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Neutzsky-Wulff attended courses in philosophy at the University of Copenhagen, but broke off his studies after his first year. Having lived in Copenhagen all of his life, he moved into an abandoned school in Vinstrup north of Randers with his wife, where he presently spends his time expanding his authorship. He occasionally holds courses on themes drawn from extensive interests.
Competencies and influence
Neutzsky-Wulff has written in both fiction and non-fiction, on subjects as diverse as history, philosophy, cognition, religion, the occult, psychology and horror fiction. He also authored a number of books on computer programming during the 1980s. He is mainly self-taught and has mastered several languages, including Hebrew, Latin, German, French, English and the Nordic languages.
Activities and interests
Neutzsky-Wulff keeps in touch with his readers through his fan magazine Bathos and his official home page. Bathos, in addition to offering reviews of mainly old horror films, also contains in-depth articles on philosophy, religion, culture and various esoteric subjects. In addition, the magazine expounds on the author's philosophy and on various themes in his literature.
In his earliest published literature, Erwin Neutzsky-Wulff builds up his own literary universe. The Dialog om det 21. århundredes to vigtigste verdenssystemer, (1971), is a philosophical dialogue modelled on the classical style of Galileo Galilei's Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems. The plot is set in a not too distant future, where a Danish civil war has broken out. The reader is witnessing a debate between three persons, one representing a new humanistic view on mankind and its new ideology (or anti-ideology), called Wulffianism. Wulffianism is anarchic in the word's real sense, entailing an accept of violence as a mean and denial of modern civilization. This, as expected, caused severe public controversy. Other books from this early period of the authorship are anthologies of essays and poems, and mainly appear as supplements to the mentioned dialogues. All of Neutzsky-Wulff's poetry is in rhyme, metrical with a touch of subtle pastiche.
With the episodic novel Adam Harts Opdagelser <5> (1972), Neutzsky-Wulff began to find his style and obtained henceforth crowds of fans. The book's protagonists are Adam Hart and his partner Victor Janis, both working as "occult detectives". An ironically rendered Neutzsky-Wulff himself also appears in a more secondary role. The series continues with the episodic Adam Hart og sjælemaskinen <6> (1977) Victor Janis og søn <7> (1977), both representing a more conventional novel structure, and ends with an experimental novel, Oiufael (1977), mainly written on verse. An episode from Adam Hart og sjælemaskinen was adapted as the short film Adam Hart i Sahara (1990), based on his own screenplay.
Though sometimes he breaks the traditional conventions of the genre, Neutzsky-Wulff sees himself as an author of science fiction. He emphasizes the genre as the most prominent stage of artistic interpretations of the mythology of our time. Anno Domini (1975) tells the story of an astronaut on a strange planet, experiencing a macrohistorical version of the evolution of humankind. In Gud <8> (1976), the classical form of science fiction itself, is challenged: A group of people are, by means of an alien vessel, heading towards the planet of God. With Den 33. marts <9> (1977), the plot is altered from outer to "inner space", a platform resembling that of an American author of science fiction, Philip K. Dick. A person living in the 1970s Copenhagen discovers effects of society as mere stage equipment. Library books are empty and he is trapped within city borders. In a sanitarium, this person "hallucinates" about another world where he features as an awaited Messiah. Havet <10> (1978) is, like Anno Domini and Gud, a novel about space travel. The supernatural setting pivots around the cards of Tarok. In Menneske <11> (1982), a computer independently achieves consciousness and decides to find out what existence as a human being is like. Consequently, it embarks on a stone age odyssey, following the history of man, ending in a parody of the 1970s of Denmark.
Demons and computers
Erwin Neutzsky-Wulff describes by novel form esoteric initiation and demonic possession in Indsigtens sted <12> (1980). The narration is set through a schoolteacher's diary as he is experiencing increasingly interest in the occult. This is an effective horror story which distinguishes itself from his other books. For Neutzsky-Wulff, the eighties were to stand under the parole of prose. Neutzsky-Wulff had taught himself computer programming and when the first home computers entered the market, he published an introductory manual, Mikrodatamaten – Programmering og anvendelse (1982), followed by several similar guides the following years. At the time, computer programming was still seen as an intellectual pursuit in a rather anti-intellectual climate.
His prosaic studies of the supernatural followed with Okkultisme <13> (1985) and Magi <14> (1986). Okkultisme raises its groundwork from epistemology, modern physics and neurology, as well as interpretations of visionary lyrics, for instance William Blake's. The book's second part gives an historical briefing on the history of religions, from tribal religion through Judaism and Christianity, to Satanism. "Satanism" is in Neutzsky-Wulff's authorship used partly as a common denominator of a quite specific group, and partly as a philosophical term for the ideology of modern society. This ideology is, as explained, essentially anti-Christian.
Magi treats themes such as the supernatural, its practice, supernatural experiences and the citizens of the world beyond ours. Our present day civilization is depicted evil to an extent that hatred is given as the primary human condition (p. 222). Magi was followed by Oprindelse <15> (1988), the first and only volume of an abortive world history, covering a time line from the Big Bang until app. 2700 BC.
Faust, (1989) resembles, by structure and form, to a certain point the earlier "Den 33. marts". Neutzsky-Wulff's modern Faust is not a theologian, but rather a psychoanalyst who defies his discipline. On 20 August 1989, Erwin Neutzsky-Wulff preached at Hellig Kors Kirke, a church in central Copenhagen, declaring that Christianity had come to an end.
In Neutzsky-Wulff's authorship the traditional novel form now appears to be cracking, as his novels grow in size and are thoroughly embedded with several subplots parallel to the main story. Furthermore, they attain a more objective form and prosaic essence, which provides his ontological platform with deeper insights. Also the author himself becomes omnipresent, frequently either commenting on fictional actions or directly addressing the reader. 2000 (1991) is a science fictional Decameron, where a handful of persons are isolated and share information between themselves. Around them, civilization deteriorates and a brand new kind of human is born. In the epic Verden <16> (1994), Neutzsky-Wulff includes time travels and similar phenomena, as he tries to delete Christ from history. Døden <17> (1996), distinguishes itself from other novels by its political main theme, especially the 1990s' emerging chauvinist and neofascist tendencies. This novel attracted public spotlights, as the dissolution of the journal Faklen caused a public dispute between its editors. Neutzsky-Wulff himself added yet another creation to his authorship with UFO (1999). UFO enhances his science fiction-novels of the 70s by reviewing the occult and mythological foundations of the UFO-phenomenon. In between his novel writing, Neutzsky-Wulff translated Genesis, which was published as For længe siden <19> (2000). In his Abattoir <20> (2003), he returns to his lighter style, reminiscent of the Adam Hart series.
A modern grimoire
Transcendent ambitions forges the massive arguments appearing in Rum <21> (2001), his greatest fictional work to date, and the prose work Det overnaturlige <22> (2004) expounding on the essence and forms of religious experience and reality itself, treating much the same topics as the earlier Okkultisme and Magi, only now in much more depth. These parallel works fulfil these ambitions fully from two different holds.
The heavy Rum is illustrated with a deliberate "bad taste" by Jørgen Bitsch. The plot is set in separated rooms: A girl selling herself as a sex slave, a man in a bunker after a nuclear war, an expedition to an alien planet, a haunted house investigator and finally, a poet not knowing he is an inspirational source for a mass murderer. These rooms can be thought of as interlinked: They are books read by the man in the bunker or visions seen by the slave girl etc. Neutzsky-Wulff and his wife also appear. Later, the characters exchange locations. Reality constrains itself to self-created rooms and the apparently incoherent action is deliberately supposed to influence the reader to assume a magical way of thinking. It is an abyssal book, hardly fully comprehensible by any but a few.
The prose Det overnaturlige, more or less exact than Okkultisme and Magi, is at the same time meant to displace them by writing a modern grimoire. It is information-dense, cut to the bone and indirectly demands that the reader study a number of texts only referred to in the book to properly understand it. The book describes the mystic initiation, a radical practice requiring women to be sexually enslaved (as in Rum), whereas men have to undergo a kind of virtual castration. Themes as diverse as kabbalah, the mystic traditions of the Holy Grail, Gnosticism, fairy tales, Mozart's The Magic Flute and Wagner are treated in depth.
Neutzsky-Wulff's books are quite unlike most contemporary Danish literature and can read like the texts of a strange, foreign religion at times. Time has shown that critics have a tendency to either praise them wholeheartedly or else distance themselves from them.
Novels and short stories
- Dialog om det enogtyvende århundredes to vigtigste verdenssystemer(1971, 2. ed. 1972)
- Adam Harts opdagelser <5> (1972, republished 2003)
- Anno Domini: novel (1975, republished 2000)
- Gud <9>: novel (1976) republished (1995)
- Adam Hart og sjælemaskinen <6> (1977)
- Victor Janis & Søn <7> (1977)
- Oiufael (1977)
- Den 33. marts <8> (1977)
- Havet <10> (1978)(1996)
- Indsigtens sted <12> (1978) (1996)
- Menneske <11>: novel (1982)
- Ulvens arv og andre noveller (1984)
- Faust: novel (1989)
- 2000: novel (1991)
- Skrækkens ABC. Noveller for børn (1992)
- Verden <16>: novel (1994)
- Døden <17>: novel (1996)
- UFO: novel (1999)
- Rum <21>: novel (2001)
- Abattoir <20>(2003)
- Hjernen: novel (2007)
- Adam Hart: novel (2007)
- Menneskets afvikling: novel (2009)
- 9999: novel (2010)
- Jack the Ripper: Novel (2012)
- Mikrodatamaten, programmering og anvendelse: en bog om ZX81 BASIC (1984)
- Okkultisme <13> (1985)
- Programmering med COMMODORE BASIC (1985)
- Amstrad BASIC (1985)
- Magi <14> (1986)
- BASIC med COMMODORE 64 (1986)
- Comal 80 og Piccoline (1986)
- Verdens historie. 1: Oprindelse <15> 1988
- Postscript-programmering (1990)
- For længe siden <19> : Første Mosebog i nyoversættelse (2000)
- Det overnaturlige <22> (2004)
- Menneskets afvikling (2009)
- Biblen: Non-fiction (2011)
- Religion (2015)
- Engelbreth Larsen, Rune: Forsvar for verden <18> : en indføring i Erwin Neutzsky-Wulffs forfatterskab (1994)
- Jørgensen, Stig W.: Erwin Neutzsky-Wulff, en introduktion. (Bibliografi af Listemageren) (1995)
- Asger Harlung, Henrik Isaksen, Frank Brahe (ed.): Samtaler med Erwin Neutzsky-Wulff (2004)
- ^ Dialogue about the 21st century's two most important world systems
- <5> The Discoveries of Adam Hart
- <6> Adam Hart and the Soulmachine
- <3> Victor Janis and Son
- <4> The 33. of march
- <9> God
- <10> The Ocean
- <11> Man
- <12> The Place of Insight
- <13> Occultism
- <14> Magic
- <15> Origin
- <16> The World
- <17> Death
- <18> Defense for the World
- <19> A Long Time Ago
- <20> Slaughterhouse
- <21> Room
- <22> The Supernatural
- ^ The book's views made editor of a Danish magazine, Elsa Gress, term his views "wannabe, half-sweet and deathsick nazi mentality". (In Danish: "Fimsefin og halvlækker, dødssyg nazimentalitet".)
- Neutzsky-Wulff's home page (in Danish)
- Biography (Danish)
- On Neutzsky-Wulff (Danish)
- Erwin Neutzsky-Wulff on IMDb
- Neutzsky-Wulff as Stand-Up Comedian (Danish video)