You may recall the smattering of controversy over the political intentions of the Swedish writer Viktor Kesserman (I covered it here and here) whose novel Black Hair was seen by many as – to quote Heidi Kohlenberg – ‘right-wing racist propaganda’. He said the book was about hair, they said it was about immigration, using hair as a symbol. He kept quiet.
Truth be told, I was never completely convinced by the charges thrown in Kesserman’s direction – and recent developments appear to bolster my righteous doubt. Kesserman has since broken out of his hermitude, armed with ‘proof’ that not only was hair not a symbol, but that his characters’ predicament is very much shared by the author himself.
All of which goes to say that Kesserman, according to the best Swedish doctors, has a chronic case of what some call Chaetophobia, others Trichopathophobia and still others Hypertrichophobia. A fear of hair. According to one report he employs as many as three people to rid his house of hair, all of whom are – like the writer – completly bald. ‘You’d be surprised by how much hair gets in,’ he has said. ‘It’s alive.’
Whatever you say, Viktor.