Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Mare Kandre - "Quinnan och Dr Dreuf"

I will be submitting, on a separate thread at a later stage, a small portion of my draft translation of the novel "Quinnan och Dr Dreuf" by the late Mare Kandre (1962-2005), who was one of the first authors to produce what has since been termed "Swedish Gothic" beginning in the early 1980s. Later on still, when I have gone through that part of the text again, I will again submit the same piece. It will be interesting to then compare additions, omissions and changes, between the two versions. Comments will be welcome.

This tongue-in-cheek novel merits a short "the story so far" description, but you can find a lot of background information on Mare Kandre herself [pronounced MARR-eh KANN-dreh, with short vowels, despite what you hear] in the 2008:2 issue of the Swedish Book Review, where I translated an excerpt of one of her other novels Aliide, Aliide.

Quinnan och Dr Dreuf, is a spoof on Sigmund Freud and his teachings, and is a duel similar to that in Fröken Julie by Strindberg, except in that it is the woman who ultimately gets the upper hand. It is perhaps Mare Kandre's best received novel, and has been translated into French and Estonian.

The somewhat dwarfish Dr Dreuf lives in a house with a dusty surgery full of glass jars containing pickled female foetuses, breasts and wombs, and is visited one day by the Woman (I could not find a satisfactory way of reproducing the old spelling of "quinnan" in English; instead, I capitalised the word "Woman".) The whole novel consists of Dr Dreuf trying to tease the visions that the Woman sees in her head out of her, and interpret them using the theory of Professor Popokoff, one of the mentors of Dreuf.

There are four reviews of this novel at:


This is one webpage on the official Mare Kandre website. More insights into the novel can be found at:


This is the appropriate part of a review of Mare Kandre's work, by Helena Forsås-Scott.

1 comment:

David McDuff said...

It sounds fascinating, Eric. Looking forward to reading the excerpt.