only when…


This lack of wilderness ( in England ) matters terribly, just as the presence of wilderness matters in Sweden. The countryside is not just a decoration seen through windows. It is more powerful and intimate than that.

Andrew Brown. ‘Fishing in Utopia, Sweden and the future that disappeared.’

Lesson / Koan : Leaving can be a form of returning.

Guardian Journalist Wins Orwell Book Prize – 2009

Andrew Brown’s Fishing in Utopia ‘entrances’ judges of Britain’s pre-eminent award for political writing

by Alison Flood

Guardian journalist Andrew Brown has won the Orwell book prize for his gentle evocation of his love for Sweden, Fishing in Utopia.

Andrew Brown, editor of the Belief section of the Guardian’s Comment is Free, was presented with the £3,000 award – Britain’s most prestigious for political writing.

Fishing in Utopia is both a memoir of Brown’s own life in Sweden – he lived there as a child, married a Swedish woman, worked in a timber mill and raised his own son in the country – and an exploration of the country’s social and political system. Judges called it “charming and crystalline”, and “in its light and easy way … as profound as it is enchanting”.

Detailing how Brown falls in love with Sweden, with its socialism and its fishing, and also exploring how the country loses some of its idealism as it becomes an industrial nation.  Fishing in Utopia had absolutely achieved George Orwell’s ambition “to make political writing into an art.

excerpts from Fishing in Utopia :

“On cold Swedish mornings:It was a world that would only react with endless slowness, although I could still move at normal speed, so that everything had to be fumbled through time and time again and nothing I did seemed to make the shadow of a difference.

BTW,

Another person from England, who depicts Sweden in visual ways.

'Freedom Bounty', 2003 by Ange Mullen-Bryan

She may be small in stature. Yet her paintings are anything but. In fact give Ange Mullen-Bryan a space – no matter how big – and she will fill it with confident, bold, large strokes. Her oil paintings depicting Swedish woods, forests and landscapes, display something of the inner world of this outwardly shy, modest artist.

Ange admits she can’t paint her home surroundings. She has no desire to paint Cotswold landscapes, only Scandinavian ones. Yet she can’t paint full Swedish landscapes in Sweden – only when she returns. May be she needs the distance? What’s clear though, when it comes to recapturing what she’s seen, its colour and size that matters.

NOTE :

quote from Ange Mullen-Bryan :

My contemporary landscapes walk a line between various polarities; real and unreal, perfect and imperfect, near and far. Somewhere between comfort and unease.  They invite and repel in a glance, liberated and fearful in a moment, they hover between the two. These unsteady places rest where you are neither safe nor vulnerable but feel both as if they were close.  Enticed by precarious boundaries, where land meets lake and light meets dark. Where colour and form knock, jar and rest against each other, where tangle makes a whole, compelling and uncertain.

 

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