Anthony Bavaria is one of the youngest writers on our site. Readers know him primarily for his hilarious reviews of our own as well as mainstream literature. Anthony is a thoughtful intellectual and has great insight into art, travel, the direction of our civilization, and literature. I was honored to talk with him about his writing, contemporary dissident artists, his personal experiences, and his tastes.
You are relatively young. Could you introduce yourself to our readers?
Hi, I go by the pen name Anthony Bavaria. Not too much thought was put into it other than the fact that it is a combination of names derived from my ancestry’s two primary ethnicities as well as having visited Bavaria and loved it.
I guess I’m young (mid-30s), but having recently started a family I feel much older now.
I’m a little over 30, too. Congratulations on starting a family. It’s gonna happen to me next year. Do you have any other interests besides family, reading and writing for Counter-Currents, and traveling?
Thank you and early congratulations on your upcoming family as well! As far as interests in addition to the ones you just mentioned, there’s unfortunately not much time after work and raising a family, but I’ve always had a fascination with history and art in its most general sense. Luckily, a love of these two topics dovetails with reading, writing, and traveling. In fact, it was my interest in history which more or less led me to Counter-Currents and the broader Dissident Right.
Good to know. It was similar for me. What are your favorite artists and painters? Any galleries or landmarks you’d recommend to readers?
As far as an interest in art goes, I should clarify that my appeal to it encompasses all forms of creativity (fine art, photography, literature, etc.) so long as it‘s original and/or beautiful. I think even a journalist, even though the title means much less today, can be considered an artist, Tom Wolfe being a perfect example.
As for specific artists and painters, I do like all the classics, Monet and Manet being two of my favorites, but over the past several years I’ve been yearning for something new. A current fine arts painter who I think produces outstanding work is Giovanni Gasparro. His paintings are spiritual (specifically Catholic), original, and he’s obviously overwhelmingly talented.
Though I don’t have the wallet to fully explore this interest, I actually have a small collection of original works by artists who are generally deemed dissident, or who at the very least have a primarily dissident audience. In addition to fine arts painting, I also love drawing and cartooning, both of which are much more affordable to collect.
Sadly, there are few galleries or museums to recommend in the current state of art. However, exhibits obviously rotate, and sooner or later something good eventually pops up; you just have to occasionally check your local museum’s calendar to stay aware. I’m not from here, but I live in the greater Los Angeles area and there are a ton of museums. Even if a museum doesn’t have any interesting exhibits on display, the grounds can sometimes be worth the trip. In LA there’s The Huntington Library, which is surrounded by manicured gardens and, since its based on the collection of a man from a previous era, usually has good work. The same goes for The Getty Center. Though the merit of modern architecture in our circles is frequently debated, the museum’s modern design is still pretty amazing, and its views of the city are breathtaking; it’s also free. It’s my hope that one day I’ll be able to contribute my small collection to a Right-Wing Dissident exhibition at a major institution of art and have it actually be celebrated.
And what dissident artists would you recommend? Personally, I find Charles Wing Krafft, A. Wyatt Mann, Jonathan Bowden, and several cartoonists like Benjamin R. Garrison and David Eugene Dees interesting. Do you also write with any dissident artists, or have you met them in person?
All the ones you just named are great. I have no idea how most of these artists define themselves. Maybe they’d scoff at the idea of being considered dissident or being aligned with any sort of movement, but the combination of their work, audience, and lack of institutional acceptance speaks for itself.
As far as someone like Giovanni Gasparro goes, he was lauded by the Catholic Church and lovers of the traditional fine arts only until he painted The Martyrdom of St. Simon of Trento in Accordance with Jewish Ritual Murder. Does that make him a dissident? In my eyes yes, but who can say?
Others I would recommend are the sculpture of Fen de Villiers; the cartoons of ROBOT, Stonetoss, and Owen Cyclops (his book was reviewed at Counter-Currents); and the fiction/philosophy of Delicious Tacos, Bronze Age Pervert, Mike Ma, Zero HP Lovecraft, etc. Some at CC might roll their eyes at this list, but these guys are, without a doubt, doing something different when compared to the institutional world of art and literature over the past several decades. There’s also the output of The White People’s Press and the White Art Collective, who aim to create work with non-political, white positivity in mind.
I recently reviewed Christopher Pankhurst’s Numinous Machines for CC, where the notion of not being against something (defined in the negative), but rather for something (positive) was reinforced for me. I’m increasingly searching for that in art.
I’ve never written any companion pieces for the artists mentioned, nor have I ever met them. It’s one of the all-too-common woes of the lack of social interaction forced on us by the current order. I’ve commented on this in the past, but I somewhat shamefully admit to a yearning for a physical setting that fosters collaboration and is free from the worry of doxing and persecution as a result. I actually have a piece titled “The Importance of Community” coming out in the next issue of The White People’s Quarterly that covers this exact topic.
I forgot to mention that a friend of mine recently turned me on to the work of Olof Hanvark and Georg Jutvall. Again, I have no idea how these guys label themselves, but their depiction of modern, urban dystopias is very in line with current dissident ways of thinking.
Also, I’m completely unaware of any openly Dissident Right photographers. If you or anyone else is aware of any, please share in the comments.
That’s great! Our author Jaroslaw Ostrogniew mentioned in one of his articles that White Nationalism once attracted few good people and many bad ones. Now it’s the other way around: White Nationalism attracts a lot of good and creative people and few bad ones. Have you noticed that?
I think that’s very apt and accurate. One of the main reasons I’ve been drawn to CC in particular is because it seems to be a meeting place of some of the best minds in White Nationalism and Dissident Right thought in general. There is actual thought and original ideas being conveyed here, something that’s supposed to happen in academia, journalism, and literature in general, but hasn’t for some time. Again, I don’t want our movement to be primarily painted by the mainstream’s disapproval, but the mere fact that we’re silenced and demonized by the world’s current institutions is enough evidence for me that what we’re doing has merit. I’ve heard Greg Johnson say something along the lines of “sometimes your enemies pick you,” which in our case is very true.
As far as the bad minds that once populated the majority of the movement (all before my time), I’ll never condone their methods (violence, edgy neo-Nazi optics, etc.), but they were, in the most general sense, tuned into what was going on and sought to do something about it. Again, their methods were incorrect, but I’ll give credit to their read on what was to come when a lot of people were just doubling down on suicidal policies.
You mentioned traveling. Do you like to travel? What countries have you visited? What do you specialize in when you travel?
I like to travel as much as the average Westerner, I assume. Some people seem to do it compulsively, which almost gives off a vibe that they’re running from something. I recall that Céline wrote something to that effect in Journey to the End of the Night, and I remember it really resonated with me when I read it.
That being said, I’ve had the luxury of traveling a lot for work, particularly to places that, though interesting, I’d never spend my own money to visit. Outside of work-related trips, all of my international holidays have been exclusively to Europe. I’ve been to England, France, Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands — most of the cliché places for an American to visit. There’s obviously never enough time to see everything, and I hope to one day be able to take trips without time constraints on them. Sadly — and this problem seems to be especially bad in Europe — most “tourist destinations” feel overrun. I hate to be this guy, but I think it‘s an inevitable side effect of the recent financial unlocking of half a billion Asians. I can vividly remember this troll-like Asian woman in the Musee d’Orsay mechanically sidestepping from one painting to the next and photographing them with her iPad; it was the silliest thing I think I’ve ever seen. I vaguely remember reading that Louvre employees were protesting about too many visitors.
Outside of trips abroad, I really like to take my family on regional trips. There’s so much to see and experience in most people’s local area, and it‘s a shame when it goes unnoticed. This, too, is becoming more difficult because of globalism. Just recently here in California, philistine kings sprayed Mexican gang graffiti all over huge boulders on hiking paths throughout Yosemite. The irony of this taking place in a milieu where camping and hiking is bemoaned as something only white people do should not be lost on anyone. Places like Yosemite, Sequoia, and other California state parks are almost impossible to reserve for camping sites. It’s to the point where a Californian can’t even go into their own woods without a reservation six months in advance.
Travelling is not always pleasant. What interesting things have you experienced while travelling? Do you have any travel stories?
Nothing too wild, but having traveled to the Middle East on business, I was amazed to see how palpable their attitude of superiority is. Westerners, and every other non-Arab, are treated like hired help over there. They’ll cut you in line, expect you to cede to them on the sidewalk or in a hallway, cut you off on the highway while driving incredibly dangerously, and casually interrupt or talk over you. It’s ironic, because while they’re doing this, they’re driving Western cars, wearing Western jewelry, using Western technology, and so on and so on. After my first experience over there, Sam Huntington’s The Clash of Civilizations came to mind, specifically his distinctions between Westernizing and modernizing. While answering this question, I pulled the book off my shelf to more accurately quote the ill feeling I had from spending time over there:
Only naïve arrogance can lead Westerners to assume that non-Westerners will become “Westernized” by acquiring Western goods. What, indeed, does it tell the world about the West when Westerners identify their civilization with fizzy liquids, faded pants, and fatty foods? (p. 58)
That being said, maybe Europeans need to take a page out of the Arab’s book on this one. Why should we treat foreigners as equals in our own lands?
Have you read Samuel Huntington’s book? What’s your take on the clash of civilizations? What books would you recommend reading on the subject?
I have read it and overall agree with the general thesis of culture versus ideology being the primary motive of intercivilizational conflict in the near future. However, I much prefer James Kurth’s refinement of the idea in his 1994 National Interest essay, “The Real Clash.” He states:
This is a clash between Western civilization and a different grand alliance, one composed of the multicultural and the feminist movements. It is, in short, a clash between Western and post-Western civilizations.
Regardless, when viewed through the lens of 2022, it’s amazing to think that Ivy league professors and members of neocon think tanks were writing this stuff. I know this sounds like I just donned a tinfoil hat, but I wonder whether they were just really good at predicting the future or if they were merely outliers in institutions that were driving toward these ends all along.
In my opinion, some better work on the subject of intercivilizational conflict is Guillaume Faye’s Archeofuturism, even though I dislike his weird, slightly perverted speculative fiction at the end of it. For the role of institutions in civilizations and related conflict, I like Carroll Quigley’s The Evolution of Civilizations. I also like to occasionally read older, devout Leftist thought on what lies ahead, because a lot of these guys accidently predicted the future woes that would lead from their own machinations, though a lot of this goes well beyond the basic Left-Right paradigm. Guy Debord’s The Society of the Spectacle and Jean Baudrillard’s Simulacra and Simulation are both worth reading, and my friend who originally “red-pilled” me years ago recommended Mark Fisher’s Capitalist Realism, which is a short, excellent read that discusses the role of capitalism in our civilizational decline.
Let’s talk about your writing now. How did you get into writing? You’re a writing talent. Did you write essays and reflections in college?
First of all, thank you very much for the compliment on my writing; it’s one of the few things I’m, for lack of a better term, passionate about, so that means a lot. I didn’t get into writing until I was in my early 30s, which is a relief, because I probably would’ve written some pretty cringy shit in my younger years.
I grew up with natural artistic proclivities. Though I never wrote, I could draw, paint, and I even built a dark room in my mother’s basement to develop my own photographs. A combination of pragmatism and the urging of my parents steered me away from pursing art as a future career, and I wound up in one of the least creative careers you could find. For someone with naturally creative desires, you can only stay away from it for so long before a feeling of unfulfillment emerges. All that time I never even tried to write, but after recently completing graduate school and having a few professors commend my writing, I decided to apply my creative impulses to writing about things I actually cared about in lieu of assigned topics.
I got a few mainstream publications under my belt, very small-time stuff, but found commercial writing too formulaic. White Nationalist/Dissident Right topics are what was and is most important to me, so after reading CC for years, I decided to try and contribute. Though writing “think” pieces and reviews isn’t the most artistic form of expression, conveying thought on what can occasionally be some pretty dry subject matter in a clean and engaging way is certainly a form of creativity that I think suits me well.
Have you written any books, or are you planning to write a book? Do you have any ideas for books? I can see in your writing that you read a lot and pay attention to literary details.
I actually just completed the first draft of a novel I’ve been working on for a while. I still have a lot of editing and revising to do, but it’s essentially all there. I don’t have a title yet, but I was inspired to write it after reading E. Michael Jones’ The Slaughter of Cities. Though Jones has a different view on race and ethnicity than anyone who reads CC, he’s written some very important work, this one being one of his best.
Having been reared in a typical, drab, working-class American suburb, I always sensed an unidentifiable unease with my surroundings. This feeling was limitlessly exacerbated by a neverending stream of stories from my older family members about how wonderful it was to “grow up in the city.” Listening to endless pontifications about this urban existence while being deprived of such opportunities by the very same people who were extolling them annoyed me to no end. I was never able to make sense of it all, and would constantly wonder why they left the city if it was so great.
Jones’ Slaughter of Cities explained why and how this happened. I won’t go into his thesis here, but his very dry, 640-page academic cinderblock of a book explained how I wound up in nowheresville with this feeling of unease (it’s all very Machiavellian). Since most white Americans of my general age were raised in similar, consumer-centric environments, I figured a novel on the subject would be a more fun read than an academic text. I haven’t really shopped it around yet, and the main problem is that there are so few dissident publishers out there that entertain novel-length fiction. Even if it goes nowhere, it’s been a fun process to write it.
You’ve reviewed two books by the writer Mark Gullick for Counter-Currents. What attracted you to this writer?
I was unaware of Mark’s fiction until I started writing for CC. I had only written a couple of reviews, and Greg recommended I review some books by CC writers. I read the synopses for Cherub Valley and Bestest Boys and was immediately intrigued. What’s great about both of these novels is that although Mark is the type of guy who’ll write for CC, there’s no real hint of this anywhere in his fiction. He’s not beating you over the head with his opinions and viewpoints; he’s just writing a good story, and that’s all there is to it. This is something I learned from his work when writing my own fiction.
Another great thing about the two stories I’ve read of his is that there’s this constant, low-boil allusion to something sinister just beneath the surface of polite society, and as the story progresses, it becomes more and more tangible. Though I’ve never fully got on board the David Lynch hype train, Mark’s fiction reminds me of Lynch’s movies in that way, and it’s great.
Are you going to review other CC titles besides Christopher Pankhurst’s Numinous Machines?
I’m currently reading Tito Perdue’s Cynosura with the intention of reviewing it. As of right now, I’m primarily reviewing fiction, of which CC doesn’t have too much. However, I’m not opposed to reviewing non-fiction work; it just requires a different approach. I like to explore themes, physical settings, and characters, all of which are presented much differently in non-fiction. I’ll withhold most of my thoughts on Perdue’s novel for the write-up, but so far it’s great. As an East Coast native growing up in the orbit of a major American city, I never thought I’d read a love story set in 1950s Tennessee and actually enjoy it, which speaks volumes of Perdue’s writing and storytelling.
Tito Perdue is one of our most valuable contemporary writers. What books have you read by him, and what do you like about his writing style?
So far I’ve only read the one book, Cynosura. Like I said, I’m working on a review of it right now, so I’ll save most of my comments for that, but in the novel he has a way of seamlessly integrating higher thought into the work. It’s not just “boy meets girl”; there’s philosophy, higher understanding of how the world works, and Faustian drives.
While working on the review, I read about his writing career and was surprised to see that he got his start in publishing with mainstream houses. Legacy magazines were reviewing his work and saying good things about it. Based on what I can tell from his work (again, I’ve only read the one book), he seems to be exploring similar themes; the world has changed, not him. While he still writes quality literature, the appetite for it has waned, almost intentionally so.
As our outlook on the world is continually vilified, it’s more difficult for newer writers to start off in mainstream publishing. It’s hard to imagine. You’d almost need to be a master subversive to get anything painted in our colors past the gatekeepers.
You’ve written a lot of reviews for CC. Which of your articles do you consider the most valuable?
Though it’s not a review, I think I’m most proud of my article “Outside Capitalism,” for it actually proposes an original perspective and explores a theme I’m highly interested in: the spectacle. As far as reviews go, I have one I’m just putting the finishing touches on for the novel The Fuck-Up by Arthur Nersesian. It’s one of my favorite novels, and it’s set in a place near and dear to me, so rereading it and writing about it was something I very much enjoyed.
I like to keep reviews in particular around a thousand words; I think it’s a good length as far as not getting too committed to a read goes, and it provides just enough room for a quick synopsis as well as a few thoughts on a book. I think people are more interested in what kind of book the subject is rather than a play-by-play of the plot. Furthermore, reviews for a website like CC should probably have some sort of an angle on how it pertains to our general concerns, though this can’t be applied to everything. I don’t really plan on ever doing a White Nationalist’s perspective on The Notebook, for example, though that might be hysterical.
You’re an avid reader. What are your top five favourite books?
That’s a tough question, especially when considering different genres: fiction, philosophy, Dissident Right-specific stuff, etc. As far as the ones I’ve gotten the most enjoyment out of reading, it might have to be:
Honoré de Balzac’s Lost Illusions
Tom Wolfe’s Bonfire of the Vanities
Arthur Nersesian’s The Fuck-Up
Mike Ma’s Harassment Architecture
Emil Cioran’s A Short History of Decay
I know that last one might seem pretentious as far as “enjoyable reading” goes, but I love when philosophers write in these short, isolated paragraphs that don’t necessarily have anything to do with each other. It’s the incredibly highbrow version of a tweet, I guess.
I’d also like to add that all those books do an amazing job at capturing a specific place and/or era of time, which is as important to me, if not more, than characterization. I don’t really mind when a character serves as a sort of blank slate, so long as he or she represents something larger. Is there more of a Parisian book than Lost Illusions? Balzac captures the place so perfectly. I obviously have no clue what it was like there almost 200 years ago, but after reading his work, I feel like I do.
Also, good writing doesn’t count for shit if you’re not well-read. In my opinion, the more you read, the better your work will be.
Have you had any funny stories related to buying books? I once saw a guy in a Cheap Books bookstore who was buying a few books and hid something under them. At the checkout, the cashier was ringing them up and the guy was looking around nervously. The cashier then yelled to the entire store, “Hey Jane, how much is that anal blonde DVD?” The guy blushed and could have collapsed in shame. Suddenly, all the people in the store turned to look at him.
That’s amazing. I’ve certainly never encountered anything close to that.
The only funny thing I can recall was in Powell’s Books. It’s the largest independent bookstore in America, and it’s in the heart of Portland, Oregon: a mecca for globohomo, neoliberal turds. This in itself is a massive shame, because Portland really is a fun city. Anyway, I was browsing the “fascism” section in one of the political science aisles, which was mostly filled with books by people writing about fascism . . . You know the type of book, that always has a swastika on its cover. I was surprised to see a copy of Teutonic Unity by Earnest Cox on the shelf and decided to buy it. The monstrosity at the checkout counter may have been the poster child for antifa, and she saw my book and said something along the lines of, “Oh, cool, vintage.” She obviously had no idea who the author was, nor would I have expected her to, but it was funny how she thought the book looked cool. She would’ve melted if she was aware of its contents.
Powell’s really is a great place to visit, though. You can roam around in there for hours and barely scratch the surface. It’s been years since I’ve been there. Bookstores are for the most part awful now. There’s the same crap in every one. Libraries, too. It amazes me how libraries might be one of the last institutions to figure out that the term “woke” is now a pejorative. I still see “woke” sections occasionally when I wander into a library.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell our readers? Thank you for the interview.
I’ll close with the fact that I’m only comfortable weighing in on political matters of cultural vice, and from the point of view of culture, it really seems more and more that those on the Dissident Right are the only ones being open and honest about the reality of what’s going on in Western Civilization. Here at CC, we actually stand for something: ethnonationalism, which is an idea rooted in something positive in lieu of merely being against the declining order. Regardless of the odds, that feels good.
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