Dorés Bibel

Doré's Bible

by Torgny Lindgren

"I am now starting to speak in my tale about Gustave Doré’s bible. I am speaking to a recording apparatus, a SONY MZN seven hundred and ten model. When this becomes a book it will be embellished with the most beautiful cartouches and illuminations."

Thus begins Torgny Lindgren’s new novel which is the final part of a triptych that was started with Hummelhonung/ Sweetness in 1995 and continued with Pölsan/Hash in 2002. Characters from both those novels are to be found in this tale about a life that is captured on the little recording apparatus. Why doesn’t he write his story down on paper? He is unable to. The main character knows about literature but he can’t decipher the letters. They just seem to fly around in front of his eyes. That is why – as a boy – he finds himself in an institution for the uneducable. His father says that it is for the boy’s own best.

The narrator has come to love the stories on account of the Bible that was illustrated by the French artist Gustave Doré, a book that was in his childhood home. When it was lost in an accident, a lifelong struggle started to find it again or possibly to re-create it.

Dorés bibel is a novel about becoming human.

Gustave Doré (1833–1883) is one of the world’s most famous illustrators and his re-telling of the Bible in pictures, published in 1865, is one of the great classics in the art of illustration. According to a major Swedish reference work: "Doré’s major works are characterised by an amazingly vigorous visual fantasy, an often brilliant association with the spirit of the original written work, a magnificent pathos or playful, sometimes grotesque humour." The same could justly be said of Torgny Lindgren’s novel.

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