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Articles tagged "Swedish Literature"

Bret Easton Ellis and Other Dogs

After a week or two there was no avoiding the fact that Paco Parra wanted Muriel all to himself. That was why he recommended a different beach to me, a beach that lay a bit further away; all you had to do was take the bus to the next village. Muriel shrugged her shoulders and said it was only for a few days, then he had to go off on a job and we would be alone again. So each day after breakfast I took the bus for about a kilometer. I had books and magazines with me and there was a bar right...

Mine-Wife

May 8, 1991 Inez, First of all I must apologize for not answering your letters or phone calls. I was in hospital for a while, and I've been ill on and off ever since. Every bout makes it harder to handle everyday life. Staying in touch with friends and family becomes almost impossible. But it was never my intention to drive you away. I hope you understand. In any case, I've seen your name in the newspapers every now and then. I'm glad you've been able to make your dream...

from “The Boys”

It was a balmy night, spring had started to slip into early summer, the trees’ leaves were thick and bright green. We didn’t speak, we only looked each other in the eyes and received the paper bags that Momo ceremoniously handed to us. And when I opened my bag in Bella’s room, my heart started beating so fast it hammered in my ears. She had made me a tiger costume. There was a hooded coat and a pair of elbow-length gloves, the tip of each finger adorned with a golden...

To a Young Man Who Arrived at the Party Dressed in a Lady’s Fur

  When you got to the party, sent by God knows whom—contingency, probably—wearing only a lady’s fur, at the outset closed, though only thrown on, shut but unbuttoned,  nothing else on and totally bonkers like some awesome Saturday night exotic dancer at the apocalypse, then, implausibly, the mood softened;  goddamned obnoxious, obviously, but also with a waft of honesty from your naked lodging in that savage cloak, soaked in the skin’s...

1956

So much of this happened in basements, in thick woolen sweaters, in B major but with strong passages in minor. On the outskirts. That’s where we were from but our thoughts had wings like the pigeons and like them tried to find urban quarters where the life of the spirit was more shaded, fluttering over stone walls heavy with history. The shadow-play of thoughts exposed what words concealed, that no love is as strong as the one that goes unrequited. A gentle drizzle fell...

From “Pol Pot’s Smile”

1 The road through the landscape. You have to drive well below the speed limit of 70 kph unless you already know the wheeltracks, the potholes, the curves. Roads in Cambodia aren’t much different. An ancient pathway that has grown wider over the centuries. Coated with asphalt in modern times. A surface now thinning and cracked. The society builders are looking in another direction. My car dates from 1971. Its once-red paintwork is blotchy and on the upper left corner of its cracked...

A Weeknight Before the Turn of the Century

It was a rainy autumn night in Stockholm, a night in the middle of the week. Feeling a need to further specify the moment in time, I probably would have added: "a weeknight just before the turn of the century," in order to emphasize the tension, or at least the sense of anticipation that should prevail at the beginning of a story or at the end of an era. But perhaps the precise moment isn't especially important, nor the state of the weather. If I ended up waiting to recount this story...

Puberty

     was it at the Palace of Sport in 1952? a whole school class                            disappeared into the green water they don’t surface again...

Far from Here

I want to send a dream far from here. The swallows fly high there. Perhaps your wheat ripens and through the yellow oceans of rye a slow humming sound of bread can be heard. This is a world of water and stones, my hand is without bread and I count its lines.

Twenty-two Things Not to Be Trusted

Twenty-two things not to be trusted: not night-old ice, not a winter in Skåne with the ice shining and as yet untrodden to a confidence inspiring terra firma. Not winter in Skåne, not spring in Norway with Easter Lilies rising through the snow's crust; never, ever, for Christ's sake, trust the blond from the sticks, fresh off the bus, the bloodied thread in the labyrinth, or that to every nice girl in a pinch an angel comes, outfitted like a demon. Mistrust...

The Northwest Express

to my wife and to Blaise Cendrars even in our sleep there are cables between us. we are coupled to each other like the railway cars on their way to the sea outside the window Holland a white van on a winter's morning filled with warm bread startled from sleep I write this instead of kissing you you awaken in my poem and give a bewildered smile in a garbage dump they're burning books and old streetcars. last night I discovered a bird between your...

Prelude

Waking up is a jump, a skydive from the dream. Free of the smothering whirl the traveler sinks toward morning's green zone. Things start to flare. He perceives—in the trembling lark's position—the mighty tree-root systems' underground swinging lamps. But standing above—in tropical profusion—is verdure, with upraised arms, listening to the rhythm of an invisible pumping station. And he sinks toward summer, is lowered into its blinding crater, down through...

Heart’s Desire

Eliza 812 is a psychiatric computer. All female psychiatric computers are named Eliza, in accordance with a fine old tradition. All males are named Higgins. Eliza is a research project, and her main objective is not to raise the standard of psychiatric care; that can come later. The object is to ascertain to what extent a computer can be made to think and react like a person. The problem at hand holds extensive consequences and presupposes research of an interdisciplinary nature. It...

The Raffle Ticket

The moment Patrik Ohlsson unfolded the raffle ticket and saw the number for the first time, he noticed the intriguing ambiguity. "Come and look at this, Linn," he shouted to his daughter. Linn was standing on top of a transformer box, trying to reach one of the balloons that had been anchored to it for the party in the grounds of her daycare. Several other children were standing round, cheering her on. Klara was tugging at Linn's legs and wanted to climb up herself. Reluctantly,...

From “Mozart’s Third Brain”, CIV

I lay a light stone on my father's grave, a gray stone on the gray stone Hadn't planned to, it just happened Then I think: Now you have made him a Jew But then I realize that this is about one kind of infinity, in the series of infinities On Gallows Hill the brimstone butterfly flutters, the jay is in the tree In the hospital my mother tells me I have been to Väderön, which we can see in the distance Veils of mist at the foot of Kullaberg...

from Mozart’s Third Brain

LV Democracy's secret In free, general elections, with secret ballots There, too, is music's concealment, its inaccessibility, eye to eye Where coercive power, over the other, does not exist This is music's secret When music moves, sovereign, in time, its own time For that is what defines it South African faces, in the first free election The dignity, the...

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