Heidnisches Jahrbuch 2008 (2008)

It took quite a while to read this Heidnisches Jahrbuch. This is because it is the thickest so far (500) pages, but also because there are some very long essays in it which are not all too interesting. Perhaps it is also because of the fact that I read three of these Jahrbücher in line, so perhaps I got a bit Jahrbuch-weary. I am glad that Editon Roter Drache took over the publication of the defunkt publisher (and editor) Daniel Junker, because I missed this third edition. Like the other issues, this third volume is about contemporary heathenry, but mostly contains investigations of contemporary heathens. There are articles about the problems of reviving a broken tradition, the study of paganism (or pagan studies), Slavic poetry, the Wessobrun prayer, ‘the last journey’ and Franz Xaver von Unger. The articles that I remember better are Hermann Ritter’s Von Ausen Gestellte Fragen An Die Edda a perhaps not overly scholarly essay, but a nice personal text of a person who looks at the Eddas and comes up with all kinds of “why”s, “how”s and “what”s. Nicely critical, sometimes slightly provocative, showing that the Eddas are not exactly books that one should take literally. A very long, too long in fact, essay is about honour in Germanic society. I have read a few similar texts in the last year. Christian Brühning does not really come up with anything new and he jumps to sidepaths a bit. Not uninteresting though, since it brings a few things to think about. A text that I already got from the author a few years ago is Holger Kliemannel’s short text about Johannes Bureus (and “gothicism”). Kliemannel is a member of the Roter Drache, just as Thomas Karlsson who wrote several books and articles about Bureus, so Kliemannel naturally refers to texts of Karlsson that I never heard of, but he also knew my article. Kliemannel’s article is but a very rudimentary introduction into Bureus. A nice article is about werewolves (by Peter Hilterhaus) in which he goes from modern (film)versions to Männerbünde and a lot in between. The article is not groundbreaking, but a nice read and he critically refers to Kershaw on a few occasions, which is not entirely unjust. Towards the end of the book there are book-, film- and musicreviews.
The third Heidnisches Jahrbuch is not the best one, but like the other three, it is nice to read something written by ‘fellow heathens’. The fourth volume was announced to be the last one, but when I was looking for the cover of number three, I found out that volume five is also available!
2008 Daniel Junker Verlag / 2010 Edition Roter Drache, isbn 393945947X

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