Imagination needs inspiration to bloom.


Vathek by William Beckford

The Caliph, Vathek, and his mother, Carathis, are cruel and ruthless in their search for knowledge and supernatural powers. Listening to Giaour, who claims to be an Indian merchant and has earned Vathek's attention, they abandon their faith, Islam, to live in sin and murder innocent people to sacrifice to Giaour - who work for the Devil, Eblis, and whose name means blasphemer - to be able to achieve these powers. Of course, it's not that easy.

Written in 1786, by the English author William Beckford, "Vathek" is one of the first gothic novels. One might view the book as a moral tale, or just a fascinating story about abandoning reason and empathy to achieve a goal that perhaps is superfluous. At the same time, the negative view of thirst for knowledge - apart from the cruel crimes committed to achieve it - is interesting.

Being a great inspiration to many authors, the expectations might be high. Unfortunately, the book, which is only 120 pages, is a heavy read and the character development, except from the main characters - is almost non-existent, which makes it difficult to maintain interest.


Vitsvit by Athena Farrokhzad

In Athena Farrokhzad's debut book ”Vitsvit” there is a mixture of what is and what were. The family came from Iran to Sweden, and the poetry centers around politics and the breaking point - the relationship with the place they left and the place where they arrived. Fragments of testimonies describe memory and identity. Athena Farrokhzad has chosen an interesting way of expression. She lets her poetry consist of the voices of her family members. The mother's attempt to assimilate and her father's voice of revolution. It's violent and nostalgic. Brutal and beautiful.

There are glimpses of the author in the beginning, but she doesn't return. Instead, the reader has to get to know her through the eyes of the family, and there are often conflicts when they view her from their own perspectives. 

The white text on black strips resembles a collage, and perhaps that is the feeling the author wants to convey. It's a mixture of voices that should all be heard, together and individually. The strips might also suggest that the poetry is like subtitles in a movie, which reminds the reader of the fact that this is people's real quotes.

Farrokhzad uses the whole width of the language. Sometimes, it's casual, but more often it's beautiful, intimate and strong. The result makes Athena Farrokhzad a promising debutante. ”Vitsvit” is also leaving the reader with a self-critical emotion. Who is the blurry shape reflecting in the silver colored, shiny, mirror-like front cover?