tisdag, oktober 23, 2007

Paris - a corner of Paradise?

I recently finished reading a book by the Swedish journalist Knut Ståhlberg.

He was a well known reporter both in radio and television from the late forties till mid- eighties. He is still among us but born in 1920, he has since long retired from his journalistic career.

He became so intimately connected with France and Paris that he almost became an institution. 
Before him there had been renowned Swedish reporters stationed in France and Paris but for the majority of Swedes today he is the correspondent par préférence when it came to covering the political-societal and cultural situation in France. He was given the surname, The Voice from Paris.

He had a very personal style and in a way he epitomized the general idea of a Frenchman. He talked with every part of his body almost, not least his hands. He leaned towards the TV-screen and almost came out of the TV-set.

The book I've read by him is called A Corner of Paradise. Light and Dark Years in Paris (my translation).
He arrived in Paris in 1945 and came to live on Rue du docteur Blanche in the 16th arrondissement where he met his wife to be, Juliette
They lived very happy but after a while the cold war broke out and this made Ståhlberg have to take on a great amount of responsibility concerning news coverage.

Through his wife, he also learns about her family history from the trenches in the Flanders to the concentration camps of the Third Reich. A travel in time far from the Swedish self-righteous isolation.

In the book we can also read about André Gide, Claude Simon, Jean-Paul Sartre, politicians, musicians, painters (not least Swedish painters) and others who he met during his years in France.

It's a fascinating book and a evidence of the post-war history of Europe and also a story about love, the love to his wife, to France, to people who made an impression on him.

He has written several books and one of them is about Charles de Gaulle and called: 'De Gaulle, the General who was France' (my translation).

In 2006 he was honoured with Légion d'honneur' (Ordre national de la Légion d'honneur) - Legion of Honor.

I don't know if it has been translated into English but if so I would like to recommend it.

(Photo of Knut Ståhlberg copied from: https://www.aftonbladet.se/nyheter/a/wE9WRM/knut-stahlberg-ar-dod)
(Photo of his book copied from: https://books.google.fr/books/about/Ett_h%C3%B6rn_av_paradiset.html?id=hPr_ZwEACAAJ&redir_esc=y)

Google, military expenses and NASA

It now seems as if we have to rely only on Google as it has become by far the biggest Search engine in the world, worth 200 billion US dollars.

The world is suffering under starvation and other global threats but there is never money enough to help those who need help the most. 
What could 200 billion dollars do for the poor and dying in the world? It of course depends on in what way we use the money but even poorly used it would be enough to help millions of people around the world.

According to some figures 1000 billion US dollars is spent every year on the military in the world. Could these money be used in a more constructive way? 
Of course it could.

I don't know if I understood correctly the other day when I heard mentioned the amount of money spent on the space programme in the USA. I think the sum 1200 billion dollars every year was mentioned!!

How does these projects help the poor and people exposed to war and plagues?
Maybe the USA and other countries in the world are planning to send poor people to the moon?

When it comes to solving the problems with poverty, famine and diseases, the problem is not money...

tisdag, oktober 16, 2007

Drum solos - obsessed?

There are a lot of impressive drum soloists in this blogsection but - besides the older and younger very well known 'legends' - take a look at the third clip below. He's amazing.

The Hives at Liljevalchs

The art museum Liljevalchs in Stockholm was the site for this recording by The Hives, the Swedish rock group. Artists making art in a art museum. Enjoy!

torsdag, oktober 11, 2007

Doris Lessing

Now we know: Doris Lessing.

In the interview above she concluded that she had won almost all the litterary prizes there are in Europe but not the Nobel Prize. She ment that the Academy had to hurry before she died. I think it's a wonderful reaction and not the "Oh, my God, meeee, I'm-not-worth-it-reaction" one normally gets.

When I talked to people I know, there are few who have read her books and some doesn't even know who she is! This was surprising for me to hear.
Listening to interviews from a book shop in London I heard the reporter talk to people who didn't know who Doris Lessing is. Not even in her native country (I know she was born in Iran or Persia as it was called then).

"That epicist of the female experience, who with scepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilisation to scrutiny" was the descripiton of her as a writer delivered by Horace Engdahl, Secretary of the Swedish Academy.

She is the eleventh woman to be awarded the Noble Prize in litterature since 1901! This out of 99 laureates!

She is by many regarded as very important for women writers and their possibilities to become and remain authors.
She is also a commentator of current development in the world, seeking to find out what it is to be human.

Look at these links for more information about her:



Nobel prize in litterature

Today, the 11th of October, The Swedish Academy will present to the world the laureate in litterature for 2007.

If one would try a guess judging from what continents the laureates of the last few years have originated from, I would say that this year it's time for an author from the African, South American or Asian continent.

Will there be a person who deals with questions concerning race, nationality and religious beliefs? Will there perhaps be a poet who is regarded being non-political?

Orhan Pamuk was regarded as a political author even though he didn't regard himself as one.
Elfriede Jelinek is also in many ways a political author and that goes for the dramatist (playwright) Harold Pinter.

Will there be a woman or a man? We will see at 1 pm.

(Photo Swedish Academy copied from: http://www.ullamontan.com/foton/portratt_sv_forfattare/svenska_akademien_2_l.jpg)
(Photo Orham Pamuk copied from: http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-images/Books/Pix/authors/2007/05/29/pamuk460.jpg)
(Photo Elfriede Jelinek copied from: http://27.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_krtpe6piS11qzn0deo1_400.jpg)
(Photo Harold Pinter copied from: http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/45327000/jpg/_45327315_pinter7_bbc.jpg)

fredag, oktober 05, 2007

Otto G.Carlsund and Olle Baertling

Svenska (English below):

I Stockholm kan man just nu se två stora utställningar omkring två svenska modernistiska målare:

Otto G. Carlsund Liljevalchs konsthall där man (bl.a.) målat upp hans stora väggmålning 'Rapid' (ovan) som gjordes till Stockholmsutställningen 1930. Det är en geometrisk soluppgång pekandes mot framtiden under konkretismens banér.

På Moderna museet öppnar höstens stora utställning nämligen, 'Olle Baertling - en modern klassiker'. Baertling född 1911 var autodidakt och skapade vinklade fält - ofta i triangulär form - i olika färger. 
Detta kom att bli sinnebilden för den moderna konstens abstraktion från det föreställande.
Olle Baertling
Irgur, 1958
oil on canvas, 195 x 97cm

Baertling var mycket produktiv men utställningskommissarien John Peter Nilsson har enligt uppgift varit mycket sparsmakad.


In Stockholm one are able to visit two exhibitions displaying two great Swedish modernist painters:

Otto G. Carlsund at Liljevalchs art museum where they've (among other artworks exhibited) hanged his big wall painting 'Rapid', a painting he made in connection to the Stockholm exhibition in 1930. It's a geometrical sunrise pointing towards the future under the banners of concretism.

Sculpture YAYAO 1971 h 525 cm Centre National d'Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou, Paris

At Moderna museet (The Museum of Modern Art) the big autumn exhibition opens 6th of Octobre: 'Olle Baertling - a Modern Classic'. Baertling was born in 1911 and he was totally autodidact, creating angles and fields in different colours - often triangular in form.

This came to be the pure idealistic symbol for the modern art and its abstraction from the depicting art.

Baertling was very productive but the curator John Peter Nilsson has according to the information I've got, been very restrictive in his choice of works by Baertling.
Delaumbre bleu

(Photo 'Rapid' Otto G. Carlsund copied from: http://www.nt.se/inc/imagehandler.ashx?id=2278485&height=312&quality=75)
(Photos Olle Baertling, Irgur and YAYAO copied from: http://www.baertling.com/first.htm)
(Photo Delaumbre bleu copied from: https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/565131453214508288)

torsdag, oktober 04, 2007

The Sputnik wll not be back and neither will Lajka!

Today we - or the Russians - celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the first space aircraft launched into space - Sputnik 1.

This marked the start of a race in space and for the Americans it was a great defeat to see the Sovjet Union being ahead of them. 
It was not only a defeat but the American government thought that this could become a military threat against the country.

President Eisenhower at the time declared that the United States also could have launched their own Sputnik if they had lowered the scientific demands of the operation. This was of course nonsense. He lied to the whole nation.

The Sputnik showed that the Sovjet Union now could strike the United States with long distance missiles and USA was actually far behind. 

A month later Sputnik 2 was launched with one passenger, namely the dog Lajka. Poor dog!

Sputnik 3 on the other hand became a failure as the tape recorder that was supposed to record the event did not work. 
This could have been avoided if not the premier of the Sovjet Union, Nikita Khrushchev, had refused to postpone the launch. The reason he did not postpone was because he had promised the Italian communist leaders something special in connection to the election the day after.

Since these early days 4 500 satellites have been launched - half of which have been military spy satellites! 

I heard an interview on the BBC where a Russian space expert thought that within twelve-fifteen years they will be able to launch the first manned space aircraft for a journey to Mars.

And for what good?

måndag, oktober 01, 2007

Vladimir Putin will be back!

Now it seems as if Vladimir Putin is willing to enter the election in order to become the next prime minister in Russia.
This is not surprising when studying who he suggested as prime minister recently and maybe his successor as president, namely Viktor Zubkov. Zubkov is a person not known to the vast majority in Russia and even less known in the rest of the world.
Putins idea is perhaps - as some have suggested - that he will run for the prime minister post, take the initiative in political matters and gradually undermine the position of the person succeeding him as president. After some years or even earlier than that, he will be back as a presidential candidate, hoping to gain victory. 
Putin is still comparatively young and I don't think he wants to give up the possibility of ruling this vast country again. 

With a small travesty from a well known governor one could say that: Putin "will be back".

(Photo Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator copied from : https://www.theterminatorfans.com/arnolds-ill-be-back-from-the-terminator-tops-movie-quotes-brits-love-to-say/)