When the author Kerstin Thorvall died in 2010, she was hailed for his courage. She dared to affirm his desire at odds with the narrow standards of women. She blew taboos regarding older women’s sexuality, questioned the holy motherhood and criticized the romantic myth of love. She wrote about the “forbidden” topics, that others do not dare.
I criticized in a review in the Aftonbladet (5 November 2013) Beata Arnborgs biography Thorvall, Uprising in pink and black , to sweep Thorvall sex tourism under the carpet.
in a yet unpublished book during work stands Erik Wijk more critical: “the most amazing point is that in an increasingly post-colonial aware of time will Kerstin Thorvall away with its sex tourism in overseas countries. Dark-skinned men in the Caribbean or Africa. Her purse power over younger lovers in Sweden, she has complained, so no one wants to dwell on, but her at once economic, colonial and racist use of dark men in distant countries does not create any major debate, let alone a few disclaimers, is memorable. “
I read the essay before I benches myself in front of the television to preview the SVT ‘s dramatization of Thorvall life, free for her autobiographical novel, the most forbidden (1976), which is broadcast in three parts now in Easter.
I am convinced that now is the end of smusslandet. In a time where 30 percent of the Swedish population were born abroad or have parents who are there, and every other article on the culture pages about racism and racialization, must actually writer Åsa Lantz director Tova Magnusson also shed light on this troublesome side of Thorvall liberation project.
I am worried that Thorvall will fare badly and prepares me to partially defend her. Thorvall is after all a great writer who has meant an enormous amount to many, especially women. The sexual exploitation of non-white men make up a small part of writing that basically frees by shopping about to sacrifice their dignity for closeness.
Maria Jönsson writes book the need for proximity become over the years considerably greater than the need to preserve their dignity (2015): “as long as there is the self sacrificing their dignity, it is easy to sympathize with the claim. Women have always been given the role as bearers of culture, dignity and morality. / … / But when the need for proximity inkränktar the dignity of others? What should we do, for example by Thorvall many travel books – where tenderness thirsty Lenor, Annor and Lisor travel to the Caribbean, Senegal and Chile to get the closeness they lack in Sweden? Where faceless men exotiseras and rasifieras on the assembly line? “
SVT ‘s drama series stops to head in the sand. It seems to have touched the horror of themes. Certainly also had Arnborg it, but in her biography was sex tourism at least openly implied, although she had a fond naive attitude towards it. Overall, it is an idealized and admiring portrait we have of Thorvall.
Although the relationship with the mother and son portrayed from the brighter side. They have designed it so that the viewer always have sympathy and understanding for Thorvall, how awful she might behave. That’s why this is the black and brown men will be hard to take in.
In the novel, The most forbidden writes Thorvall about how the protagonist looks on her aunt’s body in the mirror and try not disgust himself: “But another time, the hotel is in a hot country far away, I go out on a beach and expose me brave the sun and glances and forget quickly away how bad it is. / … / I fall in love. I dance and laugh. I buy a particularly small bikini and not ashamed. / … / And when a dark young man shaking down a coconut, shatter it against a sharp stone and give me to drink, then I can in the infinite hubris to think, ‘Oh, little mother. You never know how it feels to lie and love on a beach, halfway down into the hot water (like the bad movie) and then drink warm juice from a coconut. ‘ “
The book Black travel (1987) begins with the words: “So here you can also say. That when white men no longer wanted her, she went over to black. She lost nothing on it. Their is greater. “Countless are the depictions of middle-aged women escaping old age and dull essence Sweden to revitalized and reborn as sexual women in Africa and the Caribbean.
Cilla Thorell plays Kerstin Thorvall in “the most forbidden”. Photo: Ulrika Malm / SVT TV series brakes where Thorvall had been gassed. in this way, it is very othorvallsk. Thorvall was the one who in their adult novels sincerely and sharply treated those of his time shabbiest, most embarrassing and unworthy of most subjects, what really went over the limit of what the stately, fair-minded and tolerant could take. Lantz and Magnusson’s solution is instead to repress the ugliest of our time: the racist sexism, the colonial sexresorna.
Thorvall is a feminist icon, and then wish you well not solar her down with racist manure. She was, after all, so reviled in his time: bad mother, narcissistic woman, sick man, inexpensive writers. The field is mined and power hierarchies is not straightforward. You do not want to risk treading the piano and the solar brand and career.
But a great balance with Thorvall is precisely because she is so merciless on himself. From the novel The most forbidden : “When I notice that the men watching turns into a financial speculation? Especially when the hot tourist countries. ‘That lady looks horny, she is probably willing to pay a portion of a number.’ “
Maybe the most radicals with Thorvall that she really was a truth-teller , in the sense of life took an emotional sincerity. However, with Wijk’s words, “what are our real joy of the truth, if we can not talk about just the dark?” The question should the team behind the film adaptation of The most forbidden imagined.
I do not mean that we moralizing will take away from Thorvall “dark” sides. As Jönsson writes: “it is ethically defensible is not always artistically interesting.” But the stress field, we should dare to discuss and depict, if we want to do justice to Thorvall life and work.