Author: Lars Sund

Dead calm

31 December 2007 | Fiction, Prose

Extracts from the novel En lycklig liten ö (‘A happy little island’, Söderströms, 2007)

In the beginning the computer screen was without form, and void, and the scribe’s fingers rested on the keyboard.

The scribe bit his lower lip. His gaze travelled like a fly from the workroom’s crowded bookshelves to the rocking chair in front of the window and the coloured prints of birds on the walls. He went out into the kitchen and drank some water. Then he sat down in front of the computer again.

To create from nothing a fictitious world assisted only by the tools language places at our disposal, surely that must be a great and exacting undertaking!

The scribe hesitated and racked his brains for a long time before finally typing the first word: ‘sky’. Then after long thought he typed another word: ‘sea’. More…

One hell of a time

Issue 4/1997 | Archives online, Fiction, Prose

Extracts from Lanthandlerskans son (‘Country shopkeeper’s son’, Söderströms, 1997). Brooklyn Bridge, Christmas Eve: Otto, a Finland-Swede, attempts to start a new life in 1930s America, where swindlers and even gangsters can, he finds, be duped – even Al Capone. Otto’s grandson listens to his story on tape

I have always loved that sight. A city that you see from the air at night, all lit up. It’s’ beautiful – and at the same time so frightening. I don’t really know how to describe it.

Well, it was Christmas Eve. I was wandering around New York. I had eaten at an automat. Do you know what that is? They don’t exist any more, but in the Twenties and Thirties they were common in America. It’s a cafe, but they didn’t have any staff or waiters, instead the walls were full of little glass boxes where the food was on display. You could select what you wanted – sandwiches and pies and salads, anything. Then you put your nickels and dimes in a slot beside the box and the glass opened and’all you had to do was take out the plate. I was fond of the automats. I liked just sitting there and watching other people eat, no one bothered about you, you were left alone and that suited me. When I’d finished eating I went outside again and somehow or other I wandered upon to Brooklyn Bridge. There was a lot of traffic, people were on their way home. Well, just as I was walking there alone in the company of my thoughts I heard someone shouting ‘Help! Help me!’ More…

Thunder in the east

Issue 4/1991 | Archives online, Fiction, Prose

Extract from the novel Colorado Avenue (Söderström & Co, 1991). Introduction by Pia Ingström

Come. We are going to look at schoolmaster Johansson’s photographs.

It is true that Johansson himself died of TB back in 1922, and the collection of glass negatives he left behind – several dozen boxfuls – was destroyed in a peculiar manner. This, however, constitutes no hindrance to us. Where reality falls short, fantasy must intervene. By expanding realistic style beyond the scope of the possible we create a new reality.

To seek to grasp at Time and hold her fast is a dangerous and hopeless undertaking; Time wreaks a terrible revenge on those who seek to rise up against it. Thus, too, was schoolmaster Johansson’s dream of eternity with the help of silver nitrate and glass frustrated. In the spring of 1926 schoolmaster Johansson’s household effects were finally sold by auction. A certain Eskil Holm from Blaxnäs snapped up the glass negatives for a small sum. More…