The Inspection Trolley

by Carl-Henning Wijkmark

Dressinen/The Inspection Trolley can be described as an adventure story, a kind of allegory of the Western idea of ​​progress. In the beginning of the novel it is almost idyllic: railway constructing colonizers in the Belgian Congo in 1914 working by the sweat of their brows. Certainly there are tensions between Flemings and Walloons, and the black workers are separated from the Europeans, but on the whole everything runs smoothly. The narrator is a thirty something, scientifically minded Jesuit, sent out to care for the men's spiritual sides in the jungle.

This is a great novel in every sense: as an image of the time, a historical commentary, a philosophical discussion of civilization and barbarism, culture and nature . At the same time it is one of the most witty and exciting Swedish novels. It led to a much deserved international breakthrough for the author: it was translated into several languages, became a cult book among French students and Wijkmark was the first Nordic writer to be given a separate episode of the influential French literary TV program Apostrophes.

Dressinen (1983) was Wijkmarks second novel after his debut in 1972 with The Hunters on Karinhall.

Cover: Norwegian edition published by Pelikanen in 2015.

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