Marika Stjernstedt

Circadian anarchy strikes again and I am keeping Stalinist hours, being awake far into the small hours and then sleeping until noon, although without having the place cluttered up by booze-sodden “chums” (an interesting word, said to originate from “chamberfellow” unlike “bloke”, which comes from Shelta,  according to the Concise Oxford Dictionary, with a startling absence of PC, perhaps explained by mine being the 2004 edition, “a secret language used by Irish and Welsh tinkers and Gypsies “), although “crony” coming from the Greek khronios (long-lasting) might have been a better word, keeping up the association with time, or, on second thoughts, maybe not  bearing in mind that friendship with Stalin was not exactly durable and, in any case, I don’t like megaphone words shrieking “look out, bad guys”, preferring to think for myself rather than being shoved here and there by signpost words. In any case, I much prefer the company of Marika Stjernstedt to Malenkov, Iron Lazar and Kobe.

I’d never heard of Marika Stjernstedt until I found her “Riksäpplet” (1941) at the library with its snippets about Uppsala, written in an older Swedish style, which I’m very taken with. And became more enthusiastic when I read about her life (admittedly a life-long Catholic but she had an abundance of redeeming features, anti-fascist among them). I’ve now moved on to her “Fröken Liwin” (1925) about the travails of an unmarried mother and mother-daughter relationships. My copy retrieved from the library cellar has a wonderful redolent black binding predating the standard library bindings of my youth. It’s stamped IOGT on the front underlying the teetotal salubriousness of my nocturnal activities and has an ancient sticker “Regler för boklån från Logen-Erentuna-Lyckas studiecirkelbibliotek” informing that “person som lånat en bok kan ej låna en annan utan att först hava återlämnat den förra”. When I’ve finished Fröken Liwin, I shall go on with her autobiographical “Kring ett äktenskap”, which I assume is about her second marriage to Ludvig Nordström, most remembered otherwise for “Lort Sverige”.

Whether Marika S will help me sleep is another matter. She is at least suffused with a light red light rather than blue light, which will perhaps help.

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