Sunday, April 27, 2008

Whine & Books

About time I write something more comprehensive, and since the course thing hasn't improve, not a bit, I'll do a bit of whining about that to begin with. For some odd reason I find myself to be in this completely mindblowingly bizarre Catch 22 situation regarding this, sigh, course. Just thinking about last week's first class of the so called Business English... I, silly me, thought it was all going to be about learning how to seriously negotiate in English, getting a decent set of specialist languange vocabulary and work on pronunciation (which, to be honest, most of us more or less have to do, Swenglish no more).

Well, to be polite about it - with a teacher that was really lovely, a wellbehaved, sweet, kind British lady with the accent I adore, but quite obviously not in the right element - it turned out that the lesson was kept on quite a different level; for people that actually don't know that you pronounce "W" and "V" differently, that don't know how to write a decent e-mail or my oh my, can't write a correct address on an envelope... S.I.G.H.

I suppose one shouldn't be at all surprised about the non-professionalism of this course/the organizer by now, but still it is somewhat difficult to grasp the truth of this course being anything but what it was said to be. That it's most probably the very essence of all those preconceptions one might have of the (Swedish) money-, people- and resourcewasting Employment Agency. Jaded, been there, done that, am not very interested in ending up there again.

I'll just hold on to the fact that I've done what I can in this Catch 22 situation - including writing and emailing an exhaustingly long but also mind cleansing list of critizism to the one responsible for this course at that above mentioned money-, people- resourcewasting authority, whatever good that might do... Well, call me Ms Whine - that I'm not alone, that there are several really, very nice coursemates and perhaps that all our different backgrounds and competences can be made into something great. In the end.

That I can still think for myself, that I can read, write and that I have an overall pleasant and fulfilling life apart from this bleeping course. That it's spring, pink blossoms, cats and a loaf doggie in the garden and soon a whole lot of gorgeous lilacs and tulips will be in bloom there too... But of course it's difficult to hold on to all the positive things when most of us know that the very far from positive thingies has this darn tendency to twist its energy absorbing tentacles most everywhere, all the time...

So now, back to what I've been meaning to write about for a long time, the latest read heap of books. Yes, of course reading is one of the things I often, when possible, take comfort in when other life issues leave me exhausted and worn. Since three of these books are written by Swedish authors I'm feeling generous and will let those three have one blog post each. Or in this case, half a blog post...

This first book is "Svampkungens son" /The Mushroom King's Son by Marie Hermanson. About a man who's constantly overridden by his charismatic womanizing mushroom-expert father. Hermanson is one of my favourite writers, however this book didn't really appeal to me. Can't put my finger as to exactly why, I only liked it partly, I felt it needed more elaboration. But yes, in general I do very much like her written language which is prosaic, yet lurid.

Her stories are very easy to be drawn in to and they all, in one way or other, take place somewhere between reality and fantasy. Often with an unexpected twist in the end. She's so far published nine books, of which I've read seven. Of these seven my favourite one is "Värddjuret" / The Host Animal. About a woman in her mid thirties who after travelling to Borneo finds herself being the host animal of an endangered species of butterfly.

I also very much enjoyed, although it left me with more than a sad feeling after having finished reading it, is "Mannen under trappan" / The Man Under The Stairs. About a husband and father that discovers a nasty, dirty, violent little man staying under the stairs in his family's house. A man who refuses to move.

It seems like none of her books are translated into English, yet, but to 11 other languages. However you can find an excerpt from the her book "The Mussel Shore" / Musselstranden here.

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