nicolas joly i nya ‘good news magazine’

En ny publikation som kallar sig ‘good news magazine’ har i sitt första nummer en stor artikel om den biodynamiske vinproducenten Nicolas Joly, som är något av en guru i den biodynamiska vinvärlden. Hans råd till läsaren är nästan lite komiska; ett av dem lyder

Inse att utbildningen och kunskapen som du har fått är ofullständig. Försök att skaffa dig mer kunskap och gå på djupet in i dig själv för att hitta den.

Det är för all del så det går till i dessa sammanhang: se in i dig själv, och finn ‘objektiv’ kunskap om världen. Att den metoden inte håller måttet, i alla fall inte när det handlar om yttre fakta, är oväsentligt. För att så gå till själva introt till artikeln. Tidskriften har träffat Joly ‘i hans hem på Château de la Roche aux Moines, platsen från vilken energin utgår.’

Biodynamiken, skriver tidskriften, är det

odlingssätt som skapats av Rudolf Steiner – filosof och esoteriker, som också grundade antroposofin, antroposofisk medicin och Waldorfpedagogiken – och ofta omges av skrönor om kohorn i jorden, mysticism …

Men det är inga skrönor. Det är så enkelt som att läsa Rudolf Steiners egna ord för att inse det. Eller sök på youtube, och finn filmklipp om kohorn — producerade av biodynamikerna själva! Att Good news magazine tror att mysticismen är en skröna visar väl, om inte annat, att magasinet helt måste sakna kunskap om de ord de tidigare i meningen själva använde: esoteriker, antroposofin…! Det hela blir desto märkligare när man redan i efterkommande stycke nämner såväl astrologin (även om inte ordet använts, talas det om betydelsen av himlakropparnas konstellationer) som de kosmiska krafter som rent magiskt kommer grödorna och människan till del genom de (homeopatiska) preparaten. Men åter till avslutningen av meningen som påbörjades ovan.

… men som av dem som använder det blir en mindre revolution.

Good news magazine bemödar sig visst inte, tycks det mig, om att söka upp ett kritiskt perspektiv, utan lyssnar på ensidiga lovord från en av biodynamikens främste företrädare — en person som ju faktiskt lever delvis av att sprida evangeliet till andra.

Förhoppningsvis visar inte själva artikeln upp samma naivitet och okunskap som man av ovanstående har anledning att misstänka. Jag försökte faktiskt köpa den på Akademibokhandeln, men vägrar helt enkelt stå i kö i en kvart för en sketen tidskrift, som jag misstänte för att vara ‘bad news’ snarare än ‘good news’. Men jag lovar att göra ett nytt försök efter jul. Joly har i alla fall ett vackert slott att titta på, av fotomaterialet att döma.


7 thoughts on “nicolas joly i nya ‘good news magazine’

  1. Zo,

    Here’s a review from May 2008 of Joly’s book called:
    Biodynamic Wine, Demystified

    I love how he uses the word “salacious” to describe BD in the opening paragraph:

    Biodynamic grape-growing and wine-making have gotten a great deal of press in recent years, far out of proportion to the planted acreage involved. Much like the coverage for the adventures of Britney Spears–also wildly outstripping the extent of her creative resume–biodynamics write-ups have tended toward the sensational, even thesalacious, emphasizing the ritual usage of cow dung and excursions into pop astrology.

    And this observation. Could we say the same about Waldorf and eurythmy?

    . . . the purpose of the volume is to advance a philosophical perspective, a central tenet of which is that if there is nothing mystical left to enrich the process of making wine, there’s no point in doing it.

    I save the best sentence for last :

    What other wine book (since the 12th century) offers a refresher on The Four Temperaments, Choleric, Sanguine, Phlegmatic and Melancholy?

  2. Forgot to add the excerpt from the Wine Doctor article above

    After getting his MBA from Columbia University in NYC,
    It was in 1976 that he [Joly] returned to the family estate to help his mother, by which time she had already been widowed. In order to take over the running of the estate he very sensibly first went back to school, studying oenology in Bordeaux for two years. Suitably educated he took up the reins, but it was not until the 1980s that things really took off. The catalyst for the changes that followed was a book on biodynamic agriculture, by Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner, which Joly discovered in 1981. Nicolas Joly read the book on a skiing holiday and found it a life-changing experience; within four years he was running his estate on entirely biodynamic principles.

    In the section where the author starts trying to explain BD, he starts with pest control. Soon you read:

    Other pests require more bizarre treatments. Joly’s response to an infestation of rabbits was to burn a rabbit skin each year, the time of the burning determined by the alignment of the planets. The rabbits never returned – they obviously knew what was good for them.

    Zooey, have you thought of using this treatment to help Mr. Dog hunt down rabbits? You could station Mr. Dog right outside the perimeter of the rabbit area where you scatter the rabbit carcass ashes. It might take a few hours, but soon the rabbits will be running out of that area and would be sitting ducks — I mean running scared rabbits — for Mr. Dog to have his pick.

    Continuing the article:
    This treatment reveals one of the more unusual aspects of biodynamics, that is the importance of astrology. This pseudo-science is of certain significance to those that practice biodynamic viticulture. As the sun passes through the various signs of the zodiac adherents to biodynamic principles believe that it has a strong influence on plant growth and health. Water signs (Pisces, for instance) are favourable to vegetative growth, fire signs (Sagittarius, for instance) are favourable to growth of fruit, earth signs (e.g. Capricorn) favour root growth – obviously – and air signs (e.g. Gemini) favour flowers. Consequently the timing of routine vineyard and nursery practises such as planting out, pruning, weeding and so on are tailored to suit. The moon also has an influence on vineyard and cellar practises.

    But here comes the kicker.

    Nevertheless, acknowledging these more unusual aspects of this belief system, it would seem that, whatever the mechanisms, biodynamics works.

  3. Zo,

    Found a great photo of Nicky Joly! As I suspected he is a fellow Fathead. Look at that dome! At least a HHR of 0.335! But forget the head. It’s his teeth that are a freak-out. Jeez, don’t they have orthodontists in France? On the other hand, Steiner once correlated teeth with destiny, so Nicky just kept his teeth crooked as the cosmos ordained for him.

    Another good profile. But listen to the consternation of the author:

    Very quickly, I realised that Joly is taking an approach to agriculture that is at odds with my training as a scientist. He is using an altogether different way of describing natural processes – a ‘picture’ language that jars alarmingly with the western rationalistic worldview. This is more the language of religion than that of scientifically based viticulture. Yet at the same time I have immense respect for the vision of viticulture he is expounding. It has a life and vitality of its own, which exposes the intellectual and environmental bankruptcy of chemical-dependent conventional viticultural regimes. Above all, he is making profound, interesting wines.

    Actually, now I see that the above article is Part 5 of 10 articles all about BD. Here’s the first.

  4. Tom — ‘Could we say the same about Waldorf and eurythmy?’

    I think we could. There’d be nothing left of it.

    Anyway, it’s interesting that in the Swedish article, they called the use of cow horn a ‘skröna’. which means myth. (I say it because I’m not sure google managed to translate that word.) It’s rather obviously not, and the fact that they call it a myth should tell us quite a lot about how little they know about biodynamics. Heck, even Joly himself would admit to the cow-horn practice, I’m sure. Unlike the article authors, he has, at least, read Steiner.

    I know Stu Smith has mentioned Joly’s book Biodynamic Wine Demystified numerous times.

    ‘Zooey, have you thought of using this treatment to help Mr. Dog hunt down rabbits?’

    Of course! But would it be fair to the bunnies? Speaking of which, older posts on vermin control:

    ‘Nicky just kept his teeth crooked as the cosmos ordained for him.’

    Apparently! And, as long as the teeth are good for chewing (and biting bunnies), why not.

    From article:

    ‘a ‘picture’ language that jars alarmingly with the western rationalistic worldview. This is more the language of religion than that of scientifically based viticulture.’


  5. Zooey, we (at home) got “skröna” to “lögnaktig men roande historia”, i.e. no religious connotation. The Swedish word “myt” (“myth”) does have a religious connotation.

  6. Well, there are secular myths. Like urban myths for example, they’re usually secular.

    I couldn’t come up with a better word in English.

    Don’t know if google translate failed, but I feared it might…

Comments are closed.