Quotation: Betrayal

Karin Via Dorte of DJ's Krimiblog (an excellent blog, by the way), and inspired also by Norman of the lovely Crime Scraps, I thought I'd join in the quotation game, for one day at least. I also wanted to use the opportunity to thank those who so kindly commented on my post , about Karin Alvtegen (pictured). In particular, Steven T. Murray, aka Reg, Stieg Larsson's English translator, kindly left an informative and typically generous comment. I should have written in my earlier post, so will say here, that his translation of Betrayal is faultless – he has served the author extremely well in contributing to the atmosphere and seamless build-up of tension.

One aspect of Betrayal that I liked very much is the author's ability to convey the sheer effort and exhaustion of coping with a professionally demanding job, a young child, domestic duties and having a Sunday-supplement "fulfilling" life. About to break under the strain of the lack of time and the pressure of demands of various kinds, here's a paragraph about Eva:

She thought about the story she had heard about the group of Sioux Indians who during the 1950s were flown from their reservation in North Dakota to have a meeting with the President. With the help of jet engines they were whisked thousands of miles to the capital. When they entered the arrival hall at Washington airport, they sat down on the floor, and despite insistent appeals for them to go to the waiting limousines, they refused to get up. They sat there for a month. They were waiting for their souls, which could never have moved as fast as their bodies did with the help of the aeroplane. Not until thirty days later were they ready to meet the President.

Perhaps that was just what people should do, all the stressed-out people who were trying in vain to make their lives work. Sit down and wait to catch up. But weren't they already sitting there all together? Not exactly waiting for their souls, but they were all sitting in their cosy living rooms, so that they could get completely involved in all the docu-soaps on their TV sets. Act shocked at the shortcomings of others and their inability to handle relationships. How did people cope, really? And then quickly change the channel to avoid taking a look at their own behaviour. So much easier to sit in judgement over others' behaviour from a distance.

Dorte's Monday and Sunday quotations.

Norman's Monday and Sunday quotations.

Karin Alvtegen's website, recommended by Kim of Reading Matters (another excellent blog, by the way).


6 thoughts on “Quotation: Betrayal

  1. Thank you, Maxine, but at least part of your praise is quite undeserved. I owe the quotation idea to a “Weekly Geeks” challenge; I have put a link with my Saturday Quotation! 🙂
    And another thank you for reminding me and everybody else how important the good translation is! Though it would be a bit odd for me to read Scandinavian books in English, I think I´ll have to try one of Reg´s.

  2. Dorte, check with me first before you buy anything. Some came out better than others!

  3. P.S. You all know that Karin Alvtegen is the grand/great niece of Astrid Lindgren, don’t you?

  4. Maxine, thanks for your kind mentions and the complimentary adjective.
    Reg of course we do. “Lovely” Crime Scraps: 21 January in a post entitled Swedish Relatives. ;o) I must have missed the translations that did not come out better as for example my favourite Mankells all seem to be yours.

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