Sunday, January 20, 2008

A Good Read

Yesterday there was an article in Dagens Nyheter (well, a column really) about the phrase "a good read". Naturally I can't find the piece online, so I had to go root out the paper manually so to speak *sigh* - always a hassle. Anyway, it's Bokkrönikan by Jonas Thente, for those of you who care. Thente writes that it's hard for Swedish critics, since we still haven't found a Swedish equivalent/translation for/of that essentially feel-good-ish phrase. You can't call a novel about incest and genocide "a good read", he comments (and also touches upon the other two mandatory critic expressions: a must-read and page-turner, both untranslatable so far. Those can be used for books on difficult topics). His final conclusion is that he's glad we lack the expression, because in the end, of all the books labeled "good reads" that he has read, he remembers none of them. You finish the good reads, put the book away, and go off for a good walk, he writes. The end.

I cringed a bit there. I think I use the phrase "a good read" a little too often. Just a tad. Of course, there are (dare I say it?) psychological reasons to why I am so partial to "good reads". Fluffy they may be, but they are restful to the brain. At the same time, I would call Jane Austen a good read too, and she is anything but forgettable, isn't she?

But I do hate it when words become meaningless cotton-wool type padding. I have to think about what I write more. Considering how little I can think at all before I write a blog post that will prove itself to be quite a challenge, ha ha ha.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Neil Gaiman: Stardust

My sister lent me this in FECKING NOVEMBER if I'm not mistaken. And I read it then. Took me a day or so, no more. This blogging business is one embarrasment after another.

Anyway. So I'm not a huge Gaiman fan, although I can appreciate that he's talented and all, but his "graphic novels", or comic books as I call them, go right over my head. Hang on, I think I'm repeating myself. I think I wrote the same thing when writing about Coraline. checks* Yup. How boring of me.

So, moving on: the premise in Stardust is that there is a town called Wall in England that borders on to Faerie, and every nine years on May Day there is a market on the field on that border, to which humans and fairies go. On one such night a little half-Fairy boy is fathered and later sent to his human father to live. As an adult he falls in love and sets off on a quest into Faerie to bring back a fallen star for his beloved. Adventures, magic, violence. All there. It's pretty good actually, very imaginative and original. I like. I had some quibbles with something but by now I've forgotten. Arse.

I'm slowly working my way through the book I got for Christmas from my husband. It's taking quite long since a) I've been working a lot on my translation and b) my son has decided that sleeping a waste of time. Just noticed that book has an entire website devoted to it, must check that out and see if it improves my opinion of it.

Also and most excitingly there have been some new adaptions of literary classics on the telly! We had the new version of Jane Eyre, one of my most favourite books ever, so romantic! A bit disappointed in the series though, overly modernized and changed, and I didn't think mr Rochester was that great at all. Also, IMO they missed the whole beautiful heart-wrenching morality of Jane's flight from Thornfield Hall. Then we had the Austen films, Persuasion and Northanger Abbey. Now, I love Austen tremendously, and I'm also very fond of what I think of as the "first" Persuasion film (in other words, first one I saw), maybe mostly because nobody is beautiful in it. Brave and realisitic decision! *applauds* Not to mention that the novel myself is my second favourite Austen novel (first place goes to Pride and Prejudice, obviously, then comes Persuasion, then Sense and Sensibility, then Emma, then the rest). So had high hopes, but found Rupert what's-his name's acting a tad wooden. Also, the makers succumbed to the temptation of inserting new dialogue to cover the parts where men speak amongst themselves. No no no no no. You're breaking the spell, dudes. Other than that, not bad. Northanger Abbey is of course a weak(er) book, so I was curious as to how they'd film it. It was fairly well done, to have Catherine dreaming all the "novel-inspired" bits, but not great. She wasn't that great. And her sister told her that "Mama said to come in straight away", where I feel "directly" would have been more Austenish.

Okay, baby situation. Feck it all anyway.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Nytt år, nya tag antar jag

Gott nytt på er.

För tillfället är jag hos svärföräldrarna och läser mest Hemmets Journal, elller rättare sagt löser korsord och dylikt.