Monday, November 24, 2008

Astounding amounts of snow

We're snowed in here in Uppsala today! It's been snowing for pretty much two days straight, and is set to continue into tomorrow, apparently. I had to wait 20 minutes for the bus after work this evening, but since I have good new boots and it wasn't that cold I just stood there and surrendered to the beauty of the falling flakes. Because snow, when it isn't blowing straight and hard onto your face and down inside your collar, is so spectacular you can't help but be mesmerised by it. Everything is white and so pristine, and everything is quiet, because the traffic sounds are muffled. It's wonderful. Especially if you opt not to cycle. If I cycled in this weather I'd be writing an incoherent blog entry about whom to kill on the snow-clearing team, I'm afraid.

So snow snow snow - and how is this related to reading? Well, for one thing I did not read the paper at work today, because it never came. More to the point, as I stood waiting for the bus I pondered on all the books featuring snow that I have or have not read, and I realised that the category for not read contains some embarrasing lapses. I have not read Laura Ingalls Wilder. Mostly because I had a home-language teacher who made me read it when I was too young to care, so I went off it. I really must remedy that, because I read this interesting article (probably in The Believer...) about L.I.W. and how she actually wrote very critically of the white expansion into Native land. Nor have I read Vilhelm Moberg's Utvandrarna and Invandrarna, which I know contains a blizzard episode, in which the father kills an animal to save his child (he sticks the boy inside the animal's gut so he won't die while he gets help). And that is embarrassing, that I haven't read it, I mean. But I saw bits of the TV series as a child and it just seemed so depressing. On the read side is the quite recently enjoyed Ursula K. Leguin novel about the planet Winter, and also Jean M Auel's Ayla series. Sorry, Children of the Earth or something she calls it. Lot of snow during the Ice Age... Oh, and of course Peter Hoeg's Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow, which I have read in Swedish. A very memorable book (not a very good film). I regularly remember little snippets from it, like how Smilla the child stuffs biscuits into her mouth to defy her father, or how Smilla the adult wears soft leather trousers with a silk lining, even though the stitches of such a lining is too fragile, really.

And also, one is inevitably reminded of Mma Ramotswe. Because in Mma Ramotswe's Botswana at least one of the cars passing me at the bus stop would have pulled over to offer me a lift.

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