2011:2 Issue

Editorial2011:2 Issue

The translator of poetry is peculiarly vulnerable. The relative brevity of poems leaves them, as it were, naked to scrutiny. The gimlet-eyed critic is far more likely to home in on an infelicitous choice of phrase in a slim poetry collection than on, say, page 394 of a 600-page novel. This has been evident in the recent correspondence in the Guardian in the wake of reviews of Robin Fulton Macpherson’s new volume of Tranströmer interpretations. SBR salutes his willingness to stand up and be counted, and applauds him as a role model for the visibility of the translator at a time when reviews, even in serious publications, still depressingly often fail to credit translators at all.

Poetry is quite a focus in this brimming issue of SBR. Robin Fulton Macpherson is both reviewer and reviewed in the poetry-rich Bookshelf. We also present selections from a new poetry suite by Ingela Strandberg, translated by Göran Malmqvist. As for prose, it is a pleasure to include a heartfelt essay on Selma Lagerlöf’s classic The Wonderful Adventures of Nils by novelist and prolific reviewer Paul Binding, who in recent weeks has also penned a review of three new Selma Lagerlöf translations for the Times Literary Supplement.

We have perhaps neglected non-fiction of late, but that oversight is rectified in this issue, which features not only Klas Åmark’s Neighbour of Evil but also a substantial selection of non-fiction reviews. Åmark’s volume is the impressive summing up of a major multidisciplinary research project putting Sweden’s relations with the Third Reich under the microsope.

Returning to the visibility of the translator, we have a brief history of the first 25 years of SELTA, and a report from a workshop on translating the unique idiom of Jonas Hassen Khemiri. The visibility of the TV host is one theme of our extract from The World’s Last Novel, a mischievous yet painful self-analysis by Daniel Sjölin, prizewinning presenter of Swedish Television’s book programme Babel.

We hope you enjoy visiting our upgraded website. There are many improvements behind the scenes to streamline searches and updating, but the site also has something of a new look. A newly installed widget allows us to display the current month’s bestseller lists from Sweden (kindly provided by Svensk bokhandel).

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from The World’s Last Novel

Translated by Dominic Hinde

Daniel Sjölin is one of Sweden's most critically acclaimed contemporary literary and media personalities. The World's Last Novel is a surreal satire on the contemporary literary scene and a commentary on Sjölin's own media personality and the nature of literary celebrity. Dominic Hinde introduces the novel and presents his translation of an extract.


Neighbour of Evil

Translated and Introduced by Janet Cole

In 2000, the Swedish government commissioned a research programme on Sweden's relations with Nazism, Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, appointing historian Klas Åmark coordinator. Neighbour of Evil is the final report on this Nazism research programme and a reevaluation of the period. Janet Cole introduces the report and presents her translation of a chapter dealing with the appeal of Nazism and Nazi Germany to Swedes in the arts.


Selma Lagerlöf: Nils Holgersson’s Wonderful Journey

Novelist and prolific reviewer Paul Binding, who in recent weeks has also penned a review of three new Selma Lagerlöf translations for the Times Literary Supplement, presents a heartfelt essay on Selma Lagerlöf's classic The Wonderful Adventures of Nils.


Inventing an Idiolect: Report from a Workshop on Translating Jonas Hassen Khemiri

Ruth Urbom and Nichola Smalley report from a workshop on translating Jonas Hassen Khemiri held in London earlier this year, at which ten independently prepared translations of the same passage provided a clear illustration of the often-repeated maxim that every translation is an interpretation.


SELTA: The First 25 Years, 1981-2006

As an independent association of translators working from a single source language, the Swedish-English Literary Translators Association has always been a rare beast. Tom Geddes presents an outline history of the first 25 years of SELTA.


We are Unspeakable Assemblies of Atoms

Translated by Göran Malmqvist

Göran Malmqvist presents translations of selections from a new poetry suite by Ingela Strandberg.

BOOKSHELF: REVIEWS, edited by Anna Paterson

UnderjordenMalte Persson, Underjorden (Underground)

Albert Bonniers förlag, 2011. ISBN: 9789100125646

Reviewed by Anna Tebelius ▸Read Review

Dikter och prosa 1954-2004Tomas Tranströmer, Dikter och prosa 1954-2004 (Poetry and Prose 1954-2004)

Albert Bonniers förlag, 2011. ISBN: 9789100125721

Reviewed by Robin Fulton Macpherson ▸Read Review

Staffan Bergsten, Tomas Tranströmer: Ett diktarporträtt (Tomas Tranströmer: A Portrait of the Poet)

Albert Bonniers förlag, 2011. ISBN: 9789100125158

Reviewed by Robin Fulton Macpherson ▸Read Review

Harriet Löwenhjelm, Samlade dikter. Med forörd och kommentarer av Boel Hackman (Collected Poems. With Foreword and Commentaries by Boel Hackman)

Podium, 2011. ISBN: 9789189196490

Reviewed by Sarah Death ▸Read Review

Tomas Tranströmer, New Collected Poems

Bloodaxe Books, 2011. ISBN: 9781852244132

Reviewed by Steven Johannes Fowler ▸Read Review

Harry Martinson, Chickweed Wintergreen, Selected Poems

Bloodaxe Books, 2010. ISBN: 9781852248871

Reviewed by Brita Green ▸Read Review

KorparnaTomas Bannerhed, Korparna (The Ravens)

Weyler förlag, 2011. ISBN: 9789185849543

Reviewed by Janny Middelbeek-Oortgiesen ▸Read Review

Julia Dahlberg, Islossning (Break-Up of the Ice)

Söderströms, 2011. ISBN: 9789515228000

Reviewed by Anna-Lisa Murrell ▸Read Review

Livet deluxeJens Lapidus, Livet deluxe (Life de Luxe)

Wahlström & Widstrand, 2011. ISBN: 9789146220299

Reviewed by Marie Allen ▸Read Review

Lotta Lotass, Sparta

Self-Published, 2010. ISBN: 9789163370689

Reviewed by Eric Dickens ▸Read Review

Döden & Co.Lukas Moodysson, Döden & Co. (Death & Co)

Wahlström & Widstrand, 2011. ISBN: 9789146220886

Reviewed by Rick McGregor ▸Read Review

Kristina Ohlsson, Änglavakter (Guardian Angels)

Pirat, 2011. ISBN: 9789164203533

Reviewed by Agnes Broome and Nichola Smalley ▸Read Review

Den flödande lyckanEva Ström, Den flödande lyckan (Flowing Happiness)

Albert Bonniers förlag, 2011. ISBN: 9789100125363

Reviewed by Anna Tebelius ▸Read Review

Att bo granne med ondskan. Sveriges förhållande till nazismen, Nazityskland och FörintelsenKlas Åmark, Att bo granne med ondskan. Sveriges förhållande till nazismen, Nazityskland och Förintelsen (Neighbour of Evil. Sweden's Relationship to Nazism, Nazi Germany and the Holocaust)

Albert Bonniers förlag, 2011. ISBN: 9789100124939

Reviewed by Carl Otto Werkelid ▸Read Review

Omvälvningarnas tid: Norden och Europa under revolutions- och NapoleonkrigenMartin Hårdstedt, Omvälvningarnas tid: Norden och Europa under revolutions- och Napoleonkrigen (Times of Upheaval: The Nordic Countries and Europe in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars)

Norstedts, 2010. ISBN: 9789113024387

Reviewed by John Gilmour ▸Read Review

Se blommanKerstin Ekman and Gunnar Eriksson, Se blomman (See the Flower)

Albert Bonniers förlag, 2011. ISBN: 9789100125776

Reviewed by Helena Forsås-Scott ▸Read Review

Jag. Carl Larsson. En biografiPer I. Gedin, Jag. Carl Larsson. En biografi (I. Carl Larsson. A Biography)

Albert Bonniers förlag, 2011. ISBN: 9789100125745

Reviewed by Anna Paterson ▸Read Review

Liselott Willén, Ingenstans under himlen (No Other Name Under Heaven)

Albert Bonniers förlag, 2010. ISBN: 9789100124526

Reviewed by Sarah Death ▸Read Review

Claes de Faire, Alla lyckliga familjar liknar varandra (All Happy Families Resemble One Another)

Wahlström & Widstrand, 2011. ISBN: 9789146220855

Reviewed by James Walker ▸Read Review

Alla monster måste döMagnus Bärtås and Fredrik Ekman, Alla monster måste dö (All Monsters Must Die)

Albert Bonniers förlag, 2010. ISBN: 9789100124885

Reviewed by Anna Paterson ▸Read Review

Current Issue: 2018:2

Issue 2018-2

  • Johanna Nilsson, from The Greener Abyss
  • Karin Boye, from Astarte
  • C Claire Thomson, Love Without Lovers, Words Without Images: On Ingmar Bergman's Unrealised Screenplays
  • Robin Fulton Macpherson, Remembering Östen Sjöstrand
  • Charlotte Berry, Nordic Literary Translators Joan Tate and Patricia Crampton
  • Jan Holmberg, from The Writer Ingmar Bergman
  • Ingmar Bergman, from Work Diaries 1955-1974
  • Jenny Jägerfeld, from Comedy Queen
  • Ingmar Bergman, Writing Through a Glass Darkly
  • Bookshelf, edited by Fiona Graham
  • Just Out and Coming Up

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