“I can sit in the safest of rooms and suddenly sense death all around: in the fire, in every sharp object at hand, in the weight of the ceiling and the mass of the walls; in the water, the snow, the heat and in my blood.”
from the essay “Our Need for Consolation” by Stig Dagerman 1923-1954
My dad killed himself when I was three. But he left behind a wealth of writing in which his voice emerges — immediate, intense and strong – so powerfully that, at times, in reading it you can almost feel his presence.
He was desperate for life, and all his writing is really a search for ways to be free.
In Sweden and parts of Europe his work is very well-known. I have been stunned by how his writing keeps on touching people in so many countries – see for example Tetes raides’ reading of Our Need for Consolation to reggae. But he is not known at all in the United States. And when I moved here it was good, at first, not be known as somebody’s daughter.
Some months ago, I came upon a web posting: ”Alas, I know too little about Dagerman…” http://hem.passagen.se/iblis/dagerman.html. When I saw this I decided, together with the Swedish Dagerman Society, that it was time to start a website & blog in English to bring Stig’s voice to more people. Not only in the US, but also to meet the request for more English translations that has come to us from places like China.