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Ljuset by Torgny Lindgren
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Ljuset (original 1987; edition 1987)

by Torgny Lindgren

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128594,050 (3.98)3
Member:fileunderwater
Title:Ljuset
Authors:Torgny Lindgren
Info:Stockholm : Norstedt, 1987 ;
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:fiction

Work details

Light by Torgny Lindgren (1987)

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» See also 3 mentions

English (4)  Dutch (1)  All languages (5)
Showing 4 of 4
No one living writes quite like Torgny Lindgren. On every single page of this book I have found prose and ideas that astound and invigerate me. Yes the book is about a plague-like sickness but Lindgren's way of thinking and way of writing constantly surprises. His prose seem simple but always say alot. I can compare him only to the genius of Italo Calvino.
Don't read a library copy because you will want a pencil for underlining and marginalia.
Torgny Lindgren illuminates much with Light. ( )
  thetom | Sep 23, 2010 |
This book is about a medieval village in the far North of Sweden. In fact, it is the last village: beyond is nothing but wasteland. A flea from a pregnant rabbit brings the plague, and when its ravages are over, only six people are left alive. One of those people, in a crazed moment, committed a terrible act because he thought it would save him from the plague. Perhaps as a result of that, perhaps as a result of the decimation, the previous unquestioned natural order is upset, and nothing makes sense any more - no-one knows what is right and what is wrong, no-one can track the passage of time, and no-one can make everything return to normal.

The focus of the story is on two of the surviving characters: Konik, who is troubled by the incomprehensibility of the new world, and Onde, who takes advantage of it. I think this was the key tension in the book - between believing that things are as they are, or that they should be as they should be.

I say 'I think', because for a lot of the time I was reading this book I felt fairly confused. It was obvious that there was a lot of symbolism going on - there are repeated motifs (rabbits, for example, which I think symbolise vitality and also chaos) and the characters' behaviour is not very naturalistic. But I feel as if I picked up about a tenth of it. That made the book quite a slog for me. I managed to keep going in the hope that it would all become clear in the end, but it didn't, really.

Recommended for: a reader who enjoys decoding symbolism (or perhaps more bluntly, someone who likes a challenge!) ( )
2 vote wandering_star | Jan 24, 2010 |
Fascinating and disturbing mix of (post)modern fiction and search for the way storytelling and personality functioned in the Middle Ages or Early Modern Times. It reminded me of the early Bergman movies.
Also beautiful how rabbits and a pig are as much or even more 'actors' than people. It also changed my way of looking at the sudden outburst of violence (in other) societies. ( )
1 vote Dettingmeijer | Aug 12, 2009 |
Showing 4 of 4
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Torgny Lindgrenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Meij, Bertie van derTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0002711729, Paperback)

In the remote fastnesses of Northern Sweden, where a small community shares its meagre subsistence with its domestic livestock, an imported rabbit introduces the plague and the population is all but annihilated. Torgny Lindgren is the author of "Bathsheba" and "Merab's Beauty".

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:30:19 -0400)

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