Read The Tsar's Dwarf (Hawthorne Books)

Read The Tsar's Dwarf (Hawthorne Books)
"A curious and wonderful work of great human value by a Danish master." Sebastian Barry, Man Booker finalist (Click on the picture to go to the book's Amazon page)

Saturday, March 5, 2016

When Ancient Egypt Creeps Under Your Skin and Comes Out As A Novel

I swear, my novel made me do it.

I didn't mean to go to Egypt with a stop over in Venice. I don't like to travel. I prefer to sit by my computer and stare into the screen like a Danish zombie, but sometimes a writer has to suffer for his art. Sometimes your novel forces you to do the most atrocious things, like going to Luxor on a whim because Osiris begs you. And hey, part of your Danish novel takes place in Egypt in the 18th century, anyway, so it's not as if you don't have an excuse.

Well, okay. I'm a little slow reporting on this, because it all happened a year ago. I came back from Egypt in March, 2015, and Det egyptiske hjerte (The Egyptian Heart) was published a few months ago in Denmark to stellar reviews ... but as all you spiritual airheads know, time is an illusion. Time has laws we're not wise to - and that's the exact feeling you get when you walk around the temples of Upper Egypt, where ancient Pharaohs breathe down your neck and centuries of desert find a way into every part of your body and remain there for longer than you want.

But oh, my God, Egypt is worth all kinds of suffering, the simple reason being that most of the ancient wisdom accessible to us today derives from this land - not from the time of the Dynasties as historians like to call them, but from the older mystery schools where souls were initiated and taught about our place in the universe - about our relationship to Sirius, Orion, and the understanding of time.

An example: The Pyramids and the Sphinx in Giza are much older than we think. They're not from 2,500 BC or 3, 500 BC but probably from 10,000 BC.  However, that might be wrong, too, so what if there's another explanation, one that's more logical and provocative? Perhaps they were never built.  Maybe the Pyramids have always been there as a silent witness to our dreams and aspirations? Why is it that we humans want everything to have a beginning and an end? What if the most sacred is eternal in a way our minds can't comprehend?

For instance, the Buddhists argue that the world never was created. It has always been here and will always be here, and so will we in one form or another, traveling through the universe, slowly shaking off our egos and desires like they were dandruff.  We're all on a long journey through time, suddenly finding ourselves in bodies in today's Copenhagen, in Pietro Polani's medieval Venice, or being inspired by an 18th century explorer, Frederik Norden, while we learn more about ourselves and our Source on the way.

Experts or not, we know very little about the universe or Prehistoric Egypt for that matter. Our "facts" mostly come from myth and intuition, the odd vision under a starry sky, a sudden goose bump at the banks of the Nile. So when I walked around the temples at Karnak, Luxor, Hatshepsut, Ramses III and Medinet Habu, I discovered I wasn't the slightest interested in Kingdoms, Dynasties, and Pharaohs - I just wanted to meditate and sense these amazing places, so I could go back to a time the eternal part of me knows so well.

On the surface, Det egyptiske hjerte (The Egyptian Heart) isn't a novel about Ancient Egypt. Most of it takes place in before-mentioned Venice, Copenhagen, and on the banks of the Nile in 1736-37, but my book is deeply inspired by Egyptian mysticism. All mystics are inspired by this ancient land, so I didn't go to Luxor just as a writer who wanted to finish his book. I went there as a human who hoped to remember what he forgot.

But enough of this for now. I'm going to shut up and let my pictures speak.  

You can get Det egyptiske hjerte in all Danish book stores or online at, both as regular book, e-book, and audio book.

Foreign rights, Louise Langhoff Koch,