by Jon Grena
Read the tale. The title tells you enough.
DEDICATION: For David Russell Jandt (1959-2012). Friend of my youth. Like most of them, a far better man than myself.
"If I hold up one corner and the pupil does not come back at me with the other three,
the lesson is over." ----Confucius (Analects 7.8)
The arrangement of this book calls for some explanation. It consists of nine chapters, each divided into nine sections. The title of each chapter is a short phrase. That phrase is one of the virtues as enunciated by the more "voelkisch" Odinist groups in the United States and Europe. Beneath that is what looks like a quotation. E.g., "I will wrong no oath. Great and grim is the penalty for breaking plighted troth." Each of these is one of the Nine Charges laid upon members of the groups just mentioned.
In addition, at the head of each section in every chapter there stands a name in Old Norse (with English translation.) These are names of Odin, or as I prefer to call him, Wotan. What survives of the old literature contains something over two-hundred such names. Doubtless what has been lost held even more. It was considered a facet of skaldic genius to coin apposite epithets---"kennings"--- for the head of the gods. (Indeed, for any important figure in a saga.)
In this book, only eighty-one such names appear. Nine is a number sacred to we kindred. Nine nines, more so. Accordingly, eighty-one is the number of sections I have divided this tale into. My criterion of selection was that the names resonated deeply with me. They were not initially chosen with an eye to writing any story. Rather they are recited when I perform my creed's daily "blot."
As for the style, long ago I was deeply impressed at the ability of the classic writers to tell a long tale concisely yet completely. Moreover, to tell that tale with deep seemly restraint. Xenophon, for example, writes of days on end filled with battle and not once does he dwell on his own emotions. Not because he felt none. But because he trusts to his narrative to waken parallel states in the reader. Hence my quotation of Confucius in the dedication. My goal was to present the reader a series of sketches touching on my hero, Martin Schneider's life, then let that reader infer what he would about my hero's motives and character. One might think of this as the antithesis of a David Foster Wallace novel: works where the author expends a thousand-plus pages of excruciating detail in not finishing a story. Mine has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Most of all, it has a point. Which returns this preface to the quote from Confucius once more.
Readers of my earlier "Peniel on the Dniester," and "The Tribes of Tisenjoch" will note that this book obliquely carries forward those tales. In a deeper sense, this novella truly does carry on the story. In "Peniel," a deepening dissatisfaction with Islam and a curiosity whether the Orthodox Church held out hope for the West were the themes. That query was answered in the negative. In "Tribes'" preface, I expressed disquiet at the direction simple frankness about this age was taking my beliefs. The frankness remains. The disquiet has dissipated. Raganork is at hand. Let us gird ourselves to meet it. Return all, return to your roots!
3 February, 2018
My seventeenth year in exile