Friday, October 7, 2011

Congratulations Tomas Tranströmer, Sorry once again Ms Lindgren

I was very excited to see a Swede win the big Nobel Prize in literature this year, and it reminds me how I dedicated myself to reading more Swedish books this year and mostly those have only been text books. (Despite arming myself with great recommendations, what can I say, I got lazy - you might notice a trend here)

But poetry in Swedish, sounds interesting and intriguing. Tomas Transtromer (or who I always misread as Transformer) I will give you a test drive. I do that with most of the Nobel Prize winners and usually it is at least an interesting read (although VS Naipul, I still don't get you, at all - must be my lady parts which inhibit me from understanding your greatness).

Mostly I am greatful that a Swede won this year because I hope it will mean fewer of the following conversations with certain Swedes I know.

"Why did SoandSo BigUNKNOWNwriter win. Who the hell ever reads books by that guy/gal. You know who deserves this prize? I mean really deserves this prize? Astrid Lindgren. Now there is a good writer."

"Astrid Lindgren is dead."

"Yes, but they had years to award it to her when she was alive and didn't. So they should award it to her now. She is a great writer. Have you ever READ SoandSo's work?"


"Yes, but you read a lot, so it's not weird that you might have read them. But what about us normal people."

"I think the point is to draw attention to the talent of a well deserving writer so more 'normal' people might give them a try. Especially if they write in a language other than English.'

"Maybe, but Astrid Lindgren deserves this prize more than any of them."

"Maybe so, but they don't award the Nobel Prize posthumously."

This will continue until I either leave the room, acknowledge that no one deserves this prize more than Astrid, or distract them with my poor knowledge of actual Astrid Lindgren books and films which leads to a long recounting of many favorite stories over too much alcohol.


  1. Ha ha I like that you gave him the nickname Transformer. It sure has already stuck to my head. The Astrid Lindgren conversation seems like a thing that always comes up. Every year it is the same thing. Well this year it was a Swede who won and I think that is great and amazing but still I can´t say that I am the least familiar with his work. Poetry is something that I just don´t read very often but maybe I should take a look at his poems. Have a great weekend.

  2. Thanks for that, Claire. It was a great read.