by Aase Berg
Translated by Johannes Göransson with an Introduction by Daniel Sjölin.
Poetry. Scandinavian Studies. Translation.
1 October 2005
Remainland showcases poetry from four volumes of poetry by Aase Berg, one of Sweden’s most celebrated and subversive young writers. From the wrecked fairy-tale-scape of With Deer to the pregnancy allegory Transfer Fat, from the sci-fi naturalism of Dark Matter to the catastrophic oasis of Uppland, Berg works language into miniature grotesques which invert the truisms of contemporary society. Her compulsive inventiveness provides an excoriating challenge to all cultures of complacency.
PRAISE FOR AASE BERG
“…makes a world and puts us inside it to hear its language, to be subject to its laws and materiality, to be a citizen called upon to act and be acted upon. Articles are removed, new compounds words are made, and commands are given, and so this language feels like a paradigmatic example of itself, essential and new as it subverts expected idioms and means multi-directionally. This language is both highly prepositional and highly visceral; we are in relation and on top of relations and at relationships. With what? Whale fat, breast-gristle, hare-milk, glasswater, a fatcatatonic election promise, Hal, the hare Cosmos, and more nouns that seem pure thing and pure metaphor, Swedish and of my Midwestern backyard, political and inborn.”
—Chad Post on Transfer Fat, at Three Percent
“These poems feel like an entire burgeoning, surrealistic, post-apocalyptic creation of a planet and that planet’s inhabitants, that starts at the bottom of a tarn or tjärnes, a small lake thick with vegetation.”
– Rebecca Loudon on With Deer, at Galatea Resurrects
“It is poetry steeped in the Anthropocenic nightmare of industry and apocalypse. It is a book of love and its interlocutors. It is a work of art, a mimesis of the surreal whose efforts are palpable—imbued with the distinct feel of a work-in-progress that strives to, and succeeds at, attaining a new lexicon, a marriage of image and language into a hybrid materiality that, at its best, is exhilaratingly smart and wholly complete.”
– Ryo Yamaguchi on Dark Matter, at The Hair Splitter
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Aase Berg is a poet, literary critic and translator. She grew up outside Tensta in Stockholm, where she was born in 1967. Her first book, Hos rådjur (With Deer), was published by Bonnier in 1997. This was followed by Mörk Materia (Dark Matter), a book-length science-fiction prose poem, in 2000. Her third book, Forsla fett (Transfer Fat), was nominated for the prestigious Augustpriser for the best poetry book of 2002, and was shortlisted for the Best Translated Book Award in 2013. In 2005, she published her fourth book, Uppland. Her most current book, Hackers, was published in Sweden in 2015. Her essays on literature and culture have appeared in BLM, Göteborgs-Posten and 00tal, among other places. She currently resides in Stockholm.
ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR
Johannes Göransson is the author of six books, including most recently The Sugar Book (Tarpaulin Sky Press), and has translated a number of Swedish poets, including Aase Berg, Henry Parland, Johan Jönson, Ann Jäderlund and others. He has also written criticism about translation theory, and is currently working on a book on the subject. His website is johannesgoransson.com