Talk:Viktor Rydberg/Archive 1

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Contents

Rydberg and Mythology

The repeated attempts to portray Rydberg as an "expert on Norse mythology" border on vandalism, imo. The latest attempt, on March 10, cites to p.85 of Moffett's The North! To the North! for this proposition. However, the title of the book was given incorrectly, and no such statement appears anywhere on page 85, raising the question of whether User IP 97.100.224.7 has even seen the book. If he wants to cite Moffet, I would recommend the following from p. 84: Rydberg was "a historian who cared more for atmospheres and half-truths than for historical facts."Rsradford (talk) 23:30, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

The reference the redactor objects to correctly appears verbatim on page 78 of Judith Moffet's work, The North! To The North!. She states, among other things, that he was an "expert on Norse mythology" and "recognized by his contemporaries as such." Not only have I seen the book, I own a copy of it. Judith Moffett is of course, no expert on Swedish poets herself, simply one of the few English language writers who has written extensively on the subject. She is a science fiction writer by trade, see her Wikipedia entry for details. Viktor Rydberg's works on Norse mythology are widely recognized as relevant scholarship, and cited in numerous scholarly works in several languages (Swedish, English, German, French, etc) up to the present day. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 97.100.230.5 (talk) 05:34, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
Anon IP 97.100.230.5, please stop posting attacks on other editors. I don't know why you think a science fiction writer is qualified to evaluate Rydberg's competence in Norse mythology, particularly since you have deleted quotes from her book that other editors have posted. I have added Moffett's less flattering evaluations side by side with the quote you posted, so readers can get the full range of her views. Please do not delete them, unless you want to remove Moffett's comments in their entirety for lack of authoritativeness.Rsradford (talk) 12:10, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

I'm sorry if you feel my editing the excess in your posts are attacks on you personally. My aim is to present a more balanced view of Rydberg's place in literary history. You will notice I have added several quotes from a wide range of scholarship, offering a more balanced view of Rydberg's work, particularly among European scholars. Moffet's work, by her own admission, is speculative and opinionated. I see no reason to omit her factual assertions, and ample reason to omit her more speculative opinions. I'm puzzled by your past efforts to delete more recent translations of Rydberg's works, and your seeming refusal to admit his vast influence on Swedish cultural life and literature. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 97.100.230.5 (talk) 02:59, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

Anon IP 97.100.230.5, I am sorry you were not able to restrain yourself from deleting content from the page, even for a single day. You have received a second Level 4 warning for your repeated attacks on me and your accusations concerning my motives, which have again been deleted. If it is possible for you to discuss Rydberg without resorting to argumentum ad hominem, please do so.
Published evaluations of Rydberg’s work by leading scholars in the field cannot remotely be described as “vandalism.” On the other hand, it distorts the record to post only positive commentary, while deleting critical comments by the same author in the same work, as you have done. I have accordingly restored the comments you deleted by Moffet and Davidson, and added additional relevant commentary by Prof. Anatoly Libermann. Like other editors before me, I have also deleted your references to several vanity-press paperbacks. Wikipedia is not a soapbox, nor is it a forum for the promotion of self-published works by amateurs.
If you have a good-faith interest in contributing to an objectively balanced evaluation of Rydberg and his work, I invite you to submit the foregoing points to mediation by an impartial Wikipedia administrator. I am willing to abide by the outcome of such mediation. Are you? Rsradford (talk) 21:28, 22 March 2008 (UTC)


Please refrain from characterizing my view. My aim is, and always has been, to present a fair and balanced portrait of one of Sweden's best-loved authors, free from fleeting opinions of the authors work, culled from obscure sources. I prefer to stick to the facts, as they are known. I have made several contributions to this article over the years. My record speaks for itself.

The books you refer to pregoratively as "Vanity Press" books are widely recognized by Rydberg scholars and found in the Swedish Royal Library, as well as other libraries. It would be dishonest not to include them, if translations of his work are to be mentioned at all. The Norroena Society which published Rydberg's mythological work in 1906 was also a "vanity press" yet you do not object to its inclusion. I find your opinion in this matter inconsistent. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 97.100.235.115 (talk) 06:08, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Anon IP 97.100.235.115, your continuing personal attacks (again removed from this page) and your refusal to accept mediation suggest that you are not interested in participating in an objective, balanced portrayal of Rydberg’s work. Most people understand that amateur, vanity press paperbacks of the sort you are promoting are not authoritative for any purposes, and are especially out of place in an encyclopedia article. Your conflict of interest in this matter has been noted, and administrator intervention has been requested to restore a neutral POV to this article.Rsradford (talk) 12:21, 27 March 2008 (UTC)


"Borders on vandalism" is absurd exaggeration and polemic POV. Rydberg's familiarity with the entire corpus of Norse and Germanic mythology is quite clear, regardless of whether one agrees with his interpretations of that mythology. One is not required to like the interpretations of any given expert, and with the wide diversity of experts, one is likely to disagree with many of them. But disagreement with the interpretations or style of a given expert does not invalidate their expertise.CarlaO'Harris (talk) 19:30, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

Rsradford is entitled to his opinions as a matter of course. But for an advocate of an extreme and aggressive polemic to discuss "objective, balanced portrayals" smacks of hypocrisy. Clearly Mr. Radford does not like the interpretations of Rydberg, and he is entitled, in the appropriate forums, to express this dislike in whatever form of critique he chooses ; and, furthermore, citations of any critiques and polemics Mr. Radford has to offer are fair, in the interests of providing readers with a different POV (although citation of collections of critique and counter-critique would be most in the interest of fairness), but what is not appropriate is attempting to inject polemic into a "balanced" portrayal of Rydberg in the main article. Readers should have access to balanced, legitimate, non-slanderous critiques so that they can make up their own mind, but if Mr. Radford merely wishes to inform people that he doesn't like Rydberg's theories, and what is de rigueur and what is faux pas in the social circles he esteems, he can do that in his own time and on his own pages. CarlaO'Harris (talk) 19:42, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

Vanity press paperbacks

Once again, it has been necessary to delete references in this article to several amateur, vanity press paperbacks. If anyone knows of a legitimate reason why these particular items should be an exception to the general rule that self-published vanity works are not recognized as citable references, please discuss it here before re-inserting them into the article for some other editor to delete. Rsradford (talk) 16:14, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

There is another rule on wikipedia:ignore all rules. The basic idea behind this is that the spirit of the rules should be followed, not the exact wording of the rules, there are exceptions for everything. As these are simply English translations of his work, I think they should be included.
If you know of other higher quality English translations, then perhaps use those instead, but in their absence, I think using the vanity press ones is be fine. Restepc (talk) 23:14, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

DeVries Quote

The following quote from DeVries was inadequately documented. Can anyone confirm its authenticity and provide a page citation?

"At a time, when one was firmly convinced that the Old Norse myths were a late product, Rydberg's voice resounds. At that time, he swam against the stream, but he clearly expressed that which has become an ever stronger certainty today: a large part of the myths of the Germanic tradition —and that is to say basically the Old Norse tradition—must be set back in a time when the undivided Proto-Indo-European people themselves created the vessel of their worldview in myths."Rsradford (talk) 12:23, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
Mr. Radford, this is not a personal matter, please refrain from charactizing my motives. My only aim is to improve this page. If you would like to continue a good-faith dialog I urge you to stick to the matter at hand. Any mediators who cares to look at the history of this page will see that I have not attacked you.
Please be aware that I have done extensive work on this page over the years, and have made a good-faith effort to incorporate your ideas, where they may be of historical value. However, I must admit that I am amused by the irony of your citing Hilda Davidson, who advocates the reduction of all Norse goddesses into a single Great Goddess of the North, beside that of Anatoly Lieberman who renounces Rydberg for seeming to do the same thing. Notably, in citing an author as prolific as Davidson, you quoted brief book review of another author's work, in which she makes a passing reference to Rydberg. While I respect her right to her opinion, I see no basis for including it an objective encyclopedia entry. I also reviewed the web-published Lieberman article and noted he gave no examples or reasons for his opinion, and was surprised to find that he resorted to calling Rydberg names, such as a "thunderous Snorri basher"; thus I deleted the references to it here. Such op-ed pieces have no place in a "neutral" article.
You will note that I fleshed out your more historical references with additional research and added a number of new references to satisfy your need for scholarly citation. In the interest of bettering this site, please let me know how I did. I would ask that you refrain from removing scholarly citations that you find inadequately cited, until you can verify they are in error. As you may remember, the citations you objected to before were proven accurate. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 97.100.237.167 (talk) 05:16, 28 March 2008 (UTC)
Anon IP 97.100.237.167, your ongoing personal attack again noted and deleted. Neither I nor anyone else here is interested in your personal opinions. On the other hand, published evaluations of Rydberg's work by scholars in the field are authoratative, and will remain in the article. As noted above, the DeVries quote is inadequately authenticated, and will remain deleted until it can be authenticated by someone without a conflict of interest.Rsradford (talk) 13:27, 28 March 2008 (UTC)


The comments I have posted here have been marred beyond recognition by your editing and self-appointed censorship, and are not reflective of my actual statements. Since you seem to feel persecuted, and act accordingly, I see no point in continuing this conversation. Your bias is clearly expressed in your online work, posted under the rubric "The Rydberg Religion" and "Galinn Grund". Your continued adulteration of my posts here, do not obliterate that fact. Such bias has no place in an objective encyclopedia article.

If you truly consider published evaluations of Rydberg's work authoratative you may wish to refer to a wide variety of these, particularly those in Swedish, German and French, rather than limit yourself to the opinions of English-language authors expressed in obscure book reviews and online articles, penned on topics and books unrelated to this author's work. Davidson's book review of Hamlet's Mill by de Santillana and von Dechend, and a review of the Baldr myth which make passing references to Rydberg are not "evaluations" of his work; and do not deserve the disporportionate amount of space you have afforded them. Your continued efforts to insert these amount to vandalism. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 97.100.237.167 (talk) 02:33, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

Here are some specific objections to your additions, which you may find useful. I have placed your statements in quotes:

"Although Rydberg's studies in Norse mythology have sometimes been defended,[15] they are not highly regarded by modern scholars, and were described as "fantasies" by H. R. Ellis Davidson."


Rydberg's works have sometimes beeen defended, and sometimes been panned. That is the nature of all scholarship. The same is true of Hilda Davidson's work. You will find few modern Eddaic scholars who hold her attempts to reduce all goodesses into one Great Goddess in "high regard". Respect for the person is, of course, distinquished from holding their work in "high regard." Few if any scholarly works of the 19th century are "highly regarded" by "modern scholars", if you mean that modern scholars hold the views expressed in these works. Scholarship rarely remains stagnant. In 100 years, the works of these same "modern scholars" are likely not to be highly regarded by "modern scholars" of that future time. Thus, this statement as a topic sentence is misleading. A neutral view would not focus on the negative aspect of the criticism in the opening lines. In my many years of reading scholarly literature, I have never seen a neutral article on a subject begin with a slew of negative statements about a subject's work, nor place such an undue emphasis on the dissenting view. This is, however, a common characteristic of biased works.


"Rydberg's mythological investigations drew on "subjective interpretations of the episodes, based more on his imagination and poetical skills than on facts."[17]"

The author of this statement, speaking of a single theory in Rydberg's massive work, follows this by saying that Rydberg was probably correct in his conclusion. Other scholars have confirmed that view. All scholarship on mythic material MUST draw on "subjective interpretations" of the episodes, since literature does not deal in emprical "facts" as hard sciences do. That is the nature of literary criticism. In this arena, Rydberg's poetical skills could rightly be considered an asset, as the mythology is mainly preserved in poetry. Britt-Marie Nässtrom, the author of the statement, is not a poet herself. She objects to his method, not his conclusion, a fact which went unnoted.

"As Anatoly Lieberman has pointed out, “[m]erging Eddic characters and looking for hypostases is an unprofitable occupation. It allows any god (giant, dwarf) to become anybody else, as happened under Rydberg’s pen.”[18]

This demonstrably also happened under the pen of Hilda Davidson and Britt-Marie Nästrom (which you quote here)and many others. It is a common phenomena in mythic scholarship. Both cited authors advocate interpreting the godddesses Freyja, Frigg, Idunn etc as hypostatises of one great goddess, akin to the theoritical Universal Great Goddess of the Stone Age. Thus, the inclusion of these statements side-by-side is not only self-contradictory, but borders on the comical to anyone familiar with the works of these authors. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 97.100.237.167 (talk) 03:12, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

edit warring

I have no opinion on whether the Reaves translations deserve to be mentioned (any reviews?), but if the present edit-war continues, I think we'll need to semiprotect the article to enforce order. Anonymous, please do get an account if you wish to pursue this dispute. dab (𒁳) 15:10, 15 April 2008 (UTC)


I will open an account at your request. For the record, I have no desire to persue any dispute,nor did any dispute exist until Mr. Radford entered the picture. As the author of the web-based "Rydberg Religion" articles and the "Galinn Grund" website, his interest in this article is not unbias. Mr. Radford has a long history of aggressive opposition to Dr. Rydberg and his mythological works. Such views have no place in a factual article on the author (See his internet writings and participation in such public forums as Google groups, Yahoogroups, etc).

As you can see from my editing history, I have made significant, substantial contributions to this article and others; and am more than willing to work with and incorporate the ideas and input of others, including Mr. Radford. However, I see no reason not to include direct translations of the author's work, especially ones that are widely available free of charge through libraries, and, in part, on Googlebooks; as well as through paid venues such as Barnes and Noble, Amazon, etc. I have opposed attempts to remove references to these works, because the books in question do not express views, they are direct translations of the author's work.

Nor do I feel that is there any reason to exclude websites which provide detailed biographical and bibliographic information about the author, such as Tore Lund's Viktor's Site. I also find it unseemly to present unsupported statements of opinion regarding the author's work and personal life, culled from such places as book reviews of other author's works, as scholarly evaluations of his own life or work. It is my opinion that these have been specifically inserted to subtley denigrate the author's life and work by an editor who has done this elsewhere, on a much larger scale (see the internet based "Rydberg Religion" articles and the "Galinn Grund" website authored by R.S. Radford).

Again, I urge you to compare the foriegn-language Wikipedia sites, and to also research Rydberg's historical reputation in his home country, Sweden. Mr. Radford's views are not representative of mainstream thought on Viktor Rydberg.

If Mr. Radford choses to persue this dispute (and his history suggests he will), I feel that semiprotection of the article would be in the best interest of preserving it from undue tampering. My only aim is to present a fair and accurate portrait of one of Sweden's best-loved authors and historical figures, free from undue bias. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 97.100.237.167 (talk) 02:57, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

this appears to be an issue of the current-day neopagan Asatru movement in the USA. Rydberg was a Romantic. We should discuss his reputation quite independently of such latter-day developments. If there are neopagan groups who take Rydberg's speculations as gospel, that is no fault of Rydberg himself. The Rydberg Religion website is a valuable and well-referenced source. We do not use it to represent Mr. Radford's opinion, but we can use it as a quick reference to actual WP:RS. Thus, quite apart of Radford, the reference of H. R. Ellis Davidson to the "fantasies of Rydberg" as outdated can certainly stand on its own. Just try to avoid personal animosities and focus on content.
Fwiiw, semiprotection will not resolve the dispute. It will, however, enforce protocol. Editors will need to be registered, which will facilitate enforcement of WP:3RR. As long as you stick to Wikipedia rules even while logged out, there is no compelling reason for you to create an account, but I submit that you are more anonymous when editing logged in (at present, your using a Herndon, VA IP is in the open; when logged in, all that will be visible will be your account's editing history). dab (𒁳) 12:59, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Again, the use of "The Rydberg Religion" is the use of a polemic with the color, but not the substance, of scholarly analysis. If you wish to mistake this puppet show for "a valuable and well-referenced source", that perhaps points to your ability to measure the value of a source. You may wish to check on how representative these "analyses" are of the actual sources footnoted. CarlaO'Harris (talk) 06:52, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Boxed up a lengthy and hot-tempered exchange of views
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
As usual, Mr. Reaves (aka IP 97.100.237.167) has been considerably less than candid in describing his deliberate distortions of this article in order to promote his own Vanity Press paperbacks. As for the books themselves, they are amateur "translations" by a layman with no formal training in either translation theory or the Swedish language. They were printed by a vanity press at Mr. Reaves' expense, have absolutely no scholarly status or value, and will never be reviewed in the academic literature. For that reason alone -- even disregarding Mr. Reaves' obvious conflict of interest -- they should not be included as references in a Wikipedia article.
The personal webpage by Tore Lund that Mr. Reaves persistently injects into this article presents a knowingly biased version of Rydberg's life and works. For example, in correspondence Mr. Lund freely acknowledges Rydberg's homosexuality and the fact that the author's racial-mythological "investigations" were baseless fantasies. Yet he makes no mention of those facts on his tribute page, since it not intended to give a comprehensive, objective evaluation of the entirety of Rydberg's life and works. In contrast, "The Rydberg Religion" presents a meticulously documented, scholarly analysis of Rydberg's racial-mythological work, as well as mentioning aspects of the author's life that Mr. Reaves would prefer to conceal. Therefore, he has deleted the link to this work whenever it has been posted by others. As the author of "The Rydberg Religion," I have never added it to the article because (unlike Mr. Reaves) I understand that it would be unethical to promote my own work on Wikipedia. I suggest that either both of these web pages should be included in the links, or neither.
I have repeatedly offered to submit these questions to mediation, but Mr. Reaves refuses to participate in a process that might result in a fair and unbiased portrayal of Rydberg and his work on Wikipedia. I again offer to submit our differences on this subject to mediation. Do you agree to do so, Mr. Reaves? If not, finding some way to protect the article from the self-serving distortions of an editor with a blatant COI is the only solution. Rsradford (talk) 22:53, 24 April 2008 (UTC)


I'm glad that Mr. Radford is willing to acknowledge that promotion of his work should not be a concern here. It is definitely true that "The Rydberg Religion" is meticulously footnoted. That much is obvious. But it is important to note that it only has the color of scholarly analysis. Its presentation of many of its sources are partial, and unrepresentative. We have, in essence, a puppet show with footnotes, with Mr. Radford attempting to marionette his sources into positions that do not fully represent their true position. The footnoting gives color of scholarly analysis, fooling people who don't take the time to check the sources to note that Mr. Radford's very selective quotations and summaries do not represent these authors faithfully. That it represents a great deal of work is beyond question. It is indeed a very carefully crafted work of polemic. CarlaO'Harris (talk) 06:52, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Furthermore, Mr. Radford's corrosive polemic is so blatantly obvious here as he refers to Mr. Reaves' translations as "amateur". Whatever he may think of Rydberg or Reaves, Mr. Reaves has made available to the English-reading public works that have been unavailable in our language. Perhaps Mr. Radford would like to correct Mr. Reaves' translation in a critique which will demonstrate its alleged "amateur" quality. If every translation were required to be performed by a trademarked, credentialized scholar, our art, literature, and even science would be greatly diminished. As far as whether they will ever be reviewed in the academic literature, Mr. Radford might be more careful with his words, as making prophecies about an uncertain future can end up making one look foolish when the future doesn't end up conforming to the prediction. Mr. Radford may end up surprised. Furthermore, regardless of this outcome, Wikipedia most certainly cannot base the validity of a published work upon Mr. Radford's prognostications. CarlaO'Harris (talk) 06:52, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

CarlaO'Harris's opinion of The Rydberg Religion is of course of no interest to me or anyone else. The (adroitly evaded) point of my comment was that it presents a perspective on Rydberg that is at least equally valid as the personal website of Tore Lund. To insist on linking the Rydberg article to one of these websites but not the other clearly demonstrates the bias that has been injected into the entire article by Mr. Reaves' tireless efforts to promote his self-published paperbacks.
That Mr. Reaves' vanity paperbacks are the work of an amateur with no formal training in either translation theory or the Swedish language is undisputed. It was not a "prediction" to say that they will never be reviewed in the academic literature, since vanity press works are uniformly excluded from notice in the scholarly community. The vanity publisher that printed Mr. Reaves' "translations" would be equally happy to print a treatise on metaphysics authored by my dog, if the manuscript was accompanied by a check to cover their costs and profit margin. Such works are not so much books as print jobs. There is simply no excuse to list such material in a serious Wikipedia article. Again, however, I am perfectly willing to submit this point to arbitration. Mr. Reaves, are you sufficiently confident of the "scholarly value" of your vanity works to leave the decision to an objective mediator? Rsradford (talk) 16:37, 25 April 2008 (UTC)


A lawyer pushing for litigation? I'm surprised.


You of course are the author of at least three legal briefs and a tract on modern cults. http://community.pacificlegal.org/NETCOMMUNITY/Page.aspx?pid=347&srcid=356


R. S. Radford - Of Course a Land Use Regulation That Fails to Substantially Advance Legitimate State Interests Results in a Regulatory Taking


R. S. Radford - Why Rent Control Is Still a Regulatory Taking


R. S. Radford; J. David Breemer - The (Less?) Murky Doctrine of Investment-Backed Expectations After Palazzolo; Lower Courts’ Disturbing Insistence on Wallowing in the Pre-Palazzolo


R. S. Radford. THE RYDBERG RELIGION:HOW A FORGOTTEN SWEDISH NOVELIST BECAME THE OBJECT OF A 21st CENTURY CYBER-CULT, 2008.


One of these things is not like the others.

Your personal review of your own work states:

"Simultaneously tedious and silly, this work, a 19th-century novelist’s quirky reinterpretation of 'Aryan' mythology as an imaginary grand epic, was not taken seriously even by the relaxed scholarly standards of its own day. Forgotten or dismissed by serious modern scholars, this fruit of Rydberg’s brief stint as a faux-mythologist lives on thanks to the undifferentiated demand of amateur websites for out-of-copyright content."


In regard to plagarism, a term Mr. Radford is so fond of, and the verifiablity of its many-splendored references, one should always consider the source(s):


"There can likewise be plagarism when non-copyrightable features of a work (whether or not the work is copyrighted) are copied without acknowledgement, so that readers are invited to think that those features are the invention or the discovery of the plagarist. This kind of plagarism can take quite subtle forms.

"For example, a historian might cite a primary source that he had lifted from a citation in a secondary source that he does not mention, thus appropriating the discovery by the author of the secondary work. This is the form of plagarism of which Professor Dershowitz was accused. It is a common practice (as well as an old one— Ben Jonson was accused of it), especially in law, because law professors are mad for citing, and we'll see, originality is not highly-prized in law.

"It is common practice because its consequences are too trivial to arouse much ire (Dershowitz's accusers had ulterior motives) and because, unless the primary source is exceedingly obscure or downright inaccessible or the secondary source contains an error in citing the primary source that is carried over into the accused plagarist's citation, it's almost impossible to detect. But is it really plagarism, or an example of the fuzziness of the concept? For it's not so much a matter of copying but of falsely impyling that one did the drudge work (sometimes more than drudge work) of digging up the primary sources."

Posner, Richard A., The Little Book of Plagarism,Pantheon Books, 2007. —Preceding signed, Jack

Jack the Giant-Killer (talkcontribs) 16:57, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Mr. Reaves, no one can compete with the crazed savageness of your personal attacks, and it would be beneath me to try. (Although the fact that you are apparently unaware of the meaning of the term "legal brief" adds an unwonted note of humor to this particular rampage.) The record is quite clear that you (1) have responded to offers of mediation with ad hominem abuse; (2) have no answer to the obvious truism that your vanity-press "translations" are the product of an amateur with no formal training in either translation theory or the Swedish language. If the other editors are willing to let you use the Rydberg article to peddle the cartons of unsold paperbacks in your garage, that is their right. It is my right to warn potential buyers of their quality, as I shall continue to do. Rsradford (talk) 23:49, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Personal attacks may lead to blocks

Editors on this page are reminded about Wikipedia:No personal attacks. It is hard to remove all the attacks above, because they are interwoven with substantive commentary. Editors who make new attacks against other editors on this page may be blocked. EdJohnston (talk) 15:44, 1 May 2008 (UTC)


Targeted proposal for restoring NPOV to Rydberg article

Since the previous false claims concerning Rydberg’s academic status have been corrected, the article’s most glaring violations of NPOV relate to Rydberg’s imaginative writing on “Aryan mythology.” All references to published scholarship critical of this work have been systematically deleted from the article. The most essential step to restoring NPOV is therefore to allow the article to include verifiable quotations from any and all scholars who have directly addressed Rydberg's mythological work, without regard to whether the views expressed are positive or critical. A second, related point is to require verification of do-it-yourself "translations" from foreign language works, especially when the unverified material conforms to the known biases of the editor who adds it to the article. Finally, if the article is to include links to personal web pages, it should link to all pages directly relevant to the topic, rather than linking solely to a personal tribute site, while refusing to permit links to pages that express views critical of Rydberg's work.

I. Balanced citations to scholarship. The most important single step to restoring NPOV would be to insert a short section or sidebar into the article entitled “Scholars on Rydberg’s Mythology,” or something of the sort. This area would be for direct, verifiable quotations on this topic by published scholars, without qualifications or “explanations” of their views by editors, such as the gross distortion of H.R. Ellis Davidson’s work that is currently included in the article. (At this point the Davidson slur is purely gratuitous, since what this scholar actually said about Rydberg’s work has been banished even from the accompanying footnote!) An objective “Scholars on Rydberg’s Mythology” section or sidebar should include the following quotes, all but the last of which have previously been removed from the article:

  • Rydberg's studies in Norse mythology were described as "fantasies" by H. R. Ellis Davidson.[1]
  • Rydberg's mythological investigations drew on "subjective interpretations of the episodes, based more on his imagination and poetical skills than on facts."[2]
  • Anatoly Lieberman has pointed out that “[m]erging Eddic characters and looking for hypostases is an unprofitable occupation. It allows any god (giant, dwarf) to become anybody else, as happened under Rydberg’s pen.”[3]
  • Rydberg was "a historian who cared more for atmospheres and half-truths than for historical facts."[4]
  • "Discussions of Rydberg's highly systematized versions of the mythology periodically surface on Ásatrú mailing lists and other public fora for debate. They have a few adherents within the community; however, on the whole the community rejects them, as do academics today, as being attempts to create an artificial order based on flawed methodological principles and nineteenth century definitions of deity."[5]

Not only has legitimate, mainstream scholarship been banished from the Rydberg article, the article promotes non-scholarly work that has been ridiculed and dismissed by scholars as “gaining wide acceptance” (see footnote 19). It is quite true that the book Hamlet’s Mill draws on Rydberg’s mythology. However, Hamlet’s Mill itself was described by Davidson as:

“amateurish in the worst sense, jumping to wild conclusions without any knowledge of the historical value of the sources or of previous work done. On the Scandinavian side there is heavy dependence on the fantasies of Rydberg, writing in the last century, and apparent ignorance of progress made since his time.”[6] Writing in the New York Review of Books, Edmund Leach called Hamlet’s Mill “pure fantasy . . . no more than an intellectual game.”[7] If the Rydberg article is going to refer to Hamlet’s Mill at all, it should quote these sources to give readers a balanced idea of the value of the book.

II. Require authentication of unverifiable translations. Back on March 27, 2008, an inquiry was posted on this page for documentation of a putative “translation” of a passage by Jan de Vries, expressing a positive opinion of Rydberg’s work. To date, this quotation has never been verified. Instead, the article now boasts two more completely unverified “translations” of foreign-language sources , both gushing with praise for the same work that is brushed aside as nonsense by the scholars listed above.

III. Require balance in links to web pages. As has been documented above on this page, the Rydberg article has consistently been biased by including a link to the personal web page of Tore Lund, even though Mr. Lund frankly admits that he presents only a positive tribute to Rydberg, deliberately avoiding a balanced evaluation of the writer and (especially) his mythological writings. Recently, the article has elevated the link to Mr. Lund’s tribute page to the status of Rydberg’s “official website”(!) Meanwhile, the same editor who has been primarily responsible for promoting Mr. Lund's page has consistently deleted any link to The Rydberg Religion, a carefully documented work of considerably deeper scholarship (albeit narrower focus) than Mr. Lund’s page. If the Rydberg article is to regain any pretense of NPOV, both of these web pages should be linked to the article, if either of them is. Obviously, Mr. Lund’s page should be removed as the “official website” in any case. Rsradford (talk) 03:10, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

sounds fair. The 'Rydberg Religion' page may be opinionated, but it is definitely well-researched and useful. It goes without saying that any claim to an "official Rydberg page" is bogus. dab (𒁳) 08:59, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
If there are no other comments, I will go ahead and add the quotes to scholarship and restore the link to The Rydberg Religion. To avoid further bloodshed, I am not going to delete any of the unverified translations from foreign-language works, but I think someone should do so, to ensure that the article is not being biased by selective "interpretations" of these sources. Rsradford (talk) 20:55, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

ok. My (rather superficial) take on this is: we need to distinguish Rydberg the Romanticist from his latter day recipients. It does seem That Rydberg wasn't really any better or worse than your typical Romanticist scholar. The focus of The Rydberg Religion concerns contemporary people who single out Rydberg as an authority and take his stuff at face value. If Rydberg's popularity in current US neopaganism can be documented in published literature, we should dedicate a separate section to this phenomenon, and not mix it up with the discussion of Rydberg himself, who after all cannot be blamed for what people do with his stuff 100 years after his death. dab (𒁳) 08:30, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

I agree to an extent. But while the overall concern of The Rydberg Religion is with the modern readers who have made a cult of his mythological speculations, the two sections of the article that are linked here put Rydberg's "Researches into Germanic Mythology" into historical context, whereas no other English-language work does so. As the paper demonstrates, Rydberg's fascination with the "ancient Aryan race" and its supposed urheimat and imaginary ur-religion were quite unexceptional in their day, most modern readers have no idea about any of this background context. It's therefore my opinion that The Rydberg Religion is an important interpretive aid for Wikipedia users who are first exposed to Rydberg's Teutonic Mythology here. If translations of Rydberg's mythological works are linked to the Rydberg article (as they are), isn't it also appropriate to provide a link to a work providing some sort of historical context? Rsradford (talk) 13:55, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
Note: the foregoing comments are not intended to be argumentative. My sole interest is to see this article embody a genuinely neutral POV, neither coating Rydberg's mythological writings with a false gloss of legitimacy, nor unnecessarily bashing the writer. If there were some way to separate Rydberg's literary career as a poet, novelist, and journalist from his unfortunate lapse into racial-nationalist mythography, I would support doing that. As I understand it, Rydberg's continuing popularity in Sweden is based almost entirely on the former, while his cult status among certain American Ásatrúar is based exclusively on the latter. Rsradford (talk) 16:40, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

anonymous edits

If the anonymous blanking of content without prior discussion here on the talkpage continues, we'll just semi-protect the article. Wikipedia rules apply just the same when you are editing anonymously. --dab (𒁳) 12:13, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

ok, I've semiprotected the article for a week. If the problem persists, it can also be semiprotected indefinitely. --dab (𒁳) 12:48, 6 May 2008 (UTC)


Semi-protection doesn't seem to be working

The user who is intent on violating NPOV in this article does not seem to have been deterred by semi-protection. Is there any stronger method to protect the gains that were temporarily achieved by implementing the "targeted policy?" Rsradford (talk) 02:10, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

Defiance of the COI rules can lead to blocks. I have proposed over at WP:COIN that admin action be considered. Anyone is welcome to add their own opinion there. Jack the Giant-Killer (talk · contribs) has not responded to any comments I left on his Talk, nor has he come here to explain his recent reverts. EdJohnston (talk) 03:04, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

semiprotection is intended to prevent anonymous edit-warring. A content dispute between two editors isn't resolved by semi-protection. As long as both parties are willing to collaborate in good faith, a compromise solution needs to be carved out within policy (WP:NPOV, WP:RS and WP:DUE). --dab (𒁳) 05:36, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

Scholarship on Rydberg's Mythology (sic)

Hi Ed, I was not aware that you were attempting to contact me. I do not visit my talk page often. I have responded to your concerns there, and am discussing the matter here, as you requested. Again, I would like nothing more than to improve this article, as I have done many times in the past. I appreciate Mr. Radford's efforts here. He has raised many interesting points, which have motivated myself and others to contribute factual information to the site. Had he not particpated, the article would likely have languished. Over the years, Mr. Radford's controversial statements have put Rydberg's works in the pagan community's spotlight again and again. However, I am opposed to inserting that kind of sensationalism here.

In the interest of discussing such edits, I will attempt to explain my views. In one of the recent edits, this was added:


>The book Hamlet's Mill by Georgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechend, (1969), which expands on this theory, received unusually negative reviews from scholars. It was described by H. R. Ellis Davidson as “amateurish in the worst sense, jumping to wild conclusions without any knowledge of the historical value of the sources or of previous work done. On the Scandinavian side there is heavy dependence on the fantasies of Rydberg, writing in the last century, and apparent ignorance of progress made since his time.”[19] Writing in the New York Review of Books, Edmund Leach called Hamlet’s Mill “pure fantasy . . . no more than an intellectual game.”[20]


Is this an article about the book "Hamlet's Mill" or Viktor Rydberg? Someone has deleted the references to the book Hamlet's Mill, making the addition of this statement nonsense. It's apparent that whoever wrote that has not read Hamlet's Mill or Rydberg's Teuronic Mythology, and doesn't understand the relationship between them. The books were written more than 80 years apart, and have two very different themes and purposes. Quite unlike Rydberg, the authors of the book Hamlet's Mill purpose that there was a world-wide ancient culture aware of astronomical patterns based on the global evidence of knowledge of a procession of the equinoxes. Rydberg's theory regarding the mill is a small part of the work. But this isn't an entry on the book "Hamlet's Mill", so ehat is the relevance of criticism of this book here?


And as for the odd collection of quotes, under the rubric "Scholars on Rydberg's Mythology", they are all remarkably short on verifiable examples from Rydberg's work. In fact, in one case, such evidence has purposely been cut out of the quote (see Nasstrom, below)


What is "Rydberg's Mythology" exactly? Rydberg did not write a book by this title, nor did he create a personal mythology. His works are on Old Norse, Germanic and Indo-European Mythology. The title of this section is not only inaccurate, but shows a complete ignorance of the author's work. Rydberg wrote several books and articles on Indo-European mythology, inclusive of Old Norse, Greek and Indo-Aryan mythology, none of them are titled "Mythology". What the editor means apparently is the English translation of volume 1 of Rydberg's mythological studies translated into English in 1889, as that is what a majority of the 4 scholarly quotes refer to.

To judge by the content of their comments English-language scholars such as Davidson refer exclusively to Volume 1 of Rydberg's two volume work. The second volume of the work was not translated into English until 2007. Davidson shows no evidence in her 60 year career of ever having read the second volume, despite her many comments on Rydberg's work. How can she accurately evaluate a work she has only read half of? She references it incorrectly in her earliest works. She seems to have used it as a foil to her own method, repeating it every third book or so to contrast with her views. Her aim was to prove that all gods and goddesses eminated from one universal great god and one great goddess. Rydberg is her antithesis in this, suggesting that the myths show evidence of a system. If you wish to establish a NPOV, the historical context of her statements are lacking.


>Rydberg's studies in Norse mythology were described as "fantasies" by H. R. Ellis Davidson.[21]

Radford has already cited this quote once in this entry. Is it really worth citing again? If nothing else, it has the appearance of scraping the bottom of the barrel. As we have seen above, this is an opinion stated by Davidson in the context of a book review regarding another unrelated book. It is not an evaluation of the work, but an opinion. What is it based on? She doesn't say. Again, these "scholarly" quotes are remarkably short on examples from the work they claim to evaluate. Such expressions, without evidence, are by definitions, opinions.


>Britt-Mari Näsström notes that Rydberg's mythological investigations drew on "subjective interpretations of the episodes, based more on his imagination and poetical skills than on facts."[22]


The quote is not complete. It has been conveniently clipped. The point of the citation is that despite his perceived flaws, Nasstrom belives that Rydberg was correct in identifying Saxo's Otharus and Syritha with the Eddas' Odr and Freyja. If truly interested in a NPOV, why clip that?


>Anatoly Lieberman has pointed out that “[m]erging Eddic characters and looking for hypostases is an unprofitable occupation. It allows any god (giant, dwarf) to become anybody else, as happened under Rydberg’s pen.”[23]


As I have previously noted, Davidson and Nasstrom both 'merged Eddic characters' and considered all goddesses hypostatuses of one "great goddess". This is the main conclusion of their work on goddesses. Thus, Lieberman's criticism of Rydberg applies equally to them. Does his opinion negate their opinions? To present these criticisms side-by-side could be considered unintended humor, but now that you know, I can only assume it is intentional. If nothing else, this should be noted, but this is not an entry on Nasstrom or Davidson, anymore than it is an entry on "Hamlet's Mill."


>Rydberg, in the opinion of Judith Moffet, was "a historian who cared more for atmospheres and half-truths than for historical facts."[24]


Remember, the heading here is "Scholars on Rydberg's Mythology" (sic) Rydberg wrote several works on history. This isn't one of them. It's a work on mythology. How is this quote relevant? Moffett translated a handful of Rydberg's poems and wrote a quick biographical sketch in which she openly speculated about Rydberg's sexuality and his relationship with his dead mother. She made no comments on his works on mythology, other than to say he was an expret on Norsemytholgy and recognized as such by his peers. Again, this comment is sorely out of place.


>According to Jenny Blain, "[d]iscussions of Rydberg's highly systematized versions of the mythology periodically surface on Ásatrú mailing lists and other public fora for debate. They have a few adherents within the community; however, on the whole the community rejects them, as do academics today, as being attempts to create an artificial order based on flawed methodological principles and nineteenth century definitions of deity."[25]


It hardly need be stated that scholars take a dim view of modern pagans. Blain wrote this in 2002, a year before Mr. Reaves translated Our Fathers' Godsaga. Since that time, there has been a proliferation of material on Rydberg in the Asatru community. The work is obviously become very popular. This is not surprising since only now are his ideas on mythology fully available for English-reading audiences. As evidence of this, Rydberg's work "Teutonic Mythology" once available in full on only one website is now available on more than 6 sites. Mr. Radford apparently felt the ideas accepted enough to write an 80 page denouncement of the author and his work. I suppose that means it must have more than a "few adherents". Why else would a lawyer spend his valuable time writing such a piece only to post it free on the internet for fellow pagans to read? The contradictions here are mounting.


Now, to no one's surprise. Mr. Radford is campaigning to include his internet-published piece denouncing modern pagans in the references section. This is a purely political piece, replete with original research, frowned on by Wikipedia. It clearly has no place here. As noted, Rydberg cannot be judged by how pagans 100 years after his death use his work. Leave this nonsense at the door.

Tore Lund's site, in stark contrast to Radford's piece, is a biographical and bibliographical site devoted to the author. It doesn't express an opinion either way or attempt to promote original scholarship. I encourage the editors to review it. It is a historic site and should be included here. It is a compliment to Widipedia's aims, and very much in line with what Wikipedia strives to do.

As an objective reader, If I were to believe this section of the entry, I would have the false impression that only four scholars have made comments on Rydberg's work in more than 100 years, and all of them panned it. This is what passes for a NPOV these days on Wikipedia? Mr. Radford states that he wishes to restore a NPOV to the article. Actions speak louder than words. How does creating a section on "Rydberg's Mythology" (whatever that is) populated with 3 negative quotes on the work and an oddball comment on Rydberg the historian further this noble-sounding aim?


I feel inclined to provide additional scholarly citations to the mythological works section to truly restore a NPOV in the mythological works section, but doing so would almost double the size of the present entry. There are numerous comments on Rydberg's work in the 120 years since it was published in English and other languages. However, I think that affording such weight to a single work by such a prolific author does disservice to the author and merely panders to the modern pagan movement who feels threatened by Rydberg's findings. Thus, I believe that the section on "Scholarship on Rydberg's Mythology" is best deleted, lest it invite a renewed effort by anti-Rydbergians to deface the article.

. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jack the Giant-Killer (talkcontribs) 00:33, 9 May 2008 (UTC)


It should be noted that Mr. Radford has taken the exactly opposite stance on the Lotte Motz entry (See its dicussion page). There he objects to "deliberately cherry-picking negative references from works that include both positive and negative evaluations". Why the double standard? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jack the Giant-Killer (talkcontribs) 03:44, 9 May 2008 (UTC)


I still object to your removal of the section containing criticisms of Rydberg. If we give our readers all the references, if we cite and summarize them correctly, then we can allow the readers to make up their minds. When an article is studied at the Wikipedia:Conflict of interest/Noticeboard, people are extremely wary of any deletion of criticism from an article. That is one of the red flags for COI. EdJohnston (talk) 21:00, 9 May 2008 (UTC)


Hi Ed, If you review my past edits, you will find that I do not have a problem with criticism of the author or his work. I have actively incorporated it into my edits. What I am against is frontloading the article with a slew of negative quotes and unjustified editorial digs at the scholar's reputation by a pagan-activist promoting his view. His views (cloaked under the guise of scholarly citation) are not representative of the general scholarly opinion of the author or his work. His initial use of the Moffett work is a prime example of this. You will note that he initially said that I could not justify my edits with scholarly citations, and then shut-up when I presented a more balanced view from the very work he cited. In his own words, he has "cherry-picked" the most negative opinions from the limited material available in English, and then placed an added spin on them, making them appear to say things they do not. His articles "The Rydberg Religion" are the extreme example of this. He actually makes it appear that the author's are saying the opposite of what they actually say, by citing and then spinning the most negative bits. Moffet said Rydberg was an expert on Norse mythology recognized by his peers, and Mr. Radford continues to object to this. As you know, a balanced article will contain both positive and negative opinions of the author. Why is it that Mr. Radford focuses exclusively on the negative views?


To more specifically address your concern:

Look at the "Scholarship on Rydberg's Mythology" section, which I initially deleted, as it now stands. It consists soley of 4 negative quotes. Now go to Google Books and search for Rydberg and Myth. You will find numerous citations, reviews, and criticisms of the work spanning the last 120 years, most of them favorable or balanced. I did this last night. If this section is allowed to stand, I'll be happy to gather those numerous quotes and add them to the section. As I said, it will likely double the size of this entry.

I propose that this section be deleted as it is really a product of the neo-pagan movement.

This undue emphasis on one of the author's many diverse works is misguided. As noted, it is a creation of the modern pagan movement which has taken an interest in Rydberg's work on mythology. The work is unique in the field, and seeks to illuminate the unrecorded oral tradition by examining the entire spectrum of Germanic material. He uses the comparative method common in Indo-European studies, and applies it to the Germanic field. Doing so, Rydberg appears to have uncovered an epic thread which joins many of the seemingly loose myths into a continuous storyline. Without question, it's a controversial approach with supporters and detractors. This method is gaining popularity in the pagan community and obviously threatens the established neo-pagan cults which have built their organizations on personal interpretations of the myths.

Mr. Radford as head of such a self-created "non-profit" pagan organization, and an active member of the pagan community (Google his name), has a vested interest in suppressing this work. He is clearly promoting a view. Note that he is simultanaeously creating a "Galinn Grund" page (his "non-profit" pagan outfit) in his Sandbox to promote his organization. In the same vein, he is again attempting to slip his web-based polemic against Rydberg into the reference section of this article. The squabbles of the modern pagan movement are not relevant to this article, and have no place here.

Again, review my edits. I have made major contributions to this article over time. My aim is to present a balanced portrait of a beloved Swedish cultural figure. This narrow focus on Rydberg's mythological writings is frustrating, because it has very little to do with Rydberg or his work. Rydberg helped establish the modern era of Old Norse scholarship by firmly denouncing the theories of Solar or Nature-mythology, and closing the door on the Biblical-Classical interpretations of mythology as DeVries says. Today his name, reputation and works are being dragged through the mud in an effort to prop up a few ailing pagan ideologues.

I wish to help create a balanced article on a historical figure. In doing so, I have felt it necessary to add positive quotes and to delete or modify overly negative quotes to re-establish that balance. Most of the material on Rydberg is not available in English. This is evident as Mr. Radford has depended on fringe scholarship (the single 'great goddess' views of Davidson and Nasstrom, which he was forced to clip to support his view) and third party criticism (a criticism of Hamlet's Mill) to get his points across. True, Davidson called Rydberg's works "fantasies" but she is not specific, citing no examples. There is no question, Rydberg wrote "fantasties" such as his novels Freebooter on the Baltic, Singoalla, and Tomten. Which fantasties is she referring to? The double use of this quote is absurd, and speaks to Mr. Radford's difficulty in finding sufficent material to support his view. Same goes for MOffett's opinion of Rydberg as a historian. There are no examples, and the citation is vague. In my opinion, she is not referring to his works on mythology, but his historical writings. Why is this citation here, if not to promote the anti-Rydberg pagan agenda?

Certainly I am not as eloquent as a professional lawyer. Mr. Radford has been quick to seek litigation. In true courtroom fashion, He has made all kinds of exaggerated accusations in an effort to mischaracterize my views, which I have largely chosen to ignore. I am disappointed that Wikipedia would allow a character with a track-record like this to so blatatantly promote his views here. I pointed out that he wrote the "Rydberg Religion" and he called it a personal attack and edited my entries on the Talk page. NOw he seeks to insert it in the reference section!


So, Ed, is the section on "Rydberg's Mythology" going to be allowed to stand? If so, a more accurate heading is in order. I'll start gathering the citations.

Would you also specifically address some of the points I have made? For example, is it appropriate to insert a review of the work Hamlet's Mill in the middle of an article on Rydberg? To justify this, Mr. Radford has incorrectly asserted that the book "Hamlet's Mill" expands on Rydberg's mythic theories. It most certainly does not. What evidence is there that it does? The authors have very different views, and I doubt Rydberg himself would have ascribed to the views presented by De Santilliana and Von Duchend. If what the pagan community does with Rydberg's work 100 years after his death is not relevant, what independant archeo-astronomers did with it a century after his death is also not. Also, if it is allowable to critique the critics, I think criticism of Davidson, Nasstrom. Their views are not representative of the old norse scholarly community.

I would like to continue to edit the article as I have been doing, long before Mr. Radford's arrival here. However, I also wish to follow your guidelines, and not infringe upon Wikipedia's establihsed protocol. Please advise.

The above statement -- personal abuse included -- lays out the problem in bold relief. "Jack" believes his personal opinions on Rydberg (and Prof. Motz, since he raises that issue) trump the published works of scholars in the field. He has devoted himself to knowingly distorting both articles to conform to his own views by deleting or misrepresenting references to scholarship. He then "justifies" his revisionism by tortured rationalizations such as the above. In both the Rydberg and Motz articles, I have been attempting to create sections for direct quotatoins from scholars concerning the relevant works, but "Jack" will not allow it. It is ironically amusing that he attacks the nonprofit educational foundation that maintains the website with "The Rydberg Religion," since he has persistently violated Wikipedia's Conflict of Interest policy by posting his amateur, vanity-press "translations" of Rydberg's mythological work in this article. It is this direct, financial conflict of interest that underlies all of "Jack's" one-sided "edits" to this article. Rsradford (talk) 11:22, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

Give it up, Mr. Radford! You have yet to demonstrate ANY flaws in these translations, which have both relevance and merit to an English-language consideration of Rydberg, and yet you have the temerity to put "translation" into quotes, and slant your words to capture negative connotations such as "amateur" and "vanity-press" to cast a negative light on works that beyond question are important contributions to the English language, making available material that has not been available before. Despite its importance, however, no one is going to be on Oprah discussing Rydberg, nor anywhere near that market, and so accusations of "financial conflict of interest" are completely baseless, and you know it. CarlaO'Harris (talk) 08:19, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

For Editorial Review

I object to the section on "Scholarship on Rydberg's Mythology" for the following reasons:

1. The heading is meaningless, and intentionally panders to Mr. Radford's POV. Rydberg does not have a work called "Mythology" nor has he created a mythology. This is the impression MR. RAdford wishes to create. Rydberg wrote 5 books and several articles expressing his scholarly views on Old Norse, Germanic and Indo-European mythologies, including Greek, Avestan, and Vedic mythologies. He is one of the first modern comparative mythologies and recognized as such. Three of the quotes in question refer to the English language translation of Volume 1 of Rydberg's Undersökningar i Germanisk Mythologi. The fourth (Moffet's) refers in general to the author's historical works, unrelated to mythology.

2. These quotes are have been "cherry-picked" to promote the personal views of Mr. Radford and are not representative of the scholarly opinion the work:

Rydberg's studies in Norse mythology were described as "fantasies" by H. R. Ellis Davidson.[21]

One word has been removed from an opinion stated in a book review of another author's work. The entire quote has been used once already in this article, and is thus redundant. The original quote is sufficently vague that it is unclear what the author is referring to. Rydberg did write fiction such as Singoalla.


Britt-Mari Näsström notes that Rydberg's mythological investigations drew on "subjective interpretations of the episodes, based more on his imagination and poetical skills than on facts."[22]

This quote has been intentionally clipped, in an effort to spin it. The entire quote reads:

“Victor Rydberg suggested that Siritha is Freyja herself and that Ottar is identical with same as Svipdagr, who appears as Menglöd’s beloved in Fjölsvinnsmál. Rydberg’s intentions in his investigations of Germanic mythology were to co-ordinate the myths and mythical fragments into coherent short stories. Not for a moment did he hesitate to make subjective interpretations of the episodes, based more on his imagination and poetical skills than on facts. His explication of the Siritha-episode is an example of his approach, and yet he probably was right when he identified Siritha with Freyja.”


It should be mentioned that Ms. Näsström is arguing that all of the Old Norse goddesses are in fact one "Great Goddess," and thus wouldnaturally disagree with any scholarly attempt to identify these characters as independent entities, as Rydberg and most other scholars do. She selected Rydberg's work precisely because he investigates the myth of Freyja in great detail.


Anatoly Lieberman has pointed out that “[m]erging Eddic characters and looking for hypostases is an unprofitable occupation. It allows any god (giant, dwarf) to become anybody else, as happened under Rydberg’s pen.”[23]

This is a common practice in scholarship practicied by Hilda Davidson, Britt-Mari Näsström and Lotte Motz, among others. Lieberman's internet based article is full of this kind of hyperbole.


Rydberg, in the opinion of Judith Moffet, was "a historian who cared more for atmospheres and half-truths than for historical facts."[24]

This refers specifically to Rydberg's historical works on Greece and Rome, and has nothing to do with his work on mythology. It has been included to imply that the works are inaccurate.


According to Jenny Blain, "[d]iscussions of Rydberg's highly systematized versions of the mythology periodically surface on Ásatrú mailing lists and other public fora for debate. They have a few adherents within the community; however, on the whole the community rejects them, as do academics today, as being attempts to create an artificial order based on flawed methodological principles and nineteenth century definitions of deity."[25]

This was written in 2002, before the second half of Rydberg's mythological work was published in English translation. Again, it is intended to imply that Rydberg's views are not popular in the neo-pagan community, again playing to Mr. Radford's pagan politics. A web-review of modern Asatru sites in 2008 will demonstrate the opposite of this 'scholarly' opinion.

I object to Mr. Radford's original research under the guise of scholarly quotes. A disporotional amount of space is being devoted to Prof. Rydberg's mythological scholarship. The cherry-picking of and selective-editing of the quotes in intended to promote a particular view, expressed elsewhere on the internet by Mr. Radford, and littering his Galinn Grund site. Please remember that Mr. Radford has been attemnpting to slip his internet-based original writings in as as a reference as well. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jack the Giant-Killer (talkcontribs) 14:32, 10 May 2008 (UTC)


if the quotes are "cherry-picked", it should be easy for you to provide other references of equal or better quality that put them into context. It appears clear that Rydberg's Undersökningar (which I understand is intended by Mythology) are "attempts to create an artificial order based on flawed methodological principles and nineteenth century definitions of deity" -- an approach that you can endorse as creative, or reject as irresponsible, but which has been fashionable in 19th century Romanticism. A fashion for which Rydberg isn't to blame personally, but which must nevertheless be clear that this is what we are looking at. I am not sure why Mr. Radford invests so much effort in "debunking" Rydberg, since it appears perfeclty straightforward that his results aren't tenable today. They can still be enjoyed as literature by those who do enjoy such things, without any claim to historical accuracy. I am likewise unsure why you would want to "whitewash" Rydberg so badly. Of course the article shouldn't display undue hostility, but it should certainly present a fair reflection of the reception of Rydberg's works in scholarship. dab (𒁳) 14:44, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

Recent Edit

I went ahead and edited the section on Scholarship, doing as the box requests and working the quotes into prose, as well as adding addtional quotes to provide a more balanced view. This is literally the tip of the iceberg. Numerous other quotes and ciations can be added— 120 years worth. Please notice that I left Mr. Radford's contributions intact, making some small changes to accomodate the prose. I have also altered the heading to make itmore factually correct. Is this acceptable?

I plan to add addtional quotes, as I have time to gather them. Are tallys of bibliographical citations also appropriate for inclusion? This is not a convention I had seen until recently. Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) 15:56, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

It is true that a mere list of quotations is not adequate. But the Scholarship section due to your edits is up to 2,500 words now. In my opinion this is too long and rambling. It will be hard for readers to absorb the gist of this material. I'd suggest keeping all the references, but giving a terse summary of the spectrum of modern opinion on Rydberg. I'm sure this can be done without omitting the opinions of scholars who were critical of Rydberg's work in this area. If you trust me to do this I'll propose a draft here on the Talk page. EdJohnston (talk) 16:34, 10 May 2008 (UTC)


Hi Ed, I trust you to do this, but I do not think it is necessary. Instead, I purpose eliminating the section altogether as you did on the Lotte Motz page. A page on Wikiquotes (if RS choses to persue this) would suit me fine. In my opinion the section was only added by Mr. Radford to denigrate his works on mythology as part of his pagan agenda.

I could add additional sections concerning scholarship on his other works as well, but do not belive that detailed criticisms of one of an author's works is appropriate in an Encyclopedia article. Is this something you want to see? If the section persists, be aware that I plan on adding additional citations. There are literally dozens of more citations I can gather and add immediately, and likely more if I dig. When I visted Google Books and searched for the work, I found more than 50 pages of references to it in other books. This is not something I really want to do, but for the sake of completeness will persue if the section stands. In that case, it would probably be more approriate to give the work a page of its own. The work has an interesting story behind it, I'm sure many English-speaking people would find interersting.

Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) 19:38, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

The summary recently added by DAB reads:

There is no shortage of scholarly opinion, and no consensus, of Viktor Rydberg's work on Indo-European mythologies. The general impression is that his ideas are partly ingenious, but carried to such extremes that they lose credibility, betraying a tendency of over-systematization based on the assumption that the mythology had once been complete and rational". This was a common attitude of Romanticist mythography, notably also found in Elias Lönnrot's "reconstruction" of the Kalevala (published 1835).

I have a problem with this statement: on the assumption that the mythology had once been complete and rational".

It is a direct quote from Davidson, and thus affords undue weight to her opinion. You even left part of the original quotation marks on the end. Her only specific comments on the content of the work date from 1943, and are limited to the first volume. Her view is not representative of scholars in general, as this direct quote implies. If you read Rydberg's work, he goes to great lengths to avoid "assumptions". He speaks directly of setting all assumptions aside and working strictly from the sources. It is an intregal part of his method. Nor did he believe the mythology was "once complete". He proposes that it was a "rational" system, arranged in chronological order. He believed that it had developed from IE mythology, and was in a continous state of development, therefore never really "complete". He speaks of this development and outlines how new material enters, and old material leaves the system in the second volume which Davidson did not read. The statement is not verifiable in the work itself, and thus should not be taken out of quotation marks and presented as factual. It is Davidson's opinion.Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) 04:28, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

Hamlet's Mill

The current revision:

The book Hamlet's Mill by Georgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechend, (1969), which expands on this theory, received unusually negative reviews from scholars. It was described by H. R. Ellis Davidson as “amateurish in the worst sense, jumping to wild conclusions without any knowledge of the historical value of the sources or of previous work done. On the Scandinavian side there is heavy dependence on the fantasies of Rydberg, writing in the last century, and apparent ignorance of progress made since his time.”[8] Writing in the New York Review of Books, Edmund Leach called Hamlet’s Mill “pure fantasy . . . no more than an intellectual game.”[9]


This impromptu review of the book Hamlet's Mill is not appropriate in the article.

Only the early reviews of the book were "unusually negative" as those cited indicate. The thesis of this work was a shocking idea back in the early 1970s, but has gained wider acceptance in the 40 years since it was published. I can bring other more recent scholar that supports this work. For example, one scholar states that modern computer programs of the apparent motion of the stars as perceived from earth have vindicated observations in this book.


The problem I have however, is that this is an article on Rydberg, not on the book Hamlet's Mill. Can we simply delete this altogether, or shall I balance it with a more modern view?

Also, it is factually incorrect to say that the book Hamlet's Mill expands on Rydberg's theory of a mill. It doesn't. It simply excepts it and uses it as one piece of evidence in a wide array of evidence that supports the authors' contention that ancient peoples had detailed knowledge of the procession of the equinoxes during the Stone Age. In Old Norse mythology, the world-mill is the mechanism by which the heavens rotate. This theory was supported by Tolley, and in turn by Dronke.

To reduce redundancy, the quote by Davidson is also better placed in the section on scholarship, as it is again cited there. It is a valuable insight into the mind of Davidson, and thus should not be deleted.


Please advise. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jack the Giant-Killer (talkcontribs) 16:27, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

the point is that Davidson is taking for granted that Rydberg's stuff is worthless. She doesn't need to argue the point, she assumes her scholarly audience is aware of the fact. No, she isn't reviewing Rydberg here. But the implication that it is well known that Rydberg is not to be taken seriously adds to the burden on you to provide positive evidence that anyone thinks Rydberg has any scholarly merit at all. dab (𒁳) 20:27, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

Uh, dab, this is an absurd statement. She "assumes" her scholarly audience isn't meeting the trends of the academy. In other words, it's not "fashionable" to approach such work, and as a cautious scholar not wanting to step out of line, she'll refuse to do so? But let's examine HER credibility. She's willing to conflate all kinds of mythic figures in the most ridiculous of ways. The implication that scholars "take for granted" that someone is not "to be taken seriously" based solely on debate and merit is naive in the extreme, and ignores basic points of the sociology of knowledge. "Knowing which way the wind is blowing" is not the same thing as making any kind of serious scholarly evaluation. All it takes is for the right people to make dismissive statements, and there doesn't have to be any debate at all on the issue, though it is assumed that somewhere there must be. One can encounter this in academia all the time. But for a marginalization to stick or have any merit for us as readers, we have to see the actual examinations, investigations, and debates which have established beyond reasonable doubt that an important, thorough, and systematic work lacks merit --- not just innuendo, fashionable slander, and the careful conformity of scholars not wanting to step out of line. Give us something to sink our teeth into. The burden of proof does NOT tilt the way you suggest. In order to declare someone marginalized, give us the demonstration in full that the work is meritless. Otherwise, we're engaging in clique-politics here rather than serious evaluation of the importance of a work. CarlaO'Harris (talk) 07:35, 13 May 2008 (UTC)


ok Jack, I just removed this sentence:

A survey of Asatru sites in 2008 reveals that the landscape has changed dramatically since that time, and that Rydberg's works and views are at home on many neo-pagan sites, and that copies of his "Teutonic Mythology" can be found in its entirety on many diverse websites, both pagan and secular.

What does this have to do with anything? Is this your motivation? You are infatuated with Rydberg's systematization for the purposes of Asatru? That's ridiculous. Asatru is a modern religion, and adherents can believe whatever the hell they choose, quite regardless of "historicity". If Rydberg is relevant to Asatru, let's discuss that at the Asatru article, but do not mix popular culture and neopaganism with a scholarly assessment of Rydberg's work. This is doing a disservice to both Wikipedia and Asatru. If this is about polytheistic reconstructionism, you've got it upside down: for that, scholarship comes first, and ritual is informed by scholarship. If it's about syncretistic neopaganism, who the hell cares about "historicity"? dab (𒁳) 20:45, 10 May 2008 (UTC)


Hi DAB, I think there is some miscommunication here. Rydberg did not write, and has nothing to do with the book "Hamlet's Mill". It is an independent scholarly work written 80 years later. I am questioning the validity of inserting a review of Hamlet's Mill that has nothing to do with Rydberg into an article on Rydberg. Davidson's is legitimate because it references Rydberg, Leech's is not. Leech makes no reference to Rydberg.


The text currently reads:

Writing in the New York Review of Books, Edmund Leach called Hamlet’s Mill “pure fantasy . . . no more than an intellectual game.”[10]

Why is this here?

Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) 03:55, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

fine. Working through the "quotefarm", it transpires that Rydberg is certainly valued as an ingenious writer, but that he cannot be taken seriously as a scholarly reference on Norse mythology. He may still be read for pleasure of course. If you enjoy reading Rydberg, I don't think you are more to blame than if you enjoy reading Tolkien, or William Morris, or Geoffrey of Monmouth. But literary enjoyment is on a completely different page from scholarly mythography. dab (𒁳) 14:20, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

I consider it scholarly mythography. In fact, there are few scholars who KNOW the mythos with the thoroughness that Rydberg demonstrates on every single page of his work. I've been around the block a few times when it comes to serious discussion of this mythology, and I have read some impressive things, but I am still impressed with Rydberg's command of the mythos. That doesn't mean anyone has to agree with his conclusions. But his command is beyond doubt. CarlaO'Harris (talk) 07:35, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

The Rydberg Religion

The Rydberg Religion by R. S. Radford (2006, 2007).

Why is this back in the reference section? It is clearly self-promotional. It is a web-based article promoting an original view, in no way consistent with scholarship. The author is a professional lawyer with zero credientials in the field. It is poorly researched, and intentionally misleading. It has no place here. Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) 13:39, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

it isn't "self-promotional". I agree it belongs in the EL section, and I have nothing to do with it. As for being "web-based", that would be why it is listed under "external links". While Mr. Radford at least discloses his identity and his agenda, you still fail to explain the nature of your involvement. You seem to be bent on white-washing the article of all criticism, without being able to present reason other than your apparent personal whim. Looking through Mr. Radford's text, I think he is doing a good job of putting Rydberg's work into context and pointing out why it is flawed. What he has not yet done, but announced for his unpublished "part III", is establishing the "troubling development" of a "neo-pagan fantasy cult", the debunking of which appears to be the motivation of his study. Of course, there are Neo-Nazi discussion groups on the internet (what isn't found on the internet...) -- and I suppose it stands to reason that Neo-Nazis will be bound to like Rydberg's work. But they will like Rydberg (and Wagner, and any number of Romanticists besides) because they are already Neo-Nazis, they are not Neo-Nazis because they like Rydberg. An important distinction. Hence, I find the tacit implication that you must be a racist or Neo-Nazi if Rydberg's "fantasies" appeal to you a little bit over the top. dab (𒁳) 13:47, 11 May 2008 (UTC)


Hi Dab,

You wrote: Hence, I find the tacit implication that you must be a racist or Neo-Nazi if Rydberg's "fantasies" appeal to you a little bit over the top.

The interest by neo-nazi cults in Rydberg's work is one of the fantasies that Radford is promoting in the article. Instead of taking his word for it, why not research the matter yourself? I have seen very few racist groups interested in Rydberg. Radford's references are vague and unverifiable. One person on the website he lists used a quote by Rydberg as a tagline, so it appears a number of time.

The problem with this series of articles is that they deliberately smear Rydberg, under the guise of scholarship. Remember, Radford is a lawyer used to writing tracts of this sort. I can point out a number of false statements in the RR articles. For example, click the link, the first page provides a quote supposedly by Rydberg:

"To Aryan blood, the purest and noble, was I wed by a friendly Norn." -- Viktor Rydberg, author of The Future of the White Race

Remember, Rydberg wrote in Swedish. There is no translator listed. The quote is not, as Radford implies, from the essay entitled "The Future of the White Race" (which is actually a polemic against the tolls modern industrialism takes on the people and the environment— it specifically warns against working conditions and pollutatants lowering the birthrate. Rather prophetic, isn't it? By "white race" he simply means the people of Europe— this is before the era of mass immigration and multi-culturalism. It's a plea to respect man and nature). The quote is actually from one of Rydberg's most famous poems titled Himmels blå, Heaven's Blue. The lines read:

till ariskt blod, det renaste och äldsta, till svensk jag vigdes av en vänlig norna.

"to Aryan (Indo-European) blood, the purest and oldest, to Swedish, was I wed by a kind norn."

Radford edited out the words, "to Swedish"

To put this in context: Rydberg believed that the Indo-European homeland was either in Scandinavia, or that the Indo-Europeans had first settled there before moving down into northern Europe. If you know anything about the history of the Indo-European homeland, it is a debate that cannot be solved. Since the 1950s, the most popular one in scholarly literature is the Russian Steppes. Prior to this, such places as India, Europe, and even Antarctica had been seriously suggested. In this context, the lines simply mean that the fates (norns) blessed him by allowing him to be born a Swede in the ancient homeland of his people. It's a patriotic sentiment put into poetic terms. If you want a Swede's perspective on this, see the following article:

http://vrsidor.se/PDFveritas/lindberger1991.pdf

The meaning of the word has changed. Rydberg would have been horrified by the suggestion that he was Anti-Semetic. As a liberal humanist, he advocated Jewish rights as a member of the Swedish Parliment. Until then, Jews in Sweden did not have full civil rights.

The Radford articles are full of this kind of nonsense. He works as a lawyer for a high profile firm actively challenging enviromental laws in the US, funded in part by Mobil Exxon. (verifiable on the web) He argued, and thankfully, lost a case attempting to sidestep the environmental restricts against building around Lake Tahoe in the 1980s. It's all a matter of public record. Rydberg was an early enviromentalist and neo-pagans are the strongest supporters of enviromental laws in the US.

Again, this article does not belong here. It is promoting corporate interests. I can detail this if you'd like, but am being cautious lest this be construed as a peronal attack. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jack the Giant-Killer (talkcontribs) 00:17, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

Radford's comment on Jack's views

The fact that "Jack's" personal attacks on me are flagrant lies, and can easily be shown to be so, seems beside the point. The man has a clear financial interest in distorting the Rydberg article, as he has at every opportunity, by deleting references to scholarship critical of Rydberg's racial-mythological fantasies. A collection of such scholarship was added to the article after considerable consultation and the presentation and discussion of a targeted proposal to restore NPOV to the article. No sooner was this done, than "Jack" deleted it. Unable to give even a pretense of justification for his continued, systematic suppression of scholarship, he then launches into personal attacks and accusations against me. How is this behavior consistent with any of Wikipedia's expressed goals? Rsradford (talk) 03:36, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

Now there's lawyer talk if I ever heard it. It's beside the point to prove that claims made about you are false, and so you'll simply not do so, but phrase things in such a way that through innuendo we are to assume that they must be false? "The man has a clear financial interest", does he? And what financial minutiae would that be, Mr. Radford? There is NOTHING having to do with this topic that is going to make ANYONE any amount of money worthy of distortion of the facts, unless you really want to argue over pennies. Your statement "racial-mythological" has yet to be demonstrated at all. CarlaO'Harris (talk) 07:55, 13 May 2008 (UTC)


Whoa. I have to say, I've just noticed the "Rydberg Religion" website ([1]) and it strikes me that this could easily be some sort of practical joke. If it's not, the vitriol being spewed at Rydberg for no apparent reason, the constant lambasting the guy for his apparent unacceptable dropping out of university at every possible time, and claims of "cyber-cults" descending from Rydberg could pass for it. How is this even being taken seriously here?
It's being taken seriously because (unlike the Wikipedia article on Rydberg) it is meticulously documented with citations to supporting scholarship and other evidence. I'm sorry that you feel Rydberg's educational background is irrelevant, but you may not realize that until recently, the Wikipedia article claimed he was a "professor" at a university that was not founded until after his death. I'm also sorry that you feel it is irrelevant that a deranged and potentially dangerous cyber-cult has coalesced around Rydberg, but those who have been attacked by the cultists for criticizing Rydberg's faux mythology would disagree with you. Rsradford (talk) 03:36, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

The existence of said "cult" has yet to be demonstrated, and the use of such language, if not intended to be slanderous, is most certainly paranoid. Indeed, it might be argued that a "deranged cyber-cult" has coalesced around Anti-Rydberg views. If such a case were to be made, and I'm certainly not making that case, I wonder who would be considered its cult-leader? Again, we've covered that the "Rydberg Religion" article is "meticulously documented with citations" ; the question that remains is just how accurate those citations are, and just how slanted and partial the quotations are. Sticking a bunch of numbers in a paper and connecting it to a bibliography is not sufficient if the citations don't hold up. It may have the appearance and color of scholarship, but may simply be fraudulent impersonation thereof.CarlaO'Harris (talk) 07:55, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

I don't have a lot to say about Rydberg - his work associated with Norse Mythology isn't particularly interesting to me (it now seems largely to be restricted to antiquarian interests as it hasn't aged well over the years) but I recognize the motivation and influence it's resulted in. Come on, of all the people to demonize - why Viktor Rydberg? This link doesn't belong here. :bloodofox: (talk) 02:48, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

As was explained is the late, lamented "targeted proposal," the point of including a link to The Rydberg Religion was to balance the biased, Pollyanna-ish portrayal of Rydberg on Tore Lund's personal website -- which until recently was falsely represented on Wikipedia as Rydberg's "official website." Do you also feel that the links Mr. Lund's website doesn't belong here? Rsradford (talk) 03:36, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

How do you balance something with something else that is inherently imbalanced? Tore Lund's website may be "Polyanna-ish", but it's not polemic. CarlaO'Harris (talk) 07:55, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

I replaced the header of this section per WP:TALK, 'headings must be neutral.'
Now that I look at the Radford link in more detail, it does appear somewhat intemperate. If there are scholarly references included by Radford, maybe they could be studied for inclusion in the article, rather than just including Radford's site as an external link. Also I don't see that the Tore Lund link is all that unbalanced in favor of Rydberg. See for example this comment by Lund:

To the dismay of his friends, he spent nearly a decade trying to reconstruct and prove this epic. The results, published 1886 and 1889 in two labyrinthine volumes, were largely dismissed by other scholars as poetical imaginations. My own belief is that the epic can be read as a subconcious myth of his life.

Tore Lund does mention the Reaves' translations on his site, but that doesn't seem to me a fatal objection. So I'd vote to keep the Lund link, but exclude the Radford link. EdJohnston (talk) 03:53, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Johnston - the link needs to go. I've also just gone over Lund's link on it and I don't see any problem with it, it seems pretty neutral to me and very straightforward (A "Pollyanna-ish" treatment would probably not include statements such as "By now most of his works are obsolete, being too closely tied up with the intellectual environment of the 19th century," for example.). :bloodofox: (talk) 12:07, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
um, we are not citing the Radford essay as a source. We are giving it as an WP:EL. Mr. Radford has the honesty to edit under his own name, declare his COI, and present his agenda up front. That's very much unlike some other editors in these topics I could name. Now the first two parts of his essay do not address the "Rydberg Religion" at all, except for the very last page of part 2. The actual discussion of this alleged "cyber-cult" isn't even published but announced for part III. Thus, we clearly aren't linking to the site because of its bashing of "cyber-cults", but because of the wealth of information, provided with proper references, of Rydberg himself. You can make of Mr. Radfords (stated) bias what you want, but his work is clearly of great usefulness in building this article and researching Rydberg. If we are not to link sites critical of Rydbergs, how could we justify linking "fan sites" such as vrsidor.se or rydbergsallskapet.nu (which aren't even in English on top of everything). The "Rydberg Religion" site is clearly informative. That it is (openly) biased is irrelevant. Now, everyone agrees that Rydberg's "reconstructions" are largely fantasy. It is a matter of judgement if this is denounced as a failure, or valued as fantasy literature or a "subconcious myth of his life". That's beside the point, since we're not going to make such a judgement anyway. What we will state is that his ideas have no scholarly credibility today. dab (𒁳) 14:18, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
Dab, as someone who regularly edits on "these topics", I invite you to please do tell who "some other editors in these topics" who don't "declare their agenda upfront" are! The fan sites ought to go, as well as this bizarre "Cyber-cult" tirade. :bloodofox: (talk) 17:33, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
If you read the two threads over at Wikipedia:Conflict of interest/Noticeboard, you'll see the speculation about who the other editor might be. Per WP:OUTING we need to be cautious. The cyber-cult tirade we could do without, but it's my impression that the Radford link does take you to some scholarly references if you work your way through it. The statements of opinion regarding cyber-cults would certainly not belong in the article itself. Radford's site has citations to reliable sources for Rydberg's possible homosexuality, which certainly adds to the completeness of the picture. If you believe the Radford site is quite unusable maybe we should still import some of the references. EdJohnston (talk) 17:55, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
This may be the case and I agree with you, but regarding Dab's commentary, I would still like him to clarify who he is referring to. :bloodofox: (talk) 12:36, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

WTF?

Who deleted more than half of the section without any discussion? What happened to the rule about discussing major changes before deleting references?!

All balance is lost. The POV leans heavily negative. The pattern here is say or imply something positive and then immediately drown it out with a host of negatives.

The addition of general opinions of 19th century scholarship is also rather thick, espeically the vague Shippey reference. This isn't an article on 19th century scholarship, but on one scholar specifically. Every scholar of an era cannot be painted with the same brush. Can any similarly general statement be made about every scholar in this field today? If the works do not specifically refer to Rydberg, then there is no evidence that the author reviewed his work.

What is Shippey's EXACT quote? This appears to be a general reference to 19th century mythologists, not specific to Rydberg: But Rydberg, as a "late" Romanticist, must take the blame of having still been caught up in the excesses of early 19th century mythography at a time when they had already become a "laughingstock" of academia (Tom Shippey).[23]


What evidence supports this statement?: This was a common attitude of Romanticist mythography, notably also found in Elias Lönnrot's "reconstruction" of the Kalevala (published 1835).

This general observation is unverified. Rydberg's poetry and novels have been characterized as Romantic in nature, not his scholarly works. If you think otherwise, provide some evidence.

The following is an utterly ridiculous condensing of the many quotes provided, intentionally designed to demean the work. If it were really considered such a waste to paper why would anyone continue to cite it in scholarly sources for more than 100 years: While Rydberg's imaginative ingenuity is undisputed, his work has been criticized as going past the mark of reconstruction and losing itself in fantasy and subjective speculation. This opinion was held by critics even in Rydberg's time. Their reaction was by no means all negative, and his sweeping "clearing away" of the "many inconsistencies" in Norse mythology was even welcomed by some,[24] and his "brilliancy" and "minute consideration" was praised even if it was recognized that he sometimes "stumbles badly" in his "over-ingenious and over-anxious" bid to "reduce chaos to order".[25] with Jan de Vries not stopping short of referring to the "sagacious Swedish scholar V. Rydberg".[26]

Is the above passage meant as comedy? It sure reads like it. DeVries thought very highly of the work, this seriously misrepresents his views.

The following is extremely subjective. Who, if any one, has gathered anyone's full scholarly attention, whatever that is? What evidence supports this statement: While Rydberg's work was certainly noted by scholars, he has not been able to gather their full attention.

Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) 04:13, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

The section is a summary of the content of the "quotefarm" you had given. We can certainly discuss the precise phrasing, but the overall gist appears to be clear to me. The sentence "Commentaries on his work are few, and often of a vague nature." is yours I believe? it would be fair to say, then, that while he was noted, he certainly never was at the center of scholarly attention. Rydberg isn't another Grimm. dab (𒁳) 07:13, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

No, that is not fair to say, as it can be said of most scholars in this field— all of the ones cited, in fact. It is cheap editorizing. You are no William Shakespeare or Albert Einstein, but to say that in an biographical entry on you is an opinion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jack the Giant-Killer (talkcontribs) 02:15, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

DAB, You have taken my words out of context and twisted them. Very few detailed commentaries of Rydberg's entire work (with examples) in English exist. Frederick Powell's is one of the few, and you butchered it. What you fail to understand is that many scholars have taken points of his work and commented on them favorably, or used them in their own works. When people like Davidson make broad, sweeping accessments of the work, their comments are vague (i.e. "fantasises", "fundamentalist", etc)

Not having read the work, you probably are not a good one to summarize the scholarship. As I said, I can bring many more citations to bear than I did. These were simply the first ones I had immediate access to. When I get some time, I'll do a specific rewrite. This editing war is getting old, and obviously the editors are unable or unwilling to resolve it.

For the record, I think that the opinion that I only present positive views of Rydberg's work is inaccurate, considering you distilled the most negative bits from the citations I gave; and worked them into a pretty damning original position. I was attempting to present a balanced view, and in my opinion you twisted it into an unbalanced view, by accentuating the negative. If I appear to only present positive material, it is prcisely because the scales have swung so far in the other direction that this approach is required to restore any notion of balance to the entry. Notice how we continue to return time and again to Rydberg's mythological works. As I noted, my preference is simply to delete this section of the entry. It was Radford's brainchild, and his agenda is well-known.

Rydberg's works on mythology are NOT his most important works, and should not be given such disporportionate respresentation in an entry devoted to his life and work. He was Sweden's most popular author, and an important cultural figure elected to Parliament, long before these books were even written. This emphasis on them is unprecidented in the many professional encyclopedia entires devoted to Rydberg— some of which do not even mention this work among Rydberg's best known. This undue focus is a product of the American neo-pagan movement of which Radford is party. In effect, you continue to allow him to direct the entry, whether you realize it or not. Should you decide to import any of the references from his slimy articles, I would strongly recommend that these be independently verified and vetted. His work is not known for its accuracy or NPOV as noted here by myself and others.Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) 02:11, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

Editoralizing

These quotes are not specific to the work, and therefore amount to editorizing. I have removed them. Other deletions are statements I introduced, and thus not posted here.

This was a common attitude of Romanticist mythography, notably also found in Elias Lönnrot's "reconstruction" of the Kalevala (published 1835).

This statemnt is unsourced and not relevant to Rydberg. Intially I did not oppose it, but now do because it is being used as a toehold to indroduce similar statements, such as this:


But Rydberg, as a "late" Romanticist, must take the blame of having still been caught up in the excesses of early 19th century mythography at a time when they had already become a "laughingstock" of academia (Tom Shippey).[11]

This view is unbalanced and appears to not be specific to Rydberg. The use of the phrases "to blame", "caught up in" and "laughingstock" are transparent attempts at editorizing, and push an original view.

This is simply a review of Hamlet's Mill, a book Rydberg did not author, published 80 years after his death. Davidson's statement about "fantasties" is included in the Reception section. To repeat it is redundant.

The book Hamlet's Mill by Georgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechend, (1969), which expands on this theory, received unusually negative reviews from scholars. It was described by H. R. Ellis Davidson as “amateurish in the worst sense, jumping to wild conclusions without any knowledge of the historical value of the sources or of previous work done. On the Scandinavian side there is heavy dependence on the fantasies of Rydberg, writing in the last century, and apparent ignorance of progress made since his time.”[12] Writing in the New York Review of Books, Edmund Leach called Hamlet’s Mill “pure fantasy . . . no more than an intellectual game.”[13]


Rather than deleting this quote, as I expect to be accused of, I have moved it to a more appropiate place in the article.

In an apparent reference to Rydberg's writings on Greece and Rome, Judith Moffett, a science fiction writer who translated a number of Rydberg's poems reflects the scholarly reception by stating that Rydberg was "a historian who cared more for atmospheres and half-truths than for historical facts."[14]

Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) 03:57, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

NPOV

I have attempted to restore a neutral point of view to the Reception section. I have included both positive and negative statements, and considered the views of all parties posting to the discussion. I have consciously avoided using buzz-words, or words which appear to favor one position or the other. Let me know how I did.

I have also added additional citations and biographical information throughout the work. I deleted the Rydberg Religion from the Links section based on Ed's earlier comments. It occurs to me however that mention of Radford's articles, might appropo in the Neopagan Reception section, but I will leave it for others to post it there. In my opinion, the inclusion of the poorly-researched and inaccurately-cited Rydberg Religion articles will promote yet another round of edit warring, and thus are best left out of this article.


I have no problem with an open and honest deliberative process that results in a consensus contrary to my own views, and therefore respect your decision not to link to The Rydberg Religion. However, your statement that the article is "poorly researched" is personally and professionally offensive and in my opinion unwarranted. Please give an example of what you consider to be deficient research in the article. Rsradford (talk) 16:58, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
Hello RS. I don't intend any offense nor personal attacks on you, you seem well spoken and give the impression of being thoughtful and responsive, values I appreciate. Still, passages in this website you've erected such as here: [2]. On this page you've combined White Nationalism and "Folkish" (presumably Asatru and Heathenry) in the same sentence. The largest Folkish groups blatantly reject racism, such as the Asatru Folk Assembly. Further, you've equated "Folkish" to "völkisch" - I'm sure there'd be a lot of objection to this equation from many of those parties given the current definition of the word used within such groups. Many individuals involved in "Folkish" Heathenry would find this pretty offensive, yet there's no mention of this. Of course, this may be your opinion, but in my eyes it's a result of poor research in this area. For the sake of confusion, I ask that you please do not insert responses in the middle of someone else's replies - it can lead to a lot of confusion. :bloodofox: (talk) 17:26, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

The current revision:

Scholarly Reception

There is no shortage of scholarly opinion and no consensus on Viktor Rydberg's works on Indo-European and Germanic mythology. Some scholars feel that his work is ingenious, while others feel the work is too speculative.

In fact, virtually all modern scholars who take any notice of Rydberg's mythological work dismiss it as 19th-century Romantic nonsense, as was documented in the section containing quotes from scholars that has been deleted. No modern scholar refers to Rydberg's mythological speculations, in their entirety, as "ingenious." Rsradford (talk) 16:58, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

Many express the opinion that individual points of Rydberg's work while valid are often carried to extremes therefore affording the work less recognition than it deserves.

No modern scholar contends that Rydberg's mythological work as a whole receives less recognition than it deserves. Such a comment was made more than 40 years ago by Gabriel Turville-Petre about a minor, isolated point Rydberg made. Rsradford (talk) 16:58, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

Many modern scholars object to any systematization of the mythology, believing it artificial, while some prominent scholars, including Margaret Clunies Ross and John Lindow have recently advocated a chronological systemization of at least some important mythic episodes. Rydberg, however, believed that all of the Germanic myths could be fit into such a chronology, an approach characterized as "fundamentalist" and its conclusions labeled as "fantasies" by Hilda Ellis Davidson, who first commented on his book "Teutonic Mythology" in 1943.[23]

Commenting on specifics of Rydberg's comparative mythology, the Dutch scholar Jan de Vries goes so far as to call him "sagacious."[24] While Rydberg's ingenuity is undisputed, his work has most often been criticized for entering too far into subjectivity.[25] In the most comprehensive review of the work in English, Rydberg's "brilliancy" and "great success" were recognized, alongside an acknowledgement that he sometimes "stumbles badly" in his effort to "reduce chaos to order".[26] In 1976, German-language scholar Peter-Hans Neumann published the first evaluation of the full range of Viktor Rydberg's mythological writings.

The general consensus remains that while Rydberg can be ingenious in detail, his overall project is flawed by subjective interpretations based more on his poetical intuition than on fact.[27] Notably, however, Rydberg is the only scholar of the modern era to have commented on the Poetic Edda, who is also a recognized poet.

More than 120 years after its initial publication, Rydberg's work continues to be occasionally cited by scholars in the field, having been most recently cited in the German language Kommentar zu den Liedern der Edda, Bd. 2,[28] and Carol Clover's article "Hárbardsljóð as Generic Farce".[29]

Isn't it also noteworthy that these sources "cited" Rydberg's work only to single it out as erroneous? Rsradford (talk) 16:58, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

Foriegn language scholars, particularly those who write in Swedish, still comment on his work.[30] Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) 05:06, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

Bloodofox, I'm sorry to have caused confusion by inserting my responses point-by-point into your text; I had thought that would make my points of reference more clear. Regarding the research issue, I have been completely open regarding the fact that The Rydberg Religion is a strong expression of a POV that most people are not exposed to en route down that particular garden path. I think the article documents that Rydberg's mythological works have served, and still do, the interests of the völkisch, Folkish, and White Nationalists alike. I'm aware that the large Folkish groups, such as the one that recently published a "translation" of Rydberg's mythological interpretations, claim not to be racist. I have also observed from direct and extensive personal research that, in fact, they are. So again, if the bottom line is that you disagree with these (or other) of my conclusions, I respect your right to do so -- it's a free country. But the fact that a work incorporates a different POV from one's own does not imply that the work is poorly researched, which The Rydberg Religion is not. Rsradford (talk) 20:39, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
Of course, this is your point of view and an extremely fringe point of view at that - you seem to have no evidence that these groups are "racist" but your own "personal experience". The problem with including this link is the extremely fringe POV that to many familiar with Rydberg's work will seem very absurd. In fact, I still have a hard time accepting that you're completely serious about this, to be honest with you, and I think much of the nation of Sweden would feel the same.
In all honesty, I think your claim is extremely dubious: I've never witnessed that Rydberg has had any particular influence in most major Heathen groups - many of them tend to reject anything they feel isn't reconstructive or scholarly in nature, which Rydberg's work certainly isn't. Further, the Asatru Folk Assembly carry translations of works by Jacob Grimm and Edgar Polomé: [3] Are you planning a diatribe against these figures as well? They're certainly far more influential to most Germanic paganism movements than Rydberg. With these latter two figures, you can also add all sorts of scholars to your list, including anyone involved in the insidious worldwide network that operates under the name of departments of Germanic studies in general (worldwide). Still, of all the people, I ask - why the obscure figure of Rydberg? :bloodofox: (talk) 23:04, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
With all respect, this falls under the heading of "asked and answered." There is obviously no relationship whatsoever between Rydberg's racial nationalism and the scholarship of Edgar Polomé or anyone associated with modern departments of Germanic studies. If any of these individuals were to develop a cult following devoted to suppressing genuine scholarship and promoting a false image of the value of 19th century "Aryan" mythology for their own personal financial gain, I would also confront such groups as I have the Rydberg cultists that we have been dealing with on this page. I completely subscribe to the view expressed by the late Prof. Glosecki:
“The modern effort to comprehend Northern European myth may be said to begin with Jacob Grimm, who launched a quixotic campaign to reconstruct the lost mythos of his rediscovered ancestors. ... But his efforts were foredoomed by the dream of recovering an Ur-Germania, a unified nation of noble tribes living in prehistoric Northern Europe, speaking the same language, practicing the same religion, and subscribing to the same body of myth that enshrined sky fathers and earth mothers alongside woodwives, swan maidens, goose girls, and other mysterious embodiments of numinous power. While such fantastic creatures may reflect sporadic beliefs among scattered populations ... [n]either Ur-Germania nor any universally acknowledged Germanic mythos ever existed in preliterary Northern Europe, as far as we can judge today. To borrow Shippey’s elegant metaphor, there never was a ‘cathedral,’ though after Grimm many articulate scholars arranged and rearranged all the ‘stony rubbish’ to build some beautiful castles in the air.
"... By no means do we seek Grimm’s Ur-Germania, Tir na Nóg, an Elysium, a Gimlé, a Neorxnawang that never was. But nowadays others do – some in fantastic quasi-cults with no basis in historical fact. As Geoffrey Russom notes, ‘anyone who inputs “Odin” to an Internet search engine will learn that pernicious reconstructions of Germanic culture are still widely disseminated.’ Russom speaks for us all when he asserts our academic responsibility to ‘provide a better reconstruction.’”[Stephen O. Glosecki, “Introduction -- Myth Theory: Rite Refracted,” in Myth in Early Northwest Europe (S. Glosecki, ed., 2007), pp. xvii-xviii.] —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rsradford (talkcontribs) 00:31, 14 May 2008 (UTC)


One viewpoint, amongst many, Mr. Radford. The will-to-scatter, the will-to-obsfucate obvious connections is only one scholarly trend. There are other viewpoints which do indeed try to synthesize what others are trying to quarantine and keep separate. What precisely is a "pernicious reconstruction" of Germanic culture? Sky fathers and earth mothers most definitely WERE a part of Indo-European culture in general, as well as all the mythological figures indicated. The idea that they were merely "scattered" and "sporadic" is absurd. If you had bothered to look through some of the medieval documents, as I have extensively, you'd find that these are regular features of the entire Northern European cultural area, which is not surprising, as these are localized instances of worldwide motifs. In other words, these are characteristics of cultures all over the place, not artifacts of "Romanticism". Germania may not have been a "unified nation", but linguistic, cultural, and religious commonalities were REAL, and no will-to-scatter can erase that. CarlaO'Harris (talk) 00:56, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

yes, and honest collaboration on Wikipedia will allow the presentation of one viewpoint, and not exclude presentation of another, within WP:WEIGHT. Mr. Radford has done his homework, and can pull perfectly adequate academic references out of his sleeve. The Glosecki quote above would be very much in place on several of our Germanic mythology articles. If you want to present the opposite viewpoint, the burden is on you to provide adequate references. Adequate references will not be "medieval documents", but scholarly mythography. Nobody disputes there were some "commonalities", or else we wouldn't even have a Germanic mythology article. But I must agree with Rsradford that within "internet paganism", the "will-to-over-synthesize" is rather stronger than the alleged "wish-to-scatter". As a rule, we do not need to defend Wikipedia articles against one academic viewpoint, but against mis-representations of academic opinions on the part of clueless blog-readers. CarlaO'Harris, you are most welcome to participate in this debate, but you cannot say to be participating unless you cite scholarly references on a par with Rsradford. dab (𒁳) 06:18, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

No, that's not true at all. Reason is sufficient in a debate, unless you intend to commit the fallacy of appeal to authority, which is what all of this has seemed to come down to. In fact, the entire discussion is completely dominated by the fallacy. We're going to line the courtroom with scholars who say Rydberg doesn't matter or is false or is irrelevant, and then like good little puppies, we'll all say, "Ok". Well, that's not how an intelligent jury would act. An intelligent jury would use their mind and engage in reason. Simple citation of scholars is not sufficient. It's like a commercial which gets some basketball players telling us why Coke is better than Pepsi. Personally, I'll taste the damn things myself to decide, and I would encourage everyone in the jury to do the same. Medieval documents are completely relevant because they are historical source material establishing the the prevalence of the mythological figures. Fairies, woodwives, dwarves feature regularly in medieval penitentials, in recensions of the Canon Episcopi, in countless romances, in fairy tales, in witch trial documents. To anyone with any familiarity whatsoever with the documents of this time period it is abundantly clear that these mythological characters are prevalent.CarlaO'Harris (talk) 01:24, 17 May 2008 (UTC)


The Glosecki quote above would be very much in place on several of our Germanic mythology articles. If you want to present the opposite viewpoint, the burden is on you to provide adequate references. Adequate references will not be "medieval documents", but scholarly mythography.


DAB, as a justification for adding general scholarship concerning 19th century mythographers, not specific to Rydberg and not verifiable to have included Rydberg in their analysis, I find your argument unconvincing. What I take from your statement above is that you consider what the sources of Germanic mythology actually say to be irrelevant, and prefer the opinions of recent published academics. In my opinion, your approach lacks any historical context now, and doesn't bode well for the future of Wikipedia. Mr. Radford can certainly pull out scholarly quotes, sitting in a university town as he does, but whether they are pulled out of his sleeve or elsewhere is a matter for debate. As noted, his contributions, even moreso than yours, show an overt negative tendency, and are not representative of the the authors he cites. It has already been observed here that the opinions of academics are fluid, and run the gambit of the spectrum. Add time, and they run in circles, as if on a hamster wheel. There is no scholarly concensus, and even if there were today, it is subject to change tomorrow. I notice Mr. Radford's tendency to selectively consider the "modern" era of scholarship to not extend into the 1960s (his assessment of the Turville-Petre quote), but apparently feels it extends back into the 1970s when it suits his POV as he cites older articles by Lotte Motz elsewhere in Wikipedia, as if they had relevance today; and perhaps even into the 1940s as he gives credence to the oldest opinions of Hilda Davidson here. This is subtle editorilizing. You are clearly in the same camp in regard to editing this article, as your recent edits indicate. In no way are your contributions of a neutral nature. Again, I find it necessary to counterbalance your repeated attempts to throw in scholarship of a general or secondary nature, pressing your POV, in order to restore a NPOV to the entry. Clearly, such general citations are not relevant, unless you can demonstrate their specific relevance to this particular subject. Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) 15:03, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

in so many words, if Rsradford is quoting "selectively", I ask you to simply present other academic references. If your claim is correct, that should be easy. I'm not going to argue your case for you. Rsradford is observing the correct approach of establishing a position for the purposes of Wikipedia: WP:CITE. Unless you do the same, you will just give the impression that you are determined to keep waving your hands until the problem goes away (which is not the correct way of pursuing a debate on Wikipedia. I am in no "camp" at all, and I do not know Rydberg's work: if you can present references as convincing as Rsradford's, I will certainly endorse them just as much. So far, you have just tried to give spin to the article, which isn't proper (WP:SYN). dab (𒁳) 16:26, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Why is it "notable" that Rydberg was a poet in the context of his mythologizing?

This sentence appears to be a non sequitur, and has therefore been deleted:

Notably, however, Rydberg is the only scholar of the modern era to have commented on the Poetic Edda, who is also a recognized poet.

If Charles Bukowski had published a two-volume work revising and reinterpreting the Iliad, which was dismissed as nonsense by modern scholars of Greek literature, would anyone say, "It's notable that Bukowski is the only writer of the modern era to have commented on the Iliad, who was also a recognized poet?" Even though Bukowski had twice as much college education as Rydberg (two years), his status as a 20th-century poet would be irrelevant to his capacity to understand and analyze the historical literary artifacts of a different age and culture. Rsradford (talk) 20:20, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

Charles Bukowski is a completely different kind of poet than Rydberg, as you well know. Bukowski is a beat poet writing about his difficult, amusing, drunken life, and is appreciated for his vulgarity and turn of phrase. Rydberg, on the other hand, was a Romantic poet, and like Romantic poets, deeply connected to history, dream, and the inner life. You see, Mr. Radford, you don't have to be educated at a formal institution in order to have a sensitivity to inscapes. It takes a poet to know poetry. The point that it is notable that Rydberg was a poet who analyzed the Poetic Edda is completely relevant, and as a reader of Wikipedia, I would want the point kept, because it is an important one.CarlaO'Harris (talk) 01:16, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

A poet is a poet is a poet.
A poet is not a historian, a mythologist, a runologist, or an archaeologist.
Especially when a poet lacks any formal education in an academic discipline, it seems curiously irrelevant to his amateurism in that field to say, "oh, but after all, he was a poet," regardless of whether it's Rydberg's amateur revisions to Norse mythology, or Bukowski tackling the Iliad. However, I obviously don't expect "Jack" to agree with that, regardless of whether he's typing with his right hand or his left. Rsradford (talk) 02:03, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

A poet is better equipped to interpret poetry than a non-poet. And in the case of Rydberg, not only is he a poet, but, you see, he, uh, IS a mythologist. You just simply don't like his conclusions, and arrogantly believe that your dislike is sufficient to discredit them.CarlaO'Harris (talk) 07:41, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

This is hardly the only change you made. I see you have added your own editorial comments on the unrelated work Hamlet's Mill, among other things.

The relevance of Rydberg's poetic skills, mentioned by several scholars, should be self-evident, and is stated within the quote. The sources of Germanic mythology are poetic in nature, and Rydberg himself is an acknowledged master-poet, besides being fluent in Old Icelandic and Scandinavian himself. It should be restored in a future edit. Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) 04:08, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

You yourself added Hamlet's Mill to the article, on the implicit premise that it supports the value of Rydberg's mythologizing. If you wish to delete that reference, there would be no need to explain the work's lack of scholarly significance.
Do any of the regular editors see any connection between Rydberg's standing as a 19th century Romantic poet, and the capacity to understand and interpret literary artifacts from a different time and culture? Rsradford (talk) 13:07, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
Sure, I think it's notable that he was a 19th century Romantic poet who wrote about this subject matter and this reflects in the work he produced, which is why it's still an area of curiosity to modern generations, as obscure as it may be to anyone outside of Sweden or the dustier areas of Germanic studies. Celebrated artist John Bauer was even employed to work with Rydberg, adding to and playing off of the nature and poetic approach of Rydberg's work. It's because he was a poet that anyone digs up Rydberg's work.
Still, as this is Wikipedia, if this information is added as "notable" we need a source from someone saying it is. That is to say, you need a reference stating that it's notable or specifically of interest - we can't just simply say it's notable ourselves as this violates Wikipedia's policy on neutrality. :bloodofox: (talk) 13:24, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
no, we don't need a "source saying it is notable", we need a source dedicated to its discussion, and this source must meet WP:RS. You may want to revisit WP:NOTE one of these days. With your approach, we find ourselves in an infinite loop, since, you could then come and ask for a source confirming that the source you use is notable, and you'll then need another source confirming that source's notability, etc. Seriously, I am glad you care about WP:CITE so much but you seriously underestimate the requirement of WP:UCS. dab (𒁳) 14:41, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
I tend to care about policy (WP:CITE) more than a vague, non-policy essay that you seem to be so fond of mentioning (WP:UCS). To bring things back into focus, Rsradford seems to think it's not worth mentioning. I say I'll pull it unless it's referenced as someone's opinion (someone who has said that they feel Rydberg's approach is special because of his poetic background) though I think it is worth mentioning if this reference is produced. It's not worded neutrally with attribution is the problem - this is not about Wikipedia:Notability. :bloodofox: (talk) 15:25, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
whatever. I know better than to discuss the topic of "common sense" with you, that would be wasted effort indeed. Do what you must and see what happens. WP:IAR is a "tantric" concept, and tantra clearly isn't for everyone. Based on your dedication to "policy", it wouldn't be beyond you to produce "Notably,{{fact}} however, Rydberg is the only{{fact}} scholar of the modern era{{fact}} to have commented{{fact}} on the Poetic{{fact}} Edda, who is also a recognized{{fact}} poet." Of course, it goes without saying, in such excess only if you are trying to make a point. We could measure Wikipedia's quality by automatically counting the number of words do not carry a footnote. dab (𒁳) 15:30, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
Careful Dab, regarding your "common sense" blurb,that would be treading close to a personal attack. While you've had numerous problems restraining yourself from name-calling and incivility on Wikipedia in the past, I'll thank you not to insult me in the future. You seem to also be referring (again) to a section of an article that was over-referenced that I did not even write. Anyone who looks at my edit history can well see I'm following WP:GA guidelines, despite your blatant distaste for them, and I would take up your distaste for reference per policy up with them and not me. :bloodofox: (talk) 16:00, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

It is well established at this point that Rydberg's credibility as a scholarly source is subject to serious doubts and caveats. Jack the Giant-Killer, you seem to labour under the misconception that on Wikipedia, a point is "controversial" or "undecided" indefinitely just as long as somebody feels compelled to keep going on about it and flogging a dead horse. That's not the case. Just plucking apart each phrase of the article in a bad faith attempt to reduce a coherent discussion into a non-committal incoherent weasling is not acceptable and falls under WP:POINT. It wasn't beyond you to take your attempts at spin doctoring to the point of referring to "recent citations of Rydberg" to imply his work retains academic value, and when the actual context of the citations became clear, we saw that Rydberg was just listed as one example in a discussion of scholarly mistakes made in the past. Please stop assuming we are morons. If you want to keep this discussion going, you will need to present evidence, and argue your case in good faith and with an honest intention to face rather than dodge the issue. You are doing nothing of the kind at present, and I think I am rapidly running out of patience with your approach here. dab (𒁳) 14:46, 16 May 2008 (UTC)


DAB, you wrote:

It is well established at this point that Rydberg's credibility as a scholarly source is subject to serious doubts and caveats.

The article reflects this. I accept that. I have made several edits since the first discussion in which I have sought to balance the most negative quotes with differing views, as you requested. No serious scholar questions Rydberg's place as a legitimate scholar, even those that question his conclusions. It goes without saying that few recent scholars cite 19th century scholarship as a "credible source," unless said scholarship is one of the few works which have commented on a subject. I produced one from the Saga-Book, relevant to Rydberg. In my view, RSRadford's effort has been to confuse the two issues and attempt to undermine Rydberg's place as a legitimate scholar (uneducated, irrelevant, racist, etc). Whether his views are accepted by mainstream scholars today or not, Rydberg's place as an Old Norse scholar remains unquestioned. This is evidenced by his recent treatment by Clover and the German Kommentar. My edits have been an effort to counterbalance the spin that Rydberg was never considered a legitimate Old Norse scholar. You have asked me to provide quotes to support this, and I have. What's the problem?

If you want to keep this discussion going, you will need to present evidence, and argue your case in good faith and with an honest intention to face rather than dodge the issue. You are doing nothing of the kind at present, and I think I am rapidly running out of patience with your approach here.

Losing patience? Check all of my recent edits. I have done exactly as you asked. You had a heated exchange with Bloodofox, not me. Are you confusing us? 20:00, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) 20:00, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

Continued Edit Warring

Mr. Radford, once again, has unilaterally decided what consistutes scholarship and arbitrarily removed material from the entry. Since this site is protected, I strongly object to this practice.

Mr. Radford disputes the following statement. What is needed to verify it?

Today, Rydberg's theory of a vast world-mill which rotates the heavens, as an integral part of Old Norse mythic cosmology, is perhaps his most widely accepted theory, accepted by Clive Tolley,, and Ursula Dronke, who refences Tolley.[22] "The Mill in Norse and Finnish Mythology" by Clive Tolley, Sagabook of the Viking Society 24 (1994-95) p. 63-82. In this article, he exactly mirrors the evidence and argument Rydberg used to draw the same conclusion, noting "If Bergelmir was placed on a mill-frame, he was clearly ground up: Rydberg (1886, I 431-32) long ago suggested that after the world was formed from the body of the first giant Ymir the act of creation continued with the milling up of BErgelmir toproduce soil and sand of the beaches."

Dronke most certainly agrees with the concept of a world-mill, originating in Rydberg's work, after a suggestion by Vigfusson. She cites Tolley as the source. Tolley cites Rydberg in his article and bibliography and mirrors his argument and evidence closely. If Mr. Radford objects, perhaps he can explain why before arbitrarily deleting the material. Graham Hancok is the author of several books, and a journalist. Mr. Radford appears to have adopted a narrow definition of the word scholar. If so, then other material in this article should be thrown out on the same grounds.


It is misleading to claim that Dronke subscribes to Rydberg's theory, for the simple reason that she doesn't. The burden is on you, "Jack," to demonstrate the proof of your claim by producing some text (even a footnote) by Prof. Dronke, making some reference to Rydberg's work.
It is misleading to call Graham Hancock a scholar, for the simple reason that he is not. He writes popular books about fantasy and the occult. Scholars are associated with universities (school/scholar/scholarship, get it?) and their work is published by academic presses. I have no objetion to your citing to Graham Hancock as accepting the authority of Hamlet's Mill, so long as he is correctly identified as a writer of popular fantasies.Rsradford (talk) 00:44, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

There is nothing misleading in these statements. They can be indepentantly verified. Your statements are factualkly incorrrect. A search of Googlebooks will demonstrate a plethora of favorable references to "Hamlet's Mill". Your statement to the contrary is false and misleading. The idea of a world-mill, first suggested by Vigfusson (in a single sentence), was fully theorized by Rydberg for the first time with supporting evidence straight from the primary sources of Old Norse and Indo-Aryan mythologies in 1886. A picture of the mill is included in O.S. Reuter's Germanische Himmelskunde as early as the 1930's, and it tuirns up in works of fiction as early as 1903. In the 1990s, Tolley used the same evidence and argument as Rydberg, and acknowledges Rydberg as the first scholar to make the argument. Tolley found further Indo-European and Finno-Ugaric analogs. The later sources all cite works derived from Rydberg.

Since Tolley, the idea has been accepted as factual in a number of scholarly works. Dronke cites Tolley, who cites Rydberg. Most references since the 1960s cite to "Hamlet's Mill" as the source of this theory, and the authors of Hamlet's Mill, both well-respected scholars, cite Rydberg as the source. Deleting these references does not change the facts. To disprove this, you will need to show any work which details the evidence for a world-mill before Rydberg. You have produced none, and there are none. Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) 17:49, 18 May 2008 (UTC)


Your statement that Dronke "accepted" Rydberg's theory is simply false, as has been explained to you repeatedly. I have re-worked the sentence in question to make it clear that Dronke does not mention Rydberg, does not mention Rydberg's theory, and does not say whether she herself thinks the world-mill had any significance at all in Norse cosmology. What she does say, in a brief passage interpreting four lines in Voluspa, is that she has a favorable opinion of Tolley's article as a piece of scholarship, period. Rsradford (talk) 21:08, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
Jack has once again simply reinserted this false claim into the article, having been unable to respond to the obvious facts that (1) Dronke does not mention Rydberg; (2) Dronke does not mention Rydberg's theory, and (3) Dronke gives no indication whether she even believes the "world-mill" existed in Old Norse mythology. (It is self-evidently preposterous for Jack to argue simultaneously that Rydberg invented the concept of the world-mill, such that any reference to the mill is ipso facto a reference to Rydberg, and that the world-mill is an ancient feature of the cosmologies of many cultures.) Jack, if you cannot support your personal opinions on this subject, please stop gratuitously injecting them into the article. Rsradford (talk) 05:13, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

When did Elizabeth Barber become a Yale professor??

I see Carla O'Harris has helpfully identified Elizabeth Wayland Barber as "Yale Professor of Linguistics and Archaeology"(!) In fact, Ms. Barber teaches introductory linguistics at Occidental College. (Her personal website can be viewed at http://departments.oxy.edu/languages/barber/index.htm). Granted, she's as close to a real scholar as you're going to find who gives any credence to Hamlet's Mill, but a Yale professor? Really! Rsradford (talk) 01:04, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

She is a "Professor of Linguistics and Archaeology", as well as the co-chair of the Classics department, yes, at Occidental College. That was my mistake. She graduated from Yale. In any case, her credentials are still impressive.CarlaO'Harris (talk) 08:41, 27 May 2008 (UTC)


Professor Elizabeth Wayland Barber has a Ph.D from Yale, so any misunderstanding, if indeed there was one, is understandable. Mr. Radford has not demonstrated that Prof. Barber never taught at Yale. She may well have.

If that is your standard of verifiability, why not say that she was educated on Pluto by a cadre of space aliens dedicated to elevating our consciousness about the importance of Rydberg's mythology? She is not a professor at Yale; if she had ever been, she would not now be teaching introductory courses at Occidental. Rsradford (talk) 20:15, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

As an illustration of Radford's approach, he describes Prof. Barber as a "teacher of introductory linguistics". This purposefully belittles her actual position and credentials. The website he directs us to above clearly states that she is a "Professor of Linguistics and Archaeology" and lists her credentials as "B.A., Bryn Mawr; M.A., Ph.D., Yale University". His words "as close to a real scholar" is revealing. Clearly he is suggesting that Prof. Barber is not a real scholar. The source he cites proves otherwise. Besides being a well-respected member of the acamedic community, she is a current professor at the university level of both linguistics and archeology, and as such is the author of several well-researched and well-received books. Clearly she is in a position to professionally access Santillana and Dechend's work, as she does favorabvly in her recent work. By contrast, the sources Radford cites are now more than 30 years old. Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) 18:08, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

She is also cited as "one of the world's foremost experts on ancient textiles", which is not of necessity related to the present point, but it does demonstrate that she is well respected as well as acknowledged as being credible.CarlaO'Harris (talk) 08:43, 27 May 2008 (UTC)


Radford edited in this comment: However, more recent works demonstrate the book has found favor with a British journalist. Graham Hancock calls it "a seminal original thesis on ancient myth."

This intentionally omitts Prof. Barber. The work has found favor with more than a British journalist. Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) 18:28, 18 May 2008 (UTC)


Please don't lie about my edits, too. The revision you are complaining about was done by your alter-ego, "Carla." Rsradford (talk) 17:15, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Don't put quotes around my name, Mr. Radford. I am no one's alter-ego. Feeling paranoid? Also, it was not I who eliminated Professor Barber. I was the one who clarified that she is a Professor of Linguistics and Archaeology, as well as, and this is distinctly relevant to the issues at hand, the co-chair of the Classics department.CarlaO'Harris (talk) 08:46, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

The "world mill" is not an integral part of Norse mythology

I deleted the unsupported claim that Rydberg's "World Mill" is "an integral part of Old Norse mythic cosmology." It would be very difficult to find a scholarly overview of Norse cosmology that so much as mentions the "world mill." If you can cite to some that do, or to any published scholarship (preferably since 1906) that characterizes it in these terms, please include the citation in the article. Rsradford (talk) 20:35, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

Although "Jack" simply reinserted this false claim into the article without documentation, I have revised the text to make it clear that Rydberg believed the world-mill to be integral to Old Norse cosmography. That nobody else does so can be inferred by intelligent readers. Rsradford (talk) 04:54, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Wow, you really have absolutely no leg to stand on. Let me provide you with a source, and let's bypass these secondary commentary scholars, let's go Ad Fontes, Mr. Radford : It's called "Grottasongr". You may have heard of it. It's part of this collection called the "Poetic Edda". In it, the Mill is connected to "Frodi's Frith", perhaps one of the most important mythic periods in the mythology, and was responsible for churning out peace unparalleled in Teutonic mythic history. If that is not "an integral part of Old Norse mythic cosmology", then there is nothing that is. And wait, perhaps you've heard of Solarljod 58. Or maybe you've heard of a poem called "Lokasenna". It, too, is in the Poetic Edda. If you check stanzas 43 and 44, you'll find that Freyr, who last time I checked was an "integral part" of Norse mythology, is associated with a mill, as well. And then there's Vigfusson, who explicitly states that Mundilfori's name is "akin to möndull, referring to the veering round or revolution of the heavens", and then when we ask what a "mondull" is, tells us that it means " a handle, esp. of a handmill". Now Vigfusson qualifies as a scholar, doesn't he, Mr. Radford? And he is here telling us that according to his scholarly opinion that Mundilfori, an "integral part" of Norse Mythology, is connected with the handle of a handmill and the rotation of the heavens. How about Snæbjorn in Skaldskaparmal 25? Just so you know, that's a section of Snorri Sturluson's "Prose Edda" that includes many skaldic poems, which were the poems of professional mythological poets at the courts of kings. They count as reliable sources on mythology, don't they? He associates the mill with nine brides who move it, and also with Hamlet. Now nine giantesses are associated with Heimdall, and I think, perhaps, call me naive, that Hamlet and Heimdall might also qualify as "integral parts" of Norse mythology. In short, Mr. Radford, when we go Ad Fontes, we find that a mill or mills are indeed an integral part of old Norse cosmography, and that would be true whether Rydberg said it or not. Sometimes even the Devil can utter true words, you know. CarlaO'Harris (talk) 09:12, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Mystery reviews of "Hamlet's Mill?

I have deleted the following unsupported statement, relating to the uniformly negative reviews of Hamlet's Mill that appeared when the book was published:

However, more recent reviews are largely favorable.

Books are not reviewed 30 years after they were published -- especially not when they were savaged as badly as this one the first time around. If anyone knows of any recent, favorable reviews of Hamlet's Mill, in any academic publication or mainstream media, feel free to cite to them. Rsradford (talk) 20:44, 18 May 2008 (UTC)


This is Rydberg's claim; and the reviews are not "uniformly negative" as the Barber quote shows. Are we to start speaking of the "fantasies of Radford"? Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) 23:22, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

Rydberg claimed the reviews of Hamlet's Mill were favorable? My, he was ahead of his time! Nevertheless, the reviews were uniformly negative. Barber did not publish a review of Hamlet's Mill. If you don't know what a book review is, you should not be altering encyclopedia articles. Rsradford (talk) 05:02, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

I'll tell you what : you familiarize yourself with the Poetic Edda, ad fontes, instead of simply mimicking scholars who support your POV, and we'll familiarize ourselves with what a "book review" is. Deal? Strange that by your definition when an author reviews a book, that doesn't in some way constitute a review of a book. But then again, what do I know? I'm not seeing dangerous cultists everywhere either.CarlaO'Harris (talk) 09:17, 27 May 2008 (UTC)


I have reedited the section, taking RSRadford's concerns into account, restoring a NPOV. I also changed Anna Lindén's status from "student" to scholar, which Radford changed without discussion The dictionary definition of scholar does not require a PhD. Ms. Linden is a PhD student, and has published several scholarly articles in scholarly journals. There is no question she is a scholar. To classify her as a "student" again undercuts her credentials, following the pattern Mr. Radford has displayed here time and again to belittle those who disagree with his view. Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) 23:37, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

This is not a question of disagreeing. It is a question of honesty. In a section discussing the published views of scholars in the field, it is dishonest not to disclose that Ms. Linden is a graduate student. It is not necessary to disclose that none of her professors agree with her views. Rsradford (talk) 05:02, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

This should never have been about Hamlet's Mill in the first place. If Jack wasn't so desperate to produce soundbites supporting that "Rydberg is still quoted", we would not need to bother with that book. I see no reason to discuss Ms. Linden's credentials on this page. dab (𒁳) 05:16, 19 May 2008 (UTC)


DAB, I am not "desperate" to do anything. That is a personal attack. You are not an impartial moderator. You have already labeled any attempt to add positive citations a "quotefarm" and reduced them to editorial garbage. Let's not forget you are the one who allowed Radford to open a section on scholarship with four negative quotes, and insisted that I produce positive quotes, if able. Now you call honoring your request, "desperate". Your bias is clear. If it were about "honesty" as Radford says, he wouldn't be here. He is using this entry as an extension of his poorly-researched "Rydberg Religion" nonsense, and you are enabling him. Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) 22:14, 19 May 2008 (UTC)


Can we please get some intervention to end this personal abuse? "Jack" is obviously re-injecting his personal bias into the article by citing Hamlet's Mill as supportive of Rydberg's idiosyncratic theories, yet banishing to the footnotes the quotes from scholarly reviews establishing that the book was simply nonsense. I could easily produce a dozen more contemporary reviews by noted scholars to the same effect, yet the only quote Jack will allow in the article is by a teacher of introductory linguistics at Occidental College(!!) As I said back when "Jack" blew up the "Targeted Proposal," this madness will never end so long as he is allowed to use this article to peddle his vanity-press paperbacks. Rsradford (talk) 23:02, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Well, it's a lot better than trying to peddle one's personal paranoia about unproven "cultists", don't you think? After all, said paperbacks actually represent useful work, and aren't dependent upon imaginary antagonists floating around just waiting for a chance to seize upon a 19th Century poet's mythological work to advance their sinister and dangerous agendas. CarlaO'Harris (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 09:21, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Can we get past the personal agendas here and focus on the subject of the entry? The entry is not about Hamlet's Mill. RS made no similar cry when the quotes which actually regarded Rydberg's work on mythology were moved to the reference section, so why now? A dozen more 40 year old reviews, assuming they exist, prove nothing when more "modern" assessments of the book so thoroughly contradict them. The same reasoning was applied to reviews of Rydberg's work on mythology, with RS' hearty support. Now RS advocates the opposite approach in regard to the scholarly opinions of "Hamlet's Mill". RS' bias is transparent. Prof. Barber is not simply "a teacher of introductory linguistics...(!!)" as he states (with dramatic emphasis), she is a Professor of Archeology and Linguistics , as the site he cited as source clearly states. I suppose RS is correct when he says that "this madness will never end so long as he is allowed to use this article to peddle his vanity-press paperbacks".... apparently, it won't as long as he believes this, since that seems to be his primary motivation for dabbling here. Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) 02:48, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Hamlet's Mill

DAB, I agree with you, reviews of Hamlet's Mill, a work Rydberg did not write, do not belong in the main text of the entry. I have summarized the reviews, following your earlier example, and moved the quotes to the references section with citations. Does this meet with your approval? Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) 22:37, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

And since "honesty" is such an issue, I also corrected the following bit of editorializing, slipped in by Radford without discussion:

Rydberg is recognized as one of small group of scholars who mistakenly identified the ferryman Harbard of the Eddic poem Hárbardsljóð as Loki, rather than Odin, as is universally held by modern Eddic scholars.

Radford is apparently restricted to English language sources. The German Kommentar, which surveys the entire range of Eddic scholarship, clearly states that the identity of the title-figure Harbard is never "explicitly revealed" (nie zu einer expliziten Enthüllung der wahren Identität der Titelfigur Harbardr kommt], p. 155. The addition of the word "mistakenly" is an attempt to editorilize. The identification of Harbard as Odin is not "universal" either, as the existence of competing theories demonstrate. Tacking on the word "modern scholars" doesn't make it true. Radford's use of the word "modern" is highly subjective, and changes to suit his needs. The Kommentar says that while the theory that Harbard is Odin has been "generally accepted," Klingberg affirms that he presents himself as "Loki-like". Scholars have variously identified Harbard as Odin, Loki, and a giant. There is no consensus. Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) 23:02, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Your hiding behind foreign-language sources cannot conceal the fact that no scholar in the field -- repeat, not one -- accepts Rydberg's amateurish confusion of Harbard with Loki. I have re-edited the passage to make this clear. I have also restored the identification of Linden, who you continue to misrepresent as a scholar instead of a graduate student. Rsradford (talk) 12:26, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

"Hiding behind foreign-language sources"? I guess being a translator does have its virtues, after all, like, for instance, interest in scholastic opinion outside the English-speaking world. And how is anyone "hiding" behind foreign-language sources when they quote up-front the source? And no scholar whatsoever? Hmmm. In an 1857 Atlantic Monthly we find, "How it is that any critic could have mistaken Harbard for Odin, or for any one but Loki, is really incomprehensible." We find John Arnott MacCulloch telling us that "Some scholars interpret Harbard as Loki or a giant." John M. Robinson cites Holtzmann and Bergmann as agreeing with the identification of Harbard as Loki. Wait : I think more than one means that your "repeat, not one" argument has been completely destroyed. CarlaO'Harris (talk) 09:32, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Another deceptive citation

"Jack's" citation to Marvin Taylor (unsurprisingly) does not support the proposition that some unidentified scholars think Rydberg's faux-mythology gets less credit than it deserves. Taylor actually uses Rydberg as an example of extremely outdated scholarship, saying there is no point in criticizing an author for being only a few years out of date, if he can be shown to be as outdated as Rydberg. I have corrected the footnote, but "Jack's" underlying claim remains unsupported. Rsradford (talk) 12:26, 20 May 2008 (UTC)


Radford’s new verbiage here suggests that all of the reviews were unusually negative. He has produced no evidence of this. This is further editorializing. The wording “usuually negative” is only appropriate to the two 40-year-old reviews Radford managed to dredge up. Two negative views do not make a reception.


All of the reviews of Hamlet's Mill by scholars were unusually negative. The reviews are obviously the same age as the book, which you yourself injected into this article. I have already offered to produce a dozen more reviews, equally disparaging as the two I have provided. If I do so, will you agree to allow them to be featured in the text of the article, instead of the footnotes? Obviously, the way to disprove my statement that the scholarly reviews were "unusually negative" is to produce one that was not. Where is it, "Jack?" Rsradford (talk) 15:41, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Hmm. Carlo Ginzburg sees fit to cite Hamlet's Mill. And we find, "References to Hamlet's Mill and the theory that it presents are frequently found in popular science works such as Coming of Age in the Milky Way (1988) by Timothy Ferris, Professor of Astronomy at Berkeley. Other works, such as The Language of Archaic Astronomy by Harald A.T. Reiche have indicated a continuing respect for this work. This article is includes in Astronomy of hte Ancient, edited by Kenneth Brecher, Associate Professor of Physics at MIT, and by Michael Feirtag, member of the Board of Editors of Technology Review." (Jane B. Sellers, The Death of Gods in Ancient Egypt: A Study of the Threshold of Myth, Penguin Limited, London, 2003 , p. 2.) Roy Willis, from the University of Edinburgh, and Patrick Curry, from Bath Spa University College, see fit to extensively cite and engage Hamlet's Mill in their "Astrology, Science, and Culture : Pulling Down the Moon" (Berg, Oxford, 2004), stating that it includes a major "signal achievement". Barbara Sjoholm, in The Pirate Queen (Seal Press, Emeryville, 2004) calls it a "dense, exciting, and often impenetrable text", reviewing it favourably in her annotated bibliography, and mentions that the "Icelandic scholar Gisli Sigurdsson helpfully pointed me in the direction of Hamlet's Mill". Frank Durham and Robert D. Purrington, in Frame of the Universe : A History of Physical Cosmology (Columbia University Press, New York, 1983) favorably engage Hamlet's Mill in several locations. James Lang, Associate Professor of Sociology and former director of the Center for Latin American and Iberian Studies at Vanderbilt University, favorably cites Hamlet's Mill in his Notes of a Potato Watcher (Texas A& M University Press, 2001). Edward Dudley, Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature at State University of New York at Buffalo, favorably cites Hamlet's Mill in The Endless Text : Don Quixote and the Hermeneutics of Romance (State University of New York Press, 1997). Dr. Wallace Martin, Professor of English at the University of Toledo, in Recent Theories of Narrative (Cornell University Press, 1986) calls Hamlet's Mill "A brilliant argument connecting mythical narratives with archaic cosmologies" (p. 217). Northrop Frye, in the Collected Works of Northrop Frye (University of Toronto Press, 2002), also favorably cites Hamle'ts Mill (p. 408), as does Charles Ruhl, Associate Professor of English at Old Dominion University, in On Monesemy : A Study in Linguistic Semantics (State University of New York Press, 1989), as does James H. Charlesworth in "Jewish Interests in Astrology" (in Rise and Decline of the Roman World,Walter de Gruyter, Berlin, 1987), as does Paul Feyerabend, Professor of Philosophy at UC Berkeley and Professor of Science at the Federal Institute of Technology at Zurich, in Farewell to Reason (Verso, London, 1987, p. 113), as does Rachel Hadas, Assistant Professor of English at the Newark College of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University, in her Form, Cycle, Infinity : Landscape Imagery in the Poetry of Robert Frost (Bucknell University Press, London, 1985, p.89), as does Eric Voegelin, Professor of Political Science in the Faculty of Law at the University of Vienna in Order and History (Volume IV : The Ecumenic Age, University of Missouri Press, Columbia, 2000, p. 132). Mark Bauer, in This Composite Voice : The Role of W.B. Yeats in James Merrill's Poetry (Routledge, New York, 2003, p. 196) calls it a "massive study". Dr. Thomas G. Brophy, in The Origin Map (Writer's Club Press, 2002), calls it "classic". Georg Feuerstein, in In Search of the Cradle of Civilization : New Light on Ancient India (Quest Books, Wheaton, 1995, p. 239), calls it an "exceptional work". It is cited in Richard M. Lerner's Concepts and Theories of Human Development (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, 2002), and in John R. Hinnells' The Routledge Companion to the Study of Religion (2005). It is clearly an important work that receives regular citation in University Press books written by educated Professors. Mr. Radford is able to find some scholars who differ with it. So? My catalogue illustrates that there is a healthy difference of opinion here in the academic community that definitely does not constitute any kind of unanimous discrediting of the source.CarlaO'Harris (talk) 10:43, 27 May 2008 (UTC)






Although the book Hamlet's Mill by Georgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechend (1969), which utilizes this theory, was received with unusually negative reviews

Now he takes the opposite approach:

more recent assessments of the work by popular writers and a professor at Occidental College have been favorable

Now only “popular writers” and a single scholar support this view.


The only positive assessments of the work you have produced are by popular writers and a professor at Occidental College. There is no basis for you to assert that the book has received a more favorable reception in academia. Rsradford (talk) 15:41, 20 May 2008 (UTC)


Instead of a “teacher of introductory linguistics” he has now labeled Dr. Barber simply as a “professor”. As a professor of both archeology and linguistics, she is in a much better position to assess the book than a universalist-mythologist (Davidson) and a medically-trained archeologist (Leach). Above, Radford uses general language when it suits his view, but here restrictive language when it doesn’t. If it were about “honesty”, then why not be honest consistently?


I am being honest, "Jack." All scholarly reviews of Hamlet's Mill were unusually negative. The only positive reassessments of the book have been by popular writers and a professor at Occidental College. Believe me, "Jack," you don't want to compare the scholarly credentials of Elizabeth Wayland Barber and H. R. Ellis Davidson (!) Rsradford (talk) 15:41, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
Moreover, a quick check of Occidental College's faculty page shows that Elizabeth Barber no longer teaches there, so the point is moot. I have updated the reference to her accordingly. See http://departments.oxy.edu/registrar/catalog/faculty.html Rsradford (talk) 21:56, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Whatever. She was the co-chair of the Classics department, a Professor of Linguistics and Archaeology, a "world renowned expert" on textiles, and received her PhD from Yale. We can just add her name to the plethora of scholars who favorably cite Hamlet's Mill, as I have demonstrated above, and many more examples could be adduced.CarlaO'Harris (talk) 10:45, 27 May 2008 (UTC)


in 1997 Marvin Taylor cites Rydberg as an example of extremely outdated scholarship, pointing out that if an author (Zernack) wishes to dismiss another scholar's work as

This is a gross mischaracterization of Taylor’s view, again twisted to support Radford’s negative view, which finds a more exaggerated form in his long-winded “Rydberg Religion” cyber-diatribe.


Cut out the personal abuse, "Jack." You are well aware that I have caught you in yet another deceptive attempt to pretend that Rydberg's faux-mythology has some value (which would mean, by extension, that your vanity-press paperbacks might have some value). The Rydberg Religion does not appear here, and hence is irrelevant. If you believe you can show that my characterization of Taylor's reference is inadequate, by all means do so. Otherwise, save your venom. Rsradford (talk) 15:41, 20 May 2008 (UTC)


Recently, Swedish graduate student Anna Lindén reviewed the full work,

Once again, “graduate student” is not an appropriate description of Ms. Linden. She is a PhD student. A graduate student applies equally to anyone persuing post graduate studies, including those seeking a master’s degree. Again, Radford is attempting to reduce the contribution of scholars who disagree with his view by any means possible. DAB already said there is no need to describe her qualifications.


With all respect to DAB, he seems to have thought that you were citing Ms. Linden with respect to Hamlet's Mill. It is obviously dishonest of you to cite to her work in a section on the scholarly reception of Rydberg's faux-mythology, without disclosing that she is a graduate student. If you can produce evidence that she is a Ph.D. candidate, then she can be identified as a Ph.D. candidate. Rsradford (talk) 15:41, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

It is now apparent that Radford has no intention of ending this “madness” until all views which oppose his have been excised from the entry. Can we get a moderator to rule on this? As a supporter of Radford's position, DBachmann is ineffective. Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) 13:50, 20 May 2008 (UTC)


Since you have repeatedly refused my offers to engage in mediation, this rings hollow. There are no "moderators" on Wikipedia. If you want an administrator to rule on which of us is deliberately driving this article away from NPOV, and which of us has a direct financial interest in doing so, the proper route is mediation. Are you willing to be bound by the outcome of that process, "Jack"? Rsradford (talk) 15:41, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Clive Tolley did not "accept" Rydberg's theory of the world mill

Contrary to "Jack's" claim, Clive Tolley did not “accept” Rydberg’s theory of a great world-mill, nor did he suggest it was an “integral part" of Old Norse mythic cosmology. Unlike virtually any other modern scholar, Tolley did seriously refer to Rydberg’s analysis once, with respect to a minor point, although giving no indication of whether he (Tolley) agreed with Rydberg’s argument:

“The word luðr has, rather unnecessarily, given rise to a good many interpretations bearing at most a tenuous relation to the recorded meaning of the word in Old Norse, namely ‘mill-frame.’ If Bergelmir was placed on a mill-frame, he was clearly ground up: Rydberg (1886, I431-32) long ago suggested that after the world was formed from the body of the first giant Ymir the act of creation continued with the milling up of Bergelmir to produce the soil and sand of the beaches (cf. the sand described as ‘meal’ by the companions of Amlethus in the citation from Saxo above); equally, Bergelmir might represent an alternative mode of creation, syncretised genealogically by making him the grandson of Aurgelmir (who is produced from the primeval waters and then engenders the race of giants according to Vm 31.)” (p.73).

Nothing in this paragraph even remotely supports “Jack’s” claim that Tolley accepted Rydberg’s world-mill theory, much less that he “built on it.”

Tolley’s article focuses on Finnish myth and folklore, and although the author looks for analogues with Old Norse mythology, he finds no close connections, observing: “It is clear that the cosmic mill was not, in extant Norse sources, a widely developed mythologem” (p.77). Consequently, contrary to the text “Jack” inserted into the article, there appears to be no one at all who actually accepts Rydberg’s “most widely accepted theory.” I have reworded the article accordingly. Rsradford (talk) 18:31, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Once again, this is a complete misrepresentation of Tolley's article, selectively quoted to make it appear to say something it doesn't— the same ploy used in Radford's poorly-researched "Rydberg Religion" articles. Indeed, Tolley accepts and expands on Rydberg's theory of the mill. The title of the article is "The Mill in Norse and Finnish Mythology" and Tolley precisely follows Rydberg's evidence and argument, drawing the same conclusions, pointing out additional Finnish analogs. Tolley clearly states in his introduction that "[in Norse] the image of a cosmic mill, ambivalently churning out well-being or disaster, may be recognized in certain fragmentary myths," just as Rydberg did. If necessary, I can quote them side-by-side to demonstrate this undisputable fact.

In the passage immediately before the one Radford quotes, Tolley states:

"From Snorri's statements that the frost-giants were drowned in Ymir's blood, that Bergelmir and his family were the only ones to escape to re-establish the frost-giants, it is evident that he is identifying Bergelmir's situation with that of Noah (Genesis 6-8) and probably relying on apocryphal accounts of the survival of the giants after the flood. ...In accordance with his interpretatation of Bergelmir's sitation, Snorri refers to the lúðr ('mill frame') as if it was already in the possession of the giant (it is sinn, his), into which he and his family could step, as if into a sea vessel which could surmount the waves of blood. In following this tradition, Snorri has ignored the text of Vafthrudnismal 35, which states that Bergelmir was 'laid on a lúðr'. Snorri tale of Bergelmir therefore does not go far towards explaining the myth of Vafthrudnismal."

This precisely mirrors Rydberg's view. [Rydberg's views can be found here: http://www.northvegr.org/lore/rydberg/080.php ]Now comes the quote Radford cites:

"The word lúðr has, rather unnecessarily, given rise to a good many interpretations bearing at most a tenuous relation to the recorded meaning of the word in Old Norse, namely a 'mill-frame' (footnote 27)"

Radford fails to state that Tolley is specifically opposing the modern readings "cradle" and "coffin" found in the majority of modern English translations. The citation doesn't refer to Rydberg interpretation as Radford would have you believe. The citation [footnote 27] reads: "Christensen (1952 101-5) notes that in modern Norwegian lur (from ON lúðr) may mean 'cradle'; such a meaning in Vafthrudnismal 35 is however inappropriate." He goes on to oppose the second common modern interpretation of lúðr as "coffin," found in many modern translations of the poem.

In his flurry of edits, Radford takes the opposite approach with the theory regarding the identification of the unidentified Harbard at the end of the section, going to great lengths to state that all modern translators identify Harbard as Odin, clearly demonstrating that when it suits his view he overemphasises the point, selectively quoting only what supports his view, and when it doesn't he plays it down, reducing it to nonsense. In the same vein, Prof. Barber, whom Radford disagrees with is now, a "former professor at Occidental College." Noticeably, Radford doesn't employ similar descriptions of Hilda Davidson or Edmund Leach, whose 40 year old reviews support his biased view, or any other scholar he cites for all that matters— only those he opposes get this kind of "honest" treatment.

This is more targeted editorializing, designed to push his personal POV, characteristic of his style, which is on full display in the online "Rydberg Religion" papers, he has been pushing for inclusion. Certainly these numerous edits and re-edits are methodical "madness." Radford is a lawyer by trade after all. Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) 03:21, 21 May 2008 (UTC)


"Jack," if you cannot restrain yourself from these venomous personal attacks, you should not be posting your opinions here. Even attempting to respond to your abusive and disorganized verbiage point-by-point would be beneath me, as well as constituting a further violation of the spirit of consensus that is supposed to motivate Wikipedia's Talk pages. Here is a recap of the facts, for the benefit of any objective, interested readers:
  • I have quoted in full the only paragraph in which Tolley mentions Rydberg. It is quite obvious that Tolley does not even say that he agrees with Rydberg on the limited point in question -- the meaning of the word lúðr.
  • If it is your opinion that Tolley must "agree with" and "advance" Rydberg's idiosyncratic thesis, even though he gives no indication of doing so in the article in question, you must either be relying on extrasensory perception, or applying your own original interpretation of Tolley's work. Neither are acceptable methods of substantiating a claim in a Wikipedia article.
  • It is not "overemphasizing" to observe that all modern Eddic scholars (since the time of Finnur Jonsson) identify Harbard with Odin. It is simply a fact, whether you like it or not. If you disagree, present an example to support your opinion, rather than resorting to your continual name-calling and vituperation.
  • It is a fact that Elizabeth Barber, whom you injected into this article, is a former professor at Occidental College, not a "Yale Professor of Linguistics and Archaeology."
  • The "40-year-old reviews" I have produced document the scholarly response to Hamlet's Mill, the 40-year-old book you chose to inject into the article.
  • I have never "pushed The Rydberg Religion for inclusion" in this article. As part of the "Targeted Proposal" I suggested that it should be included to offset the self-acknowledged bias of Tore Lund's personal website, thereby restoring a semblance of balance to the article. However, when Bloodofox objected to its inclusion, I accepted that decision in good grace -- something that seems to be beyond your capacity to recognize, much less emulate. Rsradford (talk) 04:38, 21 May 2008 (UTC)


Another example illustrates the same point. Radford wrote:

in 1997 Marvin Taylor cites Rydberg as an example of extremely outdated scholarship, pointing out that if an author (Zernack) wishes to dismiss another scholar's work as

The full quote shows that Taylor does not dismiss another scholar's work or label Rydberg's work as "extremely outdated". Quite the contrary. The full quote, available at http://www.vsnrweb-publications.org.uk/1997_XXIV_5.pdf , reads:

"The external presentation of the volume is highly professional, and the text of Hrafnkels saga in the original and two translations is printed synoptically in a supplementary booklet tucked inside the back cover. In note 22 on page 265, the page numbers for three of six cited phrases are incorrect or missing, but otherwise I noticed only a dozen typographical errors. The presentation is not helped by Zernack’s peremptory and aggressive tone, especially in connection with the work of scholars she considers to be behind the times. Too often, publications she could have drawn on for support (or should have identified as forerunners to her own work) are dismissed as uninteresting. On the other hand, she sometimes gives too much credit. On page 365, where she points out that the Eddic dómr um dauðan hvern, often translated as ‘fame’, actually has the neutral meaning ‘judgement’, her footnote tells us that this observation ‘was already made by Ernst Walter’ in an essay of 1987. If Zernack wants to use the word already, how about mentioning Viktor Rydberg, who made the same point in 1886 (Undersökningar i germansk Mythologi, I 373)?"

Clearly Taylor agrees with Rydberg's interpretation of the phrase from the Eddic poem Havamal, and suggests it be cited rather than that of a more modern scholar, who makes the same point. Radford's "unsually negative" description of this is thus more fabrication than distortion. My critique of this method, as well as its more extreme manifestation employed in the 'Rydberg Religion' articles rightfully excluded here, is not intended as a personal attack on Radford, but merely an honest evaluation of his work and his contributions here. I have no intention of stooping to that level. Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) 03:46, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

"Jack," if you cannot understand the point Taylor is making, this is simply one more reason you should not be altering encyclopedia articles. He is poking fun at Zernack's dismissal of a point as already having been made in 1987. She "gives too much credit," since she could have said the same point was made by Rydberg (!) This is really quite an amusing point, but for you to cite this as evidence that Taylor thinks Rydberg's work receives "less credit than it deserves" is even more amusing. Rsradford (talk) 04:38, 21 May 2008 (UTC)


This is really excellent documentation, useful for Wikipedia readers, to see just what kind of slant and bias Mr. Radford has in his presentation of subjects, editorializing, cutting and pasting with distorted emphasis ... Excellent that it is all documented right here for everyone to see. They will be able to make up their mind about Mr. Radford's forthrightness or lack thereof. CarlaO'Harris (talk) 10:51, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Funny- I interpret this particular argument as being evidence of Jack's inability to understand academic writing. TIMTOWTDI. Radford is being a bit aggressive in making his points here, but every time he back Jack into a corner, Jack starts complaining without substance and diving into ad hominem. Seems pretty clear to me who is winning this particular debate. 216.69.219.3 (talk) 00:51, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

NPOV

It is apparent that endless discussion isn't going to bring about a concensus when dealing with such an extreme as Radford presents. Any attempt at discussion is met with cries of a personal attack, and lengthy briefs worthy of a professional lawyer. I strongly object to his characterization of works and their authors for the reasons cited above. Such opinions and editorializing have no place in an encyclopedia entry. I have removed the characterizations of these works and their authors, keep the language as neutral and factual as possible and left the quotes in the references, so that these scholars can speak for themselves without the "benefit" of unsolicited legal counsel. Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) 02:25, 22 May 2008 (UTC)


Jack, if you want to reduce the “cries of personal attack,” stop personally attacking anyone who disagrees with your opinions. Whether selling your Rydberg “translations” is your sole source of income, or whether you supplement it by flipping burgers, is irrelevant to the discussion here. So are your opinions of my profession, place of employment, city of residence, and family. Drop it; it’s getting very old.
As usual, you have simply reinserted your biases into the article, rather than attempting to work toward any sort of consensus.
You are once again trying to deceive readers into believing that Clive Tolley “accepted” Rydberg’s idiosyncratic “mill” theory, when Tolley in fact refers to Rydberg only for a minor point, and does not indicate agreement even on that. Since your false portrayal of Tolley’s article can no longer be considered a good-faith misunderstanding on your part, I have simply restored the factual references to Tolley that you deleted, with some simplification.
You are once again trying to create the false impression that Dronke agrees with Rydberg’s world-mill theory, although in fact she makes no reference at all to Rydberg, his book, or his faux-mythology. I have restored this rather crucial fact to the article (which is, after all, supposed to be about Rydberg). Please stop deleting it unless you can provide some evidence that Dronke does, in fact, endorse Rydberg’s theories.
Disregarding the discussion above, you are once again trying to portray Taylor’s passing reference to Rydberg as some sort of endorsement of Rydberg’s mythological schema. I have reworded this reference to restore some factual basis to the citation.
You are deliberately misrepresenting a stray comment in Turville-Petre as suggesting that this scholar believed that Rydberg’s faux-mythology had some merit, instead of (as you are well aware) implying tepid endorsement of a single detail of that work. I have corrected this reference accordingly.
Since you have shifted the focus of the scholarly quotes from Rydberg’s faux-mythology as a whole (“nonsense”; “poetic imagination,” etc.) to specific details of his work, I have provided an additional scholarly evaluation of Rydberg’s misunderstanding of the role of Bolthorn. I have also reinstated the quote by a leading scholar, Anatoly Lieberman, that was approved as part of the “Targeted Proposal” but was then promptly deleted by you without justification. You would probably have no way of knowing this, but the journal Alvissmal is a peer-reviewed academic publication, unlike the popular books and vanity-press paperbacks you are fond of referencing.
Ignoring the request for documentation above, you have simply inserted your claim regarding Ms. Linden’s academic status into the article. I have restored the description of her as a “graduate student,” which is undisputed by anyone.
Again ignoring the above discussion, you have reinserted your implicit claim that some modern scholars endorse Rydberg’s misidentification of Harbard as Loki, without providing a single example of anyone who does so. The historical misidentifications you cite are irrelevant to this point.
Ignoring the lengthy discussion above, you have simply deleted the professional qualifications of Hancock and Barber, to convey the false impression that Hamlet’s Mill enjoys some sort of acceptance in the scholarly community. I have restored the phrase you deleted, which correctly identifies the two individuals you cite.
For the reason already stated above, I have restored the reference to “most” modern scholars objecting to an artificial systemization of the mythology, since you have identified only two partial exceptions.
I have deleted your reference to O. S. Reuter as another unverified foreign-language source. Given your history of citing works that allegedly “support” Rydberg’s theories, when in fact they do not, this citation should not be permitted unless it can be independently verified. I have posted a request for such verification below. Rsradford (talk) 17:44, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

Request for independent verification: O. S. Reuter

I have conditionally removed the following unverified citation, which was inserted into the article by “Jack the Giant-Killer” on May 22:

German scholar O.S. Reuter accepted this theory [that a vast world-mill which rotates the heavens was an integral part of Old Norse mythic cosmology].and provides the first conceptual drawing of this mill in his work Germanische Himmelskunde.[15]

Can any of the regular Wikipedia editors confirm this source refers to and accepts Rydberg’s theory? Given “Jack’s” history of seeing “acceptance” of Rydberg’s mythological theories where none exists, I don’t believe this citation should be allowed into the article until/unless it can be independently verified. Rsradford (talk) 17:47, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

As has been pointed out to you before, your beliefs are not grounds for removing cited works of scholarship, nor is that the only reference you removed. A side-by-side comparison reveals that you not only deleted quite a bit more, but also used one of your previous edits as a template, erasing additional cited references, destroying the NPOV, and restoring your biased ala "The Rydberg Religion." Obviously, it is not (as you said) "beneath" a professional lawyer such as yourself to engage in this kind of petty edit warring.

You have inserted another lengthy quotation into the text instead of the footnotes as requested, and introduced it in such a general way as to make it appear representative. Once again, you have cited a very limited quotation from the Tolley article, omitting the footnote which makes it clear that the author is not speaking of Rydberg's work, but the so-called "modern" interpretations of the text; and once again have misidentified Anna Linden as a "graduate student." Assuming you really wish to be accurate, you should look up the meaning of the Swedish word "Doktorand."

Not only is the NPOV of the section on scholarly reception gone, but it is now loaded with factually incorrect information, thanks to your most recent six or so (frankly I have lost count) edits.

Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) 01:59, 23 May 2008 (UTC)


I have reedited the material, re-adding the deleted scholarly citations, as well as adding additional citations and grouping similar points together. I did this in the interest of presenting a neutral POV, in agreement with the thesis statement written by DAB. I would strongly urge Mr. Radford to not delete scholarly citations from the entry again without discussion here, as he was requested to do, in an effort to seek consensus. Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) 03:39, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

Is there any mechanism to stop an editor with a financial COI from misrepresenting sources in order to bias the article?

Being unable to answer any of the objections listed on this page, “Jack the Giant-Killer” has now seemingly gone on a rampage, deleting scholarship that was previously approved by consensus, and replacing it with deliberately deceptive and outright false claims, with no support of any kind other than his personal opinions (which often differ from what his sources actually say). Since "Jack" has repeatedly refused offers of mediation, and will not participate in any sort of consensus-building process, does Wikipedia have any mechanism for preventing this sort of behavior? It is obviously futile for me to keep restoring some factual basis to the article, when “Jack” immediately deletes them and sends the piece veering wildly away from NPOV. Rsradford (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 13:57, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

sure, Wikipedia has strong defences against anyone "going on a rampage". There is WP:COIN, and in cases of blatant misbehaviour, WP:ANI, WP:AIV. As soon as an editor leaves all pretense of constructive debate behind, the community will clamp down on them unceremoniously. Any editor pushing an idiosyncratic agenda will be likely to run into WP:3RR, from where they will either engage in disruptive tactics and be banned, or try go cheat their way around 3RR using socks and be banned. The wiki process of resolving disputes is slow and painful, but it does work out in the end. dab (𒁳) 14:34, 23 May 2008 (UTC)


That's good to know. I guess there's still reason to work toward achieving some sense of objectivity and scholarly reality in the article. Rsradford (talk) 18:52, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

it's also important to be able to take a step back and compromise. Assume that the reader isn't a moron, and it all isn't such a big deal. dab (𒁳) 20:17, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

What is this nonsense about my deleting scholarly references? As usual I can overlook Radford's personal attacks and accusations, however, I wish he would provide some factual information making it possible to determine the basis of his objections. As far as I know, I included all of his recent scholarly citations. I simply moved the lengthy quotes he placed in the main body of the entry to the reference section, following the model previously reached by concensus here. It took great pains to reconstruct and restore the references he arbitrarily deleted in his last 6 or so edits, without reverting to a previous version. I was tempted to do so, but wished to respect his additions, as they further enrich the entry. I'm glad I took the time to do so, because I think the entry is now much better organized and stronger for it. In fact, because of Mr. Radford's passionate participation, the article is much fuller and much longer than it would have been otherwise. Thus, honestly, I must thank him for sacrificing his regular responsibilities and donating his valueable time here. Obviously, the "regular editors" realize that it is exactly this kind of friendly-tension that produces better researched and more balanced entries. So, Mr Radford, if you are reading this, I look forward to working with you in the future, hammering out a concensus on the Rydberg and Motz entries. Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) 20:59, 23 May 2008 (UTC)


Thank you for your concern regarding my "regular responsibilities." It must indeed be a blessing for you to have none. My point, in case you missed it: your unctuous familiarity is as unwelcome as it is insincere, and if I am supposed to be intimidated by your stalking and gratuitous commentary on my personal life, it is also wasted effort. Your history of bad-faith edits to this article speaks for itself, but if you have undergone a conversion and now want to help move it back toward NPOV, please suggest some cuts from the bloated irrelevancies you have previously introduced into the text. I am certainly willing to work with you toward a consensus on that. Shall we begin by deleting the silly and ultimately pointless references to Hamlet's Mill? Rsradford (talk) 14:30, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

The references are completely relevant and the work is widely respected and cited.CarlaO'Harris (talk) 10:57, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Again, you puzzle me, Radford. Now you purpose "blowing up" your own targeted proposal? Frankly, I was against adding the section on the scholarly reception of the mythological works at all, but you insisted, making it the primary goal of your targeted proposal. I need hardly remind you that none of these many references would have been added to the entry, if you had not insisted on including them. I find it ironic that you introduce your "Rydberg Religion" paper with the statement "If Rydberg is mentioned in Anglo-American scholarship today, it is usually in conjunction with a gay studies curriculum", then provide quote after quote here proving yourself wrong. Having taken the time and trouble to gather these resources at your urging, I think it is only fitting that they serve as a reminder of the inherent fallacies of your RR papers. I'll be happy to work toward reaching a consensus with you, but am not in favor of simply chucking the parts that you need to make your statements elsewhere true.Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) 02:56, 25 May 2008 (UTC)


"Jack," one almost gets the impression that you get a dollar for every naive reader who is mislead into believing Rydberg's racial-nationalist fantasies have some lasting value. Oh, I forgot -- you do! Your continual personal comments make me want to shower every time I visit this article. Your "skill" as a cyber-stalker is undisputed, so please stop showing off.
It is obviously pointless to try to force you to be truthful against your own financial self-interest, so I am requesting other editors to tag the Reuter citation as unverified. Both DAB and I have removed it from the article pending some independent verification that you are not once again lying about the content of the sources you cite, but I am not going to bother doing so again. Based on your previous claims of scholars who supposedly "accepted" and "advanced" Rydberg's loopy theories, I would be extremely surprised if Reuter even mention Rydberg in passing.
I understand that you are handicapped by your unfamiliarity with the academic world, but there is no such thing as a "former professor emeritus." I have corrected your gaffe only because it is not obviously attributed to you. Rsradford (talk) 13:51, 25 May 2008 (UTC)


Hi DAB, Do you care to explain why you have simply reverted the entry back to Mr. Radford's previous edit? You made a single comment about something not being in dispute. What is that? Again, by simply reverting to Radford's previous version, you are showing your bias. Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) 21:05, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

Continued misrepresentation of Turville-Petre and related issues

In "Jack's" latest revisions, he again altered the quote from Turville-Petre to create the false impression that the scholar's comment referred to Rydberg's faux-mythology as a whole, rather than to the specific issue of Rydberg's views on the resemblance of Thor and Indra. I have once again restored the reference to what Turville-Petre actually said.

Since "Jack" has now decided to banish to the footnotes quotes critical of Rydberg's mythological theories, I have done the same with the quote by de Vries that "Jack" inserted into the text. I also deleted Jack's editorializing concerning the Liberman quote: I thought we were going to let the scholars speak for themselves. I also clarified that the 1890 Litchfield quote does not support the proposition that Rydberg's "ingenuity" is indisputed, and once again corrected "Jack's" misrepresentations concerning the state of scholarly opinion on Harbard. "Jack," if you can identify a single modern scholar who agrees with your (and Rydberg's) opinion on this, please identify him/her and quote from that scholar. Otherwise, please stop deliberately falsifying the article. Rsradford (talk) 14:44, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

Otherwise, please stop deliberately falsifying the article.

These kinds of statements are really not helpful. Rather than focus on a fellow editor, let's focus on the entry, and work on improving it.

As near as I can tell, many of the things Radford objects too were introduced in DAB's rewrite, or were generated specifically in response to RS' earlier objections. Overall, many of Radford's comments are puzzling to me. He states his family has been attacked and speaks of someone revealing his address, workplace and other personal information. I see no evidence of that anywhere on this page. The fact that he is a lawyer is clear by the material he has posted on the web under his name, as well as the language, style and approach of his contributions here. [Exhibit A, the "Targeted Purposal"] More to the point of the discussion, however, he objects to things being deleted, and uses this as justification to delete things himself. In addition, he continues to requote material from older edits, such as the Dronke citation (easily identified as old by the presense of mispellings and punctuation errors that have been corrected several times now--- yet keep returning in Radford's edits). It's difficult to get a handle on exactly what he wants, but I'll continue to keep working with him until we hammer out a version we can all agree on. As previously noted, this kind of interaction is expanding and strengthening the entry. Clearly, it isn't a personal matter.

In my most recent edit, I re-added the Reuter reference. It is accurate if anyone cares to check. I did alter the wording a bit to accomodate Radford's tastes. I also edited the wording of the refernces to the reviews and later assessements of Hamlet's Mill to restore a NPOV. If Radford is so keen on describing the qualifications of Barber and Hancock, it's only fair to include the qualifications of Davidson and Leach. Following past example, all such qualifications have been removed to the footnotes, rather than included in the main body of the text, where they amount to editorializing. This isn't my preference, it's the example set by DAB in his rewrite, and one I feel works best. Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) 22:54, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ H. R. Ellis Davidson, Book Review: Hamlet's Mill: An Essay on Myth and the Frame of Time, 85 Folklore 282-83 (1974), p. 283.
  2. ^ Britt-Mari Näsström (1995). Freyja: The Great Goddess of the North. University of Lund, ISBN 9122016945.
  3. ^ Anatoly Lieberman (2004). "Some Controversial Aspects of the Myth of Baldr," Alvíssmál 11:17-54, p. 38.
  4. ^ Moffet (2001), p. 84
  5. ^ Jenny Blain, Nine Worlds of Seid-Magic: Ecstasy and Neo-Shamanism in North European Paganism (2002), p. 163.
  6. ^ H. R. Ellis Davidson (1974), p. 283.
  7. ^ Edmund Leach, Review of Hamlet’s Mill, The New York Review of Books, February 12, 1970, page 36.
  8. ^ H. R. Ellis Davidson (1974), p. 283.
  9. ^ Edmund Leach, Review of Hamlet’s Mill, The New York Review of Books, February 12, 1970, page 36.
  10. ^ Edmund Leach, Review of Hamlet’s Mill, The New York Review of Books, February 12, 1970, page 36.
  11. ^ Tom Shippey, A Revolution Reconsidered: Mythography and Mythology in the Nineteenth Century, in THE SHADOW-WALKERS: JACOB GRIMM’S MYTHOLOGY OF THE MONSTROUS 1 (Tom Shippey, ed., 2005).
  12. ^ H. R. Ellis Davidson (1974), p. 283.
  13. ^ Edmund Leach, Review of Hamlet’s Mill, The New York Review of Books, February 12, 1970, page 36.
  14. ^ Moffet (2001), p. 84
  15. ^ Germanische Himmelskunde, 1934, p. 239.

Harbardsljod

Rydberg is identified as one of several scholars who identified the ferryman Harbard of the Eddic poem Hárbardsljóð as Loki, rather than Odin, as is universally accepted by modern Eddic scholars. In the early days of Old Norse scholarship, Harbard was variously identified as Loki, Odin, and a giant.[41]

This statement is editorializing designed to push the Odin-theory as the only "correct" one. As the Kommentar states, there is no "correct" identifcation of Harbard as the poem never explicitly identifies who Harbard is. To say "in the early days of Eddic scholarship" is not only misleading, but meaningless. What period is the "early period" exactly? Eddic scholarship began as early as the late 1600s, and the theories discussed here were presented in the late 1800s and the early 1900s. Scholarly opinions come and go; there is never a true concensus. Mythology is not hard science. The Kommentar says that the theory that Harbard is Odin is currently "generally accepted". To say "universally accepted" implies that Radford, an amateur himself, has reviewed all of the available scholarship on the issue. My current edit attempts to strike a neural POV. Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) 23:14, 24 May 2008 (UTC)


Name-calling and obfuscation are not proof, "Jack." If we want to pretend that any modern scholar shares your and Rydberg's belief that Harbard is Loki, the burden is on you to come forward with at least one example of such a scholar. The fact that you have not been able to do so is dispositive of your claim, no matter how much you fume about the lability of scholarship. Being "universally accepted" means that there are no counterexamples, which is a simple fact of reality.
I see you have been concealing the part of the Kommentar cite in which the editors specifically mention that Rydberg's views on this topic were promptly refuted by real scholars. You really should be ashamed of yourself -- and yet you have the chutzpa to complain that people say you lie! I have added the information you chose not to disclose heretofore. Rsradford (talk) 04:50, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

Such Hostility

On May 25, R.S. Radford posted the following:

"Jack," one almost gets the impression that you get a dollar for every naive reader who is mislead into believing Rydberg's racial-nationalist fantasies have some lasting value. Oh, I forgot -- you do! Your continual personal comments make me want to shower every time I visit this article. Your "skill" as a cyber-stalker is undisputed, so please stop showing off. Rsradford (talk) 13:51, 25 May 2008 (UTC)


As often as you visit this article, you must be taking a lot of cold showers. Admittedly, Radford, it is getting more difficult to work with you in light of your growing hostility. Any overture of civility is immediately met with a new round of escalating and more crude personal attacks. Don't forget, I was editing here without issue long before you arrived, making you the "cyber-stalker" if there must be one. There can now be no question of your bias and motive, labeling Rydberg's mythological theories as "loopy", "national-racist fantasies" as you do.

One must wonder what your purpose here is, if not to vandalize the entry with continued attempts to demean and debase its subject, as you have tried unsuccessfully to do in your god-awful "Rydberg Religion" papers. While I am willing to work with you to create an acceptable entry, I am not willing to accept your continued abuse. You have called me a liar in this forum more times now than I care to count, yet make such ridiculously unverifiable statements as that I receive a dollar for every naive reader I mislead or that your home address and employer have been posted or that your family has been attacked.

You no longer appear rational. In light of this, I am purposing that all of your contributions here be labeled as "unverified" until such time they can be properly vetted by independent editors. You have consistently misrepresented these sources, cherry-picking only the most unfavorable elements and/or falsely inflating or devaluing the qualifications of the authors, as it suits your extreme view. As DAB said, there is no need to take this as seriously as you do. It's just an encyclopedia entry, not a forum to proselytize. Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) 04:02, 26 May 2008 (UTC)


I have not called you a liar up to now, "Jack." Rather, I have repeatedly drawn attention to the well-documented lies you have repeatedly injected into this article (most recently, for example, by deliberately falsifying the quote from Turville-Petre). If that makes you a liar, the fault is entirely your own. You are the only user who has repeatedly inserted references into this article that do not support your use of them: It turned out that the Tolley article, for example, rejected Rydberg's thesis outright rather than "building on it," as you claimed, and the Dronke reference had nothing to do with Rydberg whatsdoever. If you can point to a single example of my engaging in such sleazy misrepresentation, I challenge you to point to it here. Otherwise, it is once again clear that you, sir, are a liar. Rsradford (talk) 04:16, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
Indeed, I see that you have once again misrepresented Turville-Petre as referring to Rydberg's entire body of faux-mythology, rather than the specific point under discussion (the resemblance of Thor and Indra. Deliberately misrepresenting what scholars have written in order to sell your vanity-press paperbacks is lying, "Jack." People who habitually lie are commonly referred to as "liars." Get over it, or stop lying. Rsradford (talk) 04:39, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

gentlemen, "hostility" is not the issue. We can agree that Jack the Giant-Killer (talk · contribs) and Rsradford (talk · contribs) have strong, and opposite, opinions on the topic of Viktor Rydberg, and that they have taken a dislike to one another. Now Wikipedia doesn't ask editors to like one another: that's irrelevant. It doesn't ask them to come to an agreement. Even people violently disagreeing with one another can fruitfully collaborate in compiling a good article. I mean, what do you think is the history of the George W. Bush article? The most hairy disputes and hostility have turned out a detailed and informative article there. The only thing that counts here are the presentation of solid references (WP:RS), and their fair and balanced presentation (WP:DUE, WP:SYN). It is important to understand that Wikipedia does not care about the "Truth". Rsradford has shown willingness to take this approach, while Jack the Giant-Killer has been caught in the most blatant misrepresentation of his references. I would ask "Jack" to wisen up and take the honest approach of presenting sources for what they are worth. If he does that, and can still back up his view, his view will figure in the article. If he cannot, it will not, it's as simple as that. dab (𒁳) 07:24, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

Regarding hostility, I would like to point out that Wikipedia has two official policies regarding conduct: Wikipedia:Civility and Wikipedia:No personal attacks. You're expected to disagree but not to insult one another. If you guys keep it non-personal, I am sure you'll find editing with others considerably easier and smoother. :bloodofox: (talk) 10:51, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

It is possible that editors who keep using the word 'liar' to refer to each other may be blocked for personal attacks. You can still call statements wrong if you wish. EdJohnston (talk) 13:38, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

I find it ridiculous to block users for mutual "personal attacks", and I fail to see how "liar" is different from "your statement is obviously a deliberate falsehood", which is ostensibly a comment on the content of the edit, not the editor's race, creed or sexual preference. Let's keep the "CIVIL" police out of this and resolve this like grown-ups. You may block editors over PA once they begin saying things like "your mother is a hamster and your father smells of elderberry" (viz., indulge in purely personal niceties without any connection to the topic at hand) dab (𒁳) 15:53, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

I don't see how turning to name-calling is acting "like grown ups" nor do I see how personal attacks are ever okay. Stick to policy and we won't have any problems here, don't stick to policy and you're wrong - it's as easy as that. I am pretty sure this is why WP:CIVIL is policy. :bloodofox: (talk) 16:03, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

sigh, yes. The point is that different people from different cultures have different standards of what "civility" is. My point is that it is silly to interrupt an interaction between two users threatening them over WP:CIVIL when neither user complains. When users do complain about "personal attacks", it will be important to review the diffs in context. Just taking people's word on this is extremely stupid and fosters an atmosphere of denunciation where people just prey on one another for something that may be construed as "personal". We want to encourage on-topic debate, not childish games. But then I know Bloodofox and I do not agree on this point. Briefly, if there is an user conduct complaint calling for admin intervention, take it to WP:ANI. Unless there is, stick to the topic and don't distract the debate by empty accusations. dab (𒁳) 16:40, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry Dab, did you just imply that I'm interested in "childish games" over "on-topic debate"? What exactly were you hoping to achieve with that remark? Snide comments like these are exactly why WP:CIVIL is policy. Can you not help yourself or what? :bloodofox: (talk) 16:55, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
I am implying nothing. Would you like to discuss Viktor Rydberg now, or do you want to get me blocked over WP:SNIDE? dab (𒁳) 17:13, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
My previous effort to restore order at WP:COIN seems to have worked. If the consensus of the editors working here is that they don't care about the level of personal invective on *this* page, then, continue as you were. EdJohnston (talk) 17:19, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
no offense to you Ed. Just, if I saw a threat over WP:POINT or WP:LAWYER for every two unfounded and fuzzy threats over WP:CIVIL, my trust in the project's enduring sanity would be more optimistic. dab (𒁳) 17:27, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

Have the opinions of the Kommentar and Bjarnestøl been correctly summarized?

This recent edit by Radford is yet another one of his blatant misrepresentations:

Rydberg is identified as having mistakenly identified the ferryman Harbard of the Eddic poem Hárbardsljóð as Loki, rather than Odin. In coming to this conclusion Rydberg followed F. W. Bergmann – a scholar who "was justly criticized for not being on a par with Eddic scholarship in his own age."[1] Nevertheless, Bergmann's (and Rydberg's) misidentification of Hárbarð was forcefully corrected shortly afterward in works by Fredrik Sander, Felix Niedner, and Finnur Jónsson, and no Eddic scholar has fallen into this error in more than a century.Cite error: A <ref> tag is missing the closing </ref> (see the help page). .

1) Where is Rydberg identified as having "mistakenly" identified the ferryman Harbard as Loki, rather than Odin? By whom? The Kommentar does not use such language. Plainly, this is Radford injecting his RR-POV once again.

2) The Kommentar does not suggest that Rydberg "followed" Bergmann on this, nor did he. Anyone familar with both scholars' works, knows that Rydberg and Bergmann came to the same conclusion using different approaches. The Kommentar clearly states that the "hostile attitude that remains to the end toward Thor, whose identity is certain from verse 9, contributed to that Harbard was understood to be an enemy of the gods (Bergmann, 1872:21: Rydberg, 1889, 299f)."

3) Radford has made it appear that this is Bjarnestøl's opinion, using a well-placed citation. Bjarnestøl says nothing of the sort and does not mention Rydberg's view on Harbard. The statement is simply a general assessment of Bergmann's work. Once again, Radford has pulled out and arranged selective citations to make it appear that the authors he cites say things they don't.

4) Radford grossly misrepresents the position of the Kommentar. Bergmann's (and Rydberg's) identification of Hárbarð was never "corrected" by anyone, because there is no correct identification. Nor it it an "error" for anyone to "fall into." That is Radford's editorial view. The Kommentar clearly states that since the poem "never explicitly identiifies Harbard" (in contrast to Thor's identity which is 'certain' from verse 9) "the matter remained disputed until the end of the 19th century," and neutrally presents all available views. It clearly states the fact that "since the detailed rejection of the views of Rydberg and Bergmann by Nieder and Jonsson," the view that Harbard is Odin has been "generally accepted." Nowhere does it use the words "mistakenly", or "correction."

5) Notably, even Radford now agrees that the identification of Hardbard as Odin is not "universally accepted" as he previously stated, nor is the late 19th century considered by anyone to be the "early days" of Eddic scholarship. Having made such gross "errors", perhaps Radford would like to "correct" his "mistakes". If not, I'll be happy to do it for him.

And I insist we add an "unverified" citation here, since Radford fails to cite the translator (no doubt himself). The original text is in German, afterall:

“The identity Harbard-Odin has been generally accepted since the detailed rejection of the opinions of Bergmann and Rydberg by Niedner and Finnur Jónsson” 97.100.237.167 (talk) 01:26, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Radford recently wrote:

Your hiding behind foreign-language sources cannot conceal the fact that no scholar in the field -- repeat, not one -- accepts Rydberg's amateurish confusion of Harbard with Loki. I have re-edited the passage to make this clear. Rsradford (talk) 12:26, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Clear as mud. I think it is abundantlly clear that despite "hiding behind foriegn language sources" "no scholar in the field -- repeat, not one"-- accepts Radford's "amateurish attempt" to mischaracterize the neutral and factual views of the Kommentar. 97.100.237.167 (talk) 13:42, 27 May 2008 (UTC)


Mr. Radford's edit of the Harbard-Loki question are clearly biased. To say that no scholar has made this "error" in over a hundred years is a ridiculous statement. We aren't discussing mathematics here. We're discussing mythopoetics within the domain of comparative mythology, which is not an exact science. There can be no "error" regarding who Harbard is, because the poem never states who he is. It's clear bias and distortive language to call the interpretation an "error", especially when it is an interpretation which has just as much to speak for it, if not more so, than the idea that it is Odin. For all we know, it could be anyone. We could just as well call the interpretation of Harbard as Odin a ridiculous "error" as well. CarlaO'Harris (talk) 11:11, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

A Wealth of Scholary Citations

Lest they get lost in the lengthy chatter above, I think it is worth repeating a couple of Carla O'Harris' recent contributions to this page. Obviously there is much more out there in the way of scholarship than Radford's absolute statements have lead us to believe. I suspected there was but do not have immediate access to a scholarly library the way Radford does, nor have I had the time to gather the numerous references avvailable on Google scholar and Google Books. It's a shame Radford has chosen to so blatantly misuse the resources available to him. So, in light of this "new" evidence presented by Carla O'Harris, I purpose that we either return the language of the entry to a truly neutral POV, or simply add the following citations and let the readers make up their own minds.

Thank you Carla for providing what Mr. Radford was unwilling to. 97.100.237.167 (talk) 13:54, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

We find John Arnott MacCulloch telling us that "Some scholars interpret Harbard as Loki or a giant." John M. Robinson cites Holtzmann and Bergmann as agreeing with the identification of Harbard as Loki. Wait : I think more than one means that your "repeat, not one" argument has been completely destroyed. CarlaO'Harris (talk) 09:32, 27 May 2008 (UTC)


Carlo Ginzburg sees fit to cite Hamlet's Mill. And we find, "References to Hamlet's Mill and the theory that it presents are frequently found in popular science works such as Coming of Age in the Milky Way (1988) by Timothy Ferris, Professor of Astronomy at Berkeley. Other works, such as The Language of Archaic Astronomy by Harald A.T. Reiche have indicated a continuing respect for this work. This article is includes in Astronomy of hte Ancient, edited by Kenneth Brecher, Associate Professor of Physics at MIT, and by Michael Feirtag, member of the Board of Editors of Technology Review." (Jane B. Sellers, The Death of Gods in Ancient Egypt: A Study of the Threshold of Myth, Penguin Limited, London, 2003 , p. 2.) Roy Willis, from the University of Edinburgh, and Patrick Curry, from Bath Spa University College, see fit to extensively cite and engage Hamlet's Mill in their "Astrology, Science, and Culture : Pulling Down the Moon" (Berg, Oxford, 2004), stating that it includes a major "signal achievement". Barbara Sjoholm, in The Pirate Queen (Seal Press, Emeryville, 2004) calls it a "dense, exciting, and often impenetrable text", reviewing it favourably in her annotated bibliography, and mentions that the "Icelandic scholar Gisli Sigurdsson helpfully pointed me in the direction of Hamlet's Mill". Frank Durham and Robert D. Purrington, in Frame of the Universe : A History of Physical Cosmology (Columbia University Press, New York, 1983) favorably engage Hamlet's Mill in several locations. James Lang, Associate Professor of Sociology and former director of the Center for Latin American and Iberian Studies at Vanderbilt University, favorably cites Hamlet's Mill in his Notes of a Potato Watcher (Texas A& M University Press, 2001). Edward Dudley, Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature at State University of New York at Buffalo, favorably cites Hamlet's Mill in The Endless Text : Don Quixote and the Hermeneutics of Romance (State University of New York Press, 1997). Dr. Wallace Martin, Professor of English at the University of Toledo, in Recent Theories of Narrative (Cornell University Press, 1986) calls Hamlet's Mill "A brilliant argument connecting mythical narratives with archaic cosmologies" (p. 217). Northrop Frye, in the Collected Works of Northrop Frye (University of Toronto Press, 2002), also favorably cites Hamle'ts Mill (p. 408), as does Charles Ruhl, Associate Professor of English at Old Dominion University, in On Monesemy : A Study in Linguistic Semantics (State University of New York Press, 1989), as does James H. Charlesworth in "Jewish Interests in Astrology" (in Rise and Decline of the Roman World,Walter de Gruyter, Berlin, 1987), as does Paul Feyerabend, Professor of Philosophy at UC Berkeley and Professor of Science at the Federal Institute of Technology at Zurich, in Farewell to Reason (Verso, London, 1987, p. 113), as does Rachel Hadas, Assistant Professor of English at the Newark College of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University, in her Form, Cycle, Infinity : Landscape Imagery in the Poetry of Robert Frost (Bucknell University Press, London, 1985, p.89), as does Eric Voegelin, Professor of Political Science in the Faculty of Law at the University of Vienna in Order and History (Volume IV : The Ecumenic Age, University of Missouri Press, Columbia, 2000, p. 132). Mark Bauer, in This Composite Voice : The Role of W.B. Yeats in James Merrill's Poetry (Routledge, New York, 2003, p. 196) calls it a "massive study". Dr. Thomas G. Brophy, in The Origin Map (Writer's Club Press, 2002), calls it "classic". Georg Feuerstein, in In Search of the Cradle of Civilization : New Light on Ancient India (Quest Books, Wheaton, 1995, p. 239), calls it an "exceptional work". It is cited in Richard M. Lerner's Concepts and Theories of Human Development (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, 2002), and in John R. Hinnells' The Routledge Companion to the Study of Religion (2005). It is clearly an important work that receives regular citation in University Press books written by educated Professors. Mr. Radford is able to find some scholars who differ with it. So? My catalogue illustrates that there is a healthy difference of opinion here in the academic community that definitely does not constitute any kind of unanimous discrediting of the source.CarlaO'Harris (talk) 10:43, 27 May 2008 (UTC)'

Removing Spin

I think it should be obvious to even DAB by now that Radford is misrepresenting the work of scholarship to push his view, as he does in the online RR series (which bloodofox rightly said read like a joke). If not, here are a few more examples:

1) Die Kommentar zu den Liedern der Edda, bd. 3; s. 839 clearly states that Tolley "took up" (aufgreift) Rydberg's theory of the mill, contrary to Radford's earlier statements. Since he has access to the Kommentar and quotes from it, there is no excuse for this kind of gross misrepresentation.

Rydberg postuliert zwei ursprünglich getrennte Mytheme von einer grossen und einer kleinen Grotti-Mühle. Die grosse Mühle sei jene, die im Wasser mahle und Sturm, Brandung und Strudel erzeuge. Ausgehend von der Strophe des Skalden Snæbjorn (s. 4c) rekonstruiert er einen umfassenden Mythos von einer ‘kosmichen Mühle.’ Die die gesamte Natur und den Sternenhimmel bewege (so stellt er z.B. eine Verbindung her zwischen der Bezeichnung der Mühl kurbel, möndull, und der Bezeichnung für den Vater des Mondes, Mundilfæri, in Vm. 23) In christlicher Zeit sei die kosmische Mühle dann weitgehend in Vergessenheit geraten, während die ursprünglich der Heldendichtung entstammende ‘kleine Mühle’ durch die Aufnahme des Grt. in Skskm. Der Nachwelt bewahrt worden sei (1886. 425-451). Diese Deutung Rydberg’s greift in jüngster Zeit noch Tolley auf (1995). Er vergleicht die Mühle in Grt mit dem finnischen Sampo, einem nirgends genau beschreiben, von ihm aber als ‘kosmische Mühle’ identifizierten Gerät, das mit der Fruchtbarkeit des Landes und dem Ablauf der Jahrezeiten verknüpft ist; dieses Gerät zerbricht schliesslich ebenfalls und setzt dem Reichtum und der Fruchtbarkeit Grenzen.

In lieu of placing all of the excellent scholarship that Carla has presented here into the entry, I have changed the language to reflect the true state of modern opinion regarding the book, Hamlet's Mill. If Radford insists, however, I'll be happy to include the references in the article to support the now-neutral wording.

2) I have now included the full quotes of Turville-Petre and an extended quote from the Kommentar concerning Harbard, so there can be no dispute about what they say. I read Turville-Petre's comment on "Rydberg's views" more generally as I believe they were meant, while Radford chooses to read them as narrowly as possible to reflect his view (as he did Tolleys, despite the Kommentar's clear statement to the contrary). I do not believe that "Rydberg's views" (plural) refer to Rydberg's "opinion" (singular) that Thor and Indra originated in one being. Since Radford continues to accuse me of lying about thise quotation, I find it best to include the entire quote, in the interest of ending the bickering.

3) The tag describing Prof. Barber created by Radford ("professor emeritus") is intended to reduce her status. The jacket of the book "When They Severed Earth From Sky," clearly states that Elizabeth Wayland Barber is a "Professor of Linguistics and Archaeology at Occidental College," not a former professor (prof. emeritus). This is irrefutable, so Radford's posturing is unwarranted. http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0691127743/ref=sib_dp_pt#reader-link

4) I have removed the gratuitous assessment of Bergmann's work by Bjarnestøl. Why did Radford chose to insert this partiuclar assessment of Bergmann, but left the other three 19th century scholars who agreed with him unsullied, I wonder? Anyone who is familar with Bergmann's work knows that it is not subpar. The Kommentar cites it numerous times! Bergmann was not only one of the most prolific Eddic commentators publishing many volumes, but the only scholar who published Eddic commentary in German and French. The Kommentar makes no such assessment of his work. The statement comes from an unfinished paperback book, published after Bjarnestøl's death. 97.100.237.167 (talk) 03:46, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

I resent the "even DAB" a little bit. I have always taken the view that Radford is biased, but at least biased in an up-front and constructive way. My impression that Rydberg is today seen as an eccentric with little scholarly value isn't affected by your quote. The conjunctive used in the Kommentar clearly illustrates the authors distancing themselves from Rydberg's views, and the fact that one Tolley (1995) should have aufgegriffen (not "endorsed" or "vindicated") the interpretation may be an interesting curiosity, but hardly changes the picture. dab (𒁳) 08:16, 28 May 2008 (UTC)


The level of conformity assumed and demanded here is astounding to me, as if truth were a democracy. Your position seems to be, Well, nine out of ten scholars say it's worthless, so it must be, as if one out of ten scholars never have the right opinion! Dissenting opinions are just as important as the mainstream opinions (which, by the way, are not "consensus" if not unanimous, because by definition without unanimity, you have dissent : important point). We could go back in time and find plenty of scholars who disagreed with Galileo, and if we took a vote, Galileo would likely get outvoted. Does that mean he was wrong? And that concerns hard sciences! We're here discussing the mythopoetic realm, which is obviously open to a wide swathe of interpretation. Your perception that the authors in the Kommentar are distancing themselves from Rydberg's views shows nothing, except perhaps the timid caution bred in scholars by brutal academic conformity that subjects anyone stepping out of line to ridicule. Those who wish to maintain caution, even when they find something truthful, if it is in a source that, deserved or undeserved, has had the smear of discredit attached to it by debate or by slander, will try to describe the truth while maintaining their distance. So what? That's merely a symptom of the sociology of knowledge, not anything necessarily having to do with the validity of the content whatsoever. If Tolley took up Rydberg's theory, that means it was noteworthy and worthy of consideration. As well it might : since the primary sources themselves indicate the importance of a mill or mills as I have already demonstrated. The assumption that modern scholarship is always and at all times more comprehensive and correct than earlier scholarship is erroneous. Important earlier themes may simply be forgotten. The fact that a scholar took up Rydberg's theories indicates that they are still worthy of consideration. Besides, why not just describe Rydberg's theories? Why the need to editorialize and "warn" readers about their supposed state of discredit? Describe the theories and let the reader decide. Since Rydberg's arguments are based upon careful citation of the mythic sources themselves, it's very easy for a reader to go in and check. CarlaO'Harris (talk) 11:03, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

you've got it: I'm not intersted in truth at all. You may want to have a look at WP:TRUTH and WP:DUE. If nine out of ten scholars say it's worthless, so will Wikipedia, it's the way the system works. If Wikipedia was written in the 16th century, it would portray the heliocentric system as fringy nonsense, and rightly so, because it was a fringe idea at the time. Not coincidentially, however, great encyclopedias were written only after Galileo had been proven right. If in 20 years, Rydberg is fully vindicated and we have solid proof that there were telescopes and star ships in 5000 BC, you are welcome to come back and update Wikipedia to the effect (then, not now, per WP:CRYSTAL).
that said, I have no objection to describing Rydberg's theories, also without constant "warnings" that they are untenable, as long as we can also do without the constant attempts to tout them as valid. From the Kommentar quote, Tolley doesn't follow Rydberg blindly like some people I could mention. He merely "takes up again" an idea already discussed by Rydberg. If Rydberg mentioned a world-mill, this doesn't mean it is for all times taboo and out of the question to discuss world-mill, because, come on, Old Rydberg believed in this stuff. If Tolley goes back and considers the world-mill anew, his work will have to be judged for its own value. If you like, we can try and write the world-mill article. But I do get the impression this is more about making Rydberg look good than about any question of actual content.
dab (𒁳) 11:36, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

a) Well, it's a "system", then, based on untruth, because truth is not a democracy, and deciding things by committee is for bureaucrats, not for those seeking the truth. And you can cut the crap with the "star ships in 5000 B.C." garbage because it only makes your argument look absurd. We aren't discussing that kind of thing. You're making the false assumption that 1/10 scholars will always be putting forward some incredibly "fringy" thing, when in fact they may be making quite cogent arguments. If nine out of ten scholars say something is worthless, but one of ten scholars say it is worthwhile, it is criminally negligent to not make mention of the dissent.

b)No, it's a matter of content. The reason I think Rydberg is valuable is because he discovered so much relevant and interesting content, which is quite easily verifiable by going back to the sources themselves. Unlike Hilda Ellis Davidson, and other so-called "scholars" who are willing to make ridiculous and absurd assertions without anything to back them up, Rydberg actually provides nuanced, detailed citations that allow the careful reader to make up their mind. It's very clear there's a world-mill in Norse mythology, whether Rydberg pointed it out or not. But since Rydberg did point it out, and argued it cogently, he deserves credit for the idea.CarlaO'Harris (talk) 06:26, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

sigh, if you like, WP:TRUTH says that Wikipedia is a "system based on untruth". Fair enough. We are not trying to build a religion here, just an encyclopedia. If there is a 1 in 10 scholarly minority, we will certainly mention it, of course, duly qualified as minority opinion. I do not know if there is a "world-mill" in Norse mythology, but you will note I never objected to pointing out Rydberg claimed there was one. dab (𒁳) 07:07, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Hamlet's Mill

can we discuss the merits of that book at its own article please? Skimming it, it seems to figure that Rydberg aficionados should also have a soft spot for Santillana and von Dechend, but, please, archaeoastronomy? "precession of the axis discovered long before the accepted date of the Greek discovery, by an ancient (perhaps around 4000 BCE) civilization of unsuspected sophistication"? Give us a break. If you want to believe such stuff, be my guest, but don't go around expecting people to join you. Already reading expressions like "ancient (perhaps around 4000 BCE) civilization of unsuspected sophistication" should establish where this stuff belongs. If you like it, you may be interested in learning that the CIA staged the 9/11 attacks. Oh, and I have a bridge to sell that may interest you. dab (𒁳) 08:26, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Archaeoastronomy is a legitimate field of study whether you wish to connect it, non sequitur, to conspiracy theories or not. There are many archaeologists who study how indigenous peoples studied the stars, including both their astronomical and astrological theories. Since a mention of Hamlet's Mill is completely relevant to a discussion of Viktor Rydberg, but since Mr. Radford has gone out of his way to discredit Hamlet's Mill, our shoring up of its reputation, indicating that it is a matter of debate in the academic community, with some scholars reviling it, and others seeing fit to use it as a favorable soruce, is completely relevant to the matter at hand. On the other hand, if someone would like to declare the controversy over Hamlet's Mill over and simply include it as it ought to be in a discussion in the article, there will be no need for these back and forth's over its validity. For the purposes of this article on Rydberg, it's sufficient that it is an academic text widely cited in other academic texts that in fact draws upon Rydberg's theory of the World Mill. That's directly to point.CarlaO'Harris (talk) 10:52, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

I have nothing against archaeoastronomy. I only object to crackpot archaeoastronomy, which, alas, seems to make up a large portion of the field. The claim that the precession of the equinoxes was discovered 4,000 years earlier than generally accepted is extremely tall, and would need extremely convincing evidence. Trying to back up such a claim with a bunch of tales about mills is pathetic. Basing such a claim on claims of Rydberg which are themselves more than shaky is just silly. But as I said, this isn't the place for this discussion. The scholarly verdict on Hamlet's Mill is very similar to that on Rydberg: worthless in terms of content, but some points for eloquence and brilliance. Puhvel (1970):
"In brief, this is not a serious scholarly work on the problem of myth in the closing decades of the twentieth century. There are frequent flashes of insight, for example, on the cyclical world views of the ancients and on the nature of mythical language, as well as genuinely eloquent, quasi-poetic homilies."
dab (𒁳) 11:08, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

ok, this is more of the same. I have reviewed the Barber quote. This is a footnote in a book on mythography stating that Santillana von Dechend are to be thanked for the "Herculean task" of collecting raw material. That doesn't amount to an endorsement of their archaeoastronomical claims. It's a footnote saying where some of Barber's material came from, not a review of Hamlet's Mill. Much less does it go towards rehabilitating Rydberg in any way. This is getting silly. If Rydberg apologists are reduced to this sort of scraping together of references that can at all be construed into shedding some positive light on Rydberg's work, I do get the impression that Mr. Radford is being rather kind. dab (𒁳) 11:24, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

I found another author who "agrees with Hamlet's Mill". Colin Wilson in From Atlantis to the Sphinx. It should be abundantly clear by now that we are fully within occult / Atlantis / Ancient Astronauts / Blavatsky / Vril / Hitler escaped in an UFO to the South Pole territory here. dab (𒁳) 11:59, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Oh, so what? If an occultist quotes Albert Einstein, does that discredit everything Einstein said? Does it discredit the serious scholastic books that draw upon Einstein? Your point is non sequitur. CarlaO'Harris (talk) 06:22, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

I am commenting on the fact that in spite of your best efforts, all sources that endorse Rydberg appear to be rather dodgy themselves. If Einstein was only quoted in quantum quackery, that would reflect badly on Einstein too. As it happens, Einstein's work is also accepted as ground-breaking in mainstream physics. dab (𒁳) 07:55, 29 May 2008 (UTC)


I think maybe you're confused. Let's clarify. You were calling into question the credibility of Hamlet's Mill through your illegitimate tactic of red baiting and fringe-smearing. We can discuss Rydberg in a moment. All sources that endorse Hamlet's Mill are not dodgy. Paul Feyerabend and Northrop Frye are top-of-the-line authors. You'll notice if you actually bother to read the short bibliography I've provided that there are citations in psychology texts, comparative religion, literature, and linguistics. So Hamlet's Mill is hardly only quoted in "quackery", and if you're willing to jump to that kind of statement about all the authors I've gathered with their credentials, well, you might want to be careful about libel. Maybe you can hire Mr. Rorik as your lawyer in case you get sued? CarlaO'Harris (talk) 09:30, 30 May 2008 (UTC)


Dab wrote:

"The claim that the precession of the equinoxes was discovered 4,000 years earlier than generally accepted is extremely tall, and would need extremely convincing evidence. Trying to back up such a claim with a bunch of tales about mills is pathetic. Basing such a claim on claims of Rydberg which are themselves more than shaky is just silly. But as I said, this isn't the place for this discussion. The scholarly verdict on Hamlet's Mill is very similar to that on Rydberg: worthless in terms of content, but some points for eloquence and brilliance."

This demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the relationship between Rydberg's recognition of a mythological mill rotating the heavens and the conclusions of "Hamlet's Mill." The latter is not based on the former. "Hamlet's Mill" uses the evidence of archeology and mythology. The mill is one piece of mythological evidence. Respected scholars such as Reuter, Tolley, Dronke, Barber, Von See, and Dorsson do not consider the mill-theory 'shaky.' I also know of no scholarly source that characterizes Rydberg's or S & D's work as "worthless." What's your source for that opinion? Are you also seriously suggesting that Barber and Dorson whom I recently added can be dismissed as occultists?! If not, your words "fully within occult territory" are poorly chosen. Neither Barber nor Dorson set foot there.

While I'm happy to remove the lengthy modern assessments and antiquated reviews of "Hamlet's Mill", the fact remains that the book Hamlet's Mill utilizes Rydberg's theory, so I insist that reference to it stays. As Carla states, it is unquestionably topical. In my recent edit, I consciously used the neutral term "groundbreaking" to describe it and cited a clipped version of the Barber quote to support the description, only because Radford is certain to take issue with it otherwise. Certainly, the work is "groundbreaking." The many modern references to it demonstrate that it has gained a following in the last 40 years, and by no means can all of the authors Carla cited above be classified as "occultists." That is factually incorrect, but considering the source, not unexpected. I selected the Barber quote specifically because 1) there is no question she is a scholar, 2) her assessment of the work is recent with the full benefit of historical reflection, and 3) because the quote mentions the "controversial" nature of the work, as Radford emphasized.

I have also revised the reference to Tolley's aceptance of Rydberg's theory of the mill, using the language of the Kommentar, rather than accept Radford's narrow reading of it. Such narrow readings may serve lawyers well, but are not adequate in terms of literary scholarship. 97.100.237.167 (talk) 04:27, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

I'd be happy to see a discussion of the "mill" topic in a dedicated "world-mill" article. If it turns out that Rydberg is accepted to have made useful observations in that respect, I'll be happy to have the article give him credit for that. What I am objecting to are the disingenious attempts to take such tidbits and sound-bites and use them for creating a smoke-screen suggesting academic credibility Rydberg simply does not have. I may also be surprised by learning that there is still a "Rydbergian" undercurrent within academia that tries to "decode myths", although you would have thought this sort of thing had been fully delegated to pulp-scholarship of the "Lost Secrets of Atlantis" type (Bicameralism, Catastrophism, Flood archaeology, Velikovsky, Forteana, Earth mysteries, in a word, WP:FRINGE) since Rydberg's day. This wider topic would bear discussion at the mythography article. dab (𒁳) 07:59, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

DAB, you wrote:

if the quotes are "cherry-picked", it should be easy for you to provide other references of equal or better quality that put them into context. .... Of course the article shouldn't display undue hostility, but it should certainly present a fair reflection of the reception of Rydberg's works in scholarship. dab (𒁳) 14:44, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

Your continued reference to modern occult writings is bewildering, considering no one is advocating including such works in the entry. Carla has provided a large number of academic citations to Rydberg's theory of the mill. These have not been included in the entry and were only necessary to prevent a hostile editor inserting his opinion as if it were fact. I too would be surprised if there were a "Rydbergian undercurrent" within academia. No one is suggesting there is. You asked us to provide academic references to put Radford's original collection of negative citations in context, and we have. It is now disingenuous for you to infer these references are the writings of "occult authors," simply because they do not suit your personal view of the work, which you have expressed a number of times (including in the full citation above). You asked for a fair reflection of the reception of Rydberg's work in scholarship, and you have gotten it. Are you objecting to the quality of the scholarship being cited, or simply the content? 97.100.237.167 (talk) 03:02, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

I have gotten nothing of the kind. What I keep getting are cheap attempts at misrepresentation. I can also type "Rydberg" at google books and see what comes up. What is the value of a statement like "In 2000, the theory is discussed in the German Kommentar zu den Liedern der Edda, bd. 3, p. 839, in regard to the Eddic poem, Grottosöngr"? If you check out these "references", it turns out Rydberg is mentioned in passing, often disparagingly. I find the tactics used here very annoying. I do not think this can continue unless you state your agenda up front. Why are you so set upon touting Rydberg? Are you selling his books or something? It is obvious that we are looking at some sort of "campaign" here, but it is really beyond me why anyone would bother. dab (𒁳) 06:56, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

First of all, the point is that he is mentioned, which is significant, and secondly, that it is not always disparagingly, but sometimes in appreciation of a point he raised. My God, the man spent ten years investigating almost every Teutonic myth known -- with a breadth most writers on the topic don't demonstrate -- and he didn't get anything right? He didn't come up with a few important insights? We are discussing neither a bumbling fool nor the devil here. Moreover, his comparison of Indo-European motifs is right on the money, and I guarantee you will find in the coming years scholars noting that more and more. The idea, on the other hand, of a "campaign" reeks of paranoia. Perhaps you are simply dealing with honorable folks for whom credit should be given where credit is due, regardless of whether that violates the supposed need to oh salaam before the mighty pseudo-consensus of respected modern scholars, a consensus strangely lacking as there is no unanimity whatsoever. CarlaO'Harris (talk) 09:30, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

My agenda, as I have stated before, is to present an accurate picture of Rydberg and his work, free of the distortions of a propogandist who claims that Rydberg was an uneducated, mentally ill pedophile and a flamboyant "criminal" homosexual comparable to Oscar Wilde while professing that a "dangerous cyber-cult" is attacking him and his family, that anyone who objects to his view is the author of vanity-press paperbacks, and that "— not one —" scholar supports anything Rydberg ever said.[Reference: R.S. Radford, "The Rydberg Religion" Parts 1 & 2 and this Discussion page] It has been necessary to quote scholars at length, only because any attempt to summarize them has been met with repeated accusations of "fraud", "lying" and "COI" by the same person. If you review the history of this entry, you will note all of the scholarship you now object to was introduced after Radford interjected his radial views, which you supported and, more specifically because you demanded counter-scholarship if anyone dared to delete them. From the get-go, I stated that these sections were not necessary and suggested they be deleted. You and Radford insisted they remain, only so long as they consisted of all negative citations. What is your agenda, if I may ask?

Radford's complete disregard for the actual views of scholars should now be apparent. In his most recent edit, he states that Tolley "rejects" Rydberg's views and cites the Kommentar as evidence. You read German DAB, you know this is wrong. I have quoted the Kommentar (3: 839-40) in full here regarding the mill, and as quoted, it states that "Tolley took up Rydberg's interpretation." Any objective reader who reads both Tolley's article and Chapters 81-82 of Rydberg's TM can see the truth of this neutral statement. Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) 02:23, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

Another Selectively Clipped Citation

Radford added this quote, and clipped it for obvious reasons. See below:

An amount of interest exists in Rydberg's theories about Germanic paganism in Germanic Neopaganism. According to pagan scholar Jenny Blain (2002):

[d]iscussions of Rydberg's highly systematized versions of the mythology periodically surface on Ásatrú mailing lists and other public fora for debate. They have a few adherents within the community; however, on the whole the community rejects them, as do academics today, as being attempts to create an artificial order based on flawed methodological principles and nineteenth century definitions of deity. (See Rydberg 1906 (Norroenna Society translation containing the first 3 volumes of Rydberg's six-volume Swedish work) I should perhaps add that I do not recommend this as an introduction to Norse mythology!" [2]

Blain's full statement contains an obvious error, demonstrating her unfamilarity with the work. For the interest of accuracy, her full quote really needs to be cited, if it is cited at all. Rydberg wrote only 2 volumes of mythological investigations. The first volume was translated into English in 1889, and published as a single volume. In 1906, the first volume was republihsed as three-volumes. The second volume of the work was tranlsated and publihsed as two volumes, in 2004 and 2008, after Blain's statement. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jack the Giant-Killer (talkcontribs) 04:24, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

how is this relevant? This is really getting silly. So Blain had the first volume in three volumes, and assumed the 2nd volume would be edited in three volumes too, but it turned out it was published in two. Hello? If you as me, we can remove the entire "in Neopaganism" section. It's not interesting or relevant. dab (𒁳) 06:52, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

I suggest, if we do continue the Neopaganism section, that we state the obvious, something to the effect of, "In modern neopaganism, the mythological theories of Rydberg continue to be controversial, having gained both a loyal following and equally loyal opposition." It may be relevant to mention this, because it indicates a continued modern reception of Rydberg's theories, and states it with NPOV.CarlaO'Harris (talk) 18:56, 30 May 2008 (UTC)


I noticed that Radford recently deleted the quotation and citation of the Kommentar der Liedern der Edda regarding Clive Tolley (in the Scholarship section) and reitereted his personal view that Tolley did not "take up" Rydberg's argument as the Kommentar clearly states he did. I have re-added it, and re-edited Radford's statements. Since we now have a verifiable source for this, can further edits of this nature by Radford be considered vandalism?Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 05:42, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Sexuality

Here we go again. Prevented from citing his web-based smear-job "The Rydberg Religion" here, Radford now seeks to incorporate one of its main themes within the entry itself.

Like his essay, Radford's current revision is loaded with factually incorrect statements, dressed up with hyperbole, as follows:

Radford's statements are in bold:

Together with his long-time friend Pontus Wikner, Rydberg played an important part in the emergence of an underground gay culture in Victorian Sweden under that country's repressive anti-sodomy legislation of 1864 See Encyclopedia of Homosexuality 1270 (Wayne R. Dynes, et al., eds., 1990).

This source says nothing of the sort. It's online if you care to check. http://www.williamapercy.com/wiki/images/Sweden.pdf (see pages 1269 and 1270)

Queen Victoria did not rule Sweden and Rydberg had no known involvement in any underground gay culture. These are Radford's views. Rydberg and Wikner were literary figures of the time, both were married, and met in public one time late in life. They did however correspond for years on philosophical matters and these letters are a matter of public record available in the Swedish National Library. Wikner revealed that he had homosexual feelings, in an essay he requested be published 100 years after his death, to avoid embarassing his wife and children. Radford has strung this into a fantasy of his own making, apprently hoping for guilt by association.

Reading the actual source Radford cites will give you an excellent insight into his approach here and in the "Rydberg Religion."

Despite the legal ban on such activities, Rydberg and Wikner were counted “[a]mong the important Swedish cultural figures of the period who engaged in same-sex sexual relationships.”GLBTQ: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Culture: http://www.glbtq.com/social-sciences/sweden.html.

The 1860s Swedish law and the reckoning by the 1999 GLBTQ have nothing to do with one another, as Radford wishes to imply. Rydberg was an important figure. There is no evidence he ever engaged in same-sex activity, as Radford's own quotes demonstate. No one has ever shown any evidence he did. These speculations are based purely on his writings.

The “controlling passion of Rydberg’s life” was described by Stolpe as gosse-svärmeri: boy-craziness, Judith Moffett (2001), p.82, quoting Sven Stolpe, Dikt och samhälle: Rydberg, Snoilsky, 80-talet (1978).

This is a second-hand statement. One author is citing a single word from another's work out of context. This was not the controlling passion of Rydberg's life, as the wording suggests, but Sven Stople's opinion, restated by Judith Moffet.

and the writer is still remembered for his “longing for young men.”[3]

Rydberg is not "still remembered" for this, nor does the source state he was. This source, a gay encyclopedia, simply introduces Rydberg as "another writer with a longing for young men." This citation, in particular, best illustrates Radford's approach to scholarship.

Rydberg’s fascination with the youthful male physique is strongly conveyed in many of his works, including his 1859 novel, The Last Athenian, and his essay on Antinous, the young lover of the Emperor Hadrian, a work in which Rydberg “exhibits a deep sympathy for same-sex relations.”GLBTQ: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Culture: http://www.glbtq.com/ literature/swedish_lit.html.</ref>

The links do not take you to the source Radford cites. A web-search, however, shows this is another lie. Again, this is the publication's opinion, which Radford restates as fact in hyperbolic language.

But although he was suspected of an illicit relationship with a boy he was charged with tutoring, See Svante Nordin, “Viktor Rydberg,” entry in Svenskt biografiskt lexikon, 151 (2000):47; Encyclopedia of Gay Histories and Cultures (George E. Haggerty, ed., 2000), 2:1312 (“In his youth, Rydberg was a private tutor to and possibly also lover of Rudolf Ström.").Moffet concludes that Rydberg “was no pedophile." Judith Moffett (2001), p. 82.

Even Victor Svanberg never suggested that Rydberg and Ström, a 12 year old, had sexual relations. Moffet is correct in her statement that Rydberg was not a pedophile. No one has ever reasonably "suspected" the two were actually lovers. This is slander, plain and simple. There is no evidence to support it. Radford is depending on the statements of modern gay encyclopedias of questionable authority to smear Rydberg as a pedophile, while slying saying he isn't a pedophile. In his paper the Rydberg Religion, Radford omits Moffet's clear statement and characterizes this teacher-student relationship as a "well-publicized liaison," coupling it with the passage of an anti-sodomy law. His intentions here are clear.

The thinly veiled homoerotic themes in Rydberg’s writing “were brought to a newly formed mass audience of bourgeois readers.”GLBTQ: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Culture: http://www.glbtq.com/ social-sciences/sweden.html.

I do not find any such reference at the site Radford lists. A search of the site for the word "bourgeois" however, turns up five pages of citations—too many to look through. Apparently, it's a favorite word of the publication so it may well be in there, but the burden of proof is on Radford. There is no page number and the link doesn't work. I suspect Radford made this one up.

In his introduction to a 1983 edition of Rydberg's Singoalla, Sven Delblanc noted that the novel “reflected homosexual desires and impulses in Rydberg himself,” and that the protagonist’s slaying of young Sorgborn is a “masked representation of homosexual intercourse.” Stig Bäckman (2004), “Viktor Rydberg som Erland Månesköld. Om Sven Delblancs läsning av Singoalla,” Samlaren 125:78-91.

This one is just too pathetic for words. The reference is actually to a sharp critique of the work Radford quotes. Radford has taken the quotes by DelBlanc that Stigman objects to and presents them as evidence for his own view. Sven Delblanc published his own edition of Singoalla and wrote an introduction in which he claims the whole thing is a repressed homo-erotic fantasy (ex: a murder = anal sex). Stig Backman soundly debunks and ridicules DelBlanc's reading as textually unfounded. Radford did not quote the actual source, Backman's web article, because his reverse spin on it would be discovered if he had. The article can be found at: http://www.littvet.uu.se/littsallskapet/lsbackman.htm

Adding a section devoted to speculations on Rydberg's sexuality is questionable. Is it the place of an encyclopedia entry to speculate on an author's sexuality? In the past, I was against including this nonsense because it was speculation, but now I welcome the chance to air it here, since a respectible source such as Wikipedia will stand as a necessary counterweight to Radford's web-published "Rydberg Religion." Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) 04:29, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

I must agree that this doesn't appear to be appropriate. The GLBTQ isn't a neutral or notable source. We can quote Sven Stople's opinion, and Judith Moffet's restatement, and the "suspicion of an illicit relationship with a boy he was charged with tutoring", but I don't think this should make for more than a brief paragraph in the biographical section. Also, the implication that Rydberg's alleged homosexuality is somehow a smear on his character is also problematic. Rydberg wasn't a gay author, or a gay activists, and he is not notable for his sexuality. Just mention whatever speculation that can be sourced to serious sources, but don't inflate it artificially. dab (𒁳) 12:01, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

No, "suspicion of an illicit relationship" is completely unacceptable to include. It's a smear. No indictment, not a single witness, not even hearsay ... completely vain speculation. We could just as easily suspect anyone else of having done the same thing, and if they were alive, Wikipedia would have grounds to worry about a lawsuit. It's libelous on its face, without any substantiation.CarlaO'Harris (talk) 21:28, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

I agree with the part about being too pathetic for words. Against the array of recognized authorities who have documented Rydberg's homosexuality, "Jack" has produced an uber-authority to counterbalance them all -- himself! For someone who doesn't even understand what the term "Victorian Sweden" means, he has an astoundingly high opinion of his opinions. Rydberg's homosexuality is certainly noteworthy; indeed, it is arguably the most noteworthy element of his life from the vantage point of the 21st century, which is why this article has long been tagged by Wikipedia's LGBT Studies Project. The "Sexuality" section was modeled after the corresponding section in the Oscar Wilde article. (And btw, "Jack," Wilde was not only married, he had children. I guess that means he wasn't gay, huh?) But whatever. If calling it speculation will make "Jack" happy, by all means let's make "Jack" happy. However, I deleted the deceptive quote from Moffet he tagged onto the end of the section in order to create the impression that she was uncertain in her identification of Rydberg as gay. She was not. The quote "Jack" added referred to another question altogether -- the reasons for the failure of his first engagement. Rsradford (talk) 21:20, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Oscar Wilde was an admitted homosexual, who was tried and convicted of homosexual acts. In contrast, no verifiable evidence exists that Rydberg self-identified as gay or ever engaged in a single homosexual act, therefore by definition he cannot be labeled as such, except on a speculative basis. Radford's inability to grasp the distinction is irrelevant. Speculations based on readings of literary works, none of which contain independently verfiable homosexual or homoerotic themes, do not constitute evidence. Whatever her personal beliefs, Moffet is clear on this. There is no direct evidence regarding Rydberg's private life, and any guesswork regarding it is just that —guesswork. Radford's efforts to suppress this clear statement and engage in an innuendo campaign is nothing more than another ad homineum attack on an author he shows open contempt for. Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) 04:48, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

DAB wrote: We can quote Sven Stople's opinion, and Judith Moffet's restatement, and the "suspicion of an illicit relationship with a boy he was charged with tutoring",

What you are saying is that Radford can quote Stople's opinion (written in Swedish) through second and third hand sources. I object to this, as there is no verifiable evidence they accurately reflect Stople's opinion. This kind of covert plagarisim is a common practice in legal circles, which "The Little Book of Plagarism" by Richard Posner exposes, but ill-serves a forum where accuracy is valued. Few of Radford's sources are verifiable, and all point directly back to citations in Moffet or online gay encyclopedias that he has embellished, as outlined above. No one has ever seriously suspected Rydberg of having an "illicit relationship" with 12 year old Rudolf Ström. Moffet herself is clear on this. The original suspicion was that he felt "love" for this student, based on a series of letters the two exchanged after their professional relationship ended. It seems the child considered Rydberg a friend, and this exchange with the famous author was actively encouraged by the boy's parents who welcomed Rydberg into their home several times. He made a brief stop there on a longer journey to Norway, as a friendly gesture. Rydberg was later invited to Rudolf's wedding. There is no suggestion these letters were inappropriate, and no evidence they were. Gay critic Victor Svanberg's analysis of the letters 30 years after Rydberg's death is where the "suspicions" originate, and Svanberg himself did not suggest anything inapprpriate happened between them. He was reading between the lines, as literary critics do. Svanberg's limited conclusions have been morphed by popular writers with their own agendas. Radford is attempting to spin gold from straw. His malicious intent is on full display in "The Rydberg Religion." Radford hates Rydberg's work as it undermines his own pagan agenda. It's a classic COI.Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 12:52, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Again, the innuendo of literary critics trying to read between the lines, or more to the point, read something into a piece of literature does not constitute serious evidence about the author of that literature. The evidence for even the least founded of Rydberg's mythological theories is far, far stronger than this, and yet Mr. Radford would have us reject those theories as unfounded, but he will, out of the other hand, produce slanderous innuendo whose foundations make even the worst of Rydberg's theories seem like a fortress in comparison. Fascinating. CarlaO'Harris (talk) 21:28, 15 June 2008 (UTC)


This entire section should be deleted. It is slanderous in intent and tone. Rydberg's sexuality has no relevance to this article, it was nothing he found of any importance to write about, and psychoanalytic speculation and innuendo is unworthy of an encyclopedia entry. I vote to have the entire section removed. Whatever his own sexuality may have been, to even defend him against completely groundless charges of pedophilia is already to have smeared him in completely slanderous ways which respect for the dead, who are not present to defend themselves, should prohibit.CarlaO'Harris (talk) 21:13, 15 June 2008 (UTC) CarlaO'Harris (talk) 21:28, 15 June 2008 (UTC)


Carla, the sexuality section is well documented and cited to scholarly authority. Whether you think it is significant is irrelevant; the named scholars obviously disagree with you, and their opinion matters. Yours does not, unless you can find a scholarly press or journal willing to publish your opinions. Rydberg's homosexuality is probably the only aspect of his life that retains any significance at all, from a 21st-century perspective. Leave the section alone. Rsradford (talk) 02:44, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
I have also reconfirmed that the GLBTQ cites are accurate, and have therefore restored them along with the rest of the section. The fact that "Jack" doesn't know how to (or doesn't want to) confirm a quote is not a justification for deleting it. Rsradford (talk) 02:53, 16 June 2008 (UTC)


What you have called "popular writers" in one section, now qualifies as "Scholarly authority" in another?! According to her own book flap, Moffet is a "former adjunct professor of English". Hardly, a scholar by your own definition. Radford, your attempts to smear Rydberg through a rumor and innuendo campaign have no place in a factual encyclopedia article. As you know, but have conveniently kicked cat litter over, the basis of these rumors is solely literary criticism first performed more than three decades after the author's death by Victor Svanberg, an openly homosexual critic with a fascination for his near namesake. Your pathetic attempt to model this smear after the Oscar Wilde entry is laughable in that no evidence (such as a conviction for homosexual acts, or a single homosexually-themed work) has surfaced in more than 120 years. Gay Encyclopedias are not considered an authoritative source here. The Q in the title, GBLTQ, ("Gay Bisexual, Lesbian, Transgender and Queer) stands for Queer" hardly the mark of a serious work of scholarship. Your disrepect for homosexuals is apparent. Nonsense statements such as the one you make above about 21st century significance are belied by the numerous citations in the entry itself. Quit vandalizing the article and keep your "Rydberg Religion" nonsense where it belongs. Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) 04:08, 16 June 2008 (UTC)


The extent of your homophobic ignorance is genuinely startling. It has been clear from the outset that you have no contact with the academic world, but even informed laypersons are aware that "Queer Studies" is a standard term for scholarly programs at many universities, and that "queer" is a term of choice by many individuals with same-sex lifestyle preferences. Your preposterous statement that "gay encyclopedias are not considered an authoritative source here" is simply laughable. Your personal hatreds and phobias are your own problem, "Jack," and are not a basis for censoring this article. If you have an issue with the encyclopedia GLBTQ as a source, you should deal with it at the relevant Wikipedia article, glbtq.com.
I have once again restored the "Sexuality" section. If you deface it again, I will refer your homophobic vandalism to Wikipedia's LGBT Project. Rsradford (talk) 15:16, 16 June 2008 (UTC)


Are threats tolerated on Wikipedia?

If you deface it again, I will refer your homophobic vandalism to Wikipedia's LGBT Project. Rsradford (talk) 15:16, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Lying and name-calling are one thing, but threats are quite another. Radford is showing himself to be something more than a harmless nutjob. How long do we have to tolerate his bullying and vandalism before he is banned from editing this site? Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) 01:34, 17 June 2008 (UTC)


That was not a threat, "Jack," it was information. I have reported your homophobic censoring of the scholarly discussion of Rydberg's homosexuality to the LGBT Studies Project. Hopefully, they can bring some kind of administrative pressure to bear on you, so that the good-faith efforts of other editors to restore NPOV to this article can resume. Rsradford (talk) 03:59, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

it's not a threat. a request for wider input at the LBGT project may be a good idea in any case. Ok. But since Rsradford is obviously taking a rather dim view of Rydberg's qualities in general, I cannot help the impression that his insistence on keeping the discussion of VR's homosexuality is just as homophobic in motivation as Jack's insistence to remove it. If you were both pro-gay editors, it would obviously be Rsradford trying to downplay VR's significance to gay history, and it would be Jack touting it proudly. This is of course irrelevant, since it isn't editors' motivations what counts, just the facts. I repeat that I support a compromise solution: I do not think we need a full "sexuality" section, but that some information about VR's sexuality can go to the "biography" section. dab (𒁳) 06:55, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Carla, the "suspicion of an illicit relationship" can well be quoted if attributed to a WP:RS. Really, this is Wikipedia basics. Do you suggest we cannot discuss the alleged relationship of Achilles and Patroclus because we (obviously) have no "proof"? All we need is discussion in pertinent and reputable sources, end of story (WP:V, WP:DUE). Now please stop this sad show of animosity and work together to carve out a compromise. dab (𒁳) 07:00, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

DAB, you wrote: I cannot help the impression that his insistence on keeping the discussion of VR's homosexuality is just as homophobic in motivation as Jack's insistence to remove it.

"Homophobic"? I am the one who wrote the section you requested stating the facts on Rydberg's sexuality. Gay people can be proud to claim Rydberg as one of their own. Homosexuality is not the issue here, child molestation is. I have no problem with a discussion of Rydberg's sexuality so long as it contains verifiable information. Rydberg did not molest children as Radford states. The discussion of Rydberg's sexuality is based solely on readings of his writings, decades after they were published. There is no direct evidence that Rydberg was gay, therefore this should be stated directly— not alluded to and spun in demeaning ways. The two GLBTQ encyclopedias that Radford cites state that Rydberg "engaged in homosexual acts" as if it were fact, and then Radford takes it further, quoting just the juicy bits, whipping them into a sweaty froth. I have clearly outlined his methods above. He spices up this mixture with overstatements about Sweden's laws against homosexuality, and then directly states that Rydberg had a "well-publicized liaison" with a 12 year old. That is a complete fabrication, and a cheap attempt to smear Rydberg as a pedophile. Rydberg may well have been gay, but as Moffet clearly states "He was no pedophile" and he never discussed his private life, so any attempt to reconstruct it is "guesswork." Ginning up the rumor mill, an stating he was proudly gay in one breath, and then calling him a child molester in the next is hardly a pro-gay position. No one is fooled by Radford's homophobic rhetoric. It is not possible to carve out a compromise when one person insists on so blatantly vandalizing the entry with a smear campaign of his own design.Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) 12:59, 17 June 2008 (UTC)


I have to agree with Jack here 100%. Innuendo is beneath an encyclopedia, if that innuendo is irrelevant to the biography, and amounts to a postmortem criminal charge. If there's nothing to back it, it's libel. Wikipedia's standards are laughable and useless, not to mention incredibly elitist. All it takes is a scholar to knock off some pitiful speculation and innuendo that amounts to slander, and we'll just lap it up like good lapdogs and faithfully report it, eh? We can't hold scholars to any standards, can we? Because just by being employed by universities, they have attained to levels of truth unreachable or frankly not understandable by lay-people like ourselves. Yet I have caught scholars in dozens of errors over the years. And no, I don't need to submit such errors to another scholar in order for those notations to be valid. They aren't priests, for Chrissakes. Teachers have felt affectionately for students before without there being any suspicion of anything besides innocent regard for another human being. Without proof, without something substantial to hold onto, it amounts to nothing more but nasty, malicious gossip. Which is, of course, despite his barkings to the contrary, Radford's intentions, as revealed by his continued rhetoric. I, like Jack, have no problem with speculations about Rydberg's possible homosexuality, so long as they are couched in conditionals. Homophobia is no issue here. The issue is unsubstantiated criminal charges. CarlaO'Harris (talk) 02:10, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

if this is just about the pedophilia charge, why do you keep blanking the whole paragraph[4]? Your comments do not justify your edit. The sentence you seem to object to seems to be "But although he was suspected of an illicit relationship with a boy he was charged with tutoring Moffet concludes that Rydberg was no pedophile". Fist of all, if that's the passage you object to, remove that, not an entire paragraph. Second, if there has been quotable debate on whether VR was or was not "the lover of Rudolf Ström", we certainly can make reference to that. dab (𒁳) 12:52, 18 June 2008 (UTC)


Sure, if talking trash is your idea of an encyclopedia, and you wish to lower Wikipedia to the level of the Enquirer, go for it. Apparently by your standards, baseless libel, if conducted by our holy priesthood of scholars, is fine, because they are "qualified" to engage in libel, and are above reproach. So, quote away. Any other baseless rumors some academic gossiped about that you'd like to quote? Especially kinds that damage the reputation of people long gone, and, unable to defend themselves, subject them to postmortem criminal charges?CarlaO'Harris (talk) 14:29, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

thanks, I'm fine. It's not like I pretend to be interested in Rydberg either way. dab (𒁳) 17:35, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard

Just as a note, I've requested an uninvolved administrator to check into this article over here: Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard#Viktor_Rydberg_and_Lotte_Motz. In the post, I've mentioned Rsradford (talk · contribs), Jack the Giant-Killer (talk · contribs), CarlaO'Harris (talk · contribs), and Dbachmann (talk · contribs). :bloodofox: (talk) 18:33, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

bloodofox is well known for engaging in dishonest tactics to disfigure coverage of material he doesn't like into an unreadable mess. This never works out in the end, but it causes no end of time wasted over nothing at all. If bloodofox appears on an article talkpage, you can be sure that there will be a prolongued exchange of vitriol to no effect whatsoever. It's not like this page needs any more vitriol, but hey, it's a wiki, and since nobody had the balls to block boo for habitual WP:POINT I suppose we'll just have to sit it out. dab (𒁳) 18:42, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

I invite anyone to take a look at my edit history to confirm or deny Dab's claims here. I believe you will find that I get along perfectly fine, and am perfectly civil, with every Wikipedian I deal with (except Dab... but I hardly seem to be alone - and even then I think I've always been pretty civil). :bloodofox: (talk) 18:51, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

the lady doth protest too much. There is no need to review boo's deep edit history, his edits to this very page are an excellent example of what I am talking about. I never said you were being incivil, boo, and I wouldn't give a **** if you were. Be as incivil or as civil as you like, just edit constructively and in good faith. The issue is dishonesty and disingenious invocation of policy in the interest of an agenda (also known as WP:POINT). You know that you're doing this as well as I do. It's not a problem though, since it never actually leads to anything. And indeed, I do get ranted at quite a lot. As a rule by nationalist crackpots, racists, national mysticists and ethnic supremacists, because these are the kind of editors I make a habit of preventing from getting their way on Wikipedia. So, indeed, you are in excellent company in "not getting along fine" with me, you should be proud. dab (𒁳) 19:02, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Dab, in all honesty, I have no idea what "point" you are saying that I am trying to make, what it is that "I am doing," or what it is that I'd be trying to "lead to" to begin with. If I could figure it out I would address it as I would much rather get along with you than constantly be in situations like this. I'd rather we could at least be civil despite what disagreements we might run into. At this rate, though you may well eventually be blocked longer than the 24 hours you've been blocked for before, but I think your apparent request for my block are absurd. All of my edits are lock-solid across the board, and stick to policy and WP:GA standards no matter what it is I am working on. Are you sure this doesn't just have to do with my statements at your ARBCOM? :bloodofox: (talk) 19:12, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

sure. I would hardly accuse you of dishonesty if I expected you to admit to things. I point out once again that your constant harping on your "civility" even when nobody ever alleged you were lacking in civility is symptomatic for your tactics of dodging the issue. You have discovered how the letter of WP:NPOV, WP:CIVIL can be abused to hide your WP:TIGERS. Everyone following your controversial edits will find what these TIGERS are (I do not deny that you also do uncontroversial and useful edits. I have my doubts whether their benefit is enough to balance the damage you do elsewhere.) I grant you that you have found a weakness in Wikipedia, congratulations. It still won't work out, you just create more overhead. dab (𒁳) 12:13, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

"Work out?" What would I have it work out to? Okay, here we go again. You are accusing me of something but you don't say what. Subsequently, I can't address it and your comments toward me equate to basically you blowing out a lot of hot air without giving any specific reason why. I can only assume that this "damage" you refer to is my insistence on neutrality and policy everywhere our interests intersect (as I do with anyone else) so you can't pass your opinions off and just label whatever you please (such as completely unsourced descriptors like "Neo-Nazi" or, in this case, allowing someone to blatantly label a person a pedophile postmortem cult leader without who said what, where, and why). This is basic responsibility and these are core policies of Wikipedia. Now, if you care to trot out this "damage" you're talking about, we can discuss it, but it probably more appropriately belongs on my talk page, and you are welcome to pay it a visit. :bloodofox: (talk) 15:25, 20 June 2008 (UTC)


If one of the current issues is the Sexuality section, how about looking into the reliability of Judith Moffett and that online gay encyclopedia? Does anyone have convenient access to Moffett's book? What sources does she use in arriving at her own conclusions? EdJohnston (talk) 19:23, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

I believe this is a key question for this section that we ought to examine. Unfortunately, I do not have access to the literature either. Anyone? :bloodofox: (talk) 19:43, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Moffet's comments are from a 9-page biographical sketch introducing some of Rydberg's poems in her book, The North! To the North! Her observations regarding Rydberg's sexuality are very plausibly interwoven with her account of his childhood, marital issues, and writing. She concludes that "Sven Stolpe and Victor Svanberg were certainly correct that Rydberg was a homosexual" (p.80), but while she cites to their work, she does not simply repeat their views. It is noteworthy that no Rydberg biographer, or any other scholar, has ever disputed the accuracy of Moffett's, Svanberg's, or Stolpe's conclusions regarding Rydberg's sexuality. Rsradford (talk) 19:50, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
Does Moffett draw her conclusions from a study of primary sources? Does she have memoirs, Rydberg's own diaries, personal letters? What is the raw material for this conclusion? I hope it's not just from reading works of fiction and concluding what the author must have thought. If she is echoing the views of Stolpe and Svanberg, what are their sources? EdJohnston (talk) 23:56, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
What do you consider primary sources in this context? She notes the obvious homoerotic passages in Rydberg's poetry and fiction, which are primary sources for literary criticism. The details of Rydberg's sexually troubled childhood and his uneasy relationship with women were presumably taken from his standard biographical sources. I have no idea what sources Svanberg and Stolpe used; I can't ask them. Again, no other scholar has questioned the accuracy of their conclusions, which seems to me to be the definition of a scholarly consensus. Rsradford (talk) 00:41, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Here's your trouble: The details of Rydberg's sexually troubled childhood and his uneasy relationship with women were presumably taken from his standard biographical sources. Rsradford (talk) 00:41, 19 June 2008 (UTC) Finnrekkr (talk) 01:31, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Hm, if he wrote love notes to a male colleague that would be stronger evidence of his sexuality than analysis of his writings. If there were no love notes, no declaration of his sexual preferences, and no tell-all memoirs by his partners, then our paragraph should acknowledge the sparsity of the data. The agreement of three literary scholars that he must have been homosexual, based on study of his writings, is not that convincing. Extraordinary claims require etc. If he were still alive, we couldn't say any of this because of WP:BLP. Even though he's no longer with us we should still be paying close attention to the quality of the source information. The following line is especially troubling: While no evidence has ever been produced to show that Rydberg was homosexual or ever engaged in any homosexual act, this theory has been repeated as factual in a number of recent publications. This is like saying, 'We can't verify this, but people keep saying it, so we're going to repeat it.'
I think the Sexuality section might still be included if it were worded much more carefully. Our article on Thomas Mann is an example of how it can be done properly. EdJohnston (talk) 02:09, 19 June 2008 (UTC)


The fact is no primary sources or standard biographies have been cited here. All citations to Stolpe are taken from Moffett. The quotation by Delblanc is taken from an article which disagrees with his conclusion, and offers an alternative explanation (by Stig Backmann, available online); the citation to Svanberg is taken from Moffet's work via Stolpe, and the rest are taken from modern gay encyclopedias without any references or citations of evidence. The 'bourgois' quotation does not even appear in the source listed, as I have noted before. It's a sham. Where's the Beef?!

Moffett herself, according to the dust jacket of her book, is a former adjunct English professor, and therefore is not a professional translator, historian or literary critic. She is an amateur. There are no "love letters to a male collegue" (or anyone else) and no one has produced any. This bit of hyperbole is based on Svanberg's comments on letters exchanged between the adult Rydberg and a 12 year old boy, encouraged by the boy's parents. These letters are in the Swedish Royal library. They say such things as that Rydberg keeps a picture the boy sent him above his writing desk. He states that even though the boy is sickly and skinny looking in the photo, Rydberg finds him "handsome in his eyes", encouraging him to eat more. He comments on the boy's artwork, enclosed in the letter. He remarks on his travels. Rydberg says he wishes he was there so he could give him a hug and tuck him in at night. Nothing unsual here as Rydberg had been a live-in tutor in the boy's home. He tells him to focus on his studies— everything you might expect a concerned teacher to say. When Ström got married, Rydberg was invited to attend the wedding. His parents repeatedly invited Rydberg, now famous, to their home, and the boy's father built a room onto the house for him. Rydberg visited once on his way to Norway. Even Svanberg did not suggest there was anything inappropriate about the relationship or the letters. Radford has made a lot of "presumptions." Svanberg merely stated his opinion that Rydberg was probably of the same persuasion as himself, based on an analysis of his published writings. Svanberg was an openly gay lit-critic in 1920s Berlin. There is no suggestion that Rydberg ever had a male lover or engaged in any homosexual acts. No one has presented any "primary sources" here, and all of the secondary sources cite his writings, none of which has an obviously gay theme. The tertiary sources just make shit up. The standard biographies make no mention of this matter, precisely because it is pure speculation, limited to a couple of people. Real biographers and critics do oppose this. I already cited the article by Stig Backmann above, who takes exception to DelBlanc's absurd conclusions (murder= metaphor for anal sex). Radford took the summary of DelBlanc by Backmann, which Backmann objects to, and cited it as evidence! It's laughable, how poorly researched the whole section is. It's a smear campaign lifted from Radford's online Rydberg Religion. It would be comparable to trying to prove Ronald Reagan was stupid, based on journalists calling him dumb. Is this kind of muck-raking worthy of Wikipedia? 03:38, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

I am very surprised that "Jack" is still eliminating verified sources and inserting his own editorializing into the "sexuality" section while it is under active discussion here. As the material I have restored to the section makes clear, this is not just a matter of three critics examining Rydberg's poems, nor is it sensationalizing. While it would be inappropriate to examine the specific details of Rydberg's private life, his basic sexual orientation is a matter of absolute unanimity among all scholars and reference works that have considered the subject, and is an important aspect of Rydberg's life that should not be whitewashed or swept into the closet. I would welcome a good-faith attempt by anyone to cast this material in a more acceptable light, as was suggested regarding the Thomas Mann article. However, wholesale deletion of sources, insertion of misleading and deceptive quotes, and personal editorializing such as permeated the last edits to this section, should not be acceptable in any reference work. Rsradford (talk) 17:28, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Judith Moffett & Sven Delblanc

On close analysis, the entire section on Sexuality is built on secondhand and tertiary sources, primary that of Judith Moffett and Stig Bäckman.

I have the book in question: "The North! To the North!" On the book jacket it states "Judith Moffett is a translator, poet, novelist and former adjunct professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania." It lists her original poetry and another book she has "edited and translated of Swedish poems," then states "She has also published science fiction novels, literary criticism, and creative nonfiction."

In the bibliography of the Viktor Rydberg section (p. 230), she lists 4 works, only one of which is biographical in nature, that of Sven Stople "Dikt och samhalle:Rydberg, Snoilsky, 1978." The other three are criticism of Rydberg's poetry. The first is a 5 page article by Björk Staffan, the second is a book from 1973 entitled "Nya grepp i Rydbergs lyrik" and the third is a two page article in a journal called "Allt om böcker" from 1987.

The biographical section is thus completely dependant on Stople. To demonstrate how speculative Stolpe's theory is, in one passage, Moffet writes:

"To a friend he [Rydberg] wrote in later years: 'The initiation I got into the mysteries of youth (in Växjo) was such that I constantly longed to be back in my happy, fantasy-filled boy's life among unspoiled children my own age in Jönköping' (Stolpe, Dikt och smahalle: Rydberg, Snoilsky, 80-talet 85). There might be many reasons why a teenage boy recoils from his first experinces of his sexuality. No one will ever know exactly why Rydberg felt the way he did; what we do know is that in his work he never ceased to idealize what he saw as the innocent sexlessness of young children. It is interesting to contemplate how he would have fared in a world where Freudian ideas have become commonplace, where his 'De Badande barnen' ('The Bathing Children'), naked but sexless, would not have been taken at face value."

The quote about Svanberg and Stople is wretched out of its context, obviously on purpose, as the complete quote proves the lie. Moffett actually writes:

"Sven Stolpe and Victor Svanberg are certainly correct that Rydberg was homosexual. However, the problem wasn't 'simply' that his sexual preference was socially and legally unacceptable, but rather that he seems to have found all sexual expression despicable, impossible, or at best delicious but lethal."

Throughout the article, she cites to Stople, repeatedly as evidence. It's a one-source wonder. Radford's reference to Sven Delblanc's work are taken from this article which is critical of its conclusions:

Stig Bäckman, Viktor Rydberg som Erland Månesköld. Om Sven Delblancs läsning av Singoalla. ("Viktor Rydberg as Erland Månesköld. On Sven Delblanc’s reading of Singoalla.")

"It was not until 1983 that Singoalla, Viktor Rydberg’s short romantic novel, was published as a book. It appeared originally in a literary calendar in 1857. When Rydberg himself first had it published as a book in 1865, he wrote a completely new ending to it and also made other changes. It was Sven Delblanc who at last saw to it that the original version was made available to the general public. He also wrote an introduction where he puts forward a biographical reading of it which, in condensed form, also appeared in the third volume of the important Swedish literary history, Den svenska litteraturen, in 1988. Delblanc argues that the changes Rydberg made were intended to obscure the fact that the novel reflected homosexual desires and impulses in Rydberg himself. Delblanc detects erotic overtones in Erland Månesköld’s relation to Sorgbarn, and the final murder of the child is seen by him as a masked representation of homosexual intercourse.

...A close scrutiny of Delblanc’s argument reveals that he does not offer any substantial textual evidence to sustain his interpretation. Rather, his understanding and appreciation of the novel is derived from an empathic understanding of Rydberg’s biography. It is this context that makes him construe meaning in the way he does. The importance of context is illustrated by applying a different context which fully explains all that which Delblanc claims to be incomprehensible unless you adopt his “sexual” point of view. This context is derived, not from Rydberg’s private life, but from ideas he held concerning the role of Nature in medieval Christianity, his adherence to neo-platonic philosophy and his idealization of childhood as an age of purity that can never be regained. It is argued that Sorgbarn, that sickly and moribund child, can be seen as Rydberg/Erland’s inner child, a painful reminder of a purity forever lost. That is one aspect of the atmosphere of sadness that permeates the novel. Another is the loss of an uncomplicated and positive contact with nature which is illustrated in the beginning of the novel in the youthful love between Erland and Singoalla. What happens to Erland is that he is severed from nature. In his state of weakness and memory-loss after being poisoned by the gypsies, he is influenced by pater Henrik, who stands as a representative for the Christian medieval Church. According to Rydberg, Christianity, due to oriental influences, had adopted a dualistic view according to which nature was seen as evil, whereas Greek Antiquity, for instance, held a monistic view where there was no conflict between spirituality and nature. Erland is indoctrinated by pater Henrik into believing that images of Singoalla that torment him in his dreams are manifestations emanating from the devil. It is only when he is under the influence of Sorgbarn’s hypnosis that he is able to feel once again his love for Singoalla and thus regain contact with nature. The note of sadness and loss in the novel is reinforced also by reflections of Rydberg’s Neo-Platonic beliefs. In an epilogue to the novel, there is a lamentation on the plight of Man as forever imprisoned in the never-ending cycle of birth and destruction on Earth, having to look to Eternity above to find something truly stable and lasting."

The section on Sexuality is thus not only a distortion of the actual sources, but a complete misrepresentation of the facts as they are known. Rydberg was an extremely private individual, about which little is known sexually. He had no known lovers, male or female, and was engaged to be married twice, and married once. As Radford says, this was "Victorian" Sweden, a time when "Freudian ideas" (as Moffett says) were not yet in vogue. Clearly, we are judging a person of this era by modern American standards. The cigar in this case appears to be just a cigar.04:34, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Just as a note, the entire section you've added is unreferenced and can be removed by anyone at any time per WP:PROVEIT. :bloodofox: (talk) 08:42, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

How did www.glbtq.com arrive at its conclusion?

I'd like to ask Rsradord to say more about this problem. Wikipedia is uneasy about relying on other encyclopedias. In this case I'd like to know more about how the gay encyclopedia arrived at their conclusion. Here is some of the new text that User:Rsradford added to the article:

According to the gay encyclopedia GLBTQ, Rydberg and his long-time friend Pontus Wikner, were counted “[a]mong the important Swedish cultural figures of the period who engaged in same-sex sexual relationships.”[4] Although no biographer or other scholar who has examined Rydberg’s life has disputed his sexual orientation, no conclusive evidence has surfaced that Rydberg engaged in any illicit activity, which would have been punishable as a criminal offense under Sweden’s repressive Anti-Sodomy Act.

You would expect a gay encyclopedia to want to prove that as many famous people as possible were gay, so they are not exactly a neutral observer. Note that GLBTQ doees not redirect to the expected destination. The statement that 'no biographer or other scholar' has disputed the result is almost impossible to cite; the best you can do is to say that nobody included in the article's references has disputed the conclusion. EdJohnston (talk) 19:14, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

The reliability of GLBTQ is something I hoped could be addressed by getting input into this discussion from someone at WikiProject LGBT studies. So far, no one has responded to the inquiry I put on the notice board.
Perhaps I should add that the information cited to GLBTQ was originally taken from a hard copy of the enyclopedia at the main research library of the University of California, an institution that I have found tends to favor reliable sources. When I discovered there is also an on-line version of the encyclopedia, I changed the cites to that source as a convenience to other researchers. But this was not a matter of finding some random page on the Internet and citing to it. Rsradford (talk) 04:33, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
Saying that all scholars who have considered the matter have arrived at the same conclusion is a statement of scholarly consensus. If untrue, it is extremely easy to disprove: produce just one scholar who has ever considered Rydberg's life and works and concluded that he was heterosexual. The fact that neither "Jack" nor anyone else has been able to produce that one scholar speaks for itself. Rsradford (talk) 21:40, 19 June 2008 (UTC)


Translation: Radford made good on his earlier threat and no one responded. Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) 03:16, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

STOP THE PERSONAL INSULTS NOW, "JACK"!
I have never "threatened" you. Your repeated false accusations are defamatory and blatant personal abuse, in violation of Wikipedia policy.
If you cannot find a single scholarly source to cite in support of your position, please stop deleting text simply because you disagree with it, or because it might cut into the sales of your amateur Rydberg "translations," which you have been using this article to promote. Rsradford (talk) 04:20, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

No need to get shrill "Radford." When you stop the personal insults, ad homineum attacks, and the innnuendo campaign, I'll stop calling you out for it.Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) 04:39, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

Rsradford, I think at this point it would be advisable to ignore any further taunts in the spirit of not feeding the trolls. dab (𒁳) 12:07, 20 June 2008 (UTC)


It is easy to ignore taunts from trolls with a direct financial interest in misrepresentation. What I will not ignore, however, is legally defamatory accusations. If the troll persists in making false accusations of "threats," "stalking" and "harassment" against me in this forum, I will consider legal action. Rsradford (talk) 16:24, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
well, you need to know that you cannot seek legal action and edit wikipedia at the same time. Statements of intent to seek legal action usually get you banned from editing immediately. See WP:LEGAL:
"If you must take legal action, we cannot prevent you from doing so. However, we require that you do not edit Wikipedia until the legal matter has been resolved to ensure that all legal processes happen via proper legal channels. You should instead contact the person or people involved directly."
What I would recommend instead is: ignore the taunts, and stoically insist on content in the face of attempts to sidetrack the discussion to the personal level. dab (𒁳) 16:45, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

How many reverts does "Jack" get, now that he's editing the article from two accounts?

It really makes a mockery of this whole process for "Jack" to be deleting well-sourced text from the article while this discussion is going on. His "explanation" that the material on Rydberg's sexuality comes from secondary sources is almost comical, given that he has inserted sources into this article that don't mention Rydberg at all, or at best mention his name once in a footnote, and those stand as "documentation" of the supposed scholarly acceptance of Rydberg's 19th-century "Aryan racial mythology." A bit of a double standard, wouldn't you say? Rsradford (talk) 20:59, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Nice "neutral" heading there, Radford.

R.S. Radford, an authority on mockery? ROFL!!! On the Lotte Motz entry, Radford listed bibliographic citations as "documentation" of her supposed scholarly influence. If we used the same criteria here, Rydberg was vastly more influential than Motz by any account. Currently, Radford is stubbornly blocking any mention of Motz actually having been Jewish as "not relevant". Perhaps he would care to explain why Rydberg's supposed sexual orientation is relevant here? His revisions read like "Star" magazine. Apparently, Radford thinks we're fools operating in a vacuum, and that no one will notice that he talks out of both sides of his mouth with a straight face. His demand that someone provide one scholar that says Rydberg was heutrosexual is patently absurd. The premise is false as Radford has not supplied a single scholar that claims Rydberg was homosexual. Having made such a fuss above about what does and does not constitute a scholar, Radford has painted himself into a corner. According to his own limited definition, Radford has merely supplied the views of two "popular writers" which he has embellished and plagarized, citing their references as if he had read them firsthand. Actual quotations from these sources show he didn't even get them right. Neither Bäckmann nor Moffett conclude anything close to what Radford claims. Bäckmann refutes it, providing a rational explanation about what lesser lights see as "boy-craziness" (the "former adjunct English professor's" ability to translate Swedish is seriously called into question with this single word). If anything, Moffett concludes that Rydberg was celebate. If one has a same-sex orientation, but remains celebate, is he still considered gay? Inquiring minds want to know. It is remarkable that only gay authors are concerned with Rydberg's sexuality. One wonders what drives Radford's obsession with it here and in his RR essay. Non-existent cyber-cults simply don't do the trick.

The citations from the gay encyclopedias in question are simple tautologies: #1 Rydberg was gay; according to the common stereotype, gay men desire young men and, by definition, engage in same-sex relations, therefore, Rydberg desired young men and engaged in same-sex relations. It's not a statement of fact, it's a means to avoid repeating the words 'gay' and 'homosexual' over and over. Radford pretends not to know this, embellishing it further, he reasons: Rydberg and Wikner were important figures and friendly, exchanging correspondence. Police records show a 'gay underground' existed in Sweden, as gay men were being arrested in parks and restrooms in the 1880s. Rydberg and Wikner were gay, therefore Rydberg and Wikner were an important, establishing force in the underground gay culture.

Radford's revisions read like tabliod journalismJack the Giant-Killer (talk) 02:42, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

everybody gets to edit from a single account only. Suspicions of sockpuppetry can be reported at WP:RCU and/or WP:SSP. Any offending party will be blocked from editing. dab (𒁳) 12:05, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

The Art of Innuendo

Radford has carried the art of the innuendo to new heights. He boldly writes:

The gay literary critic, Victor Svanberg, first suggested that Rydberg himself was gay, based on his interpretation of Rydberg's poems and letters. Sven Stolpe, writing in 1978, noted that the “controlling passion of Rydberg’s life” was gosse-svärmeri: boy-craziness, ref> Judith Moffett (2001), p.82, quoting Sven Stolpe, Dikt och samhälle: Rydberg, Snoilsky, 80-talet (1978).

Why not just quote Stolpe directly? Radford cites other Swedish sources ‘directly’. What’s the hang-up here? Moffett’s translation of the word Stople uses is incorrect. Swedish Dictionaries interpret the word “svärmeri” as “enthusiasm.” Moffett was an Adjunct English Professor. She has no scholarly credentials in Swedish translation.

…and the Encyclopedia of Gay Histories and Cultures confirms that Rydberg was known for his “longing for young men.” ref>Encyclopedia of Gay Histories and Cultures (George E. Haggerty, ed., 2000). NY: Garland, 2:853.

The Encyclopedia “confirms” nothing. It simply states that “Another author who longed for young men was Viktor Rydberg.” It is tautological way of saying Rydberg was gay.It doesn’t say that Rydberg “known” or “remembered” for this, that's RAdford's professional spin.


The Scandinavian gay studies journal, Lambda Nordica, has published an examination of Rydberg’s erotic fixation on the aesthetic ideal of the “Snow White Youth.” See Hans-Henrik Brummer, "Among the Shining Antique Marbles": Viktor Rydberg's Essay on Antinous, in Docto Peregrino: Roman Studies in Honour of Torgil Magnuson 51-77 (Thomas Hall, et al. eds., 1992)


See Brummer and Rydberg’s essay Antinous for what exactly? Is Radford suggesting that Rydberg’s 1867 essay contains a reference to the 1999 Lambda Nordica article? The 1999 article is titled: "Gossen Snövit" In this single revision, the word gossen is translated in two different ways. According to Moffet (gosse-svärmeri) it means boy as in “boy-craziness.” Now Radford translates it as ‘youth’ , “Snow White Youth”. Is Rydberg 'crazy' for youth or for boys? Which is it? Reconsider Bäckmann’s conclusion in this light.

Rydberg’s fascination with the youthful male physique is strongly conveyed in many of his works, including his 1859 novel, The Last Athenian, and his essay on Antinous, the young lover of the Emperor Hadrian, a work in which Rydberg “exhibits a deep sympathy for same-sex relations.”ref>GLBTQ: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Culture: http://www.glbtq.com/ literature/swedish_lit.html.

The wording states the opinion of the source, if it exists, as fact. This link leads to a page that states: “The Web page you requested cannot be found on glbtq.” That says all we need to know. Since we do not have the actual source for this, what is editorial embellishment and what is actual citation is uncertain.

But although he was suspected of an illicit relationship with a boy he was charged with tutoring, ref>See Svante Nordin, “Viktor Rydberg,” entry in Svenskt biografiskt lexikon, 151 (2000):47

Suspected by whom? What is the actual quotation here? Radford does not read Swedish. No one has made this claim, least of all Victor Svanberg who actually examined and commented on the letters between Ström and Rydberg. Moffett does not suspect this. She dismisses it outright.

Encyclopedia of Gay Histories and Cultures (George E. Haggerty, ed., 2000), 2:1312 (“In his youth, Rydberg was a private tutor to and possibly also lover of Rudolf Ström.").

This book is available on Googlebooks. The statement is unsourced. How did Haggerty arrive at this novel conclusion 105 years after Rydberg died? What Haggerty actually says is:

“Another writer with a longing for young men was Viktor Rydberg (1828-1895). He was a prominent liberal journalist in Gothenburg for a period of his life. ...In his youth Rydberg was a private tutor to and possibly also lover of Rudolf Strom.”

Rydberg was “possibly” also partial to women’s panties and a real hoot when he was drunk, but what evidence is there of this? None is cited.

And who says that Sweden’s anti-sodomy laws were “repressive”? Radford keeps troting out this old chestnut. Is there any evidence that anyone was actually prosecuted under these laws? Today, several US states have similarly punishable laws, but no one is being repressed by them. Sweden is known for being a sexually liberal country. Laws are only repressive if people are actually repressed by them.

Can we dispense with the embellished and misleading innuendoes once and for all, or must we be subjected to yet another perverted revert by Radford? Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) 04:32, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

If you have quotable sources stating that VR was "partial to women’s panties and a real hoot when he was drunk" feel free to cite them. If you do not, why bring up the possibility? If you have concerns over details of phrasing, such as the characterization of a law as "repressive", feel free to suggest a rephrasing, or use a {{fact}} tag. Don't blank entire paragraphs instead. You really seem to have no idea how disputes are resolved in Wikipedia. It's never a "yes or no" decision on a fixed paragraph, it's a question of carving out a compromise how the paragraph could be rephrased. If you are not interested in such a process, why are you even here? To any outside observer, it has long become clear that VR was simply a Romanticist with homoerotic interests, and various highly original if dubious ideas on Germanic mythology. I fail to see how that makes him so special, or a case for drawn-out disputes. If you are interested in speculations on Germanic mythology or in homoeroticism, you might enjoy his works and peace to you. Otherwise, you will note him as another Romantic mythographer and move on. There really isn't anything to see here. dab (𒁳) 16:49, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

Peace, man. If it seems obvious to a disinterested "outside observer" like yourself that Rydberg had "homoerotic interests," then you are as unfamilar with Rydberg and his works as Radford is. Outside of Wikipedia, Rydberg is known as a poet and religious scholar.Radford's only concern is Rydberg's growing impact on modern Asatru. No scholarly source cares about or speculates about his sex-life. It's gossip on the face of it. When Radford quits fantasizing about Rydberg's private life at the altar of his 'non-profit' cyber-cult, I'll quit interjecting the facts. The net effect of Radford's involvement here has been to triple the size of the original entry, and to fill it with a wide range scholarship supporting and illuminating Rydberg's life and works. I was happy the way it was before Radford wandered in. If Radford had not attempted to frontload the entry with his unsourced propoganda, the entry would have remained relatively stable. You ask that the informed strike a consensus with the willfully uninformed. If this is the purpose of Wikipedia, as you see it, so be it. My goal is simply to set the record straight, where Rydberg is concerned. The issue is not Rydberg's sexuality, or lack thereof, but Radford's inaccurate & suspect "citations" promoting his agenda. Radford moves from one area to the next, making all kinds of outrageous claims demanding that others debunk his interjections or roll over. It is now apparent that Radford is simply making this crap up, and attributing it to whatever strikes his fancy. I am not blinded by footnotes. Any fool can cite anything he likes. Personally, I don't care who Rydberg f*cked. I'm not the one who stuck it in, nor am I the one who keeps pushing it. The burden of proof here is clearly on Radford. Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) 03:18, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

Complex disputes should be worked on step-by-step. Mass removals and restorations of content could make this controversy go on forever. Editors who are not willing to endure patient negotiations on the Talk page probably shouldn't be working on this article at all. POV editors can at length be blocked for disruptive editing if they will not work with others. IPs who won't participate on Talk might justify semi-protection for the article. EdJohnston (talk) 05:15, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
I fully agree with what EdJohnston just said. I've said several times that I do not think a full "Sexuality" section is necessary, and that it is a matter of bona fide compromise to transform the full section into a balanced paragraph in the biography section. Blanket reverts aren't conductive towards that end. I also repeat that I have no interest in reading Rydberg and have no personal opinion on the man. Radford has met the burden of citing his sources, so Jack's blanket reverts are disruptive. If there is an interest in an iterative editing process towards optimization of the current revision, that's great. If there isn't, I think we are done here. dab (𒁳) 07:16, 21 June 2008 (UTC)


Oh, hogwash, dab. Radford has done anything but. Jack and others have demonstrated that these so-called sources completely evaporate upon further consideration. You might try actually reading the arguments here. Almost every single one to the letter demonstrates misrepresentation on Radford's part. Your continued defense of him after he has been completely rebutted indicates preferentiality on your part. CarlaO'Harris (talk) 13:22, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

  1. ^ Bjarne Fidjestøl (1999). The Dating of Eddic Poetry, p. 67.
  2. ^ Jenny Blain, Nine Worlds of Seid-Magic: Ecstasy and Neo-Shamanism in North European Paganism (2002), p. 163.
  3. ^ Encyclopedia of Gay Histories and Cultures (George E. Haggerty, ed., 2000). NY: Garland, 2:853.
  4. ^ GLBTQ: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Culture: http://www.glbtq.com/social-sciences/sweden.html.