tisdag, oktober 25, 2005

Nowhere Man av Aleksandar Hemon

Pronek och Mirza startar ett band (Blind Jozef Pronek and Dead Souls) i samma veva som dom börjar tänka på sex. Låtarna låter som Yesterday, det är deras stil. Dom har elgitarrer. Allt är perfekt. Det enda dom behöver nu är en trummis och tjejer.

Några år senare, efter att Pronek hamnat i Chicago, ser han en kvinna med tjejen Sabines ögon

He would call Mirza in Sarajevo and ask him if he knew where Sabine was. She had lost both or her legs in a breadline shelling, Mirza would say. He saw her on TV, lying in the middle of the mayhem, her husband pressing his torn shirt against her blood-spurting stumps. But he heard she was in Germany now, with her husband and daughter.

Aleksandar Hemon åkte själv från Sarajevo till Chicago på ett författarstipendium innan belägringen. kunde inte åka hem blev kvar. För bokens Pronek är Chicago en tillfällighet, samtidigt som Sarajevo ligger allt längre bort. THOUSANDS KILLED IN SREBRENICA. Redan på planet över bländas Pronek av solen, drar ner rullgardinen och minns inte längre vad som hände igår. Inte heller minns han pappans böjda nacke i bilen på väg från flygplatsen.

Years later, displaced in Chicago, Pronek often wondered whether there really had been a Karen, who arrived in a Trabant from East Germany and lived in a first-floor apartment, whether her long and silky pigtails fluttered, like birds on a leash, around her head as she jumped rope; or of he really had seen a dead man, bobbing facedown in the shallow Miljacka, a chunk of flesh missing from his neck; or if he had ever seen his father's singel tear, rolling from under his sunglasses, exactly replicating the tear of the boy in Mirza's parents' living room, his father telling him the story about his high-school girlfriend who fell off her bike and died of brain hemorrhage; of if he really had ever cut off buttons from old shirts, and assembled them on the floor so as to replicate the constellations he found in the atlas of the sky.

När kom du hit frågar Rachel. 1992, just innan kriget svarar Pronek. Är din familj kvar hur är det med dom? Dom är gamla svarar Pronek. "You watch it on TV and feel nothing but numb helplessness. It just makes me angry." "I know." svarar Pronek.

(Pronek knackar dörr för Greenpeace.)
To a young couple in Evanstone who sat on their sofa holding hands, Pronek introduced himself as Mirza from Bosnia. To a college girl in La Grange with DE PAW stretching across her bosom he introduced himself as Sergei Katastrofenko from Ukraine. To a man in Oak Park with chintzy hair falling down on his shoulders, the top of his dome twinkling with sweat, he introduced himself as Jukka Smrdiprdiuskas from Estonia. To an old couple from Romania in Homewood, who could speak no English and sat with their hands gently touching their knees, he was John from Liverpool. To a tired construction worker in Forest Park who opened the door angrily and asked, "Who the fuck are you?" he was Nobody. To a Catholic priest in Blue Island, with eczema and a handsome, blue-eyed boyfriend, he was Philip from Luxembourg. To a bunch of pot-bellied Christian bikers barbecuing on a Walgreen's parking lot in Elk Grove Village, he was Joseph from Snitzland (the homeland of the snitzl). To a woman in Hyde Park who opened the door with a gorgeous grin, which then transmogrified into a suspicious smirk as she said, "I thought you were somenone else," he was Someone Else.
Aleksandar Hemon

Nowhere Man. Nan A. Talese, 2002: ISBN 0385499248
Frågan om Bruno. Bonnier, 2000. ISBN: 9100573027

Ali Hussein Ett telefonsamtal hem: New Meaning Radio på SR c tema familjen. Ali har spelat in ett vanligt samtal med sin bror och mor som visar hur det är när den enda kontakten med familjen går via telefonen. Lyssna här

He's a real Nowhere Man,
Sitting in his Nowhere Land,
Making all his nowhere plans
for nobody.

Lyssna (wav)

Appropå ingenstans, läs också
Tidiga sorger av Danilo Kiš
Att komma hem ska vara en schlager av Per Hagman
Stranger on a Train av Jenny Diski

måndag, oktober 24, 2005

Istanbul av Orhan Pamuk

Orhan Pamuk har bott hela sitt liv i Istanbul. Han vet inget om resande, att röra sig mellan kulturer och språk, inget om exil eller rotlöshet. Han hämtar sina snacks på samma gata som han alltid har bott på. Memories and the City: minnen och staden. När Orhan Pamuk berättar om Istanbul berättar han om sig själv, när han berättar om sig själv berättar han om Istanbul.

Farmor gav Istanbul en slant och sa Istanbul är så duktig så Istanbul blir nog arkitekt eller läkare när Istanbul blir stor.

I Istanbul beskrivs den kommunala melankolin, hüzün. Hüzün i staden med en döende kultur där det nya står obekvämt bredvid ett ospelat piano, med felsydd blus i ett finrum.

I am speaking of the evenings when the sun sets early, of he fathers under the streetlamps in the back streets returning home carrying plastic bags. Of the old Bosphorus ferries moored to deserted stations in the middle of winter, where sleepy sailors scrup the decks, pail in hand and one eye on the black-and-white television in the distance; of the old booksellers who lurch from one financial crisis to the next and then wait shivering all day for a cutsomer to apperar: of the barbers who complain that men don't shave as much after an economic crisis; of the children who play ball between the cars on cobblestoned streets; of the covered women who stand at remote bus stops clutching plastic shopping bags and speak to no one as they wait for the bus that never arrives; of the empty boathouses of the old Bosphorus villas; of the teahouses packed to the rafters with unemployed men; of the patient pimps striding up and down the city's greatest square on summer evenings in search of one last drunken tourist; of the broken seesaws in empty parks; of ship horns booming through the fog; of the wooden buildings whose every board craked even when they were pashas' mansions, all the more now that they have become municipal headquarters; of the women peeking through their curtains as they wait for husbands who never manage to come home in the evening; of the old men selling thin religious treatises, prayer beads, and pilgrimage oils in the courtyards of mosques; of the tens of thousands of identical apartment house entrances, their facades discolored by dirt, rust, soot, and dust; of the crowds rushing to catch ferries on winter evenings; of the city walls, ruins since the end of the Byzantine Empire; of the markets that empty in the evenings; of the dervish lodges, the tekkes, that have crumbled; of the seagulls perched on ruste barges caked with moss and mussles, unflinching under the pelting rain; of the tiny ribbon of smoke rising from the singel chimney of a hundered-year-old mansion on the coldest day of the year; of the crowds of men fishing from the sides of the Galata Bridge; of the cold reading rooms of libraries; of the street photographers; of the smell of exhaled breath in the movie theatres, once glittering affairs with gilded ceilings, now porn cinemas frequented by shamefaced men; of the avenues where you never see a woman alone after sunset; of the crowds gathering around the doors of the state-controlled brothels on one of those hot blustery days when the wind is coming from the south; of the young girls who queue at the doors of establishements selling cut-rate meat; of the holy messages spelled out in lights between the minarets of mosques on holidays that are missing letters where the bulbs have burned out; of the walls covered with frayed and blackened posters; of the buses packed with passengers; of the mosques whose lead plates and rain gutters are forever being stolen; of the city cemeteries, which seem like gateways to a second world, and of their cypress trees; of the dim lights that you see of an evening on the boats crossing from Karaköy; of the little children in the streets who try to sell the same packet of tissues to every passerby; of the clock towers no one ever notices; of the history books in which children read about the victories of the Ottoman Empire and the beatings these same children recieve at home; of the days when everyone hs to stay home so the electoral roll can be compiled or the census can be taken; of the days when a sudden curfew is announced to facitlitate the search for terrorists and everyone sits at home fearfully awating "the officials"; of the readers' letters, squeezed into a corner of the paper and read by no one, announcing that the dome of the neighborhood mosquie, having stood for some 375 years, has begun to cave in and asking why the state has not done something; of the underpasses of the most crowded intersections; of the overpasses in which every step is broken in a different way; of the girls whor read Big Sister Güzin's column in Freedom, Turkey's most popular newspaper; of the beggars who accost you in the least likely places and those who stay in the same spot uttering the same appeal day after day; of the powerful whiffs of urine that hit you on crowded avenues, ships, passageways, and underpasses; of the man who has been selling postcards in the same spot for the past forty years; of the reddish-orange glint in the windows of Üsküudar at sunset; of the earliest hours of the morning, when everyone is asleep except for the fishermen heading out to sea; of that corner of Gülhane Park that calls itself a zoo but houses only two goats and three bored cats, languishing in cages; of the third-rate singers doing their best to imitate American vocalists and Turkish pop stars in cheap nightclubs, and of first-rate singers too; of the bored high school students in never-ending English classes where after six years no one has learned to say anything but "yes" and "no"; of the immigrants waiting on the Galata docks; of the fruits and vegetables, garbage and plastic bags and wastepaper, empty sacks, boxes, and chests strewn across abandoned street markets on a winter evening; of beautiful covered women timidly bargaining in the street markets; of the young mothers struggling down the streets with their three children; of all the ships in the sea sounding their horns at the same time as the city comes to ahalt to salute the memory of Atatürk at 9:05 on the morning of November tenth; of a cobblestone staircase with so much asphalt poured over it that it that its steps have disappeared; of marble ruins that were for centuries glorious street fountains but now stand dry, their faucets stolen; of the apartment buildings in the side streets where during my childhood middle-class families - of doctors, lawyers, teachers, and their wives and children - would sit in their apartments listening to the radio in the evenings, and where today the same apartments are packed with knitting and button machines and young girls working all night long for the lowes wages in the city to meet urgent orders; of the view of the Golden Horn, looking toward Eyüp from the Galata Bridge; of the simit vendors on the pier who gaze at the view as they wait for customers; of everything being broken, worn out, past its time; of the storks flying south from the Balkans and northern and western Europe as autumn near, gazing down over the entire city as they waft over the Bosphorus and the islands of the Sea of Marmara; of the crowds of men smoking cigarettes after the national soccer matches, which during my childhood never failed to end in abject defeat; I speak of all of them.

Kapitel 1
Orhan Pamuk
Istanbul av Orhan Pamuk
Istanbul. 2003. A.A Knopf, 2005: ISBN 1-4000-4095-7

torsdag, oktober 06, 2005

Mörk vår & Jasminmannen av Unica Zürn

Om hon är galen kommer hon att kunna roa sig själv.

Jag har haft Mörk vår & Jasminmannen liggande bredvid bloggen ett tag. Boken är skitbra, visst en klassiker som psykosskildring, läs den vill jag ha sagt.

När jag surfat runt på den läser jag att det är självbiografiskt och saker som att man får en förståelse för Unica Zürn själv genom att läsa dom här böckerna. Men är det så självklart att det är hennes egen sjukdom hon beskriver? Kan det vara så att vi tar för givet att det är självbiografiskt bara för att författaren själv var sjuk? Kan det inte tänkas att Unica Zürn faktiskt berättar om något hon vet något om (sjukdomen), men att det för den skull inte handlar om just hennes egen sjukdom? Författaren använder "hon", inte "jag". Och Unica Zürn kunde uttrycka sig och berätta (minst sagt).
Unica Zürn

Mörk vår & Jasminmannen. 1967. Vertigo förlag, 2004.: ISBN 91-85000-12-4

Unica Zürn. Untitled. 1965
UNICA ZÜRN: Drawings from the 1960s. ubu gallery

Bok: Unica Zürn - Mörk vår & Jasminmannen. Två berättelser av Unica Zürn finns nu på svenska: mörka, olycksbådande och av självbiografiskt stoff Jenny Högström i Göteborgs-Posten. Recension

Det vakre hullet i surrealismefortellingen Artikel

Germs: A Memoir of Childhood av Richard Wollheim

As a child, I loved lists of all sorts, and found that all sorts of things could be listed. I listed the sails on a windjammer, not knowing how they worked, and the names of philosophers, not knowing what they were, and, a particular source of pleasure, the names of royal mistresses and of royal favourites, not knowing how they earned their keep. I listed the flags of the different nations, and their capital cities, and the rivers on which these cities stood. I listed butterflies, and the names of Napoleonic marshals, and shirtmakers in London, in Paris, in Venice. When on a journey I had, as a matter of singular urgency, to list in what became a succession of small red notebooks the names of the places we went through, often with a pencil that went blunt when I needed it most, I learned out of necessity countless ways in which place names could be discovered by a small boy sitting in the back seat of a car, and craning his neck so as to see out of the window. There were the wasp-coloured AA signs, there was the writing over the local post office, there were ancient milestones, and, in many counties, signposts had a finial, cone-shaped or circular, giving the name of the nearest town or village. To grown-ups, or those I met, these clues were unknown, or were so until the war came and they were ostentatiously swept away so as not to give assistance to enemy parachutists, but to a small boy, always in doubt that he had been anywhere unless he could write the name down with a pencil in a notebook, these signs had a value born of desperation. And, of all these lists, the most necessitated - though, even if I could have, I never would have entrusted it to paper - was a catalogue of the various ways in which the unreliability, the incontinence, of the body forced itself on my attention. I memorised the different shapes, and colours, and outlines, sharp or blurred, with which scabs, and bruises, and grazes, can mark the skin, nor was I content until I also had a mental list of the yet more formless stains that shame a child's underclothing as the secretions of the body spread outwards, and I would try to commit them to memory even as, in the sanctuary of the lavatory, I endeavoured to remove their physical traces.

Germs: A Memoir of Childhood minns hur obekvämt det är att vara barnet Richard Wollheim, människa. Kroppen passar inte, rummet passar inte kroppen, känslor som inte passar sig. Mycket finns att vara rädd för, orden finns inte att beskriva, förståelsen finns inte för att förstå. Klumpigt, pissigt, nojigt, pinsamt, svagt. Babblande obekant mamma, pappa som blir utråkad i barnets sällskap. Kärlek skräck.

Fear, so far from making a coward of me, calls upon me to flee safety, as though it is only so long as there is safety that danger exists.

Germs är en osannolikt bra bok, öppet, personligt insiktsfullt stort jobbigt och roligt.
Richard Wollheim

Germs: A Memoir of Childhood. 2004. The Waywiser Press: ISBN: 0-375-41169-0

Läs mer:
Wollheim makes clear that "everything I have lived through either has been completely forgotten or is as yesterday". Passages of childhood offer themselves to his adult inspection in hallucinatory detail, and with a sense that if something is remembered it is for a reason.
The digested tract
Alan Hollinghurst is fascinated by Richard Wollheim's complex and beautiful memoir of childhood, Germs

Att komma hem ska vara en schlager av Per Hagman

En bit bort från stan och aldrig dagen efter en kväll ute har jag långsamt tagit mig igenom Per Hagmans bok om sig själv - Att komma hem ska vara en schlager.

Ibland skriver han man om sig själv och det är poängen med att läsa Per Hagmans bok. Den stannar inte vid honom.

Att komma hem ska vara en schalger
handlar om den andra slags hemlösheten, där förskjutning, förflyttning, förflackning och halka gör att inget och ingenstans är ens bo. Den handlar om att inte ha hem i ställen, eller nej människor (eller falkar) och det handlar om sätt att leva med det.

Man hittar till slut en restaurang som är öppen utan att vara abonnerad. Man är den enda gästen. Den enda. Hela den millennielikgiltiga pakistanska och egyptiska personalen står och hänger i ett hörn och betraktar en och det är mycket svårt att byta ut mineralvattenglasets innehåll mot vodka. Det är panoramafönster ut mot havet och man tänker att om nu någon mot förmodan passerade på strandpromenaden utanför och tittade in när den enda gästen i den hårt upplysta lokalen på ett Mr Bean-sätt satt och bytte ut innehållet i sitt glas skulle det hela se oändligt sorgligt ut. Men det känns inte sorgligt. Det är ju bara en Edward Hopper-målning av en man med barnsligt leende som i vanlig ordning äter sin middag ensam. Och som har beställt in en trerätters middag ensam. Och som har beställt in en trerätters men inför desserten inser att det bara är tio minuter kvar av årtusendet och därför lägger pengar på bordet och går till den enda baren som inte är förbokad; en australiensisk dykarpub där några sammansvetsade dykargäng står drängfulla och gapigt inväntar det nya årtusendet. En tv i baren flimrar fram tolvslaget från olika platser i världen och mannen med barnsligt leende går in på toaletten och häller det sista ur vodkaflaskan i sin grogg, eftersom starkspriten i Sharms groggar i stort sett alltid är utspädd eller humbug. Sedan går mannen med barnsligt leende ut i baren igen och väntar in tolvslaget och skålar så med sig själv i ett hav av primalskrikande tyska och engelska dykare. Sedan promenerar han til kasinot och blir bekant med en modellagenturägare från Milano och dennes späda och söta amerikanska flickvän. Mannen med barnsligt leende tänker att alla sorters nätter är roliga. Mannen med barnsligt leende förnekar sig aldrig. För mannen med barnsligt leende är bekymmerslösheten det stora bekymret.

Jag har aldrig läst någon av Hagmans romaner. Dom är visst skitdåliga. Att komma hem ska vara en schlager är inte skitdålig.
Per Hagman

Att komma hem ska vara en schlager. 2005. Albert Bonniers förlag. Pocket ISBN: 9100106232