Introduction On Racism Epigraphs A History of the Pulps A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Glossary and Character Taxonomy Breakdown by Country of Origin Bibliography Table of Contents The Best of the Encyclopedia
Fjeld, Jonas. Jonas Fjeld was created by the Norwegian author Øvre Richter Frich (Adrian Roca) and appeared in twenty-one novels from 1911 to 1935, beginning with De Knyttede Naever.
Dr. Jonas Fjeld is a blond, Norwegian giant who lives in a sprawling castle on the Uranienborg. Fjeld is a scientist, inventor, and adventurer who fights against the "international underworld." Fjeld is aided by his friend and collaborator Ilmari Erko, a Finnish Big-Headed Dwarf Genius and inventor. Erko helps Fjeld created his advanced instruments and weapons and vehicles, including a super-hard steel alloy, super-fast airplanes, and the Flyvefisken, a plane/submarine with high-tech weaponry which is capable of sinking most of the Russian fleet by itself. Fjeld is also assisted by former Scotland Yard inspector Ralph Burns and by the American Pinkerton agent Felix Leiter, who loses an arm and a leg while helping Fjeld. (The similarities to the James Bond series are surely coincidental).
Fjeld has an “excess of the desire of life” and so has chosen to become “Zarathustra’s little soldier” and carry out a never-ending and very bloody war on crime and criminals. What saves Fjeld from a descent into madness is the love of the virtuous eighteen-year-old Katarina Sarov. Katarina later gives birth to Jonas Fjeld, Jr., who in later novels joins his father in killing criminals. The racism and antisemitism in the series is pronounced: blacks and Africans are portrayed in crude ways, and Jews are shown to be agents of both the Czar and the International Bolshevik Conspiracy, as well as the Black Vultures, an international crime syndicate.
* I've included the Jonas Fjeld novels in the Best of the Encyclopedia category because of their ideasplosions. The Jonas Fjeld novels are a good example of the dilemma writers about the past and enthusiasts about novels and writers of the past face. On the one hand, there's some great stuff in the Fjeld novels--wonderful ideas, great adventures, and suitably villainous antagonists. But. On the other hand, the novels are deeply, deeply racist and antisemitic--not subtly, but overtly, and not as minor/tertiary elements within the novels but as the point of the novels. How, then, to reconcile those two realities? I can only say that it's possible for a novel to have both remarkable and reprehensible qualities, and neither negates the other. So, too, with the Jonas Fjeld novels.
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