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By Stig Dagerman

Stig Dagerman (1923-1954) is thought of as the main gifted younger author of the Swedish post-war new release. by way of the Nineteen Forties, his fiction, performs, and journalism had catapulted him to the leading edge of Swedish letters, with critics evaluating him to William Faulkner, Franz Kafka, and Albert Camus. His suicide on the age of thirty-one was once a countrywide tragedy. this feature, containing a few new translations of Dagerman's tales by no means ahead of released in English, is unified by way of the subject matter of the lack of innocence. usually narrated from a kid's viewpoint, the tales provide voice to childhood's soft kingdom of receptiveness and pleasure tinged with longing and loneliness. The identify tale, "Att doda ett barn" ("To Kill A Child"), is the main well-known of Dagerman's brief tales and one of the such a lot anthologized and oft-read tales in Sweden.

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Probably I should still attempt to cheer Ulrik up. unlike he’s had an entire hell of much to sing approximately himself, on their own at the farm, with out the great feel to get himself a girl. the lady that saved residence for him, she simply picked up and left. imagine they stated the outdated guy had a difficult time holding his arms off her after Mamma handed, yet humans, they are saying every kind of items. Don’t see why they’d desire a lady to have a tendency residence besides after Mamma used to be long past. She’s the person who wanted tending, restrained to mattress forever. however the previous guy, he was once up on his toes to the very finish, and whipping jointly a bit day-by-day grub used to be by no means any challenge for him, no longer even at his age. It’s a great factor the farmhand stayed on, even though, ’cause Ulrik couldn’t get alongside with out him, don’t care how powerful they brag he's. Down within the village “cinter,” as they are saying it the following at domestic, there ain’t a soul in sight. okay, might be one. A tall fella status there on the fringe of the line with a paper bag in his arms, looking forward to us to head by way of. A drifter, I’m yes, ’cause once we’re transparent he crosses actual speedy and is going all over the gate at Petterson’s, the grocer’s position. Couldn’t have picked a wronger rattling door than that one to go to. Petterson wouldn’t provide a bum a plug nickel, a miser similar to each person else round the following. The outdated guy used to be a breed aside while it come to that. If a drifter stopped off at his door you will be definite he’d get a few meals and leisure. The outdated guy used to be most likely simply chuffed to have an individual to speak to. He was once a contented soul like that. in contrast to Ulrik, who you couldn’t choke a observe out of. whilst me and the previous guy was once sitting there in his room after Mamma’s funeral, he says to me: “To get a drink during this condo a man’s received to head and sneak off. ” It ain’t like Ulrik could say whatever to him approximately it, yet he certain as hell could glower. virtually until his eyes burned. yet to get a note out of him you’d need to make him solid and livid. That used to be the final time I ever spoke with the outdated guy. So I ain’t gonna fail to remember that during a rush. And I’ll say this a lot, them others should be aware of – them all! – that the outdated guy wasn’t one to appear down his nostril on the subsequent fella. And all this noise they make approximately what a able fellow Ulrik is – that’s all I listen at any time when I come domestic to go to, all I’ve heard ever when you consider that I moved to the town! How he’s pretty much as good as 3 males and works himself that onerous at the farm, whiles I simply kick up my ft and feature a great time on the town! and the way he by no means swears, until he’s along with himself with anger! How he don’t smoke and hasn’t touched a drop on the grounds that he used to be a conscript within the military! in fact, there has been that one time at the previous man’s 70th birthday whilst me and him combined a few brännvin into the lemonade after which poured an incredible glass of it for Ulrik. And him, he was once so thirsty he simply guzzled down the whole lot, pondering it was once simple outdated lemonade, in fact. What a hell of a multitude that used to be – Ulrik in the market throwing up everywhere in the entrance backyard after which coming again in and railing at us like a creature possessed.

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