Inspiration

March 18, 2011

I was thinking about making these first posts give you an impression of who I am, and the first thing that comes to mind is reading. I’m guessing that most people who like to write also like to read, and in my case that is correct. I’m also guessing that a person’s writing and reading are connected, that you can see some sort of influence and inspiration between them. So what do I like to read? What authors and books inspire me?

There are some books that have meant more to me than others. The novel that awoke  my love of reading for real was Thérèse Raquin by Émile Zola. It was in high school I was given the assignment to read and review it and after that I just couldn’t get enough of books. I plowed through a lot of french classics during that time and came across a novel which I still consider one of the greatest books I’ve ever read; Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert.

Roughly seven years ago, when I was twenty, I happened (by chance) to stumble over the novel that has affected me the most; the book that gave birth to my dream of writing and the book I still view as my personal favorite and keep very close to my heart; The New York trilogy by Paul Auster. It stuck in my mind for months after reading it, I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. I was so impressed of how amazing it was, how thought-provoking and powerful Auster’s writing was. Since then I buy everything I can find by Paul Auster and I am almost becoming a Auster-collector. He is the writer who I view as my biggest source of inspiration.

If I am to list the writers that inspire me the most and name my favorites out of their work, my spontaneous list would look like this:

  • Paul Auster – The New York trilogy, Oracle night, Invisible, The book of illusions
  • Haruki Murakami – Kafka on the shore, Norwegian wood, Sputnik sweetheart
  • Franz Kafka – The trial, The castle, Metamorphosis
  • Fjodor Dostojevskij – Crime and punishment
  • Dennis Lehane – The given day, Mystic river
  • Émile Zola – Thérèse Raquin
  • Gustave Flaubert – Madame Bovary
  • Jack Kerouac – On the road
  • Carl-Johan Vallgren –The horrific sufferings of the mind-reading monster Hercules Barefoot – his wonderful love and terrible hatred, Documents concerning Rubashov the gambler

Pretty varied sources of inspiration, as you can see, and I guees that is mirrored in my writing as well. But more about that in another post!

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Sweden for dummies

March 17, 2011

125px-Flag_of_Sweden.svg

From what I’ve heard, people around the globe don’t exactly have a clear picture of what Sweden is like. Myths and stereotypes like that polar bears roam the streets, that all men look like vikings and that all women are blond, beautiful and naked are unfortunately not true.

To make a brief general description:
Sweden is a constitutional monarchy, we have a royal family but they have no political power at all. The country is run by a parliament (the riksdag) consisting of elected representatives from all parties reaching more than 4% of the votes in the national elections (currently that is 8 parties). The sitting government, led by prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, is an alliance of 4 right wing parties, the biggest being the moderate party. (Please note that I mean right wing in Swedish terms, in some other countries they would be considered to be liberal or even partly socialistic).

Sweden is known to be a rich and prosperous country, with free education, paid maternity leave and public health care. Privatizations and tax cuts has however become more frequent lately, and Sweden’s status as a socialistic democracy is shifting towards a more liberal and capitalistic view of things (unfortunately!). Rural Sweden is also a very multicultural society, since the country has accepted large numbers of immigrants and refugees for some decades now. Immigration is a hot debate at the moment, with the racist party the Sweden Democrats attracting bigger and bigger support enabling them to enter the parliament for the first time last year.

I should say that I have great issues with our current government and their views, but I will not go into more detail here.

If you would ask people around the world what they know about Sweden, a lot of people would mention celebrities and companies from Sweden, such as IKEA, Volvo, H&M, ABBA, Roxette, Björn Borg etcetera, but I would love to show people a broader view of what it is like to live here.

Oh, and another thing about Sweden (which I am very proud of) is that it is one of the least religious counties in the world. Even if a large part of the Swedish people are member of some kind of religious society (before 1996, you automatically became a member in the christian church at birth, but now Sweden is a truly secular country), only 2% visit services regularly and a majority of the people claim not to believe in god. Me being one of them!

Feel free to ask me anything you want to know.

So, who am I again?

March 16, 2011

Yeah, I guess I have start off this blog right; by introducing myself. Just to let any visitors get a sense of what to expect when they come in here. Who am I, and what do I have to say that might interest you? Well, I hope that this post can straighten these things out.

I am from Malmö in Sweden, and for those of you who don’t know where that is, Sweden is a country in Scandinavia in northern Europe, and Malmö is the country’s third city, located in the southernmost part of Sweden. I am male and in my late twenties, and I work as a teacher, currently in the 4th grade. I love my work, but I also dream of becoming a writer. As a person, I am enthusiastic, curious and have an opinion about mostly anything. I love literature, music and film, and things like politics, education, philosophy and religion interest me a lot.

 

The reason for me blogging in english is both to be able to reach people from all over the world, but also to challenge myself and my writing.

This blog, Won’t stop writing, will mostly be a place for me to vent my thoughts about the things that interest me. It will be my swedish view on global events, and an insight into a Sweden that not many people know much about. It will be about my writing and reading, and my everyday life. Last but not least it will hopefully be a chance to get in touch with people from all over the world, exchanging ideas, thoughts and perspectives.

 

I hope that you’ll want to be a part of this journey, check back in to read and discuss!

 

/Won’t stop writing

 

Hello world!

March 14, 2011

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!