These versions, and see Robin Robertson’s useful introduction to see why these are called versions rather than translations, are remarkable. Would I think they are remarkable if he hadn’t won the Nobel Prize? Would I even have heard of him if not for the Prize? Hard to say.
Since moving to Minnesota, I’ve learned more about the Scandanavian countries and have been intrigued by the literature from that area.
I enjoyed “Winter’s Code” (At four in the morning / life’s clean-picked bones / engage in brittle repartee and If it stopped and switched off its lights / the world would be deleted.), “Out in the Open,” and “Black Postcards” (In the middle of life, death comes / to take your measurements. The visit / is forgotten and life goes on. But the suit / is being sewn in the sky.)
Some people question the purpose and value of literary prizes. The Nobel Prize brought this author to me, so I’m grateful.