Sunday, February 7, 2016

Thom Lundberg: “For what grief and pain” – Kristianstadsbladet

Thom Lundberg bokdebuterar with a ransom to novel, “For what sorrow and pain.” It is written in a cross between Romani and Swedish and, while strictly linguistically, a veritable tour de force. So please Buron: ask no dictionary. It creates choice of words and sentence structure its own universe. Collective novel meets the family chronicle and probably I have not since Susanna Alakoski “Beyond” in our latitudes read such an obvious and experience saturated first novel.

The novel covers the years 1949-55 and epikens my account Klosterman family who run away from Jönköping and precisely installed in a small träkåk outside Halland Silte Mill. A simple cottage, but almost a home. Where is the father Amandus, increasingly drunken, resignation, self-pitying. The sickly mother Severina with the music and the songs. And the sons. The same seriousness Olof (a kind of moral vigilant and careful central figure) and wilder while weaker younger brother Valentin.

Little sister called just sister, but she’s out of the picture. Child welfare took her early to a nice family in Boras. Then it became Severina, only some thirty, forcibly sterilized. The Swedish policy is visible in the background; This occurs, for example, a “special tattarregister”. This is particularly noticeable prejudices of the majority society, jeers, distrust, öknamnen. Bullying. A constant threat screws – you are not really welcome here, either.

While Lundberg is loyal to the Scandinavian Romani history – he can appear both as a representative and interpreter – so lacking on the whole, each embellished and romanticized traits. Between Amandus and Olof widen gaps, distances. And it is hardly obvious that the author of the straight parts of the Roma culture of honor and revenge, the tendencies to forced marriage, all the regulated.

To be “true to its origin” is both the theme and credo. But the other is all the time: the conflicts, doubts. Not forgetting knife fights, thefts, the latent and actual violence. The sporadic schooling. The absence of books in the family, reading people. The man’s power over the woman, but it is she who – perhaps – always really decide.

This is no manual, , though it occasionally and in the good sense has characteristics chapbook. First of all, it is real literature, which despite the didactic sections appear to be deeply self-conscious and peculiar. A pardon narrator has emerged in the Swedish literary scene.


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