Deborah Bragan-Turner

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2004:1 Issue
Swedish Book Review 2004:1 issue

In this issue we celebrate the centenary of the birth of one of Sweden's foremost twentieth century literary figures, Harry Martinson (1904-1978). Sarah Death provides an overview of the various events which are being organised to mark the centenary; we present translations of Martinson's nature poetry and a discussion of the factors involved in translating them; Ann-Marie Vinde provides a translator's look at Martinson's Nässlorna blomma (Flowering Nettle); and Phillipe Bouquet discusses, with illustrative examples, the task of "translating" the extraordinary galactic song cycle Aniara.

In our aim to build cultural bridges we are glad to include both an item about the Swedish cultural scene viewed from a British perspective (Laurie Thompson's lighthearted and perceptive report on the Gothenburg Book Fair) and an evaluation of her experiencees in Britain from Maria Schottenius, until very recently Cultural Counsellor at the Embassy of Sweden in London.

It is also particularly heartening to be able to present translations by two new, younger contributors: Paul O'Mahony's interpretation of a recent short story by contemporary writer Jerker Virdborg; and Stuart Shelley's of a classic, autobiographically revealing story by Finland-Swedish author Tove Jansson.

Harry MartinsonHarry Martinson: A Significant Literary Centenary
Sarah Death

An introduction to the celebrations marking the centenary of Harry Martinson's birth.
Harry MartinsonTo Catch a Drop of Dew:
On Translating Harry Martinson's Nature Poetry

Brita Green
Translations by John Charlesworth and Brita Green
Four years before his death in 1978, Harry Martinson was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature for "writings that catch the dewdrop and reflect the cosmos". Martinson was one of the first to be aware of what "civilised" man was doing to his environment. He wanted to open our eyes to the natural world around us, and to remind us that it is our responsibility to look after it. Brita Green presents a selection of Martinson's nature poetry and discusses the challenges involved in translating it into English.
Harry MartinsonA translator's look at Flowering Nettle, Harry Martinson's Nässlorna blomma
Ann-Marie Vinde

A discussion of some linguistic problems in translating Harry Martinson's third prose work, Nässlorna blomma.
Harry MartinsonHarry Martinson: Further Reading
compiled by Ann-Marie Vinde

A selection of primary and secondary literature in English and Swedish.
Harry Martinson"Translating" Harry Martinson's Aniara
Philippe Bouquet
A discussion, with illustrative examples, of the task of "translating" Harry Martinson's extraordinary galactic song cycle Aniara.
Tove JanssonThe Cartoonist
Tove Jansson
Translated by Stuart Shelley
This short story follows a young cartoonist, Samuel Stein, who, upon being commissioned to fill the shoes of the legendary cartoonist John Allington, begins to feel that he is taking on more than just his predecessor's cartoon strip, and starts making enquiries into Allington's mysterious disappearance.
Jerker Virdborgfrom Monday Morning: Middelkerke
Jerker Virdborg
Translated by Paul O'Mahony
Jerker Virdborg (b.1971) published his short story collection "Land Elevation, Two Centimetres per Night" in 2001. Each of the stories present "a discreet change that is completely devastating". Monday Morning: Middelkerke is the first story in the collection.
Swedish EmbassyMy Time as Counsellor for Cultural Affairs
Maria Schottenius
We present Maria Schottenius's evaluation of her experiences in Britain as Cultural Counsellor at the Embassy of Sweden in London.
Gothenburg Book FairThe Gothenburg Book Fair 2003
Laurie Thompson
Laurie Thompson presents a lighthearted and perceptive report on the 2003 Gothenburg Book Fair.

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