Categories
Söderberg, Hjalmar

The Burning City

Boy, I sure am all kinds of flushed with the Scandinavs these days. Maybe it’s my compassion for others plying their way through long cold winters, or maybe it’s my assertion that gravlaks is a flawless food, or maybe it’s just what they’re willing to pay for a beer is a most resonant sacrifice. Or maybe they’re just loaded with great writers. But if you had to lay a fresh twenty on what countries would sit atop Miette’s Trove of Literary Masters (and god knows you should let me in on such a bet were you to place one) you’d win big by betting all on Nordic.

On a not-unrelated-note, I’ve got these things called “tags” in place on this web site, which would have been a Real Big Deal about seven years ago, and which I’m just now getting around to. It’s not complete, but it allows you to do things like see all the Scandinavian stories I’ve read, and slap your forehead in disgust at how many more I need to read. I suppose this could be useful if you ever find yourself in a mood. Expect things to get interesting around here. Har det bra!

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Categories
Strindberg, August

An Attempt at Reform

We all have those odd things that happen to us more often than we might owe to nature or coincidence. Some people find themselves on their fourth marriage to a fourth guy named Mario*; it happens. For me, that thing is the ceilings. In my apartments. That seem to have a difficult time staying above my head. I’ve gone through three in less than two years– three times the sky has fallen (and this is not in the same place! We’re talking about different ceilings in different buildings!. So, I turn to you for advice: what’s it mean? Is someone trying to tell me something? What? How do I get in touch with that entity, ask to be a little subtler with the message? Should I just invest in a good helmet?

You know what we need to ponder questions such as these? That’s right– a little Strindberg.

* I have never been married to a guy named Mario, but I wouldn’t rule it out. Which is just a disclaimered way of saying I have nothing “against” the name Mario; it was just an example. Marios are great. Honestly.

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Categories
Lagerkvist, Per

Saviour John

Nothing says Eve of The Second Coming of Christ like a longish existential short story by a forgotten Swedish Nobel winner (repeat: not nepotism) about a delusional old urchin who lives and preaches as the saviour of man.

I don’t know where you can find this in print– Jesus knows, I’ll bet. I have it in a tattered dimestore paperback anthology called The Existential Mind, Documents and Fictions, which has no ISBN so far as I can see, though the fact of its existence as a dimestore paperback fills makes me long to have lived yesterday. No matter, I’m sure you can find it somewhere if you want. Or just listen, allthewhile Praising the Lord for PodCASTs.

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