2018:2 Issue

Editorial2018:2 Issue

It has been hard to avoid Ingmar Bergman in 2018, the centenary of his birth. The ‘legend’, the ‘icon’, the man who has his own Google doodle has been celebrated in a range of retrospectives, books, theatre productions and – yes – films, all testifying to the richness of his work. Much of Bergman’s output is regarded as literature in its own right, and it is on the literary aspect of his words that we focus in this issue, with an illuminating article on his unrealised screenplays and in translated extracts from Jan Holmberg’s The Author Ingmar Bergman and Bergman’s Work Diaries. The Greener Abyss by Johanna Nilsson is a literary fantasy inspired by, and intended as a sequel to, Karin Boye’s classic dystopian novel Kallocain, the novel for which Boye is probably best known. Read on for a translated extract from Nilsson’s novel, published in 2015, and one from another of Boye’s works, Astarte, published in 1931. Every so often a book written for younger readers comes along and captures the imagination and hearts of adults. Jenny Jägerfeld’s new novel Comedy Queen, a moving story about a child coping with tragedy, is likely to touch all who read it. Östen Sjöstrand was a Swedish poet and translator who is remembered here in a poem by his own translator, Scottish-born poet Robin Fulton Macpherson. There is one other significant anniversary to observe this year: it is thirty-five years since Swedish Book Review began under the editorship of Laurie Thompson in Aberystwyth. Thanks to the continued financial support and encouragement of the Swedish Arts Council and the indefatigable energy and goodwill of all our contributors and reviewers, SBR is read and enjoyed worldwide, promoting Swedish literature and Swedish writers through the medium of English into many other language areas. Whilst the magazine evolves in step with the ever-changing world of books, we pause for just a moment to look back at the careers of two of our early contributors, translators Joan Tate and Patricia Crampton.


Love Without Lovers, Words Without Images: On Ingmar Bergman's Unrealised Screenplays

The archives of the Ingmar Bergman Foundation contain many treasures which testify to the great Swedish auteur’s accomplishments as a writer. Amongst these are sketches, drafts, and even complete screenplays for films which were never made. C. Claire Thomson examines a selection of Bergman’s unrealised film and television projects, including The Death and Resurrection of JesusThe Merry WidowThe Petrified Prince and Love Without Lovers.


Writing Through a Glass Darkly

Introduced by Deborah Bragan-Turner

July 2018 marked the centenary of Ingmar Bergman's birth, and throughout the year the director, writer and producer has been widely celebrated in a host of new books, stage productions, films and operas. Our two extracts, translated by Deborah Bragan-Turner, explore Bergman's writing of the film Såsom i en spegel (Through a Glass Darkly, 1961).


from The Writer Ingmar Bergman

Translated by Deborah Bragan-Turner

Although numerous books have been written about Bergman, Jan Holmberg's Författaren Ingmar Bergman (The Writer Ingmar Bergman) is the first to focus on Bergman as a literary author. Deborah Bragan-Turner presents her translation of an extract from Chapter 3, 'Filmförfattaren' (Film Author).


from Work Diaries 1955-1974

Translated by Deborah Bragan-Turner

Ingmar Bergman produced over fifty workbooks, or diaries, containing sometimes quite intimate entries, rough work, notes, sketches, etc. In Arbetsboken 1955-1974 (Work Diaries 1955-1974), the reader observes Bergman's method of working and writing at first hand. Deborah Bragan-Turner presents her translation of an extract from 1960.


from The Greener Abyss

Introduced and translated by Sarah Death

The success of books, films and TV series such as Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and Naomi Alderman’s The Power, The Bookseller reported, led editors to tip feminist dystopias as a ‘key fiction trend for 2018’. Timely news for this novel from prizewinning novelist Johanna Nilsson, who rises to the challenge of devising a sequel to Karin Boye’s dystopian classic Kallocain, published in Sweden in 1940. 


from Astarte

Introduced and translated by Nicholas Lawrence

Karin Boye is one of the greats of modernist poetry, and many of her works belong to the Swedish canon. Astarte (first published 1931) takes the reader on a journey from the backwaters of Riltuna to the glittering lights of Stockholm’s promenades. It is a story of hopes, dreams, love, ambition, and – last but not least – fashion. Nicholas Lawrence introduces the novel and presents his translation of the first chapter.



from Comedy Queen

Translated by Susan Beard

Jenny Jägerfeld is a psychologist who has worked with children and teenagers. In 2017 she was awarded the Astrid Lindgren Prize. In Comedy Queen she tackles a dramatic and painful situation with the bold energy and humour for which she has become renowned. It deals with one of the most devastating events to affect a child – a mother’s suicide – and is the story of twelve-year-old Sasha’s survival technique. Susan Beard presents her translation of an extract from the beginning of the book.



Remembering Östen Sjöstrand

Swedish poet, essayist and editor Östen Sjöstrand is remembered here in a poem by his own translator, Scottish-born poet Robin Fulton Macpherson.


Nordic Literary Translators Joan Tate and Patricia Crampton

Joan Tate (1922-2000) and Patricia Crampton (1925-2016) were and remain the two most prolific British translators of Nordic fiction. In her article, Charlotte Berry offers a retrospective exploration of their significant contributions to Nordic translation, with particular emphasis on their output for children. 

BOOKSHELF: REVIEWS, edited by Fiona Graham

Författaren Ingmar BergmanJan Holmberg, Författaren Ingmar Bergman (The Author Ingmar Bergman)

Norstedts, 2018.

Reviewed by C Claire Thomson ▸Read Review

Hon, han och hjärnanMarkus Heilig, Hon, han och hjärnan (She, He and the Brain)

Natur och Kultur, 2018.

Reviewed by Anna Paterson ▸Read Review

Condorcets misstag - Hoten mot staten och demokratinPer Molander, Condorcets misstag - Hoten mot staten och demokratin (Condorcet's Error: Threats to the State and Democracy)

Weyler förlag, 2017.

Reviewed by Fiona Graham ▸Read Review

De tystade rösternaDelvin Arsan, De tystade rösterna (The Silenced Voices)

Carlsson Bokförlag, 2017.

Reviewed by Marie Andersson ▸Read Review

HändelsehorisontenBalsam Karam, Händelsehorisonten (Event Horizon)

Norstedts, 2018.

Reviewed by Alice E Olsson ▸Read Review

Mellan flodernaDuraid Al-Khamisi, Mellan floderna (Between the Rivers)

Atlas, 2018.

Reviewed by Anna Paterson ▸Read Review

Det var viGolnaz Hashemzadeh Bonde, Det var vi (What We Owe)

Wahlström & Widstrand, 2017.

Reviewed by Tuva Tod ▸Read Review

HistoriegeneratornDanny Wattin, Historiegeneratorn (The Story Generator)

Piratförlaget, 2018.

Reviewed by Darcy Hurford ▸Read Review

Jag går och leverMirja Unge, Jag går och lever (Getting On With It)

Norstedts, 2018.

Reviewed by Kari Dickson ▸Read Review

Ingen jämfört med digJonas Brun, Ingen jämfört med dig (Nobody Compared To You)

Albert Bonniers förlag, 2018.

Reviewed by Andy Turner ▸Read Review

SkälEmma Holm, Skäl (The Road North)

Modernista, 2017.

Reviewed by Annie Prime ▸Read Review

FörlåtenAgnes Lidbeck, Förlåten (The Rift)

Norstedts, 2018.

Reviewed by Alex Fleming ▸Read Review

Mördarens mammaIda Linde, Mördarens mamma (The Murderer's Mother)

Norstedts, 2018.

Reviewed by Janny Middelbeek-Oortgiesen ▸Read Review

Den fjärde paktenKristina Appelqvist, Den fjärde pakten (The Fourth Pact)

Piratförlaget, 2018.

Reviewed by James Walker ▸Read Review

Aldrig merSara Larsson, Aldrig mer (Never Again)

Norstedts, 2018.

Reviewed by Catherine Venner ▸Read Review

HemmetMats Strandberg, Hemmet (The Home)

Norstedts, 2017.

Reviewed by Michael O Jones ▸Read Review

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