H åkan Nesser gives out two new books at the same time, the wide landscaped novel “Eugen Kallmann eyes” and “Norton philosophical memoirs,” a declaration of love to Nesser dog who died two years ago. The latter told from the other side, from the dogs’ heaven where Norton is now available. He has dictated, Nesser has nertecknat his words.
Even in the broader novel plays the other side a crucial role, mainly in the form of a few notebooks as a teacher in a small town in northern Sweden left behind. The books are discovered by his successor, who moved up from Stockholm to start a new life after his wife and daughter died in a ferry accident off the east coast of Africa.
The representative Eugen Kallmann was a recluse , difficult to come near life but by all accounts a visionary teacher who had a pragmatic relation to the curriculum and therefore kept to the essential. His students loved him. But they left the notebooks raises questions. Who was Eugen Kallmann? Sued his claim in the book that he murdered his mother in childhood? Could he read a person’s soul by looking into her eyes? And, perhaps most importantly, he died a natural death?
The course of events run by the issues surrounding Eugen Kallmann. What I mentioned is soon clear, and more will be revealed about the dead man, who casts long shadows. The successor and a few colleagues are fascinated by the mystery. They start a search with a clear taste of the Secret Seven. Alongside this haunted their school of racist threats and violence. We write in 1995, but sections can accommodate an obvious replica of our times. What happened in the wake of the New Democracy happens again. The reading is driven by two issues. What happened? What will happen? Unfortunately born even a question after reading: So what?
The suggestion of Kallmann ability to read the mind is a magic-realistic possibility, which could led to an experience crime that made the book existentially challenging . But it never develops. In the section on racism engaged Nesser självbekräftanden social critique on the current Swedish detective level on Form 1A. Nothing that breeds a thought or a critical perspective, only that all decent people readily endorse.
Although the coquetry details and allusions irritates. The drinking lots of carefully specified name wine. Does a book tucked into the bookcase is next to the Thomas Mann’s “Magic Mountain”, never next to a mail order catalog or porn magazine. How it works cultural reference system that legitimation, just only a kitschy sign of Håkan Nesser’s refined taste without meaning in text web.
At first, I wonder also about the philosophical allusions in dog book. But they fall into place. When Nesser allows Norton call himself a philosopher and when chapters get titles like Kierkegaard alludes to it playfully, without pretensions. Same thing when Norton reproduces Wittgenstein hackneyed maxim “What one can not speak, thereof one must be silent”, and let it be followed by the laconic observation “as it says in the song”; the quote says something about Norton’s dilemma, but it works also ironic.
The book about Norton is a wonderful declaration of love. The philosophical dog we find even in Stefan Eklund “52 conversations with a terrier” and Lars Gustafsson’s “Elegy of a dead labrador”, but where Gustafsson emphasizes the dog Gnostic INSCRUTABILITY Norton transparent. He becomes the cunning, sometimes easy förnumstiga soothsayer, more of 1700s sarcastic conversation champion Dr. Johnson than a Gnostic philosopher. He treats his master mild indulgence, but Nesser wisely resists the temptation to let Norton bestifiera their two-legged relatives.
But not only sententiousness, Norton also exudes an unselfish love which every dog owner recognizes. Perhaps it can be called an “emanation” which could reconcile him with Gustafsson’s Gnostic Labrador, at least through the back door.
Of course interpretation Norton people’s feelings before we ourselves know what we are experiencing. In talks with the two-legged occurs Norton consistent human replica. We also get a beautiful view of how Norton, attracted by the smell of meatballs, comforting a young man on a moor in England. The unfortunate has been abandoned by her lover, but after meeting with Norton, he realizes that it is better to get a dog than to take his life.
But love goes in both directions. The fervency of which can be sensed in every other formulation reminds us of Mats Gellerfelts lovely pictures from her life with the beloved labrador Rasmus in the anthology “Ten dogs and a cat.”
The love mixed with good-natured humor, as when a English labradorvän shows Norton how futile it is to hunt pheasants, “they are probably the simplest creatures on earth and is also composed of only three elements: springs, splintered bones and sounds.”
We hear a dog lover Hakan Nesser down to the smallest, well-chosen detail. When he interprets how Norton afflicted by the scent symphony he meets on the walks he approaches the subjective empathy in Stephen King’s “Cujo” and Kerstin Ekman’s masterpiece “The dog”. But he never seeks to give the illusion that we enter into the dog inside. Instead, Norton a gentle interpreter of both the man and the dog, and our time together on earth. And it is absolutely delightful reading.