BOOK REVIEW: SIGMUND, Vol. 1

Sigmund, Vol. 1
Henrik Jonasson
Arktos Media
162 pages

Reviewed by Rémi Tremblay

The metapolitical struggle, as originally envisioned by Antoni Gramsci and his heirs, should be seen, from our side, as a large-scale crusade for the Reconquista of our culture. We aim to smash the current hegemony and replace it with a new one in tune with natural laws and our own best interests. 

So far it has been theoretically well understood by White advocates, as exemplified by the multiplication of publishing houses, blogs, podcasts, memes, etc. But its impact has been limited, for various reasons. Aside from the fact that we need to gain a wider audience there is also the fact that we have failed to invest in all the tools of battle at our disposal. 

We produce essays, novels, analyses, history books, podcasts, videos, but we have seldom attempted to invest in other fields, and, let’s face it, those are the ones that can help us reach a larger audience; those are the domains that really matter. 

If we are to transform what is now a cultural guerrilla war into a full scale metapolitical war, we need to go for movies, comic strips, children's lit, and other popular media. Most people do not read books, let alone political books, but most watch movies and sitcoms, and when they read, they prefer something not too demanding, like comic strips or graphic novels. Analyzing and critiquing mainstream productions to give them a nationalist twist, like many movie buffs from our ranks have been doing, is honorable, but far from being enough.

I was then more than happy when I saw that Arktos had published its first graphic novel, Sigmund Vol. 1, last year. I rushed to get a copy, which I have since read a few times. The very fact that we are diversifying our cultural production must be lauded and applauded, and we must salute Henrik Jonasson’s initiative. Jonasson has not only written the scenario for a book and illustrated it; he has opened a new battlefield.

Sigmund is a black and white adaptation of the first phase of the XIIIth century Islandic Völsunga saga, featuring Sigmund and his sister Signy, heirs of Völsung and his wife Hljod. The artwork, that readers will either love or abhor, is reminiscent of Michel Gassies’ WWI illustrations. Dark, sometimes unclear, the visual carries an oppressive atmosphere. Viking Scandinavia was no heaven, as some nostalgic souls may think; it was a land of hardship and pain, from which emerged greatness. Will is not forged in the Garden of Eden but in blood, tears, and biting darkness.

Sigmund was a ruthless king, a lord who knew neither mercy nor pity. Guided solely by his definition of honor, trying to fulfill his destiny, he was the incarnation of Will, in the Nietzschean sense. But it had not always been that way.

The graphic novel focuses on his youth, when he was the exact opposite, a tender child, a weakling incapable of rudeness, even less violence. Despite the divine blood the legend claimed flowed in his veins, he prefers dying to inflicting pain on any living creature. It is Signy, his twin sister, who after years of trying to make a man out of her soft brother, finally manages to force him to shed blood to save her. 

The story can be appreciated in itself, and each reader may draw different life lessons from it based on his own experience, but after the first reading one cannot fail to see the analogy with the current situation of our people, unwilling to take a stand or affirm ourselves, despite our noble origins. The breed of heroes seems to have died with our generation, too morally weak to even wish to exist.  

The young Sigmund, just like us, prefers coddling and living in a world of illusions, daydreaming rather than looking at the real picture. Seeking pleasure and chasing happiness, he refuses to acknowledge reality. His sister Signy tries to awake him from his reveries, but to no avail. Signy is the perfect portrayal of today's Cassandras. No one wants to hear what they have to say, because it is too unpleasant and would force them to leave their comfort zone. Playing and enjoying life without any regards for the future is now considered a virtue. YOLO! Or Carpe Diem for the more educated ones.

However, Jonasson seems to believe that when we have our backs against the wall, when we have nowhere left to turn, then, our people will finally wake up. The time for half measures and niceness will be done; it will be the time of the iron-clad will. 

Doctors have long known this truth: to avoid amputation when an infection has started, one must act fast and not wait until a drastic solution is inevitable. In Sigmund’s case, his awakening costs him more than an organ: he loses his humanity.

But still, this grim prophecy, drawn by Jonasson, contains the seeds of optimism. Signy never gives up hope, even when her twin brother prefers to be beaten than to give a blow. If that little girl, symbolising our conscience, can keep hope, why can’t we?

Of course, what the tale implies is that hard times will occur if we do not make a stand now. The longer we wait and the more we endure the present order, the harder and the less pleasant will be the reckoning. There is no way one can escape his fate. Winston Churchill once said that to Neville Chamberlain:

“You were given the choice between war and dishonour. You chose dishonour, and you will have war.”

Hard not to see a parallel here!

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