Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Pirates of the new EU

One of the large number of "fringe" political groupings that scored a success in Sunday's Euro-elections was Sweden's Pirate Party, which secured 7.1% of the Swedish vote.

In the Aftonbladet newspaper, author Jan Guillou attacked his colleague Lars Gustafsson, saying that "the author, or indeed anyone who is active in cultural life, who votes for the Pirate Party is the sheep who votes for the wolf."

There are more reflections on the topic here.


Martin Aitken said...

Not on this topic, but more generally: thanks for this blog, a welcome initiative, indeed! Here's a couple of things that might be of interest. Per Højholt in Calque #5, with additional texts online at http://www.calquezine.blogspot.com/; Niels Hav in PRISM International 47:2 and online in The Marrow (http://chapbooks.webdelsol.com/worldvoices/hav/hav.html); Jørgen Leth coming up in The Literary Review (and for BookThug in Toronto); Dorthe Nors coming up in AGNI Magazine and The Boston Review; Janne Teller's novel 'Intet' out on Simon & Schuster this coming February. More in the pipeline! And a blog of sorts: http://theinterlingualzoo.blogspot.com
Cheers to all involved in 'Nordic Voices ...',
Martin Aitken

David McDuff said...

Thank you for the links and info. We'll add you to our blog list.

Martin Aitken said...

Same here!

Eric Dickens said...

The rise of the Pirate Party strikes me as one of these duck-pond incidents that sometimes occur in Sweden, as when Maja Lundgren wrote her "scandalous" moan, which filled the cultural "debatt" in Sweden for weeks.

Whether ex-Maoist and anti-Israel Swede Jan Guillou (remember the IB affair?) or Jewish convert and Austin professor Lars Gustafsson is technically right about pirate detail, I don't know. But I cannot understand why so many Swedes, in a serious national election, voted for people obsessing about copyright and freedom.

Although copyright, etc., very much involves my personal interests as a literary translator, this matter only affects the interests of a segment of society. For 7.1% of the electorate to elect one MEP on this ticket seems strange to me. What about the recession, jobs for the masses, the Swedebank wobble if Latvia defaults on its payments, etc? Whether you can download free pop music seems rather a luxury debate to me.

As for Per Højholt, I once thought of translating of book of his. Whether I ever will is another matter. He joins people like Ivo Michiels, Daniel Robberechts and others in a rather extreme form of postmodernist enterprise.