Christian Sehestedt – Johannes V. Jensen – M. Goldschmidt

(12.Jan.2020) Today is Sunday and it’s a bit drizzly out there. But with 4 deg.C and just a light wind otherwise really quite nice for a midwinter day on 56. deg. northern latitude.

That’s exactly the same words with which I began my last post. And quite appropriate, as the weather today must be very nearly like Friday before last. Perhaps a tad less murky, though.

But it’s been raining almost continously since that Friday; in fact it almost seems we now have a rainy season instead of winther proper in Copenhagen.

Today is also the last day of the dutch book sale at the HeiligGeist Church a short walk from the burger bar where I’m writing this.

It’s the friendly folks from the Forum Antiquariat that have been keeping station in the Church Community House for the last fortnight. Today the price is 10 DKR (which translates to about 1,50 Dollars). Here’s some of what I found.

1. EN STATSMAND OG DIPLOMAT – FRA HOLBERG-TIDEN. By Th. THAULOW. København, 1949, Haase & Søn, 157 p. Hardcover.

This volume, bound in contemporary half-calf, is very nicely kept externally, and internally almost like new. It has a stamp on its back as well as on a flyleaf with the name of the Royal Garrison in Copenhagen – a stamp to be found in several of my books, by the way.

Whence it seems the Ministry of Defence is able and willing to sell the books their various libraries want to get rid of; whereas the Danish State Archives (Rigsarkivet/Statens Arkiver) as well as the Copenhagen City Library can only ‘holocaust’ them!

‘Holocaust’ means ‘to burn (a living entity) to ashes as an offering to the Gods or Idols’ (it’s originally an Old Testament thing, I believe?).

Books are ‘living entities’, and to ashes they were transmuted – 490.000 books worth of ashes! (link 1, below)

Hence you have to infer, I suspect, that the Ministry of Defence is not (yet) populated by traitors and barbarians? Although the DeepState ofcourse is working hard to remedy this anomaly (whence the ‘yet’ in parenthesis).

Some of you may remember that the Danish Defence Intelligence Agency (FET) got a civil director in place of the customary high ranking officer a few years ago?

And why is that so important, you may ask? Simple – You would no doubt be hard put to corrupt our national body of officers sufficiently to fill up the military Intelligence Agency with traitors and rascals working for the DeepState more or less exclusively: an international family of rogue Intelligence Services controlled by the DeepState? – or perhaps even by the Mob?

(Just for the record: I certainly do not imply, that the current leadership of our Military Intelligence Agency are traitors and/or rogues! But I do imply, that this would eventually be the case if the agenda of the DeepState (are they perhaps running Denmark to this very day?) is ultimately allowed bo be fulfilled.)

But back to Mr. Thaulow (1882-1961) and his book. He was an officer of the Danish State Telegraph office and an avid (amateur) historian, with several substantial works to his name.

(Matter of factly I made a note of his main data (as likewise for the other authors mentioned in this post) – but ofcourse I forgot my notes when leaving my flat; you’ll remember, perhaps, that I have to write everything for my blog in burger bars and cafés, as I am and have been closely and malevolently surveilled and spied upon in my flat for many years (acoustic and keylogger surveillance at the very least!). It’s both irritating and dangerous, but ofcourse also a tad flattering: without a shred of doubt it designates you as a (very) important person!)

Mr. Thaulow was married to an offspring of the Sehestedt family from the Ravnholt estate on Funen, whence perhaps his incitement for writing the present book. Here’s the first paragraph of what he says by way of introduction:

‘I Ravnholt Arkiv paa Fyn findes fem dagboeger fra 1696-1702 og 1720-30, et par private brevjournaler og kopiboeger samt en del breve, koncepter og kopier, efterladt af af den kendte statsmand og diplomat, geheimeraad Christian Sehestedt til Nislevgaard og Ravnholt (1666-1740).

‘Disse arkivsager giver mange interessante og for stoerstedelen ret ukendte bidrag ikke blot til en karakteristik af geheimeraaden, men ogsaa til belysning af hans tids personalhistoriske, kulturhistoriske og politiske historie. Det har været hensigten med denne bog at udnytte dette stof til et stykke tidshistorie med ham som den centrale skikkelse.’

2. DANSK-FRANSK ORDBOG. By Andreas Blinkenberg og Poul Høybye. Grundlagt af Margrethe Thiele. 3.ed. 2. vols. København, Arnold Busck, 1975. 1043 + 1015 p. Hardcover.

These two volumes has only very small signs of use and constitutes, I believe, the most recent edition of this massive french and danish dictionary.

And massive it is: The more than 2000 pages are printed very, very tightly on thin, but heavy paper, making the books rather cumbersome. Frankly my guess is this dictionary may have no peer or even match of its kind anywhere in the world; it’s that substantial.

I have for many years owned the previous, one-volume edition (incl. its supplement). But this two-volume edition for 20 Kr (3 dollars) is simply a steal! (A quick check has confirmed that a set like this would normally be priced at around 400 DKR (60 dollars), pre owned).

3. PISANGEN. Myter, Femte Bind. By Johannes V. JENSEN, København, Gyldendal, 1932, 150 p. Hardcover.

An original edition of this work by Jensen, who in 1944 received the Nobel Price for Literature.

For good measure it’s very nicely bound in half-calf. It has the inscription of one ‘Ellen Henriques – 24.April.1932’ on a fly leaf.

PISANG is reportedly the name of a malay plant family, to which the banana belongs.

I would have liked to skim – or perhaps even read – these essays myself; but I fear I may have to present it to a niece of mine.

But imagine: An original edition of one of our internationally renowned authors, and very nicely bound, for just 1,50 dollars!

4. JOHANNES V. JENSEN – 1873 * 20.JANUAR * 1943. København, Gyldendal, 1943. 237 p. Beautifully bound in light-brown calf.

This work was published as a present to Jensen on his 70th birthday. Among the contributors are: Hans Hartvig Seedorff Pedersen, Otto Gelsted, Johs. Brøndum-Nielsen, Hartvig Frisch, Felix Nørgaard, Johs. Brøndsted, Hans Hvass, Knudåge Riisager, Aage Marcus – and lo-and-behold – Alf Henriques with an essay: Mytedigteren.

We remember, that PISANGEN (Myter, above) has been owned by Ellen Henriques; and as there were several other Jensen-books, many beautifully bound, during this sale in the HeiligGeist Church house, it’s perhaps reasonable to ask if these books have come from the Henriques-estate – one way or another?

Alf Henriques (1906-76) was a prominent literary historian; and my hunch about Ellen Henriques turned out to be propitious, as she was his (second) wife.

5. KEJSER FREDERIK 2.s KORSTOG OG KAMPENE MED IBELINERNE. By Filip Af Novara. Oversat af H.Bach. København, Gyldendal, 1946, 146 p. Soft-cover.

I may own this slight volume already? But what caught my eye was a paper slip with a pencil-drawn outline of some of the ancestors of Emperor Frederik 2. – or rather his queen (one of them) – Isabella(2).

The pedigree delineated is like this: Isabella(2) – Johan af Brienne – Marie of Montferrat – Konrad of Montferrat married to Isabella(1) – Amalrik(1) married to Maria Komnena.

The Komnena’s is an interesting family, said to have many modern rulers among its progeny; most Persian rulers, for instance? Reportedly they claim descent from King David.

Many readers will know Anna Komnena and her memoirs from the period aound the first crusade.

6. DANMARKS HISTORIE, By F.C.Dahlmann. Efter den tydske Original ved Major v. Jenssen. 3 vols. 1840,1841,1847. 672, 695, 666 p. Bound in contemporary half-calf.

These three volumes likewise carry the stamp of the Royal Copenhagen Garrison. They are very well preserved, outside as well as inside.

The author, Friedrich Christoph Dahlmann (1785-1860) was born in Wismar/Mecklenburg. But as his mother had roots in Holstein (then part of the Danish Kingdom), he became associated with Denmark.

He was a history professor in Kiel/Holstein and later in Göttingen. His ‘Geschichte v. Dänemark’ (History of Denmark/Danmarks Historie) was considered to be an original and very respectable work. It appears to be complete with above three volumes. It covers the period from our ancient history and until the closing of the middle ages (1523).

It’s incredible to have found this quite uncommon set for 4,50 dollars in all – and in very nice condition, to boot. But due to my missing notes I have to postpone giving sample quotes to another rainy day.

7. VEJEN TIL SWANN. Paa Sporet Af Den Tabte Tid (vol.2). Af Marcel PROUST. Transl. by Chr.Rimestad. København/Oslo 1932, Martins forlag. 317p., nicely bound in contemp. half-calf.

My kid-sister has asked me to keep on the look out for a lacking volume of this work. And although it’s not this vol.2, I thought she would like this very nice specimen of the first danish edition.

As I’ve professed time and again in my blogposts I don’t (now) read fiction; I hardly ever did, by the way, except for the classic american detective novels (link 2). I remember being presented with ‘Ben Hur’, the novel, on my 12th birthday. I was quite surprised and disappointed and frankly haven’t read the book to this day. Only recently I found out who was the hero, the setting and the plot.

From what little I’ve learned about Mr. Proust’s great work I have a distinct feeling it would be a particularly dreary drudge if I ever had to peruse it closely. Especially, perhaps, because it would annoy me greatly to have to surmise and hypothesize who the key figures in his novels might possibly be intended to delineate!

However I have a small volume with his critique of the great literary critic, Sainte Beauve, that I’m looking forward to peruse closely.

8. NORD OG SYD. Et Ugeskrift. Red. og udg. af M. GOLDSCHMIDT. First and second volume, København, Sept. – Dec. 1849. bound together in one volume. 442+148 pages, hardcover.

This volume is reasonably well kept, and (frugally) bound in contemporary half-calf.

I also found volumes 4, 5, 7/8. All likewise bound in contemporary half calf.

Vols 5 and 7/8 are not from the same lot as the previous. Both are somewhat nicer bound, although vol. 7/8 is badly water stained inside. Vol. 5 has a stamp on the title page with the initials and crown of a noble (a baron); no doubt the most prominent of the letters is an R – could it perhaps be the author Palle Rosencranz, a baron? Frankly I’m unable to decode the lot – but perhaps there is also an L before and after the R? (incidentally: M.Goldschmidt’s mother was L.L.Rothschild; she died in 1870. I do not know if she was a Baroness).

Meïr Aron Goldschmidt (1819-87) was one of the leading authors, and perhaps the most gifted journalist, of his time.

He subsequently published several papers/magazines, of which ‘Nord & Syd’ was the third and last. He was a sharp critic and satirist, also wrote about the plight of his fellow jews.

For me his ‘Erindringer og Resultater’ (Memoirs and Results) are perhaps most attractive. But there is surely also much of interest in Nord & Syd, although ofcourse much is now out of date and thus barely comprehensible for the modern reader.

Here’s a few sample quotes from Nord & Syd, vol.7, 1855. Purely by chance I opened on page 189 (G. is talking about one of his critics, DAGBLADET’s editor, Bille):

‘DAGBLADET er deres blad! Det er ret som skabt for Dem og De for Dagbladet.

‘Baade om disse smaaborgere og om disse storborgere og matadorer gjaelder, hvad Custine siger i ‘Romuald’: ‘Saavel i religionen som i politiken seer jeg misundelsens aand paa bunden af alle bevaegelser (revolutioner). Borgerfolkene ere i endnu hoeiere grad end adelen indtagne imod lighedsprincipet – nemlig mod lighed med folk, der i stand ere under dem; men de vove ikke hoeit at tilstaae deres lyst til at blive foretrukne og privilegerede. De ere undselige aristokrater’…

‘For begge er DAGBLADET det fortraeffeligste blad (FAEDRELANDET er af sine gode dage blevet tungt og haemorrhoidalsk, det har nok sindelaget, men et hoeist ujevnt humeur). DAGBLADET tjener begge klassers instincter med en veverhed, der er ligesaa beundringsvaerdig som comisk, f.ex. ved dets evindelige aristokratisk-lakerede feide med transtoevlerne og mester Geert Winther, paa samme tid som det i sand og skjoen bourgeois-vaerdighed tordner mod aristokratiet i de hoeiere samfundsklasser.

‘Og laeg maerke til, hvordan det forstaaer at privilegere sig. Om enhver anden, der angreb ‘Bondevennerne’, vilde det bevise, at han havde reactionaire sympathier; om enhver anden, der angreb godseier-aristokratiet, vilde det bevise, at han havde paadraget sig forpligtelser til Bondevennerne; om enhver anden der anbreb og latterliggjorde Grundtvig, vilde det bevise, at han var unational; anbreb han derimod det latinske sprog, universitetet o.desl., vilde det bevise, at han var en barbar.

‘Men selv kan det voltigere mellem alt dette og ydermere vise de forhadte aristokrater den opmærksomhed at omtale deres fashionable baller, soireer o. desl. – det hoerer til geschaeftet, til at vinde abonnenter, ligesom den franske romanfeuilleton og ligesom aftrykket af den handelsliste, som dets concurrent maa betale med nogle hundrede rigsdaler, og som det har taget gratis….af hoeist politiske grunde.’

(p.191) ‘Som sagt, herr Bille tillader herr Ploug at tale med. Vi andre skulle af den lille tyran underkastes den chinesiske tvang og kun have lov til at stemme absolut ja eller absolut nei, og tyrannen er ikke engang mandig, modig, hoeihjertet, saa at der blev noget respectabelt ved hans comiske arrogance; men han er plebejisk og feig: han lyver om sin fjende….

‘Det vilde vaere urigtigt at paastaae, at DAGBLADET bliver redigeret ganske uden talent, og at det ikke undertiden siger noget rigtigt. Men det er ingen kunst at sige noget rigtigt om en sag, naar man ikke bekymrer sig om at sige alt det rigtige, naar man er ligegyldig for, hvad man fordoelger, hvad man overdriver o.s.v.

‘Det er ogsaa maerkeligt nok, at et blad, der redigeres af unge mennesker, har saa lidt friskhed, medens man ikke kan naegte, at det er meget firskfyragtigt. Den egentlige friskhed hos unge mennesker, der fremtræder i literaturen, skulde bestaae i kjaerlighed til sandhed, begeistring for det retfaerdige, en vis ridderlig upartiskhed. Hos DAGBLADET er alt saadant druknet i den meest hensynslaese partiskhed, som jeg nogensinde har seet, og som ikke vrager noget middel.’

9. BIDRAG TIL FREDERIK 2.s OG ERIK 14.s HISTORIE. Af Frede P Jensen. 1978, København, Den Danske Historiske Forening. 173 p. paperbound.

I have found nothing about the author. Here is the first paragraph of authors preface:

‘Medens litteraturen om Erik 14. er omfattende og mangesidig kan dette ikke siges at være tilfældet for Frederik 2. vedkommende. Den danske konges liv har savnet de dramatiske momenter, der kendetegnede hans svenske fætters og modstanders biografi, og har ikke i samme grad appelleret til historikernes fantasi. Med nogle faa undtagelser er Frederik 2.s historie i dette aarhundrede kun blevet taget op til behandling i oversigtsarbejder.’

A sample quote from p.76:

‘Peder Oxe-biografien er ogsaa gennemsyret af den forestilling, at al vor fortraed var tysk. Naesten intet tysk finder naade for Troels-Lunds oejne. En gennemgang af bogens personkarakteristikker viser at tyskerne staar for det broesige og overmodige, det sleske, det drabelige, hvorimod det danske vaesen karakteriseres ved soliditet og jaevnhed, djaervhed og lune.

‘Ud fra den forudsaetning at Oxes hovedindsats faldt under og efter en langvarig krig med Sverige kunne man have ventet, at den dansk-svenske modsaetning havde faaet nogen plads i fremstillingen. Men der synes ikke for Troels-Lund at have eksisteret nogen reel modsaetning mellem de nordiske lande.

‘Vi laeser ikke i Troels-Lunds bog om Gustav Vasas eller Erik 14’s danskerhad eller deres oensker om at erhverve de oestdanske provinser. Den nordiske syvaarskrig skildres af Troels-Lund som en fejlslagen erobringskrig, anstiftet af en barnagtig og aerelysten tysk fyrste, Frederik 2., der bag sig havde en krigerisk kamarilla af tyske raadgivere og lykkeriddere.

‘I og med at det svenske medansvar for syvaarskrigens udbrud blev ladt uomtalt er det klart, at vi staar over for den holdning, der ogsaa kom til udtryk i ‘De tre nordiske Broedrefolk’: at de nordiske folk alene kunne foere krig mod hinanden, naar tyske anstiftere stod bag.’

Link 1.

The Autodafés and The Secret Courts of Law in Denmark

Link 2.

Hammett’s Plots


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