Whether she wrote poetry, prose, blog posts or articles were Bodil Malmsten always crisp and sharp, precise and personalized. Her voice was both own and headstrong, and moved freely between seriousness and nonsense, always with a view to curbing the dark.
“I do not want to abandon the reading with a situation where there is no light,” explained Bodil Malmsten me , the cardamom buns at home in her apartment at Mariatorget in Stockholm. It simply was not very much “hi and ho,” which Malmsten himself would have put it. A glade in the dark forest, a glimpse of the intensity and concentration, which closed the rest of the world out there for a few hours. It’s the kind of gift that man, even though the giver is unaware of it, carries with it then.
“My books must be born out of my innate darkness,” writes Bodil Malmsten “How do I do. The Art of Writing “(2012) – the book that was the reason we were met and therefore is me extra heart – and it is in the stress field of her literature often are. Life has its inevitable darkness of sickness, death, heartache and worry, but the writer has a responsibility to the reading; As a kind, it is Malmsten’s own choice of words, spell.
The textbook (it’s hard to put labels on Malmstens matter) “So do I,” can at first, superficial glance stand out in her writing. The track is about reading and writing. Bodil Malmsten writes about writing, about the agonies and drunkenness (though most of the travails of one should be frank). For my own part, the latter part of Bodil Malmsten authorship been crucial, precisely because writing tribulations are at the center there. And, not to forget, the writings that have been online in the form of blog finistere.se and, more recently, Malmsten Twitter account. Where Bodil Malmsten published their texts – between book covers, in newspaper columns or on the web – have been fairly insignificant. Her accuracy with language, her litt rarity and exaggerated self-will, has not made a difference between high and low in this respect.
Bodil Malmsten has always been something of a literary trinkets. Even before his debut with the poetry collection “The dwarf Gustaf” (1977), she wrote causeries in Aftonbladet and Femina, and the picture book “Ludvig go” along with former cohabitant and illustrator Peter Csihas. Leaving aside that writing never occurred unhindered for her – she firmly dismissed all authors who claim that it is wonderful to write like liars or simply not good enough – so she moved effortlessly between genres. Bodil Malmsten hated genre divisions, it inculcated she was there at the kitchen table in Södermalm, something that becomes even clearer now that it is time to tie up the sack her writing.
“I’m not so easy to categorize, but how do I turn it becomes a book on me “, she explained. Ego was an inevitability for Malmsten, who felt that literature was not worth shit if it was not personal, and completely uninteresting if it was private. Not that it would necessarily be wrong to write as a private self, but because it is simply impossible: “To the ego in the book does not coincide with the one who writes it applies, not least, in the books where the character is called I am. “
When someone dies, it belongs to that person is perceived as particularly original and indispensable, it comes to Bodil Malmsten too. But the fact is that it is difficult to compare her with anyone, to round her with something else loose thread on the literary map. She was a solitary, cosmopolitan fixed star in the Jämtland heaven, or vice versa if you want it. And everything was up to how it was done, it was crucial for all she wrote – this how . Bodil Malmsten was consistently a mold writer, but the form was for her not to be difficult, but on the contrary always understood by those who read. I open the logbook “Those from the north coming leopards” (2009) at random: “Suddenly one day the neighbor is allergic to trees.” There is a sense in the crowd, seemingly banal, yet so characteristic malmstensk; the dramatic element, everyday humor and the simple, precise phrasing.
Yes, reading, writing and levandet was always deadly serious in Bodil Malmsten authorship. And those who take such a serious real, also recognize the value of nonsense. These tape rolls Malmsten assigned personalities, problems and diagnoses, which she founded in life, for no apparent reason at all than to make comments about our time in tramsets form, a reminder of nonsense as a survival strategy. “You have to try to get a form on it,” she said when I asked about the most important in the writing process. There was a concrete question shop floor, but also an urgent desire; a drive to make the world brighter and more understandable by giving it its proper linguistic form. The structure life largely lacking, with one exception: “Everyone dies in the end anyway, or else life had no form.”
The last book came to be about it; “This is the heart” is a slim volume, which stilistiken tightened even more, down to the bare despair exclamation, with verses like “My man is dead / I want to be dead,” “Love is / I want you there” and “You will never answer / when I call your name.” Left Malmsten really no opening, no new choices, the readers here? I walk in the snow in Saturday night and take a puff or two of Bodil Malmsten. Maybe it was just lying still, that about the snow, it was still a diktjag who longed to be there. Where the real, private Bodil Malmsten yearned we do not know, and now took her vacation ended, amid the dead of winter. But: she did not leave us without an opening – a brightening our waiting around the corner.
Therese Eriksson is a literary critic in Svenska Dagbladet.