Archive for March, 1982

An end and a beginning

Issue 1/1982 | Archives online, Fiction, Prose

An extract from Det har aldrig hänt (‘It never happened’, 1977). Translated and introduced by W. Glyn Jones

There they are!

Over the ice they ride. The hoofs in rhythmical movement kick up the snow. The trail points north west. The sound of the hoofs is absorbed in the blue twilight of a March evening. The two horsemen push on, close together, passing one tiny island after another. Their eyes are fixed on a trail which has lain before them throughout the day. They are hunting like wolves. Yes, like wolves they are.

Or are they?

The twilight gives way to darkness and the black of night. The riders lean low over their horses in an attempt to follow the trail, but at last one of them raises his hand. The hunt is called off. The horses snort and toss their heads so their manes dance. Clouds of steam rise from them, enveloping the men as they dismount and lead their horses to an islet where the dark and deserted profile of a fisherman’s cabin can be glimpsed. Heaven knows who the hut belongs to, but it is a good thing that it is there with its walls and a roof, a shelter against the night. More…

The elusive reality of Ralf Nordgren

Issue 1/1982 | Archives online, Authors

The poet and novelist Ralf Nordgren, part Ålander by blood, has close family ties with some of the Åland Islands’ most most outstanding cultural figures. He is the nephew of Sally Salminen, and he was in fact born – in Vasa – in 1936, the very year in which she published her best-selling novel Katrina. His brother is the composer Pehr Henrik Nordgren, his mother, Aili Nordgren, is herself a writer who has published five novels based on life in Åland (see Books from Finland, 4/1977).

Nordgren’s father, who shares his wife’s left-wing views and was once a communist party official, is not a writer, but his formative role is quite apparent, clearly reflected in the figure of the father in the first of Ralf Nordgren’s novels, Med (‘Taken along’, 1968), in which there is an appreciable autobiographical element. On one level he is responsible for the political substratum of the family, on another for the regularity with which they move house in time with his changes of job. More…