Oops, I guess I really didn't have to add my own tiny bit last week to the bad news quotient. The fact is, putting things into words is my major coping mechanism. I don't do it for sympathy (though kindness never-ever-ever goes amiss - thank you!), but hoping someone will think 'you put that well'.
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The English translation of Henning Mankell's novel, The Man from Beijing, will be published shortly in the UK so he was interviewed this week on the Radio 4 Open Book programme. There was, inevitably, the clichéd question about 'Swedish melancholy'. No, he's not a melancholy type, rather the opposite, though all-too aware that we live in terrible times and wishing to reflect this in his work. The small melancholy he does acknowledge, he said, in himself and in his long-term character Kurt Wallander is the awareness, surely, of everyone in their 50s and 60s that our main life choices have been made, for good or ill, and the paths not taken will largely remain that way. Oh, the stream of horror and nonsense that comes out of the radio, and suddenly a gentle, eloquent voice that wryly murmers something simple, personal and true!