Saturday, November 01, 2014

Some Stockholm quotes from Dr. Glas by Hjalmar Söderberg

2014.11.01-IMG_2696I picked up a couple of books by Hjalmar Söderberg before my trip to Stockholm, here are a few quotes from Dr. Glas (1905) by Hjalmar Söderberg. This was quite an excellent work by the way. Very much a Swedish predecessor of Albert Camus' The Stranger.

From Dr. Glas (1905):

I carried on my way. I came into the Old Town, up along Storkyrkobrinken, into the alleys. A muggy twilight in those narrow gaps between the buildings, and peculiar shadows along the walls, shadows we never see down in our part of town.

Twilight set in; a red evening light fell upon the soot-stained façade of the Royal Palace. People passed by on the pavement; I listened to their voices. There were skinny Americans with their slurred slang.

Among the cloud banks over Rosenbad a shaft of bright moonlight burst through, casting a pale silver light over the pilasters of the old Bonde building. Out over Mälaren a red-violet cloud slowly sailed alone, torn free from the others.

Then I recall my Uppsala moon. Never have I seen a moon with such a cold and remote countenance as that. Uppsala has a completely different climate from Stockholm’s — an inland climate, with drier and clearer air.

We passed the time with an aquavit, a couple of sardines and a few salted olives as we mustered our selection: potage à la chasseur, fillet of sole, quail, fruit; Chablis, Mumm’s extra dry, Manzanilla.

I often take a walk out onto Skeppsholmen, just because that’s where I last spoke to her. This evening I stood there by the church on the hill, watching the sun go down. It struck me how beautiful Stockholm is. I hadn’t thought much about it before. It’s always in the newspapers, how beautiful Stockholm is, so one doesn’t pay any attention to it.

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