Mysterious Sweden

Writing about the late Swedish crime novelist Stieg Larsson and his oeuvre, Christopher Hitchens delves into the dark side of contemporary Sweden.

Way too mysterious and Gothic for me.

He mentions a “report in the mainstream newspaper Aftonbladet” describing “the findings of [an] anti-Nazi researcher, named Bosse Schön, who unraveled a plot to murder Stieg Larsson that included a Swedish SS veteran.”

This was the same Aftonbladet which treated as credible a blood-libel report about Israelis harvesting organs from Palestinians. So I would tend to discount it.

I think anyone looking into the Swedish heart of darkness, such as it is, ought to examine the strain of anti-Zionism shading into antisemitism on the Left, as reflected in that Aftonbladet story, but Hitchens doesn’t mention it.

I haven’t read any of Larsson’s books, and probably won’t, but according to Hitchens they feature “bent Swedish capitalists, cold-faced Baltic sex traffickers, blue-eyed Viking Aryan Nazis, and other Nordic riffraff.”

I hope there are some laughs too.

Update: Nick Cohen is an enthusiastic fan of Larsson’s books, so I may reconsider. Cohen spoke with Larsson’s partner Eva Gabrielsson.

Eva says that his feminism was entirely genuine. He was not one of the 1970s leftists who said the rights of women should take second place to the class struggle. More to the point, as he aged he didn’t turn into a postmodern multiculturalist. He would never tone down criticisms of racism or misogyny if prejudice came from a different culture or a poor world regime or movement. Alongside his denunciations of white skinheads, he produced condemnations of “honour” killings. “It was the same thing to him,” Eva told me. “If it was neo-Nazis or some Islamic group, it was the same violence, the same hatred.”

To put it as mildly as I can, you have to stare very hard at today’s Britain to find such a principled consistency.

(Hat tip: Sy)