Truly Beautiful Writing

Swedish author

I’m studying my sophmore year of high-school Swedish. My assignment due tomorrow is about Karin Boye‘s short story Min son blir inte snickare (“My son won’t become a carpenter”). These excerpts* are just truly beautiful: 

Samma stygn som en gång förr, bara mycket starkare och med en lite bitter giftverkan av hoppslöshet, gick genom hjärtat på honom.

The same suture from before, only sharper and dipped in a little poison of hopelessness, went through his heart.

Hans vaknande ungdom kom med ett nytt allvarsdigert medvetande om att det fanns något som hette framtid.

His burgeoning youth dawned on him with a new and overwhelming realization, that there was something called the future.

Han blev tung i bröstet av det där tjocka som kallas längtan.

His chest was filled with that smog called longing.

* All translations my own.

For Two

There was a cruel cackle
and a raucous roar
as I slayed my winnowing, wailing child
for two, the broken and the lucid

There sounded a cruel cackle
and a raucous roar
as I burned a poor, pure man at the stake
for two, the broken and the lucid

There blew a cruel cackle
and a raucous roar
as I held myself haughty hostage
for two
I, the broken and I, the lucid

This poem appeared first on the online publication Invisible Illness.


It’s a heavy set enemy
lying face down on your chest

Arms wrapped around your body
like a vice

Teeth dug into your forehead
Tongue flaying about in your brain

Every fifteen seconds
like clockwork
he vomits
like clockwork

tick tock

tick tock

It’s happening every fifteen seconds
in this makeshift coffin

From a Line Comes a Idea, Comes a Film

One of the short film concepts I’m working on is one about a woman who finds meaning to her difficult and conflicted life through elaborate rituals at her makeup table. I blogged about this a while back here. [Aside, it’s funny – I posted that exactly a year ago. I will really make this film this year! Stop smirking.]

I mentioned in my last post how my process for fleshing out a film used to be going on a single image or phrase or brain-picture, and going with it. With this film – working title right now I Feel Pretty -, it started out just like that.

It was 2007 and I was sitting in the editing suite at Open Window in Pretoria, waiting for the rendering to finish on my first documentary that I had made in London. I was staring at the wall, then the monitor, then the wall. So, I was looking around for a magazine or someone’s assignment that I could read. (You wouldn’t believe the ish people leave around.) So, I found a piece of paper with some random scribbles and then the following line:

“When I put on my makeup, I feel pretty.”

I’ll try to find the original clipping to verify the exact wording. I found the words nevertheless fascinating and my imagination went for a roadtrip, exploring all the possibilities you could on film with a concept like that.

So, with Victor’s process now in my toolbox, I sat in Mugg ‘n’ Bean Rosebank a week or so ago, and started fleshing out the main characters of the story. I wrote pages and pages of backstory. I feel really confident about the film now; I feel I have a much more solid foundation to work with rather than just a single image or word-image.

I’ve got two people already interested in playing the main characters.

Stay tuned!