marshtide: (Mårran)
1. I've finished Tiger by Mian Lodalen, and I think that if it'd been around when I was fifteen it would've been perfect, basically. It deals a lot with teenage girls' sexuality, terrible things happening to people who are marginalised, and various things to do with the culture surrounding sexuality, both gay and straight, and double standards, sexual abuse, homophobia and fear of homophobia. The main character deals with already being considered an outsider and then realising she's gay, and it's a big tangled mess. It's not going onto the list as Best Book I Have Evah Read, and I am rather past the stuff it dealt with, but it was interesting, the story was pretty well-told, and I can definitely think of people I'd rec it to.

Now I'm back on Birgitta Stenberg, who is also dealing with young female sexuality, namely, hers.


2. Mian Lodalen is giving a talk in our town next month along with Maria Sveland! This is a terrible small town where nothing ever happens, so you bet I'm excited. I'm also going to have to pick up one of Maria Sveland's books before then; I've seen her talk about them a couple of times on TV but have yet to actually read one. (This one sounds pretty great.)


3. Further name: Katarina Wennstam. Non-fiction and fiction, a lot of stuff about rape culture. Certain to be depressing but probably also worth it. Saw her in a discussion along with Maria Sveland the other day (Kunskapskanalen was running various stuff from the book fair) and they both said some really great things.


4. I need some stuff to read in English, though, occasionally, before I forget how. I don't have much around that I can read without having to concentrate completely, barring a few bits of manga.
marshtide: (Default)
1. I'm reading Mian Lodalen's Tiger now. I have hopes! We'll see! It's also remarkably easy to read after Birgitta Stenberg... slight generational difference there. (And at some point I'll be going back to read more Victoria Benedictsson. Beware the verb forms?)

2. I wish Birgitta Stenberg's books were translated. I don't know as I'd recommend her to everyone, but there's a quite specific group of people who I firmly believe would think she was the best thing ever.

3. I'm actually pretty interested in going to take a look at this exhibit about fashion photography through time. It's there until the end of the year, so I just need to decide whether I'm paying-the-entrance-fee interested.

4. But this week I'll probably go and be nosy at this event (discussion of whether we should hate Strindberg or not! At the feminist bookshop! I've been wanting to go to something there for a while now, and I have a free bus card to stockholm that lasts until Friday, so the timing is good. There's another thing on Friday but it involves cake and, well, me and cake...). Watch me attempt to leave the house sometimes and venture forth into definitely Swedish-speaking environments. Ones where I'm not familiar with how the people involved talk already, I mean. ...yes, I know I don't pick easy-to-understand situations.

Mina öar

Sep. 14th, 2010 06:29 pm
marshtide: (Default)
1. I've just finished Mina öar. Other than me, one person on LibraryThing has read it. And I live with that person.

Aren't we just such special fucking snowflakes. ♥

Anyway, Birgitta Stenberg. She's pretty cool, I think. If people have read her books even in Swedish they're probably the ones about her earlier life - which I haven't read about yet but I gather involved lots of sex and drugs in various parts of Europe. This book is about her later life on an island off the west coast of Sweden, Åstol. Mostly there's local in-fighting and fishermen who talk about god a lot, but I was thoroughly engaged. (I also recognised quite a bit of it. Different small community, some of the same things...)

Random:

Några år senare hade vi hittat en annan båt, R-yachten, som gjorde oss yra av gladje. Lholo sålde vi till en tändläkare som berättade att han tänkte kalla den Dentina. Vi nickade bifall, mycket nöjda med att han inte var gynekolog.


...indeed. (They got a new boat, so they sold the old one. To a dentist! Who said he thought he would call it Dentina! They are very glad that he isn't a gynecologist. As I think we all should be.)



2. My exam is Probably Almost Definitely next Wednesday. I did practice tests last week and got them back today: almost perfect on everything but the writing, which was... you know, OK for SFI. I would say you have no idea how much it pains me to write those words, but I believe many of you have a comprehensive understanding, actually. I can definitely write better but then again I'd never written a formal letter before. Or been told how to write one.

I would really like to be done with SFI now so I can move on to being stressed over the next stage, possibly in a new locale!

I keep thinking that I should post in Swedish sometimes.

Then I get scared and run away from the idea.
marshtide: (Snufkin - The traveller)
I'm really enjoying Birgitta Stenberg, although the book in question contains a lot of sailing and weather related words which are thoroughly specialised and need looking up, because seriously, I have not yet learnt the Swedish words west-coast fishermen use to talk about different types of wind. (Obviously a great failing of Sfi.) But she's both really interesting and really funny, and I recognise the sort of community she describes.


Yesterday our main teacher took me aside and said that she thought I should take the national test soon. I sort of freaked out at that point and my brain just went into a loop of "me! test! now? me? test! test?? now??? me?!" so I am actually not entirely clear on when. Possibly next week, or in a couple of weeks, or something like that. I'll seek clarification today. It is, in any case, soon enough that I've been shifted to doing test papers in class instead of the regular stuff, which means I am spared further political debate for the moment.

There is an up-side to this, which is basically that Sfi is too easy for me, and I'd been resigned to being vaguely bored and getting as much listening and speaking practice in as possible over the next few months until I could take the test; the next level should be more appropriate.

There is a possible downside to this too though: I'd hoped to get a work placement with the library via Sfi, and there obviously isn't time now. I'm going to have to ask if I can still get that sort of placement with the next level of education (SAS, svenska som andra språk, swedish as a second language), because otherwise, the only other way to get any such thing is via the jobcentre.

And jumping through the jobcentre's hoops is a whole world of OH GOD NO.

I really want that placement though!

To Read

May. 8th, 2010 10:52 am
marshtide: (Default)
Quick note: I don't lock any content on this journal right now so though I'm subscribing to people a lot more than I'm granting access I'm not actually hiding anything away! I'm also subscribing to whoever looks interesting right now. I'm a terrible commenter, I must warn, but if I post something you'd like to say something about you're welcome to.

That's all! Also that this has been a super-chaotic week because J has been off school sick and Val & I have had bursts of not-so-amazing health too, so I haven't been able to put together so many long posts. Yesterday was my birthday and today is a big family gathering. I'm beginning to accept that there's really no such thing as Regular Service to be resumed around here and one just has to take what one can get! Have some more quick points in passing:


1. While I'm generally going on about Scandinavian writers: a name I need to remember for when I'm a bit more fluent in Swedish is Birgitta Stenberg. As far as I know she's written quite a bit about lesbian and/or bisexual characters, and some of her work is autobiographical, which sounds pretty great to me since what I've been told of her life seems really interesting. There's also a film I will watch perhaps later this year, titled Apelsinmannen, which is adapted from a book in turn based on her experiences in the 50s. I've been unable to find any evidence that a single thing of hers has been translated into English, unfortunately; I think she's maybe not that big even here.

2. this and this. They could be interesting. The first is on order with the library & it looks like the other might be obtainable too. I'll keep you posted. (Why yes! we in this household are probably singlehandedly responsible for all interlibrary loans of books about Gender And Queer Stuff to this kommun.) Some day I'll post again about things I've actually read instead of things I would like to read.

3. If you'd like to know what I'm reading now, actually, it's a book called När Sverige var som störst. It is a history book. For children. It begins, of course, with the then future king of Sweden (parse that) skiing off to Norway because no-one wanted to help him become king. Then they had to skii after him to get him back because they changed their minds. "One of the more embarrassing episodes of Swedish history," says Val, although I will personally always think of the building and launch of the (not-so-)good ship Vasa as one of the most embarrassing episodes, myself. (But we haven't got that far through history yet. We're still busy turning Lutheran.)

4. I do not have time to tell you about the Vasa at the moment, because we're about to go and eat gluten-free cake and cook lunch for the rest of the family, but maybe I will tonight. It's embarrassing, so of course there is a museum in Stockholm entirely dedicated to it, possibly in case anyone gets any ideas about this country having some kind of dignity. Similarly, the thing where the first king of kinda-modern Sweden almost ran away to Norway is thoroughly commemorated, in this case with a huge cross-country skii race along the route he took. This is the Vasa race. (Er, the king-to-be in question was called Gustav Vasa, in case you're wondering about this similarity of naming across Embarrassing Swedish Episodes.)

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