Thursday, October 20, 2016

Sweden has got its own Hilary Mantel – Expressen

Ulrika Kärnborgs new novel depicts the crazy circus without the answer key.

Jenny Högström read a thrilling and stylish story in the Hilary Mantels spirit.

historical novel is a tricky genre. To rewrite history as if the present did not exist – is not it a bit strange? Well, for a writer, as the Per Johansson, as in his novels gets everything from the Karl XII:s uniform Erik XIV:s kålodlingar in Kungsträdgården to materialize itself in the present. For Ulf Karl Olov Nilsson, who in his novel about Henry VIII, “I find myself in an abundance of love”, seems to try to exhaust the historical novel all the possibilities through a variety of formal grip, and methods. Or for the Virginia Woolf as in the “Orlando”, removes all possible limits.

On the other hand: is it not precisely this fiction engage in: to try to blur the distance between the times, people, places?

Typical usage

Ulrika Kärnborgs new book “Saturn sign” – the statesman Axel Oxenstierna, the king Gustav II Adolf and his consort, Maria Eleonora – triggers of these issues with me directly. It is a novel written in the historical present, and that starts where it ends, with Gustav Adolf’s death in 1632. Here the landscape has “the same shade as blymönja”, the sky is the same color “cabbage soup” while “dune is similar to the manure”. The period has seeped into both the use of language as imagery, and leaves no room for anachronistic illusionsbrott à la Sofia coppola’s film “Marie Antoinette”.

Kärnborg, of course, knows exactly what she’s doing in this regard. The model is Hilary Mantel who, with the praised “Wolf Hall” wanted to write about the story, but the key in your hands. Cromwell, Thomas More, Henry VIII and many more may have been in what in hindsight appears to be crucial historical events, but without knowing it, busy with their own lives.

To know, but to know

This grip uses Ulrika Kärnborg creditable for their characters: “They know, although they don’t know anything.” And she begins with a production of Axel Oxenstierna, the notorious rikskanslern, just as a man who “misses the crucial event”. In this case, Gustav Adolf’s death, which suddenly (finally?) hands over power in The hands.

Oxenstierna rikskanslern and byråkraten. A “shrewd man”, according to the sources, who were behind the modern nation state of Sweden and its ämbetsmannatradition. Gustav Adolf, the Swedish krigarkungen, the Lion from the Midnattslandet called, who is portrayed as a large child.

Sweden okultiverad backwater

And Maria Eleonora, the beautiful princess of the house of Brandenburg, which is taken in pledge, as a Swedish queen, and then rot away as the hysterical and depressive lyxhustru in various shabby palaces and castles.

A bottom-up approach is added with the kortvuxna Elisabeth/Lisbetas outspoken notes from his life as the queen’s sällskapsdam. The depressing queen’s glance at the Swirge as a hopeless okultiverad backwater is extremely convincing. And Ulrika Kärnborgs prose is both evocative and stylish.

In a radio interview, I hear the late author describe the Swedish period as a “tokdårecirkus”, Gustav Adolf, as a “Zlatan-figure” and Axel Oxenstierna, who “superstrateg” and “genius”. Oddly enough, it is just that she manages to portray.

I look forward to the planned sequel, where queen Kristina learn to enter the stage.

Jenny Hogstrom

Ulrika Kärnborg employee in his Culture. Therefore, the reviewed book by Jenny Högström, writers, translators and critics in the newspaper Aftonbladet.

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