Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Swamp of disgust in Kärnborgs new roman – the Swedish newspaper svenska Dagbladet

Nature & Culture

419 p.

Människorna that populate journalist and author Ulrika Kärnborgs rich novel "Saturn’s sign" is often ill and always dirty. Kärnborg depicts the 1600s, but not by Queen Christina, a Swedish history’s most charged and publicized figures, but by the generation before her. The plague is rampant and the protestants fighting against the catholics in a utmärglat Europe. The horrors of war conveyed in the strong scenes, where the reader wades through a swamp of disgust. Battlefield "a waft of stagnant, diseased ponds, sweet of rotting carcasses, of spyflugor and of hästurin". No hjälteporträtt in sight, just hybrisdrabbade ruler who wants to expand their borders, without regard to the price in human lives.

the Novel is significant, "broad-based", that is to say: not very focused. Instead of the protagonist, here is a quartet of particularly important characters, surrounded by a lively set of characters. Rikskanslern Axel Oxenstierna plotting and gaining increasingly more influence, but affects the most in its frailty and insight on the war’s futility. Krigarkungen Gustav Adolf is so immature, that Oxenstierna has to pay for all long-term approach and strategy. Queen Maria Eleonora is trying to make itself important to the empire, but never allowed to be more than a decoration – and finally becomes insane from grief over her husband’s death. The dwarfed woman Lisbeta smygs in at the court of a man by the name of Willem, in order to take advantage of the queen – but the "rifle on the wall," fired never.

While the other romanfigurerana described by an omniscient narrator may Lisbeta write a fictional autobiography, the strangely half-hearted 1600-talssvenska. Even otherwise shifting the style quickly. In one moment, like Oxenstierna at "a blomkalk open for the weary creep". In the next moment is prose strident: "The only thing she can rely on now is Gustav Adolf and dvärginnan Lisbeta who have been the follow from the Kalmar". The kind of övertydligheter dominate, at the expense of the exploitation design. Maria Eleonora "echoes constantly its pekuniära a disadvantage". Her inner monologue consists of thoughts like: "My life is a fragile construction". By Lisbeta described the queen’s situation with a flat naivety: "Skitpratet around her tätnade, and the stench it spread similar to the a Dasstunna."

Every author depicts a different era may walk the tightrope to not express themselves for the modern, but also not too stiff. Here are Oxenstierna "the painful whistling sound when Gustav Horn’s spirit leaves him, through the nostrils," but also think "There is a small word, career" – despite the fact that the word should not have existed in his vocabulary. Worse than anakronismerna is, however, a little well-sought ways to describe how a 1600-talsmänniska thought and spoke. It is noticeable that the Kärnborg is well-read, but the knowledge becomes just curios when they are not given any importance to the process. The details are stacked on top of each other to a packed and stressed a jumble of subordinate clauses.

the need To relate to historical events is not particularly grateful, because the possibilities to create a custom plot becomes limited. Kärnborgs earlier novels, "Myrrha" and "As if", has been rousing and commanded in the dark, the charged power struggles which even the blurb to "Saturn sign" promise – but it beats the drama never really through the text wall and the plot is difficult to even describe. In their quest to embrace a large amount of content, lose the author off the actual voltage. The end is really good – but the four hundred pages before its lags, questionable.


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