Thursday, April 07, 2005

American Mercury part two

Flipping through the 1928 Mercury, I thought this summary of a new novel was excellent,

THE SON, by Hildur Dixelius

Sequel to "The Minister's Daughter."
A strange story of the Swedish people and their superstitions. $2.50


Okay, I have to try and write a section.

Extract from The Son, by Jason Kennedy/Hildur Dixelius

In the valley stood a small wooden hut. A plume of grey smoke rose from the roof and drifted away into the Swedish sky, where the moon lay frozen, a baleful, unblinking eye, full of foreboding. And through the valley, fresh from the Ritual where We Dance and Dance until Our Legs Ache so Much, came Benny, the young woodcutter, a dead rabbit slung over each shoulder. Benny whistled a tune that was non-Christian, the sort of tune a mole might whistle, if the mole ever began to whistle, as in the Great Legend of Gottmund, where the whistling of a giant mole presaged the end of the world, and was cause for much dancing naked and touching the hairs together with womenfolk.

Benny hummed, for his day was over. Inside his humble hut, Anna would be waiting, her face hidden behind a mask. But what mask would it be in this place of madness and superstition, where even the raising of an arm was preceded by six weeks of intricate ceremony, and was never attempted within a stone's throw of a Great Tree Spirit. Would it be the Otter Mask? Or the Hamster Mask? Or worse, the Bat Mask, that meant 3 days hanging together in a cave, followed by the chasing of wild beasties across the untarnished Swedish landscape, through grottoes where gnomes cut merry jigs and the fairies watched, their gossamer wings shot through by the light from Obon, the Great Yellow Eye Up There.

Benny opened the door. His wife was lying in bed with Bjorn, his best friend. They were touching the hairs together.

"Hello! Hello wife! Hello Bjorn!"
"Hello!" cried his wife and Bjorn, who was making the hammer fall on the rock and was groaning. Bjorn finished and tucked away his hammer of love.
"I enjoy touching the hairs of your wife," said Bjorn.
"Well, friend! In this land of weirdness and superstition, we can't be seen to be possessive. What is mine is yours. Now, bring in your wife, I want to make my hammer ring out so loud that its mighty clanging shall be heard in the Land of the Dead..."


My apologies to the people of Sweden.


Blogger Jim said...

Another fine addition into the odd but singularly fascinating literary movement that is your life.

By the way, I assigned a meme to you on my blog. You may chose to ignore it if you wish, but if so let me know and I will assign it to someone else. If I don't bad blog luck will befall me.

10:51 AM  
Blogger bhikka said...

Hei kjær venn,, jeg nytt Deres Svensk fairy historie. ...

Jeg har en ting om fairies ; 0 )

3:22 PM  
Blogger L said...

I'm not really sure what to say :)

Sweden sounds interesting, though

5:46 PM  
Blogger brioSphere said...

Never been to Sweden. But I have a friend in Finland and she says Swedes suck. Then again, Most people think Americans suck. In fact, I'd say that in a global poll about sucking, the US would win by a large margin. So what's my point? I never claimed to have one. I'm just bored and wandering, and Jim linked to your blog so it must be good, right?

3:52 AM  
Blogger kingfelix said...

don't know if jim's recommendation means it's good. some of it is good. the reading figures are improving again after a period of stagnation, so maybe it's getting better again.

10:33 PM  

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