Imagination needs inspiration to bloom.


The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

A governess is in charge of two orphan children, taken care of by their uncle who works in London and never wants to be disturbed. Eventually, the governess suddenly begins to see two phantoms, a man and a woman, near the children, and suspects that the latter know about these ghosts.

It's a chilling story, with gothic elements similar to ”The woman in black” and references to ”Jane Eyre”, but it's not as thrilling as it's reputation. Perhaps the reason is Henry James writing style, of course rich, but tricky and with endless punctuations marks that usually is rather favourable, but in this case might be considered used beyond all reason.

The interesting aspect is the many interpretations that can be made regarding the ghosts, the children and sanity of the governess. The two children, Miles and Flora, are utterly perfect, both their countenance and their behavior. Perhaps that is why something feels strange about them. The reader might wonder if they are real. What has been speculated and reflected upon is whether the governess is right in her conviction about the ghosts and the children's awarness about them, or, perhaps, that she is psychologically disturbed, imagining things and belonging in a alysum. The author gives no answer, and the reader is left to interpret the story.


Allt det där du sa till mig var sant by Amanda Svensson

The main character is a young woman falling in love with another student at the same school. He calls himself Majakovsky and her Lilya Brik. The relationship is based mostly upon, and soon they almost believe they are, these characters. It's the beginning of a destructive relationship that only turns more desperate, and the young woman runs the risk of losing herself.

Amanda Svensson's third novel is a sharp description of power abuse in an isolated envivonment, as well as a subtle view of influence of thoughts upon daily life. Sometimes it's difficult to interpret what's real and what's fantasy. The real name of the young protagonist is never revealed, and she lives in two worlds. She is the helpless Lilya Brik and the adventurous pirate Mary Read. In one world she is a powerless victim of a psychopath, and in the other, as a counter reaction, she is an active pirat together with her friend Anne Bonny and writing her own story, deciding her own destiny. It's interesting how the environment and different people affect us, making us grow or shrink. The novel is about creating your own world, where you exist. The one you want to belong to.

Svensson is experimenting with a colorful version of identity and the identification process amongst young people that feel they don't fit in. The suffocating daily life and the feeling of being invisible. The abuse of such people. The will to be free. And she does it brilliantly. The reality has never been more subjective and multi-faced. What does the physical reality really tell us about ourselves? When do we not pretend? What is reality? Svensson emphasizes the importance of stories. how they can make us very small, but also very big and strong, conquering everything, like a pirate.