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Our cover pictures in the 2000:1 issue are taken from the book Florans konstnärer (Floral Artists) by Monika Björk, published by Prisma in 1999 (ISBN 91-518-3502-9). The subtitle is: "Botanical illustrations and illustrators in Scandinavia", and indicates the contents – which include fruits and fungi as well as flowers – of a richly illustrated volume featuring artists from a variety of countries from the 16th century to the present day. Needless to say, considerable attention is paid to the journeys and publications by Linnaeus and the Rudbecks, not least the twelve volumes of Blumboken, from which some exquisite colour illustrations are reproduced. Some of the most stunning pictures are by modern artists, notably various depictions of clematis by "Mr Klematis" himself (Magnus Johnsson), some mysteriously alluring chantarelle mushrooms by Bo Mossberg, and rather creepy seaweed by Helena Samuelsson.
The pictures reproduced on our covers are by no means the best paintings from the point of view of quality, but have been chosen for their literary connection: they are by Fredrika Bremer, who visited Cuba in the winter of 1851. She lived in a little hut in the Yumori valley and her painting of it is reproduced on our front cover. The back cover is her portrait of humming birds feasting on the bright red flowers of a bush that particularly caught her eye, "Lacrimas Cupido", or Cupid's tears. She kept some of the flowers on her desk, and noted that: "to my astonishment I noticed that the flowers were disappearing, one after another. I picked some new ones, and before I knew what was happening they had disappeared as well. I was at a loss to explain what was going on. Then I happened to glance up at the wall and was amazed to see a long row of my flowers marching up to the ceiling. Tiny little red ants were carrying them up the wall and then queuing to take them out onto the roof, where they disappeared from my view."

2000:1 Issue

Jan Henrik Swahn: BLM in retrospect
translation by Linda Schenck
Bonniers Literära Magasin was founded in 1932, and for the rest of the 20th century was at the centre of literary discussion in Sweden. It was closed down at the end of last year, and in an article specially written for Swedish Book Review its last editor, Jan Henrik Swahn, recounts his feelings on the demise of a Swedish institution.
Johanna Ekström
feature and translation by Sarah Death
Johanna Ekström, born in Stockholm in 1970 and now living and working in the capital, is a writer and visual artist who has also presented installations, sculptures and photographic exhibitions at galleries around Sweden. A child of writers, she grew up in an atmosphere where language was what mattered, and she has now added a visual dimension to her linguistic inheritance. Sarah Death introduces this aspect of Ekström's work and presents her translation of the story Pretzel mix.
pointer.gif (116 bytes) Sarah Death, Johanna Ekström: Explorer in Words and Pictures
Mårten Westö
translation by David McDuff
Mårten Westö was born in 1963. He made his debut in 1990 with the collection Om tröskeln ("On the Threshold") and published another, Som om det fanns ("As Though It Were There"), in 1992. In the six-year silence that preceded the publication of Nio dagar utan namn ("Nine Days Without Names"), Westö has developed an assured, original style that also shows the influence of mainstream Finland-Swedish poetry, notably that of Bo Carpelan and Tua Forsström. David McDuff presents his translations of five of Westö's poems.
Inger Alfvén
translation by Ulla Sweedler
Inger Alfvén (b. 1940) has published 15 novels and has been on the bestseller list since her debut in 1964. She is one of Sweden's most acute social observers and writes realistic novels about ordinary people and everyday life with a sharp eye for the deeper levels of the human psyche. She herself says that she is out to explore issues in contemporary society and present what she sees in entertaining form. Her prose follows the rhythm of everyday speech, and is deceptively simple and understated. Ulla Sweedler presents her translation of Alfvén's story Tomorrow morning you'd better be careful! which was included in the collection Det blåa skåpet (The Blue Cupboard), published by Bonniers in 1999.
Elisabeth Olin
translation by Silvester Mazzarella
Elisabeth Olin was born in Stockholm in 1945, and her first book, a collection of short stories, När och fjärran (Near and Far) appeared in 1990. The story translated here, 'Mirror, mirror...', is taken from a collection of ten published in 1996, Vattenvägar (Waterways). Elisabeth Olin is a former editor at Bonniers, and has been active as a translator from English and French since 1985.
Pictures of Sweden on the Web
Jerome Whittingham
Jerome Whittingham is a photographer and lives in Hull. Being married to Dr Charlotte Whittingham, Director of Scandinavian Studies at the local university, he has acquired an interest in Sweden, and his website contains several collections of photographs taken during recent trips to Sweden. We reproduce a small selection, together with Jerome's introduction and descriptions.
Kerstin Ekman Seminar
article by Sarah Death
Sarah Death gives a personal view of the first international seminar for Kerstin Ekman translators, arranged by the Swedish Institute and held in Stockholm in May 2000.
pointer.gif (116 bytes) Sarah Death, "I hope you can have fun" - Kerstin Ekman seminar