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Book review: Martin Luuk asking the right questions

”I'm going to build a tree so tall and stately, everything that I do from there will be a new exciting beauty. The beauty will flow out of me and when faced with the reality, as it will be new, for it will come from a place where no man's been before”.

So writes Martin Luuk in prosatexten ”No one I know is in my tree”, published a few years ago in a collection with the same name. I think it is a wonderful vision, or if you should call it uppsåtsförklaring, as well, in varying degrees, applies to all creation. It is about mapping the internal geography, to find the place from which the beauty – and if you are lucky, though it rarely has been: the truth – can be led out in the world, out to the reader or the audience.

use the metaphor ”lead”, as if it were about power. And it also makes it, at least in Luuks new book, the patafysiskt anstrukna the short novel ”Elkomikern”. Where it is stated that: ”People tend to call things they don't understand to magic. But what they often in fact mean is electricity.”

Elkomikern really called Lars Fureskär. He is Skara's greatest entertainers ever, so great that he even received the city keys. His performing arts goes out on the to be powered by electricity, while he up the – yes, what? Somewhat reminiscent of a krogslagsmål (on film), about the ballet, about a stroboskopdisco, and maybe a little about the cartoon, solid yet not. The seen the learn how at any time not forget about it.

When the book begins, stands Lars at the top of their elkomikerkarriär. Does a slow landslip downhill, down in the bortglömdhet, and the expected physical consequences: loss of memory, hair loss, brain and body on the brink of collapse.

interspersed with flashbacks to Lars's childhood, his of a until the end unnamed jagberättare. She and Lars were once best friends. They lived in a symbiosis which is reminiscent of the relationship between Gabriella and Johanna in Luuks last novel, ”God has too much time” (2015), and that can be seen as a variation on the syskontematik Luuk often returned to – not least in ”will end with its brothers and sisters?” (2015), the book and the stage show he wrote with his brother Kristian Luuk.

This is also a genuine siblings. He is called David, is four years older than Lars and works as his assistant. Unlike Lars, who would rather die for the art than remain in the Crowd, thrive Lennart really excellent with svenssonlivet. Best he feels when he works at a tool shop and eat swiss rolls with my mom every Sunday.

Via Lennart becomes ”Elkomikern” a portrayal of the Swedish small town. This is often claimed to be boring, but it is, as everyone knows, completely wrong: a small town's true essence is in fact insane, and I myself have always experienced it as incredibly scary. Of Luuk is thus the following set of kaurismäkikaraktärer: hotel owner James Fitz-Stavros, Lars and Lennarts glitzy mother, Maude, and of course Jimmy the Penis, and bathed their cat in the cream, but dies when he a violent night jumps from the water tower. They are depicted as laconic with compassion that none of them feels the slightest unrealistic; in particular, dialogue is the icing on the cake.

the image is otherwise what Luuk call it ”the old inbred snake-Sweden”. Of this Sweden is the enlightenment and modernity as a thin veneer. But the old inbred snake-Sweden, superstitious, skrockfullt, förryckt, ”a country where you got sick of that dancing too close to the evil powers”, is and embankments below the surface, is always closer than we pretend about: ”Sweden is a mystery, how much is it than now to hide it and skim over it over and spray on deodorant.”

And this is where Martin Luuk is seeking. To the mystery, to the art's core, to the tactile and invisible. ”Life is full of answers,” he writes: ”but we can't grab them, for we ask retarded questions”. But if the ”Elkomikern” is a question, and it is, the less retarded than most.

Read more: ”There is no end to how tired the people are men.”

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