Reading the books; A book about dying

Jag kommer bara att lämna dig en enda gång.

I don’t know what happened. I was reading Kim Gordon’s Girl in a Band, and we were getting along fine. But then I suddenly found myself completely lost in Kristian Gidlund’s I kroppen min [In this body of mine]; neither of which, to my knowledge, were in my TBR list. Or even books I’d consider reading.

The two books are based on his blog where he describes preparing for the end, what it’s like to live knowing your days are numbered.

Så jag säger att samma ögonblick som hon vill berätta något för mig blir också samma ögonblick som jag kommer att finnas där för henne. […] Det kommer inte att vara samma sak säger hon.

Kristian wrote I kroppen min when he was dying from cancer. As if I need to tell you. Feels like I’m the last person on the planet to read this pair of books. Late to the party and all that. It’s some excellent writing this is. In fact, some of the best writing I’ve encountered in a while. Nice rhythm, excellent use of words and metaphors, he’s a master at the pop cultural reference, always well-thought out and relevant. And he doesn’t even need any of it, because he’s got a story that’s rarely told, he could have just relied on that. But this is a good read from a purely artistic point of view. She said as if it was not a matter of personal taste.

I like how he writes. He could have been writing about anything for all I care.

I’m actually surprised. The books were published in 2013, the same year he passed away, and I’ve been actively avoiding Kristian in general.

In part because I’ve not been interested in sad stories like this one, but mainly because I had the misfortune of seeing this guy live with his band Sugarplum Fairy aaages ago. They were opening for Depeche Mode. Such a poor fit, they cannot possible have the same fanbase. I for one did not enjoy their music at all (“Are you seriously telling me we have to stand for this band???”). In other words, I was in the ‘your art does not interest me’ mode.

I was wrong. Well partly. My interests are slightly changed. At this point in time; perfect match.

He writes in his book how he found his writing voice when he got his first diagnosis. The pieces suddenly fit. Surge of creativity. Makes me think of this guy, talking about a similar experience. There is an echo of my favorite band in his words, in what he writes. Which definitely affects how I perceive this book.

I read both books on the screen, bless my library for the availability, but I enjoyed this read so much I feel the need to own. When doing research for the purchase I noted that the German translation of the book is Nach mir das Leben. I have to say, excellent work on that translator’s part! Beautiful sentence + makes me think of this piece of Neubauten lyrics Nach mir die Flut, nach mir tornados, nach mir tsunamis & säuberungen, nach mir die härte, die kälte die dürre die glut, which seems infinitely appropriate. …kinda want to get it in German. Just a little bit.

Because I’m trying to be a bit more of a mindful shopper this year, I’m holding off on the buying and in the mean time I’ll read a book on a similar topic: Annika Lantz’s Vad ska en flicka göra. It’s about her being diagnosed with cervical cancer despite having been to every one of her smear tests.

Probably shouldn’t be reading that book on account of being slighltly on the hypochondriac side but I’ll risk it.

…did also listen to Kristian’s radio talk, Sommar i P1, having read the books. Doesn’t do his texts justice I feel. Love these books much? You bet!


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