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1. It is -7 degrees outside, and it is laundry day, and I have no proper clothes left. I have just stolen a small pile of Val's, as I refuse to leave the house with less than five tops on right now. -7 will seem a lot less terrifying later in winter, but it's November, damn it. We also seem to have completely lost the path outside our flat in the night. The more it snows (tiddly-pom), etc. In short: winter is here and it is not fucking around.

2. P3 kultur, aka Nördorama, is a pretty fantastic radio program. I've been downloading old episodes through itunes to listen to while I walk to school, and hearing conversations on such fascinating and varied topics as spiderman's girlfriends and the alarming mortality rate of female characters in comics, fascism-fetishism in electronica, gay cowboys, and "muminmugg vänstern" (the mumin-mug left)! Basically it's a culture programme which takes an extremely broad view of what constitutes culture and discusses all of it with a blend of the sort of serious analysis usually reserved for Proper Art and nerd humour. You guys, it is like it was made for me.

3. Got my hands on the first volume of Andromeda stories. O, I want more!

4. Current reading:

Simone och jag by Åsa Moberg
Flickan och skulden by Katarina Wennstam (but slowly, because it is a book about rape culture, basically, and oh god, how depressing. it's not things that I didn't know but it's laid out very clearly and gives an incredibly sharp picture of how fucked up the whole thing is. This book is focused on the victims of rape; she's written another book focused on rapists. Which I'm sure will be even more depressing, but I'll probably learn more from it, so I think I should read it.)
Pappan och havet by Tove Jansson

...so you guys, I think I maybe need something to read in Swedish which is not quite so depressing.

5. I've been getting good feedback on my writing in Swedish from school lately. I still have a relatively limited pool of the language to play in, but here are my primary mistakes:

a) I sometimes mix up infinitive and present tense when writing, because it's often a difference of one letter. But I don't do it consistently and I do know which is which; if I'm not concentrating it just sort of wanders around in a random way.
b) I sometimes muck up word order slightly in sub-clauses, i.e. "inte" ends up in a strange place or something.

Which is, you know... not so catastrophic!

The other thing about Swedish is that it seems to have freed up something in my brain that was stuck fast, and suddenly if I have a writing task I can just do it. And it'll be in quite simple language but it'll read fairly naturally and my thoughs will be there on paper. I've lost that ability in English because I overthink it.

We'll see what happens when I get better at writing in Swedish, but I think it will always be a kind of different experience to writing in English (and possibly more enjoyable).

6. A week ago I gave a short talk about my experience of swedish lit in school. Now everyone wants book recs. Evil laughter goes here?

Next week I'm giving a talk about Greta Garbo, apparently, as we all got given someone famous from Sweden to talk about over the next month. Greta Garbo I can totally live with! ♥ (and on the same day someone else is talking about Queen Christina, so that should be a delightfully queer afternoon.)
marshtide: (Default)
Things are still shifting around in my head. Settling in new shapes.

Books:

Anteckningar från en ö (Notes from an island) by Tove Jansson and Tuulikki Pietilä. Fairly miscellaneous assortment of notes on and thoughts about their summer home out on a tiny island, written by Tove and illustrated by Tuulikki. I really loved it, though obviously it's one for people who already have some investment in the whole thing!

Now reading: Lyssnerskan by Tove Jansson, Simone och jag by Åsa Moberg.

Manga:

Solanin by Asano Inio is manga which is about dissatisfied university graduates trying to get their lives together and figure out what they want. I rather enjoyed it, and it gave me a pretty good kick of emotional response, both good and bad, so I'll call that a success. (I've read a few manga which are basically aiming for realism lately, but I can't even remember the names of the others. Yes, that has prompted me to finally begin listing manga I read on librarything as well.) It's one solid volume, pretty big but easy to read. I read it in an afternoon and then I felt melancholy. But maybe that was partly November's fault.

Paradise Kiss by Yazawa Ai (as in Nana) didn't have characters I really fell for in the way I fell for Nana, but the manga as a whole really worked for me. Somehow. I'm not absolutely clear on how, but I suspect it's that as melodramatic as Yazawa Ai can be there's something in there which feels basically believable to me in the way people related to each other (and struggle to relate to each other).

Flower of Life by Yoshinaga Fumi has a similar kind of honesty coupled with absolute ridiculousness. It also delights in presenting the reader with a stereotype and then going BUT WAIT! and it did it in a way that surprised me and cracked me up. The whole thing cracked me up. A lot. One of the things I really do appreciate Yoshinaga Fumi for is her ability to tackle fucked up ideas while fully recognising precisely how fucked up they are. It appeals to me, in a "yes, sometimes people really do do stupid things" kind of way.

To Terra by Takemiya Keiko I'd read a whole chunk of before but lost track of somewhere in moving countries, so I picked it up from the beginning again and read it all in one go. I think this one is pretty much brilliant, category-defying and a giant metaphor for homosexaulity well put together.

Banana Fish is stupid. But kind of hypnotic. In a really, really 80s way.

I'm pretty sure I've got more but I should actually go and have breakfast now.

(We have a day off school for teacher training. And I've had a rather ill and sleep deprived weekend. I totally get to lie in bed being lazy. Right? ...no?)

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