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Masterpieces of Aryan Literature 1
August Strindberg’s Tschandala

August Strindberg by Edvard Munch

925 words

Although best known as a playwright, the Swedish author August Strindberg (1849–1912) was a prolific writer of novels, short stories, poetry, and essays. The official edition of his collected works comes to more than seventy volumes. In 1888 Strindberg attended a series of lectures about the then little-known philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. He quickly became a devotee of Nietzsche and even started up a brief correspondence with the philosopher. After reading Beyond Good and Evil, The Twilight of the Gods, The Case of Wagner, and On the Genealogy of Morals, Strindberg began to write works that were directly influenced by Nietzschean philosophy as well as social Darwinist thought. One of the most explicit examples of this is the novella Tschandala of 1889.

The novella is set in Lund, Sweden in the 1690s, which was in a province that had only been recently captured from the Danes. The protagonist is one Master Andreas Törner, a professor at the University of Lund and an army veteran who had participated in the battle in which the Swedes wrested control of Lund from the Danes. Unlike the situation today, the victorious Swedes realize that multiculturalism does not work, and they use the educational system to enforce the societal norms, language, and ethos of the dominant culture. In scenes reminiscent of a typical Chicago or Detroit public school, Strindberg even describes Törner needing to employ his walking stick as a cudgel against his more recalcitrant students. After a long academic year, Törner is looking forward to taking his wife and children to his home province for the summer. Just as the school year is about to end, Törner receives orders from the Swedish court that he must remain in the area and ingratiate himself with the local population as a means to determine the degree to which the process of integration with Sweden is succeeding.

Törner ends up renting rooms in a dilapidated estate from a demented Danish Baroness. The estate is run by the Baroness’ factor Jensen, who is a gypsy given to wearing outlandish and filthy clothes, lies almost constantly, treats animals in a most cruel fashion, does almost no work on the property, and who is also the Baroness’ lover. In the beginning, Jensen tries to ingratiate himself with Törner, but the gypsy’s monstrous behavior soon puts him at odds with Törner. In a moment of self-clarity, Törner realizes that just proximity to a person as vile as Jensen is debilitating:

When he [Törner] examined himself, he found he had adopted a number of the gipsy’s gestures, borrowed certain tones of voice and, even worse, mixed Danish words and expressions into his speech. He had been jabbering with these infantile people for so long that he was forgetting how to speak properly; he had been lowering himself to their level for so long that his back was becoming hunched; he had been hearing lies for so long that he had come to believe that everyone lied. And he, a strong man who had never been afraid of battle, noticed that his courage was beginning to desert him, that cowardice and fear were creeping up on him in this struggle against invisible powers and enemies who were superior because they did not shrink from using weapons he could not bring himself to employ.

Herein lies Törner’s dilemma: the civilized man has difficulty accepting the fact that the uncivilized play by a different set of rules, that etiquette, good form, fairness, and tolerance are actually weaknesses when confronted by barbarism. As the novella’s narrator states:

What, then, lay at the heart of Törner’s disquiet about crushing this opponent? It was his sense of the value of human life, the doctrine that we should forgive our enemies, defeated or not. Old and foolish teachings which malevolent men have always availed themselves of to overthrow those who have been merciful in victory; stories of the blessings of compassion—omitting, of course, the story of the frozen serpent which turned on the breast that warmed it.

After a visit from a friend who—when hearing of Törner’s conflict with the gypsy—advises Törner to take more drastic measures with Jensen, Törner begins to plot the gypsy’s downfall. Using his superior intellectual abilities and in a manner in which to bring no suspicion upon himself, Törner is able to manipulate Jensen into a very macabre end, which I will not reveal so as not to spoil the delight of readers at witnessing the just desserts of such a reprehensible creature. The narrator states:

The pariah was dead, the Aryan victorious. Victorious thanks to his knowledge and spiritual superiority to the inferior race. But had he not found the strength to commit a crime he could easily have been the victim.

Back at the University, Törner comes across a Hindu text that describes the Tschandala, the lowest substratum of the untouchable class, a race of humiliated persons who are denied permanent abodes, must wear only clothes taken from corpses, and may not wash since they are only allowed water to drink. He realizes that Jensen was a Tschandala and that the hatred that Jensen displayed toward him—who had only shown the gypsy good will—was inevitable, a hatred born of genetics, “the fruit of adultery, incest, and crime.”

Not surprisingly, Tschandala is not easily obtainable in English. The translation I have is by Peter Graves and was published in 2007 by Norvik Press in Norwich, UK. Copies can be found, however, on Amazon and a Swedish version is available on Gutenberg.com

 

 

11 Comments

  1. Proofreader
    Posted October 31, 2017 at 4:23 am | Permalink

    Perhaps the Undivine Comedy of Zygmunt Krasinski should be reviewed on this website. In “The Making of Presidents” (Liberty Bell, September 1991), Revilo P. Oliver wrote of this work:

    “Since we have been speaking of Poland, let us not forget Poland’s greatest poet, Count Zygmunt (= Sigismund) Krasinski (1812-1859), and his brilliant Undivine Comedy (Nieboska komedja) of which there is an English translation by Harrietta E. Kennedy and Zofia Uminska.

    “The principal theme of the dramatic poem is not political. Its tragedy is the tragedy of Nordic man, whose Faustian soul (to use the Spenglerian term) by its unique racial instinct seeks the infinite and the eternal, fatally combining its romantic aspirations, which can never be content with a world too petty and banal to contain his dreams, with a lucidity and implacably rational intellect that demands knowledge of reality at all costs, which has driven him to the bitter discovery that he is an insignificant animalcule perched on a particle of dust that revolves about a small and decaying star which its itself a mere particle in a universe too vast and too horrible for comprehension. [This sounds not unlike H. P. Lovecraft’s ‘cosmicism’ or ‘cosmic indifferentism.’]

    “In the third part of the poem, however, the protagonist becomes Count Henry, who with his loyal retainers goes to the aid of the aristocrats, who are besieged in the fortress of the Holy Trinity by a huge mob of proletarians, incited, armed, and subsidized by the Jews, who have long plotted to destroy Christianity and the Aryan civilization that it represented. Under the command of Count Henry, the symbolically named castle is valiantly defended and several attacks are repulsed, but Count Henry has also to master the weaklings among the aristocrats, who foolishly imagine they can negotiate with the horde that the Jews have made ferocious and bloodthirsty. Supplies of food and armaments are eventually exhausted, and the Bloody Horde prevails. The castle is taken; Count Henry leaps to his death from the battlements; and the surviving members of the aristocracy are butchered by the exulting rabble. And the terminal scene of the tragedy ends when the leader of the revolution echoes the dying words of the Emperor Julian: Galilaee, vicisti.”

    In a footnote, Oliver noted: “Krasinski’s perspicacity is shown by his protagonists’s perception that the real danger came from ‘baptized Jews,’ i.e., Marranos, who feign conversion to the civilization of the people on whom they prey and whom they hate with an insatiable malevolence.”

  2. Posted October 26, 2017 at 3:59 am | Permalink

    Tscandala by Strindberg. Truly a controversial classic. Even in Swedish it’s relatively hard to obtain.

    If you like Strindberg then this is a relatively fine Strindberg work. Then, if you (like me) don’t care much about Strindberg’s work at large, then it can be hard going consuming it. The one thing I have against it is lack of zeitgeist, the 1690s scenery in almost every scene revealing the late 1800s of Strindberg’s own times.

    So, OK. The war of nerves between the elevated and the lowly figure in this book is of some interest. “A fine eye for psychological detail.”

    Strindberg might be of interest for literary history. But as for Swedish authors of the late 19th, early 20th century of interest for today’s radical conservatives, I must recommend Verner von Heidenstam. He got the Nobel Prize so a handful of his works are translated into English (like A King and his Campaigners and The Swedes and their Chieftains). Now, the craze for Strindberg by the radicals of our time has given the English speaking world a wealth of Strindberg works and comparatively few Heidenstam works, a kind of imbalance regarding artistic relevance if you’re asking me.

    In short: Strindberg’s whole opus is quarrelsome and shrewish while Heidenstam’s is elevated and intriguing, a symbolic-naturalistic outing into energetic lands.

  3. Emil P
    Posted October 26, 2017 at 1:09 am | Permalink

    Well, it wouldn’t be impossible to translate and publish it in English again? I could do it my self.

  4. Posted October 25, 2017 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    When Strindberg and Nietzsche corresponded, they did it in Attic Greek.

  5. rhondda
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    I had to go to inter library loan to get this book and there was only the Vancouver library that had a copy. The English translation at amazon was over $80. A relative of mine who is a high school librarian told me that they were getting rid of books published before 1990. I thought she was kidding, but apparently not.

    • Pietas
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      It’s true, this is a widespread phenomenon. I think they’re trying to deduct anything that is not normie, or any evidence that there was ever another way of thinking from all the libraries. I live in a rich, relatively rich, parish, and our library only recently had David Duke’sbooks and paul Rassinier’s books, but since the purge, they’re all gone. They continually have these massive book sales, and now many shelves are empty. Librarians used to be a bastion of free speech I believe, that has taken time to erode, but I fear this too has finally fallen.

      • Pietas
        Posted October 25, 2017 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

        Think about it–they purge everything before a particular time period, then carefully manage the spigot of books entering the library. There is no chance an impressionable mind will happen upon heterodox thought, unless he is actively seeking a particular title–and now many are off amazon altogether. Give it twenty years and all this will be off the internet too I’ll wager.

        • Kubizek
          Posted October 25, 2017 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

          It sounds like libraries deserve to die. A long time ago I read a book about evolution called “Ever Expanding Horizons” which I thought was a fantastic book. Years later I went back to the library looking for it and it was gone. It made it to the basement for a while and then was discarded. It’s like they are burning the books.
          Everything needs to be digitized, the sooner the better.

          • Pietas
            Posted October 26, 2017 at 4:48 am | Permalink

            I’m not talking about the occasional book being retired, but a massive purge from several different major public library systems. I think it may also be related to the rise of internet book sales. People are stealing valuable second hand books to sell on amazon. But this presents a pretext.

    • Peter Quint
      Posted October 27, 2017 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      I have stated it before. I think that sometime in the near future when the number of whites fall below 50% in America, that channels like “Turner’s Classic Movies,” and “Nick At Night” will be deleted from the airwaves. The jews will use the pretext that there just wasn’t enough demand. I think that the jews will purge every category of art this way this way. Someday, we will wake up, and won’t be able to find a television show which displays an older, white America. It will be the same way with what we hear on the radio–nothing but Mariah Carey, and Whitney Houston.

  6. Posted October 25, 2017 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    Learning about nearly-lost cultural artifacts such as this is a big part of what makes CC so invaluable.

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