thomas m wilson

Sweden in Retrospect

August 9th, 2007

Well the digital book that is my blog opens up its pages for the world once more…


This is actually me in the Nobel Museum in Stockholm a few days ago.  Alfred Nobel was, like myself, a man with a keen interest in both science and literature.  Thanks to him we have the Nobel Prize awarded in five categories, which include science and literature.  I knew that Jean-Paul Sartre had rejected his Nobel Prize, but I didn’t know that each one came with 1.5 million U.S. dollars.  Ah the folly of sitting too high on the existentialist’s moral high horse!

I’m in a small coastal town in the north of Normandy, Fecamp.  I’ve found a little bar/cafe with wireless.  To my right is the bar’s counter, with a handful of French men standing and chatting over their morning’s cafe.

Before I mention Normandy, I thought I’d share a few of my photographs of the archipelago off Stockholm.  Four hours on a big ferry winding our way through pretty waterways, and finally we made it to the island of Moja.


Granite is everywhere on these islands…


The runic alphabet of life…


The forests of these islands are full of pines and birches.  They don’t seem to grow very tall though, maybe because of the underlying soils not being deep.  The Swedes often have little cabins, painted red, to retreat to for summer holidays.  This path led to the cabin of my friend Robert.  Lucky soul that he is, he is living there till September, amid the silence and the water and the trees.


Speaking of Swedish retrospectives, Ingmar Bergman, Woody Allen’s favourite director died a few weeks ago.  I have never seen a Bergman film, and Robert suggested I watch two films from the 1950s that aren’t quite as bleak as many of his works: Wild Strawberries and Smiles of a Summer Night.