasygenren. Vad är meningen med denna del av din verksamhet? Är det fria fantasier?

S: Fantasier, ja, men inte fria fantasier. Man måste ha ett mönster, ett koncept. Och det har jag. Allt jag skriver är på sätt och vis exempel på Actionism. Jag har ett systematiskt credo inom moral och etik, baserat på en modell för verkligheten.

F: Jaha. Så du är även en moralguru?

S: Ja. Med boken Actionism.

F: Vad är kärnan i Actionism då?

S: "Projicera din vilja på skeendet", kan man säga. Ty vilja måste man ha. Detta är så elementärt. Men många idag har glömt det. De ifrågasätter över huvud taget viljans existens. De reducerar allt till begär. Det är en inskränkt metod. Vilja existerar och har gjort det sedan tidernas begynnelse, sedan före till och med Gud. I begynnelsen förenades Urviljan och Urtanken med Ljuset, och därvid uppstod Gud. Gör du detsamma, förena till vilja med din tanke och Ljuset ska skina i ditt väsen.

F: OK. Är det så enkelt?

S: Ja. En Actionist gestaltar sitt liv positivt på metafysiska grunder. Vilja och vision styr honom. Och vilja och vision är något elementärt, en fundamental kraft i universum – något grundläggande för verklighetens natur, för varandet – för den metafysiska basen. -- För, som jag just sa: i begynnelsen var viljan och tanken, ljuset och mörkret. Viljan förenade sig med tanken och valde sedan att gå till ljuset. Så uppstod Gud, sägande ”Jag Är” som bekräftan på denna union.

F: Minsann.

S: Ja. Och en Actionist, görande samma process (vilja förenas med tanke; man väljer sedan ljus istället för mörker) blir en gud i smått, en gud i vardande. Han gestaltar sitt liv positivt enligt fundamentala, ontologiska lagar.

F: Tack för denna utläggning. Nu vet vi lite mer om ditt credo.

S: Väl bekomme.




Relaterat
Actionism -- presentation på svenska
Ett rike utan like
Jag och sf-fandom
Target: Mars
Red Ice: Science Fiction From the Right
Bild: jag på Robert Svensson-retrospektiven i Sundsvall, april 2017.

onsdag 3 april 2019

World History -- A Short Summary


Hereby an outline of history, based on the thought of Rudolf Steiner.





This post takes a look at world history. It portrays the major events of the world from the beginning of recorded history to our times.

My main pattern is borrowed from Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925). I say “main pattern” and by this I mean a specific timeline that he used when discussing the development of man. And in this, it has to be noted that Steiner also had a somewhat peculiar terminology regarding this – regarding man’s inner faculties and its evolvement. Astral body, sentient soul etc. etc.

I don’t use that terminology in this post. However, like Steiner I do acknowledge that man is a spiritual being and that his “inner mind” – soul, spirit – is what defines him. He’s not just a walking, talking heap of meat.

However, this isn’t mainly a spiritual outing. The purpose of the post is to sketch a framework for tangible developments in political history, as well as for the history of religion, art and technology.

- - -

So, for starters we will need a look at the Stienerian pattern. I mainly use it because it gives us some fresh angles, like letting our era (the Faustian) begin in 1413 – and, in sync with that, having the previous era, the Graeco-Roman, begin in 747 BC and end in 1413. For instance, this does away with “medieval times” as a focus; in the Steiner pattern the medieval era mainy becomes the afterglow of the Antique.

I base my pattern on Steiner. And he, what did he base it on? Where did he get this strict, succession of 2,160-year eras from? – He got it from “the Akasha Chronicles” (Steiner’s thought in this chapter after Shepherd, see literature list below). This was the collective conscious of man and gods and he could read in it, Steiner said; he could access this spiritual archive of everything that had happened, an immaterial bank of wisdom, stories and images.

To the critical reader this reference might sound like, “I found it in Shang-ri-la”... However, in some details Steiner could motivate his chronological lay-up with tangible facts, like having the appearance of Jeanne d’Arc as the portal event of the current, Faustian era.

- - -

Steiner has depicted the development of man not only on Earth but in the solar system too. I will skip that in this context, concerned as I am with Earth history only. Also, Steiner sketched the development on mythical continents like Hyperborea, Lemuria and Atlantis, and he spoke about the eras of “Ancient Persian” and “Ancient Indian” (which in common terms were rather “pre-historic”). I will skip those eras too (although I personally, as an esotericist, hold these eras and their meaning as rather valid).

Instead, I will start the overview of the eras employed in this book with “the third Post-Atlantic era,” namely the Egypto-Chaldean, lasting (like the other eras) an astrological age, 2,160 years – specifically, from 2907 through 747 BC. The heartland of it was Egypt and Mesopotamia = the Middle East. That is, this was the era of dynastic Egypt and Sumeria, Babylonia and Assyria. Man now left the spiritual dreaming of the previous age and started to interest himself in his material surroundings. However, there were still some remains of mystery cults, originating on Atlantis, whose teaching gave man a sense of “Paradise Lost”. In the end, after many centuries, man would integrate that “Atlantean,” intuitive, spiritual state with the rational, sober attitude gained in later eras. Such a union is the goal of our current era: the merging of Atlantean clairvoyance with Faustian sobriety. In other words, it’s about the merging of holistic intuition with a rationalistic command of the material world.

- - -

The Egypto-Chaldean era was followed by the Greco-Roman, beginning in 747 BC and ending 1413 CE. The carriers of this culture, Greeks and Romans, hadn’t been part of the civilizations of the previous era; they were strong and talented regarding material culture but somewhat lacking in spiritual talent. However, they too had mysteries and secret masters guiding them, like Hermes instructing Pythagoras and thus starting the whole era.

The Greco-Roman era was one of emerging rationalism and sobriety, giving their image of the divine a highly tangible, and rather beautiful form (q.v. Greek marble statues). However, for the common man this era soon developed into spiritual poverty and materialism, giving rise to a longing for a spiritual resurgence. This even arrived in the form of Jesus Christ, creating a new deal in man’s spiritual development. Spiritual secrets previously kept secret in hermetic societies now became attainable for the man in the street. Ideas of the immortality of the soul and even reincarnation (although the latter soon became suppressed in the West) were shaping the new zeitgeist.

Finally we have our era, the fifth post-Atlantic era, the Faustian, in the pattern used lasting 1413-3573. As intimated this era will be about fusing the intuitive wisdom of old, Atlantic times with the rational, practical, globe-encompassing material culture we call “Western”. Historically Steiner sees the pattern of this conflict, “man vs. nature,” as the main theme of the Western history – that is, as a conflict between the traditional, man-centered wisdom as maintained by the church – while the nature-oriented (and subsequent “materialist”) wisdom is the anti-clerical, “heretical” strain of “Western science”. This, he means, was even the drive between the conflict between Pope and Emperor in medieval times.

Be that as it may. I again stress that the meaning of the current era is this: to fuse Atlantic, ancient, intuitive thinking with the rational, sober thinking of Faustian man. To acknowledge man’s inner (his soul, his spirit) while at the same time being a critical scientist, observing and dominating the outer world. This can be seen as the Steinerian legacy and I, in this post and elsewhere, acknowledge it.

- - -

Some spiritual outlook is needed, even in a world history. The current state of the West, with its official wisdom seeing only “the death of the body and the decay of matter,” can’t go on. A spiritual resurgence is needed. I won’t say more about it now, I have already talked about it in Borderline (2015), but I must for the record state that some spiritual, esoteric approaches is needed when making an outline of world history.

Also, it can be said, that Steiner (whose basic pattern I employ) had a kind of positive outlook on the development of man. Conversely, he wasn’t a pessimist. In a very general sense I of course agree with this. Now, another German who summarized history in sweeping gestures was Oswald Spengler and he was more of a pessimist. So, while not subscribing to his “smoking ruins, the West is doomed”-scenario I nonetheless state that some of his outlook is needed. Like, today, no historian talks of “decline”. Spengler, while maybe overindulging in it, nevertheless can be of some intellectual use when giving “decline” conceptual room.

Further, without going into deeper into the ontology of history, I see Marxist-materialist historians merely speaking of “transition” etc. from this mode of production to that (q.v. for instance Perry Anderson, Passages from Antiquity to Feudalism) as insufficient. How flat and insipid, how overly technical. As a mere counter-image to this I prefer the general Spengler attitude of “form, theme, life, gestalt, inner necessity,” of history and its forms as organisms and not just mechanisms.

Spengler, and Steiner, had feeling in their historical approaches and this is what I, too, hold as an undying ideal when looking at the development of man.




Outline of history
Egypto-Chaldean era: 2907 -- 747 BC
Greco-Roman era: 747 BC -- 1413 CE
Faustian era: 1413 -- 3573 CE




Literature
Shepherd, A. P. Rudolf Steiner och antroposofin (orig. A Scientist of the Invisible, 1957). Stockholm: Natur & Kultur, 1974
Stiener, Rudolf. Grunddragen av vetenskapen om det fördolda (orig. Die Geheimwissenschaft im Umriss, 1910). Stockholm: Antroposofiska bokförlaget, 1979




Related
Borderline -- A Traditionalist Outlook for Modern Man
Some Notes on Spengler
The Faustian culture, symbolized by the classical shapes of the Härnösand dome. Photo by LS

torsdag 28 mars 2019

Target: Mars


This an article about Mars, space exploration and striving.




This is written in 2019. Imagine that: 2019...

A mythical year.

For, in the movie Blade Runner from 1982, "2019" was the mythical future it played in.

However, today I see no replicants in need of withdrawal, no rain-soaked urban congestion in eternal night, no space colonies on Mars etc. I don't see anything of that around me today.

But we still have Mars.

We can still go there and shine.

But you say, Mars is only an arid, cold desert.

OK. That's what you're saying. Because you lack the willpower and drive to go there.

Because, conversely, to have it terraformed and colonized is The Next Big Thing. For Faustian man, Western man.

- - -

Mars beckons me and many others. "He awoke -- and he wanted Mars." (Philip K. Dick, We Can Remember It for You Wholesale, 1966).

In the literary sense, Dick envisoned Mars as a human colony, as a goal for human endeavour and striving. And so did other SF authors like Arthur C. Clarke, Robert A. Heinlein, Rex Gordon, Öyvind Myhre, Ray Bradbury, Jack Williamson etc. etc.

Even today Mars epics are written. Like Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy.

I go for Mars. I'm in for Mars. Conversely, I don't care so much about space stations, Lunar colonies, Lagrange colonies of the O'Neill kind.

Faustian man wants a free, unbounded space to live in. A horizon to strive for. He doesn't want to live in closed quarters with a limited supply of food and oxygen.

OK, true: the first time on a colonized Mars would have to be lived out in underground, pressurized habitats. Because the atmosphere of Mars is too thin to breathe. And there is no magnetic field shielding the planet from cosmic radiation.

But after some centuries (many centuries), after due terraforming and creation of a magnetic field, we could live on it. Live and breathe, grow crops, work in every aspect of the human endeavour. Create a new culture, a new frontier for man. Strive, shine, as Faustian man is wont to do.

- - -

Once man lived on Mars. 2 million years ago. Then he disappeared, leaving only the Cydonia sphinx and the nearby system of pyramids as evidence.

Now we're going back.

We can do it.

We must do it.

We will do it.




[Source for humans having lived on Mars: Drunvalo Melchizedek: The Ancient Secret of the Flower of Life, 2000]




Related
Johnnie Holt -- First on Mars
Science Fiction Seen from the Right
The Legacy of Space
Space Exploration
Robert Svensson: "Utfärd" (= "Venturing Out")

söndag 17 mars 2019

Actionism -- the Next Big Thing


My book Actionism is rather popular. All Amazon reviews give it 5/5.




On Amazon we read of Actionism: “A wonderful read! It opens many doors.”

Actionism is the probably only creed today advocating will. I say that will exists.

All others say that will is an illusion.

OK. If you say that, then don't read Actionism...!

Sum up your will, merge it with thought and you'll be going places. That's the gist of Actionism.

- - -

In acronym form, these are the The Ten Basic Tenets of Actionism:
(1) C3 – Calm, Cool and Collected
(2) WTPOY – Will To Power Over Yourself
(3) MMM – Memento Mori Mindset
(4) ARYM – Action Raising You Mentally
(5) MAASOM – Movement As A State Of Mind
(6) WAP – Winning As Propensity
(7) RIA – Rest In Action
(8) RIR – Rest In Rest
(9) TIOHAN – There Is Only Here And Now
(10) ESWY – Everything Starts With You
- - -

I am everywhere – and nowhere. I am everybody – and nobody. Call me – Actionist.

- - -

Actionism is about shaping up and becoming a Responsible Man.

- - -

Actionism is:
Winning as propensity –
action raising you mentally –
shaping existence positively –
in my willpower preachment monopoly.
- - -

“Actionism is about summoning your Will (...)”

Thus it reads at the beginning of Actionism – How to Become a Responsible Man.

I preach will, the importance of will. And I’m rather alone in this. No other contemporary writer stresses the elementary importance of will.

Thus, you have to read Actionism to learn the power of Will, Thought, the inner light and all that.

- - -

Read Actionism. And become a worshipper of Will.

- - -

“Mr. Svensson, may I ask what the formula is...?”

“The formula?”

“Summed up in one, short sentence, what is Actionism?”

“It’s this: ‘I Am’.”

- - -

The current state of the world is “a materialist hell”.

Actionism is come to save mankind from that hell.




Buy the book on Amazon.

Buy the book on Adlibris.




Related
Presentation of the Book on This Blog
Burning Magnesium

onsdag 13 mars 2019

"Ett rike utan like" recenserad i Nya Tider


In Swedish. -- Nu har min svenska historik recenserats i printmedia.




Flaggskeppet i Sverigevänlig press heter Nya Tider, en veckotidning som funnits sedan 2012. Och i nummer 9/2019 har man dragit åstad och granskat min bok Ett rike utan like (2017).

Recensenten Åke Blomdahl är positiv till boken. Bland annat uppskattar han hur jag lyfter fram Gustav Vasas insats. Han säkrade Sveriges existens som stat och gav därmed svenska folket en trygg ram att existera i. I Polen däremot gick utvecklingen "friare" till och därmed utplånades landet i slutet av 1700-talet.

Recensenten noterar även den svenska bondefriheten som är en grundbult i Sveriges historia. Odalbonden är en realitet från hedenhös till idag. "När svenska bönder stred för sina svenska kungar stred de faktiskt också för sin egen frihet", säger Blomdahl. Och det är en aspekt i synk med min egen skildring.


Blomdahl tecknar som antytt en positiv bild av boken. Med passager som ovanstående. Och genom att notera dess kulturella porträtt och bakgrunder. Att jag till exempel framhållit Otto Hesselbom med "Vårt land" (1895, se bild) uppskattades. Detta är symbolen för svensk konstnärlighet, för Sverige självt, för allt vi håller kärt som svenskar.

- - -

Ett belysande citat ur recensionen är detta. Det handlar om att tro på något. Och nationalism kan vara en sådan tro:
"Man måste ha ideal, man måste hylla transcendenta värden", säger Svensson, och försvarar en kristen hållning. Han är öppen för alternativa trosföreställningar, till exempel nyhedendom, men han tror att ateism och nihilism är både orsak och resultat av vår tids kulturupplösning. Det är en tanke som kan vara problematisk för oss som förlorat tron och blivit övertygade om det övernaturligas frånvaro av darwinism och annan naturvetenskap. Jag tror dock att just medvetenhet och uppskattning av våra historiska erfarenheter är just den bro mellan tradition och vetenskap som kan samla oss inför framtidens påfrestningar. Det gör Ett rike utan like till en viktig bok för oss alla.
- - -

Recensionen är på en helsida, boken görs rättvisa i den och det hela belyses med citat. Citat ur boken. Som dessa:
Detta är mitt folk, mitt land; detta är historien om det traditionella Sverige i en tid när varje aspekt av detta förnekas av Makterna. (...)

Traditionalism är inte lika med att buga för tronen, altaret och penningpungen. Det är att söka sin identitet och bli den man är genom att spegla sig i nationens förflutna. (...)

Arkeofuturismen tar med sig det bästa ur det förgångna när den fortsätter sin resa mot framtiden.




Köp boken på Logik förlags hemsida.

Köp boken på Amazon.co.uk.

Köp boken på Radio Svegot.




Relaterat
Online-version av recensionen
Recension i Radio Motgift
Recension i Nya Dagbladet
Försmak ur boken: Slaget vid Narva
Verner von Heidenstam -- ett liv
Ett rike utan like (2017)

tisdag 12 mars 2019

Space Exploration: Reach for Infinity


This is about space colonization. Mankind must go to space. And he will do it. Faustian man has always been striving for the infinite.




Space colonization: to travel out into space, the great Beyond, and settle on worlds like Mars.

This is a powerful vision.

And I’d say, there is a “religious, spiritual” side to it, like “going to space = going to heaven”. In the figurative sense.

OK. Not everything becomes well just because we take a spaceship and go to another heavenly body. The backlash of the Moon era showed us that.

But the spiritual aspect of space exploration is clearly there. “The promise of space” remains an inspiring vision for modern man.

Thus, this entry of space exploration and what it could mean for us. Specifically, Faustian man has been the driving force in astronomy and space exploration since antiquity. Space exploration as we know it has been a predominantly Western venture.

- - -

In my constant, ever-ongoing hobby of reading and re-reading books, a rewarding angle is to focus on certain authors. And lately, this has meant learning to appreciate Poul Anderson (1926-2001). Details aside, this “bard of science fiction” had artistic flair, as for instance seen in Time Patrolman, The Rebel Worlds and the short story Kyrie (and in his fantasy novel The Broken Sword). And in his non-fiction, he spoke of space exploration as a virtually spiritual goal – as in, stressing the essential, vital beyond-mere-practicality aspect of it. From Wikipedia’s Poul Anderson entry we have this: “Anderson firmly held that going into space was not an unnecessary luxury but an existential need, and that abandoning space would doom humanity to ‘a society of brigands ruling over peasants’.”

Anderson saw the space age come real. He and other men preached it, they virtually lived it. Men like E. E. Smith, John W. Campbell, Robert A. Heinlein, Gordon Dickson, Jerry Pournelle, Larry Niven... And even though space travel and tangible, human planetary exploration hasn’t come off the ground yet, it will. At the time of writing there is for instance the serious project of going to Mars by Elon Musk, a white man of South African origin.

Despite the backlash after Project Apollo (the Moon project in the 60s and 70s) and the Space Shuttle (near-earth orbit operations 1981-2011) space exploration is still alive. Satellites constantly fly overhead us, a space station is up and running since 1998, and probes go into the solar system and beyond.

As an Actionist I’m glad of that. We need that “high frontier” to beckon us. I even say: I, LS, as an Actionist, need that frontier to strive for – that striving for the infinite.

All told, space exploration is the leading myth of the future. Faustian man will conquer space. The history of astronomy, the rise of the Western world and the history of technological development, especially in the aerospace realm, indicates this.

- - -

Let's start in antiquity. Back then we had a poet dreaming of space. And poets and dreamers must make up the vanguard in any human endeavor.

The name of the first “space poet” was Lucian of Samosata. In A True Story he told of a journey beyond the Beyond, first, going by sea, then, with the ship in question being lifted into empty space by a hurricane, going to the Moon and experiencing diverse remarkable adventures.

A True Story was written in the second century AD. Even before that Greek scientists had observed the world around them and, for instance, like Erathosthenes, concluding that the Earth is a sphere. This was done by comparing the angle of the sun at noon between a space in northern and southern Egypt. Thus, he could estimate the circumference of the Earth, close enough to call it an exact scientific observation given the means.

Did any other contemporary culture establish such a truth by scientific observation?

Western man had begun to show his bent of striving for the infinite.

He knew that he was living on a sphere, not a flat disc.

This knowledge survived “the fall of the Roman empire”. The studied western man of the medieval era knew that Earth was round.

And Faustian man kept striving for the infinite, soon to be uttered in the light-imbued interior of gothic cathedrals, the monotonous song of Hildegard of Bingen, and the expeditions of Vikings and crusaders: to go beyond the Beyond, meet God in the enormous spaces.

- - -

I preach the striving of Faustian man. I can tell you of Petrarch, the Italian poet being the first to climb a mountain as a dedicated feat. This was in 1336. I can tell you of the hints of infinite space in Michelangelo’s Sistine chapel paintings. I can tell you of Leonardo giving the illusion of a distant horizon in the Mona Lisa background. And the selfsame Leonardo also made the designs of a flying machine – and of this, you can of course infer: if you have a flying machine then the first step to the spaceship is made.

The stage of development of the Western world we’ve arrived at, that of the post-medieval West, can be called “the Faustian culture”. The concept was coined by Oswald Spengler in his Decline of the West (two volumes, 1918-1922); he saw antiquity as separate from the medieval era. The symbol character of this emerging mentality was the Doctor Faust of Goethe’s play who wants to learn everything, experience everything, go beyond the Beyond as a true man of the West. And, the hero of this early 19th century play wasn’t the first of this kind. Not even the quattrocento characters of Leonardo and Michelangelo were pioneers in systematically striving for the infinite. No, this strain had been around since at least Lucian of the 2nd century.

Whenever it began, this is the Faustian culture: the West, the Occident, what has evolved into the current Western world. The culture that has come to dominate the world with its building style and other engineering infrastructure, its information technology, its economic and judiciary systems and of course its vessels conquering land, sea and the air. And space.

The East hasn’t conquered the world in the same way. The East is satisfied with seeking God here and now. Symbolically speaking, the East is a mandala, a circle; the West is a line striving for the horizon. The vanishing point...! Always active, always striving, with an Actionist Rest In Action -- RIA (q.v. Actionism) -- giving him a peculiar sense of rest while going to the ends of the Earth.

The West is the culture of central perspective and straight boulevards heading for infinity. Other cultures are satisfied with having cities as a grouping of neighborhoods.

- - -

The West is willpower and vision. The Way of the West is a willful striving for the infinite, which can be called “a spiritual will for power”.

This is the Faustian spirit. This is Actionism. Will to power, will for the infinite. Will to acknowledge the divine light within: I AM.

The culture of the West mirrors this striving, or it simply is this striving: the music of Bach, Beethoven and Wagner, the literary heroes of Odysseus, Faust and Parsifal, the spirit of statesmen like Rienzi, Charles XII, Napoleon. The strain of going beyond the Beyond, reaching for the infinite, reaching for the impossible freedom.

And this striving hasn’t been in vain. Faustian man has conquered the world and he has begun to conquer space. Scientifically and tangibly, this is the history of white striving by men like Copernicus, Kepler, Galilei, Newton, Tsiolkovsky, Oberth, von Braun, Koroljov, Gagarin and Armstrong.

And specifically, what did these men do?

Copernicus replaced the geocentric worldview with the heliocentric. The sun, not the Earth, is the center of our solar system.

Kepler, using both observation through telescope and mathematic formulas, discovered the laws guiding the planets in their courses.

Galilei kept advocating the heliocentric worldview against the Catholic church, which held on to the geocentric view.

Newton studied the movement of bodies and laid down gravitational laws, applicable both on Earth and in space.

Tsiolkovsky and Oberth speculated on how to travel in space with rockets. von Braun and Koroljov where chief engineers in the American and Russian space program respectively. And Gagarin was the first man in space, Armstrong the first man on the moon.
There you have the history of space exploration in a nutshell.

There you have it. And it's no coincidence that the theoretical research and the actual expeditions, the ships and the men, those who built them and those who steered them, were of the same ilk. For, as Ernst Jünger said in Copse 125: “The best men will have the best machines and the best machines will have the best men; the two are inseparable.”

- - -

Lucian dreamed of going to the Moon. And so did, through the early modern and modern era, writers like Francis Godwin, Cyrano de Bergerac, Baron von Münchhausen, Edgar Allan Poe, Jules Verne, H. G. Wells and Robert A. Heinlein.

The latter wrote his Moon story in the late 1940s: The Man Who Sold the Moon and the epilogue Requiem, estimating the trip as such to take place in the late 1970s. By the time of Heinlein writing it the development of rocketry, communications etc. made a trip to the Moon seem more than feasible. The current, late 40s, early 50s Western culture abounded in talk about space travel in general and heading for the Moon in particular.

The technological, engineering side of Heinlein’s story isn’t my focus here (though, as a side note, it is well covered in the story as are legalistic, corporate and commercial aspects of the trip). Instead, it is the visionary powers, the preachment side of it we’ll look at – the need to go to space for its own sake, as an inner necessity for Faustian man.

Heinlein doesn’t express it in Faustian, Western terms like I do. However, the gist of white man yearning for space is seen when the main character, the driving force behind the Moon expedition in question, Delos David “D. D.” Harriman, muses about his past and what made him into a space entrepreneur. No one of his nearest had shared his dream. “Go to bed!” his wife had said after a quarrel:
He hadn’t gone to bed. He had sat out on the veranda all night long, watching the full Moon move across the sky. There would be the devil to pay in the morning, the devil and a thin-lipped silence. But he’d stick by his guns. He’d given in on most things, but not on this. But the night was his. Tonight he’d be alone with his old friend. He searched her face. Where was Mare Crisium? Funny, he couldn’t make it out. He used to be able to see it plainly when he was a boy. Probably needed new glasses – this constant office work wasn’t good for his eyes. – But he didn’t need to see, he knew where they all were; Crisium, Mare Fecunditatis, Mare Tranquilitatis – that one had a satisfying roll! – the Apennines, the Carpathians, old Tycho with its mysterious rays. – Two hundred and forty thousand miles – ten times around the Earth. Surely men could bridge a little gap like that. Why, he could almost reach out and touch it, nodding there behind the elm trees.

[“Requiem,” quoted after Heinlein 1953, p. 119-120]
Again, poets must always be in the vanguard, pointing the direction where to go.

Heinlein wasn’t alone in preaching the need for space exploration. In the very book from which I quoted the above there is an introduction by John W. Campbell, the editor of the science fiction magazine Astounding where Heinlein came into his own from 1939 and where the above mentioned Poul Anderson also came to write, over the years joined by other space prophets like Gordon R. Dickson, Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle.

We also have Harry G. Stine. In The Third Industrial Revolution (1979) he talks about the need for utilizing the raw materials of the solar system, and solar power by way of certain satellites, to usher in the next industrial revolution after the one of coal and the one of computers. Details and practicalities aside, it meant “going to space” permanently, not just having it as a playground for communication satellites and unmanned probes. This was white man going to the new frontier. This was space-age preachment of the arousing kind, and this was the pay-off:
Of all the revolutions of yesterday and today, the Third Industrial Revolution is going to be the most fascinating and satisfying of all revolutions to be part of. – We can do it. – We will do it. – We must do it.

[Stine p. 217]
Note the “must” of the last sentence. That is necessity, that is what I call the inner necessity of white mankind, the same inner necessity that has made him construct boats and planes, cars and spaceships. It's not about “increasing BNP,” “creating better communications” (although it does that too) – it's about being what you are – a modern Faust, having to go beyond the Beyond as a matter of course.

- - -

Heinlein’s D. D. Harriman dreamed of going to the moon. And he also went there in the end. He fulfilled his dream. Another spiritually gifted moon traveler is Fortunio in Ernst Jünger's 1949 novel Heliopolis. The exposition in Chapter One of Fortunio examining a moon carter full of precious stones is a strong vision of the fantastic future Jünger imagined, space exploration bringing us unimaginable adventure, creating a new spiritual renaissance for man.

That is the gist of the space travel side of Heliopolis, along with Fortunio also symbolized in the figure of the Blue Pilot, a space ship captain encountered at the end of the story. The conclusion of the novel is the hero, Lucius De Geer, leaving the city of his dreams due to political necessity and instead heading out into the endless spatial vistas in true Faustian fashion, seeking spiritual fulfilment in exploring everything, seeing everything, learning everything.

The Blue Pilot is human but he represents something “almost angelic” to Jünger, a radiant person further described thus:
In this face there was a curious mixture of sobriety and new power, bearing witness of verity, conviction. A Viking of the spaceways – and yet he had reached his goal. So many of the blue ships had caught fire and been devoured in the etheric ocean. Others, however, had found out the law with which to navigate the infinite spaces. Crammed into projectiles they had hurled themselves into a rational trajectory out into the abysses. Thus they must have found the wonderful realm Fortunio and the mining secretary had dreamt of – the realm where Earth was transformed into a treasure trove and knowledge to power. They found more than they had sought. Knowledge was like a drill in the hard rock having finally met mighty veins. They had increased their velocity even to the limit when it turns into either extinction or rest. In them something of the triumph remained, of the memory of a turning point like the one in the Red Sea once upon a time. According to Serner they had penetrated realms not touched by the curse of the apple. – There remained with them something of the spirit of departure, of the utmost daring with which man, his calculations done and without hope of returning, throws himself over a giant rampart toward nothingness.

[my own translation from the chapter “The Blue Pilot” of Heliopolis]
- - -

In summation: Faustian man must go to space. He must reclaim what is rightfully his, the solar system.

He will do it.

He shall do it.

He must do it.

Because, it’s an inner necessity of his very being.




Related
Actionism -- the Way of the Future
The Legacy of Space
Robert A. Heinlein
Ernst Jünger -- A Portrait
Illustration: Robert Svensson

fredag 8 mars 2019

Good Reads, March 2019


Hereby some new reading tips. Classics, newer stuff etc. The pic tells of books by Gordon Dickson and he is featured below. But the entry is about more authors than just him. -- Similar posts of this kind are this one and this one.




So then, some tips from my recent reading activity. Here goes...

Gordon R. Dickson: The Alien Way (1965). -- A tale of the first contact with an alien species, all of it with a brainy, restrained approach. A human being gets supra-sensual contact with an alien; it's not telepathy but he can see, hear and feel what the alien does. This is established by baiting the creature (by way of a space wreck that it encounters and lays its hands on) and then the intrigues are afoot: will the aliens get to Earth and once there, how to receive them...? This is a story rather well told, although I lost interest at the end when the hero went into preaching mode, telling his fellow humans how primitive they were in not being able to think outside the box as he could, the brainy know-it-all. Such an intellectual hero may be the mainstay of SF and even of Dickson's other SF -- and, even of his military SF series Dorsai. So you have to accept this, I guess. This is the way Dickson's stories go: a smart man figuring out a contrived plot and then telling all how smart he was in detecting it. It's like Hercule Poirot, Sherlock Holmes etc. However, in Dickson land there is also the element of the smartie using his sixth sense and this is kind of alluring. Dickson has a way of giving room for the unexplained. -- Not a book to actively seek out but it has its moments.

Gordon R. Dickson: Brothers (1973). -- Brothers is a novella part of a book labeled as a novel, Spirit of Dorsai (and in the book we also have the novella Amanda Morgan, which I haven't finished yet). Brothers is a variety of the smart man solving a plot; the narrator is a police chief on a planet where Dorsai elite soldiers are deployed. A rebel movement kills one of the Dorsai in an ambush and the Dorsai are about to wreck the whole capital in search of the perps. However, the native police chief gets a respite of some hours to solve the crime, and along with his usual skills his sixth sense is employed. And in the process he's helped by the brother of the Dorsai being killed; Kensie Graeme is the one killed, Ian Graeme is the one who survives, and he is an archetypal hero of the usual Dorsai kind (q.v. the novels Dorsai, Tactics of Mistake): strong and silent. So, apart from the basic plot this tale is kind of convincing and inspiring in the heroic vein. There ain't many 1970s SF stories telling of military men in a positive light. -- All told, Brothers was better than The Alien Way (see above).

Gordon R. Dickson, Soldier, Ask Not (1967). -- Because it's part of the Dorsai series it isn't a complete waste of time. However, the psychological mumbo-jumbo drags it down. Goody-good bullshit, actually. There is some allure in the strains of intuition and sixth sense prevalent, but it isn't enough to make this a stand-out. Instead, read the same series' Tactics of Mistake and Dorsai: same pedantic approach, more tangible action.

Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land (1961). -- The 120 pages I've read so far are rather fine, of future-time intrigue around a man having been reared by Martians. The anarchic strain of Jubal Harshaw is rather refreshing: he realizes that there will always be governments but he doesn't have to like them. He values his freedom; he IS freedom embodied. Later we get to the hippy BS and IDK about that; Actionism is the way, not intellectualist-reductionist sunbathing.

Felix Steiner, Die Freiwilligen (1958). -- About volunteers in diverse wars. The chapter headings say it all: Idee und Opfergang -- Aufbruch der Freiwilligen -- Bewährung -- Zerreisprobe -- Tragödie -- Schicksal und Erbe. Details aside, Germans have a different approach, Germans kinda always have this philosophical strain. They aren't destroyed by the common-sense attitude prevalent in the Anglosphere.

Montgomery of Alamein: A History of Warfare (1968; in Swedish as Krigskonstens historia). -- Every word a preachment, every chapter an epic... This is just damn good. Monty wrote it with the aid of some experts, which could jeopardize the style and make it trite and pedestrian. However, on the contrary, the whole comes together beautifully: with summaries of politics and military development along with descriptions of certain landmark battles, seasoned with Monty's personal remarks. You can compare it with Fuller's Decisive Battles; this is also worth reading -- but -- Fuller's work is more ambitious and therefore falls flat sometimes, trying to capture the whole of (Western) history in its military history approach. Monty's book is more limited in scope and therefore, on the whole, more convincing. It even has a succinct chapter about ancient and medieval Eastern warfare. Which IDK about today. But it's there and it's succinct and like the rest of the book stylish, stylish as in "a text fulfilling its task, not a superfluous word".

Cyril Falls (ed): Great Military Battles (1972). -- This is a coffee-table book, in large format and with lots of illustrations. However, the pictures are well chosen. And the essays of the battles per se are succinct and convincing, making even marginal events interesting to read about. The focus is on the New Era (1600s and on), mostly Europe but the US and Asia gets some chapters too. And most importantly: there is no moralizing about how evil war is.




Related
Good Reads, February 2019
Good Reads, November 2018
Actionism

tisdag 26 februari 2019

"Burning Magnesium" reviewed


My novel Burning Magnesium was published last year. Now, a rather favorable review has been published. The review is in Swedish and this is a summary in English.




Carl Oscar Andersson is a Swedish author, in his native land primarily known for his novel Gautica (2017) [review in Swedish]. Actually, Gautica is more than a novel; it's a successful blending of the essay, the novel and the closet drama, telling of the legendary Gothic people -- its Swedish origin and its role in Roman history etc.

Andersson also writes chronicles and reviews on the Swedish identitarian site Motpol. And lately he published a review of Burning Magnesium, my novel about WWII and the Eastern Front.

As intimated the review is in Swedish but hereby some highlights translated into English -- because the novel is in English.

Andersson has some knowledge of war novels, mentioning names like Remarque, Hassel and Jünger. And then he for instance says this about my novel:

To read Svensson's work is a breath of fresh air. (...)

Even from the start the story has a different approach than other, similar stories of WWII -- and this is due to its philosophical slant. (...)

It's impressive that a Sweden-born author like Svensson has managed to write such a gripping novel in a foreign language, even if it's English. There are many pitfalls in directly trying to translate concepts and literary passages; however, Svensson has found a viable way of expressing himself in English.
Further, Andersson notes the Faustian perspective of the novel, capturing the wilful, striving character of the novel's hero, Arno Greif. For instance he says the following about him:

He's an interesting protagonist, this Arno Greif, a man seeing war in a different way from others. His war experience isn't just a catastrophe, not for the one who wants to go to the limits of life (like persons in less dramatic circumstances going parachuting out of planes, throwing themselves from cliffs in bungy jump, going for speed records etc., activities from a modern perspective as irrational as war).
This kind of hits the mark. The Faustian, Nietzschean lifestyle of "balancing on the edge of volcanoes" in order to raise oneself mentally, this is not just a right-wing attitude, expressed in a novel like mine. It's rather common among certain westerners -- the intimated bungy jumpers, skydivers and performers of extreme sport who today are lauded for their exploits.

As a closing remark Andersson says this of Burning Magnesium:

For the reader wishing for a war novel that deviates from the moralizing, pacifist pattern, Jünger’s Storm of Steel has long been the obvious alternative. With his work, Burning Magnesium, Lennart Svensson has given us yet another alternative.
Here is Anderssons's review in Swedish.

Buy the novel on Amazon.

Buy the novel on Logik.




Related
The Andersson Review on Motpol [in Swedish]
My Presentation of Burning Magnesium
Ernst Jünger -- A Portrait

måndag 18 februari 2019

"Burning Magnesium" recenserad på Motpol


This about a review in Swedish of my novel Burning Magnesium. For its part, the book is presented in English here. -- Min roman Burning Magnesium gavs ut förra året. Nu har den recenserats på Motpol.




Carl Oscar Andersson är en svensk författare och skribent, känd för romanen Gautica (2017) och aforismsamlingen Tankar bortom röken (2018). Han skriver även på den identitära sajten Motpol. Och där har han nu recenserat min roman Burning Magnesium.

Andersson kan för sin del relatera till krigsroman-genren. Remarque, Hassel, Jünger snitslar av det hela. Och sedan säger han bland annat detta om Objektet Ifråga, Burning Magnesium:
Det är en frisk fläkt att läsa Svenssons verk. (...)

Redan från början skiljer sig berättelsen från andra motsvarande berättelser om andra världskriget genom sin filosofiska djupsida. (...)

Det är imponerande att en svenskfödd författare som Svensson lyckas skriva en så gripande roman på ett främmande språk, förvisso engelska. Det är lätt hänt att försöka sig på direktöversättningar av svenska begrepp och litterära vändningar men Svensson har hittat ett personligt uttryck för sin engelska.
Andersson noterar bokens faustiska perspektiv. Man kan säga att han har blick för det viljeliv, den stegrade livspuls som boken skildrar. Han säger bland annat detta om bokens huvudperson, Arno Greif:
Som protagonist är Arno Greif mycket intressant, han har en annan tagning på kriget än de flesta. Erfarenheten av kriget är inte katastrofal, inte för den som vill spänna vakenheten till sina gränser och uppleva livet invid dess absoluta gränser (vilket personer som i mindre dramatiska sammanhang eftersträvar när de hoppar fallskärm ur flygplan, kastar sig ut från klippor med Bungyjump, färdas i snabba hastigheter, etc., aktiviteter som ur ett modernt perspektiv är lika irrationella som kriget).
Detta är tämligen träffande. Den faustiska, nietzscheanska livsstilen med "att balansera på vulkankraterns rand" för att höja sig, den är ju inte bara en högerföreteelse, yttrad i en roman som min. Den är ganska vanlig bland vissa av dagens västerlänningar -- de antydda bungy-jumpers, fallskärmshoppare och äventyrssportare som idag hyllas för sina insatser.

Avslutningsvis säger Andersson detta om Burning Magnesium:
För den som vill läsa en krigsroman som avviker från det moraliserande, pacifistiska perspektivet, har Jüngers I stålstormen länge varit det uppenbara alternativet. Med sitt verk, Burning Magnesium, har Lennart Svensson givit oss ytterligare ett alternativ.
Du finner recensionen här.




Relaterat
Burning Magnesium recenseras på Motpol
Andersson: Gautica (inledning till recension i Nya Tider)
Andersson: Tankar bortom röken (inledning till recension i Nya Tider)
Burning Magnesium presenterad på svenska här på Galaxen

tisdag 12 februari 2019

Good Reads, February 2019


Hereby some reading tips. Mostly classics. -- An earlier entry with the same character, short reading tips, is this one.




Dante Aligheri, Divina Commedia (1320). -- Dante on a guided tour through Hell, noting with satisfaction how an old enemy of his is tormented. OK. But there is more. A lot more.

Poul Anderson, The broken Sword (1954). -- Militant paganism.

John Tolkien, Lord of the Rings Trilogy (1950s). -- Of course the Tolkien magnum opus has some power and beauty. And it may have a function as a "gateway drug to Traditionalism". But -- overall, as a mere reading pastime, maybe I can do without Tolkien nowadays. -- The basic feeling of LOTR the book seems to be realism. The style can blossom at times (Lothlorien, Tom Bombadill's house) but in the decisive moments, when trying to describe the "ultimate evil" they are fighting, Tolkien retreats into silence, his characters saying "I won't speak of this" or "too horrible to mention". This can be allowed in a children's book but not in serious adult fiction. -- Against this, I would like to hold forth H. P. Lovecraft. He at least tries to capture "the dark," if only with some impressionist paint brushes. Lovecraft has will to style, German Stilwille. Conversely, Tolkien merely has a will to note the exact location of a place in relation to THE MAP, the ever-present corollary of his opus. -- Lovecraft's universe had no definite form, it came afterwards with the efforts of August Derleth and others. Tolkien's universe on the other hand seems to have been construed with the background first, including maps. -- Lovecraft relies on his style, Tolkien relies on his map.

E. R. Burroughs, A Princess of Mars (1910). -- A science fantasy rigorist lesson: to speak the truth, to shoot and to ride a thoat.

Lovecraft, H. P. -- shorts by HPL that I recently have read and enjoyed, the style rewarding me in full measure, are The Outsider, The White Ship and Poetry and the Gods. The latter is an early tale of poetry being the conveyor of eternal truth. Keats's wisdom "beauty is truth, truth is beauty" is quoted in it. This is aestheticism as ethics. This is Plotinus and thus, the Perennial Tradition that even Actionism is a part of.

Voltaire, History of Charles XII (1731). -- Reads like an exciting, studied novel. Unreliable in some details; Voltaire is lead astray by his eloquent style, often going for an cocksure summation to compensate for lacking knowledge. So, what he says of the Swedish climate, of the battle of Narva etc. we can discard. However, on the whole this book is rather convincing as a portrait of a great man. Also, for the serious student, it can be said that Voltaire actually had spoken to some of the participants of the drama, like the Polish king Leszczinsky. Thus, Votaire's book becomes a curious mixture of lies, half-truths, valid and invalid interpretations and solid fact, not found anywhere else.

Machiavelli, The Prince (1532). -- Strong. Wise. Majestic.

Gordon R. Dickson, Tactics of Mistake (1971). -- A military commander winning battles with minimum loss, because he's so smart. Vaguely irritating as such but on the whole also conveying a lot of wisdom.




Related
Good Reads, November 2018
Actionism
Timeline of Conservative SF
SF Seen from the Right
Illustration: Robert Svensson

tisdag 5 februari 2019

Coleridge: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner


The Rime, The Rime, I love this Rime. All of it.




So where to begin? I guess I'll start with some random lines. Like the ones Iron Maiden quoted in their eponymous song, "The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner" on their 1985 album Powerslave:
Day after day, day after day,
we stuck, nor breath nor motion;
as idle as a painted ship
upon a painted ocean.

Water, water, every where,
and all the boards did shrink;
water, water every where
nor any drop to drink.
These are strong lines, vividly capturing the desolation of the ill-fated ship in these death-marked waters. It's the curse of the albatross, the bird that the mariner hath slain. And why did he do that? It's not clear, he just did it, a boyish deed that generates bad karma. He shot it with bow and arrow, took the majestical bird down from its flight in the skies above the ship.

And there's more: there's Death itself approaching, or, to be precise, Death and Death-In-Life, whatever that means. Spooky it is though, and even spookier when some accursed sea-creatures surround the mariner's ship, the ship he now sails alone as the crew has been pixilated by Death's curse:
Beyond the shadow of the ship,
I watched the water-snakes:
they moved in tracks of shining white,
and when they reared, the elfish light
fell off in hoary flakes.

Within the shadow of the ship
I watched their rich attire:
blue, glossy green, and velvet black,
they coiled and swam; and every track
was a flash of golden fire.

O happy living things! no tongue
their beauty might declare:
a spring of love gushed from my heart,
and I blessed them unaware:
sure my kind saint took pity on me,
and I blessed them unaware.

The selfsame moment I could pray;
and from my neck so free
the albatross fell off, and sank
like lead into the sea.
Symbolic, aint it? The bird hung around his neck falls off and light shines in, the curse seems to be lifted, allayed, tempered -- but alas, it's still there! The trials and tribulations are not over, this ride has many facets. The mariner still has to travel across many-a dark waters and desolate seas.

- - -

As you can see I'm writing about Samuel T. Coleridge's "The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner." Now I'll go on with the show, even trying to reach some sort of conclusion.

Above I told you about this and that, about the mariner going about some trials and tribulations on a certain sea voyage. He is for example freed from a certain curse but not entirely saved as his shipmates have become undead ghouls in the process. Anyhow, the journey continues. The ship is ushered on from beneath by a benign water-spirit, having helped the ship previously during the voyage:
Under the keel nine fathom deep,
from the land of mist and snow,
the spirit slid: and it was he
that made the ship to go.
Note the overall style in this work: a mixture between lyricism and epic narrative. Epic poems, narratives in verse form, went out of style soon after this one (or had already), i. e. in the early 19th century, but at the same time Coleridge was a lyrical poet so in this sense he was able to communicate with the modern audience. And with today's audience too, as his work is timeless.

- - -

The curse is off but still the mariner is surrounded by his undead crew mates, looking at him with empty eyes ("all fixed on me their stony eyes, / that in the moon did glitter"). On they go, gliding over the water's surface if by wind or magic I don't know, and then the mariner descries something familiar: the harbour town, his home port, the one they left so long ago for this fateful journey.
Oh! dream of joy! is this indeed
the light-house top I see!
Is this the hill? is this the kirk?
is this mine own countree?
Into the harbour they sail. And at the same time the souls of the undead sailors take leave of their earthly vessels, having become shiny seraphs aiming for heaven:
This seraph-band, each waved his hand:
it was a heavenly sight!
They stood as signals to the land,
each one a lovely light;

This seraph-band, each waved his hand,
no voice did they impart --
no voice; but oh! the silence sank
like music on my heart.
The conclusion is well nigh.

- - -

Yeah, verily: for now a pilot approaches -- and then the great ship suddenly sinks. The mariner is rescued aboard the pilot boat and is rowed ashore. And then he's off to tell his story to anyone he meets ("this soul has been alone on a wide, wide sea"...).

This poem has many esoterical, pious traits, like the water-spirit, the sea-creatures that become friendly and the penance with the albatross hung around the neck. And at the end we have a certain hermit along in the pilot boat, and this we get to know about the hermit's life: "He singeth loud his godly hymns / that he maketh in the wood." And:
This hermit good lives in that wood
which slopes down to the sea.
How loudly his sweet voice he rears!
He loves to talk with marineres
that come from a far countree.

He kneels at morn, and noon, and eve --
he hath a cushion plump:
it is the moss that wholly hides
the rotted old-oak-stump.
The framework of the poem is the mariner telling his story to a certain wedding guest, right before the ceremony is about to beging. That's where it starts off and that's where it ends, the mariner saying this to the wedding guest:
Farewell, farewell! but this I tell
to thee, thou wedding-guest!
He prayeth well, who loveth well
both man and bird and beast.

He prayeth best, who loveth best
all things both great and small;
for the dear God who loveth us,
he made and loveth all.
"Love, yeah baby, that's the secret", as Louis Armstrong says in the intro to "What a Wonderful World"... I like this conclusion, I like the pious traits of it all. The Rime isn't just some romantical outing, some stylistical showing off -- no, it's a downright spiritual, esoterical, finely vibrating piece of crystalline beauty, the religious feeling being expressed in tangible, symbolical terms and not going about it with psalm-song, priests and Bible-beating.




Related
"Burning Magnesium" (2018)
Bibliography of Svensson
Ernst Jünger -- A Portrait (2014)
Science Fiction Seen from the Right (2016)
Actionism (2017)

torsdag 17 januari 2019

From my Collection of Model Soldiers


I have a collection of military miniatures, collected since my early childhood. They are kept in store in a secret location Beyond the Beyond, only accessible by pump trolley along a disused railroad track. This is a selection of my plastic figures. All of them are painted by me. -- They guy in the top picture is from the Airfix 1/32 8th Army "Multipose" kit.




1. German WW II soldier, 1/32, Airfix, of the ready-cast, slightly bendable toy figure type. Actually an Afrika Korps soldier that I've painted in regular, "mainland Europe" garb. The highlighting is gained by priming the figure in white, then letting it dry. Then it's about painting it in the pertinent uniform color -- and, most importantly, while the paint is still wet, rubbing some of it off with a cloth. Thus you get the maximum effect of the wrinkles of the uniform, the paint settling in the crevices, resulting in a shadowy effect.

Further, the face is done by first painting it in flesh (and letting it dry), then adding a darker color, then wiping this off. This results in having the darker paint only settle in the cavities of the face, gaining some sort of detailed paint job without having to add every single brush stroke for this.

Details like boots, weapon, belt are then painted, sometimes done with the same kind of highlighting (and sometimes not).


2. From the same series as the above -- ready-cast Airfix 1/32 toy soldier, "Afrika Korps". This one is painted more correctly in khaki color.


3. This guy looks like Donald Trump. 1/32 Airfix toy soldier, American WWII infantry.


4. WWII German infantry, Airfix 1/32 toy soldier. This one is finished in clear coat. Which gives a nice surface -- but -- for photography purposes, it's better to not have this clear finish, I suppose.


5. WWII American paratroopers, Airfix 1/32 toy soldiers.


6-9. Indians, 54 mm, delivered painted but then re-painted by me. Figure 6 and 7 are "Crescent Toys". The others merely have the text, "Made in China".


10-11. Airfix 54 mm toy indians.


12-13. Mounted 54 mm indians of unknown make.


14-17. Napoleonic era soldiers. Airfix 1/32 toy soldiers. Frenchman, Brit, Scot.


18-19. Esci 1/35 model kit, German MC and soldier. Actually the kit has two MC:s and two by-standing soldiers so this is only "half the kit". The MC is a 750 cc BMW. The kit was rather difficult to assembly, at least the MC:s.


20-23. Taimya 1/35 model kit of German panzer grenadiers.


24-27. Various figures on display.




Related
"Burning Magnesium" (2018)
Bibliography of Svensson
Ernst Jünger -- A Portrait (2014)
Science Fiction Seen from the Right (2016)
Actionism (2017)

Kyrkor: bildreportage


Jag besöker kyrkor.



Jag brukar besöka kyrkor. För diverse syften. Såsom enskild andakt. Och kulturhistoriskt intresse.

Härmed några av de kyrkor jag besökt och dokumenterat i text och bild på bloggen:
Arnäs kyrka
Gideå kyrka
Graninge kyrka
Gustav Adolfs kyrka, Sundsvall
Härnösands domkyrka
Själevads kyrka
Så att, detta med tempel roar mig.

Jag kan for the record nämna att min bok Ett rike utan like (2017) har ett kapitel där jag går runt i stockholmskyrkor. Och insuper atmosfär och historia.

Och när jag var liten besökte jag Venedig. Det var 1976. Då var jag inne i S:t Markuskyrkan. En fascinerande, förgylld grotta. Och jag spanade även in Santa Maria della Salute på andra sidan Canal Grande. En barockdröm i marmor.

Jag gillar tempel helt enkelt. Starka, majestätiska sinnebilder för fromhet, majestät och vilja.




Relaterat
Ett rike utan like (2017)
Science fiction från höger
"Actionism" -- presentation på svenska
Svensson: biografi
"Eld och rörelse" åter tillgänglig

Bilden föreställer Arnäs kyrka.