Mar 25, 2016

Mjolnir III: Up Close and Personal

via Alternative Right

The Alt-Right is largely an internet phenomenon, so it is heartening to see that it is moving beyond that mercurial but evanescent realm, and out into what is still referred to as "the real world," with people meeting, groups being formed, and trees being cut down and turned into books, journals, and magazines, like the latest edition of Mjolnir.

This is Dave Yorkshire’s meta-political cultural venture, which aims to pull together art, poetry, fiction, and more from the broad spectrum of the Alt-Right.

While the first issue of Mjolnir had the usual teething troubles to overcome, it still managed to send out a signal of strength and got the ball rolling. The second issue hit the ground running with a potent theme – "War" – and some excellent fiction. For the third installment, the theme is "Personae," a multifaceted term that can refer to a range of ideas, from the roles and guises we assume for various purposes to the much deeper question of character and identity.

Once again, the magazine is graced by the fluid and allusive poetry of Juleigh Howard-Hobson, this time focused on a number of White nationalist "personae," including Sir Oswald Mosley, Unity Mitford, and Enoch Powell.

Poetry is always strongly represented in Mjolnir, perhaps because the magazine's pagan roots – the name is, of course, a reference to the hammer of Thor – pushes things towards acts of incantation. One suspects that before the greatness of the White race can be fully restored, a good many of us will have to come together in covens and cabals to chant it back to life, which is certainly the intention of my own poem, The Lion's Return, which leaves its paw print in the middle of the magazine.

The main poetry-related item, however, is Yorkshire’s examination of the life and work of Lord Alfred Douglas, a delightfully unexpected choice, as most of us only know of him as the gay sexual partner of the famous wit Oscar Wilde. Yorkshire makes the case that this relationship was merely a youthful aberration or an illness, and one that led him to resent Wilde for taking advantage of him:
"That Douglas saw the failing in himself for what it was is commendable. His subsequent attacks on Wilde must be taken in the context that a man sixteen years his senior had taken advantage of an ill young man barely out of his teens."
After this period of his life, Douglas became a much more respectable citizen, and developed a range of opinions that align quite well with the Alt-Right, in particular becoming a critic of British globalism, which led him to clash with Winston Churchill, who sued him for libel with the result that Douglas ended up in prison, where he used the time writing poetry.

Wilde and Douglas
His view of poetry was defined by the idea that it should be a blending of style and sincerity, one being an Apollonian striving for order and control, the other a wilder and more Dionysian element. Yorkshire’s erudite essay then leads into Douglas's In Excelsis, a work not published for over seventy years on account of its politically incorrect language. In this poem we get a sense of Douglas still fighting a battle with his youthful, errant self, but growing stronger as a consequence:
Perfection's fortress is impregnable,
but her saint-trodden way allures us still.
She bids us cherish what our senses hate,
And entertain where we would fain repel;
And love at last constrains the inconstant will
To make the bitter choice deliberate.
Not only does Lord Alfred Douglas get an essay and a lengthy poem, but the magazine also contains a comical skit, loosely based on Wilde's famous trial, in which Douglas, of course, played a prominent role. This is larded with a fair degree of pantomime humour of the vulgar British variety, as well as camp double entendres of the Kenneth Williams, Graham Norton variety. Why? Mainly for the visceral joy of being politically correct, I guess.

Another "dramatic" contribution that deserves mention is a review of The Return of Odysseus, a play that I reviewed for The Occidental Observer. This is by Michael Walker, a veteran nationalist who, through his magazine The Scorpion, was pivotal in introducing the ideas of the French New Right to an English-Speaking audience. Nick Walsh's review emphasizes the play's intent to work meta-politically, inculcating insights and attitudes without any ostensible intent to convert.

Working in a similar way are the songs of the nationalist French group Les Brigandes. For this issue, Dave Yorkshire travelled to their secret lair in France for an interview. There is a great irony about political music: no matter how political a song's lyrics are, its success is always dependent on it meta-political elements – its music and the poetry of its lyrics.

This is the difference between a "political" song by Bob Dylan and the much more forgettable work of the left-wing singer-songwriter Billy Bragg, who is hardly known these days outside left-wing circles, despite constant attempts to boost his career by the media establishment.

With Les Brigandes, the message is clear, but it is the more nebulous and artistic elements – the music, the mood, the personalities of the singers, etc. – that breathe a mysterious fire into the message. Les Brigandes are masters of this paradox, and Yorkshire's article about going to meet them has the same kind of honesty and openness to experience that one finds in the travelogues of Paul Theroux.

While there is much to read as usual, what makes Mjolnir stand out is its strong visuals. While the magazine is still struggling with certain technical limitations here, its visual feel is gradually becoming more assured and confident.

Alongside one of my own paintings – a surrealist interpretation of Vladimir Lenin painted on an old Risk board – the most impressive art are the nicely photographed low reliefs of the Dutch artist Vig Scholma. These are inspired partly by his time in India and a New Age sensibility and partly by a Nordic sensibility that evokes the art of Arno Breker. Scholma’s work has a calm intensity that perfectly evokes the Nordic spirit. His rendition of a winged warrior, entitled "Furor Teutinicus," with its quiet but potent mood, put me in mind of Rudyard Kipling's poem, The Wrath of the Awakened Saxon:
Their voices were even and low.
Their eyes were level and straight.
There was neither sign nor show
When the Saxon began to hate.
But while Mjolnir is never shy about expressing the justified passions of European man, including his hatred, this publication is dominated by the more positive emotions – humour, love for one's own, and a spiritual yearning to become what we are. For that reason I bid you all to buy it, read it, and support it with your own contributions – if they are good enough.

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