After a hiatus of seven years this influential and erudite Radical Traditionalist journal returns with a bang, continuing its cogent rejection of the materialist lifestyles produced by our dominant over-specialized urban/corporate monoculture, in favour of a re-sacralized world where folk/traditional culture instills tribal community and promotes a harmonious relationship between men and women. In this last respect, in particular, let’s hope the editors’ optimism bears fruit, as the so-called ‘battle of the sexes’ ought by now to have withered on the vine. Or have been uprooted for the ugly and false hybrid of a weed it really always has been.
Joshua Buckley’s economical editorial preface discussing sacredness of the body as well as the spirit kicks off the issue, providing context for new readers and a reorientation for old readers. This leads smoothly into a long and important piece by regular TYR contributor Alain De Benoist, who amply demonstrates the current folly of psychologists, sociologists and scientists like Richard Dawkins in their attempts to evaluate religious feeling and experience in functionalist terms, demonstrating the inherent inability of their respective disciplines and mind-sets to clearly define, never mind ‘solve’, the problem of what religion really is.
Collin Cleary’s article follows, entitled ‘What Is Odinism’ and in part demonstrates a better understanding of the issue than professional savants and pundits, especially in his recognition of the key concept in Odinism (and in my opinion in all vital traditions) that the ‘believer’ does not ‘worship’ the god or goddess, instead he or she attempts to become it.
For this reviewer, the first 100 pages of the issue are the most cogently compelling, but there is plenty of shorter, high quality pieces on offer in the remainder, including Nigel Pennick on ‘Traditional Time-Telling in Old England’, the currently popular Claude Lecouteux on ‘Garden Dwarves and ‘Geiler von Kaiserberg and the Furious Army’, Steve Harris on ‘Barbarian Suffering’, Stephen Pollington on ‘Germanic Art in the First Millennium’ and another high-point for me is Blood Axis’ brilliantly gifted Michael Moynihan with a compelling, long discussion of artist/explorer/illustrator Rockwell Kent. In addition, Joshua Buckley and The Fenris Wolf creator, Carl Abrahamsson supply a superb interview with pioneering psychedelic explorer Ralph Metzner, which reveals many hitherto-unknown snippets of information. There is more; as always, TYR is a big journal, packed full of interesting stuff.
This time around there are fewer music/book reviews, but the page count allowed for this section is equivalent to previous numbers; what the editors have done in this isssue is to innovate and provide longer, more in-depth reviews instead of a lot of short ones, and nowhere does this benefit more than in Joscelyn Godwin’s review of Julius Evola’s ‘intellectual autobiography’ The Path Of Cinnabar, a controversial work fully deserving of the full and somewhat controversial review Godwin in turn provides.
TYR 4 is highly recommended reading and will pleasantly surprise even those readers content with the dominant ‘entertainment’-based culture who probably will think it’s not for them – have a look; you never know, it might shake you out of your virtual reality!