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Book review: the New Forest – a coffeetablebok for people who like to coffeetableböcker is vulgar

The first thing you notice is that it is thick. Since it is unusual, beautifully designed by Nina Ulmaja, with decorated cuts and a etsningsliknande picture of a pine forest on the cover. ”New Forest”, the Danish author Josefine Klougarts latest to the translated Swedish book, is a visual revelation – heavy, pretentious and elegant.

the Form says something about the text, but perhaps even more about the one who is supposed to read it. ”The New Forest” is a stylish scandinavian design; a coffeetablebok for people who like to coffeetableböcker is vulgar. A tasteful and well-balanced novel that, as a Danish critic tellingly put it, to enjoy slowly like a good wine.

book review: Josefine Klougarts ”About darkness”

in short delicious. And I can't shake off me the feeling of the interpellerar me as a consumer rather than as a human being.

To a certain extent reminds the novel of Klougarts previous books, two of which, ”On darkness” and ”One of us sleeps”, is translated to Swedish, then as now, by the highly skilled Johanne Lykke Holm. The shot shape feels again, as well as bildspråkets monochrome play of light: snow and forest, sun and ice, dogs and horses. The motives flares up and goes out in the brief, suggestive statements: ”A face do remember that it has been crying. Ants have nothing in the snow to do. There is memory in all things.”

It is for the sake of reading Klougart. Action, she works rarely, and neither here. Some tracks sounds, however, be distinguished. The greatest place, it takes about a good 30-year-old writer who is stuck in a withered relationship – she resembles Klougart yourself, which is highlighted by some obvious autofiktiva details. Another depicts a young girl on a visit in England, and a third an elderly woman who was watching at her husband's deathbed.

Exactly how it all fits together feels pointless to try to sort it out.

it is difficult to determine who is who. Berättarperspektivet shifts from first to third person, from ”she” to ”I”, sometimes in the middle of a paragraph. As the text progresses, the slipping people into each other purely biographical. The evidence suggests that at least the girl and the 30-year-old writer is one and the same person in different stages of life, while the older, possibly her mother.

Exactly how it all fits together feels pointless to try to sort it out. Particular orientation, however, is given of the chapter titles. The last eleven chapters have basically the same name as the first eleven, but in the reverse order. In the middle is a more compact party where the titles will return once again. Sometimes, anchoring the text in a main stage, but usually in a mood, an atmosphere, for the reader to vegetate in.

the main thematic thoroughfare is the subtle power struggles that take place in human relationships. Here are pictures of sibling rivalry, of how berättarjaget compete with her sisters in ”the endless game that is all about to be the most beloved daughter”. ”The one who loves least has the power”, notes Klougart; a fact which gives rise to a certain loneliness. Ultimately, it is about the sorrow in that everyone is trapped in their own reality. When the narrator falls asleep next to her boyfriend F they fall into ”a sleep”.

Read more: Matilda Gustavsson meets Josefine Klougart

a bored couple in love belongs to the best in the ”New Forest”. This is the first bottoms bildströmmen in the course of events, and the parables will receive a grotesque sharpness that reflects what is happening. When the F embraces the narrator, does he do it ”like a bear attacking a man from behind”; when he kisses her, it is ”as if she had eaten up his girlfriend, so that the only remains of her now was that residue in her mouth and between her teeth”.

In general, there are, unfortunately, somewhat troublesome diffused over the ”the New Forest”. Klougarts language is partially accurate, but tend in the 700 pages too often to what the reviewer Andrés Stoopendaal aptly describes as a ”ranelidska of Marguerite Duras-fans”. ( Kristianstadsbladet 25/1). It is so mechanically poetic, so the citizens självupptaget, so needless ekvilibristiskt that I feel like I'm bothering: oops, this was the formuleringsverkstad, sorry I haven't tapped!

Why is it always when Klougart to Scandinavia's most hajpade young writers? Yes, say it. Maybe it's that you want to like it, or in any case to be one of those people who like it. It is, of course, so glamorous, so talented, so complex. And yes: I also enjoy her sumptuous imagery and obvious brilliance. But so long as it is less literature than there are home furnishings for the soul.

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