Sunday, November 13, 2016

Fredrik Ekelund: “Jacques Werup opened the door for me as a writer” – Radio Sweden

Jaques Werup is dead. Werup, the literary portal to my hometown, Malmö, sweden.

His unmistakable diction, the self-confident we lan it on each syllable – now we never hear the right, his tone of voice. Or?

Well, it will live on in us, we who have been with him, personally or literary, because for many of us, he will be there until we, ourselves, go away: the poems, the novels, prosadikterna.

As a young and romantic high school student at the S:t Petri Läroverk in Malmö I discovered the literature via my classmate, Ulf Peter Hallberg, and we swarmed to the greats such as Herman Hesse, Thomas Mann and André Gide.

But perhaps above all for Hjalmar Gullberg, the high – and finstämde.

And where, pang bom, in the midst of the lofty land a book of poems called the Time in Malmö on the earth by just Jacques Werup.

I devoured it and it turned upside down my idea of what poetry SHOULD be: oh my God Werup writes poetry about Bosse Larsson, Bob, my big idol, I myself dreamt of becoming a footballer.

He writes about ståplatsläktaren at Malmö Stadium, my second home. He writes: … so I write Kastellgatan 8 but mean the world. Kastellgatan 8? Just behind the Petriskolan? Can poetry be so simple, you have to take into all poetry?

Yes, that’s what you get. And he knew that. And he did it constantly and with the crass malmöitisk objectivity, humor, sentimentality and fine högstämdhet regardless of whether he wrote about the Österlen region, Venezuela, Belleville or the Malmö he always seemed to carry within itself as a plumb line.

He had many strings to his beautiful lyre, and on the Cabaret Fredagsbarnen he was playing and Lasse Söderberg presented the literature with their guests; for us younger, wonderful magic shows, where anyone could pop up out of their big poesihatt.

So he opened the door for me as a writer. We hung out not, did not know each other, met a few times only but it was through his deep malmöitiska way to be and write on, as the city opened for me, literary. And he did it with a tone where the false contradiction between seriousness and humor weathered down Werup was both deep AND funny, death – and life.

Thank you, Jacques.


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