• Sweden edition
 
Mushroom mix-up taints Swedish Academy

Mushroom mix-up taints Swedish Academy

Published: 04 Dec 2012 15:50 GMT+01:00
Updated: 04 Dec 2012 15:50 GMT+01:00

The row took off after a Chinese translation of a poem written by last year's literature prize winner.

Chinese writer Li Li's version of a Tomas Tranströmer poem replaced the word "chanterelle", a popular mushroom in Sweden, with the word "caramel".

After Swedish academy member Göran Malmqvist, 88, criticized the translation, Li published a poem on his blog which Malmqvist became convinced was a personal attack.

The poem, addressed to a young woman married to a much older man, likens the wife to a whore and the husband to a toad.

"What discipline it must require to each day subject your tender skin to the toad's bite," the poem reads.

Malmqvist, whose wife is 43 years younger than he is, was not too pleased.

"He is an evil person. I will annihilate him, like you crush a louse with your thumbnail," he wrote to his academy colleague Per Wästberg, 76.

In the email exchange made public by Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet, Wästberg gives his colleague "his blessing" to annihilate Li.

Li Li, 51, denies the poem targets Malmqvist.

He told Aftonbladet that the poem addressed the wider phenomenon of young women marrying older men.

"This is a hot topic in China. Rich old men who have several young women," he said.

He had little sympathy for Malmqvist's reaction.

"I am shocked and feel threatened. This damages the Swedish Academy's reputation in China. I've spoken to many Chinese colleagues and everyone is upset about how they are behaving," he told Aftonbladet.

As for the translation debate that seems to have kickstarted the argument, Li explained he changed words for it to make sense in the context.

"I swapped the word "chanterelle" in Tranströmer's poem because no one knows what a chanterelle is in China. A "caramel" made perfect sense in the context."

The Local/at

Follow The Local on Twitter

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

20:38 December 4, 2012 by Emerentia
"Li Li, 51, denies the poem targets Malmström" Malmström? His name is Malmqvist.

How did the tabloid Aftonbladet get hold of Göran Malmqvists and Per Wästbergs personal mail to each other? Should't things one write to ones friends be private? What you write on a blog is one thing, but what you write in your mail, to your friends should be brought up in the news papers.
08:31 December 5, 2012 by e1zorro
"How did the tabloid Aftonbladet get hold of Göran Malmqvists and Per Wästbergs personal mail to each other?"

Now where did I put Lord Leveson...
10:56 December 5, 2012 by Youdee
Sounds like they're sitting in a sandbox and fighting over who can make the best batch of guerilla cookies or rocky road ice cream (i.e., poet, critic, committee member, and particularly the journalists). What a mess.
Today's headlines
AstraZeneca raises earnings outlook after Pfizer bid

AstraZeneca raises earnings outlook after Pfizer bid

After fighting off a fierce takeover bid from Pfizer, Swedish-British drugmaker AstraZeneca raised its 2014 earnings outlook and posted rising second quarter sales on Thursday. READ  

Race to be scrapped from Swedish legislation
Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag meets children in Husby, Stockholm. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Race to be scrapped from Swedish legislation

The Swedish government announced that it plans to remove all mentions of race from Swedish legislation, saying that race is a social construct which should not be encouraged in law. READ  

US aircraft 'violates' Swedish airspace

US aircraft 'violates' Swedish airspace

A mystery airplane that passed over Swedish airspace recently has been revealed as an American aircraft, sources revealed on Thursday. READ  

Elite schools stripped of 'special' privileges

Elite schools stripped of 'special' privileges

Sweden's three elite boarding schools can no longer charge tuition fees, the government announced on Thursday, in a string of changes following a two-year review. READ  

Bildt lays out four steps to Gaza peace
Photos: TT

Bildt lays out four steps to Gaza peace

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt stated that there are four steps to achieving peace in Gaza, and that it begins with removing the blockade - which has "played into Hamas' hands". READ  

Malmström snags EU commissioner post again

Malmström snags EU commissioner post again

Cecilia Malmström has been nominated to be the European Commissioner for another five years, Sweden's prime minister announced on Thursday. READ  

Stockholm Pride 2014
In Pictures: Stockholm's Historic Pride Party
Conchita Wurst belts out a ballad. Photo: Rebecca Jacobs

In Pictures: Stockholm's Historic Pride Party

With Stockholm's Pride Week in full swing, The Local's Rebecca Jacobs heads on down to the traditional Historic Party to take in the colours, Conchita, and the community. READ  

Two to hospital after Stockholm fire

Two to hospital after Stockholm fire

Two people were taken to hospital in the early hours of Thursday morning after a fire began in their central Stockholm apartment. READ  

Salmonella prompts Coop hamburger recall
Photo: Jim Cole/TT

Salmonella prompts Coop hamburger recall

Swedish supermarket chain Coop has recalled its in-store brand of fresh hamburger meat after a routine check revealed traces of salmonella in the meat. READ  

What's On in Sweden
Photo: Roger Vikström/TT

What's On in Sweden

It's Pride Week in Stockholm. Find out more about the celebrations (including the biggest Pride Parade in Scandinavia) as well as plenty of other activities in Sweden's three biggest cities. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Stockholm Pride bars Sweden Democrats
National
Gender neutral pronoun 'hen' enters dictionary
Society
Top ten cafes in Stockholm
People-watching
Gallery
People-watching - Stockholm Pride
Photo: Henrik Trygg/Imagebank Sweden
Society
Sweden worst in EU at getting foreigners jobs
Blog updates

31 July

Calling a speedo a speedo (Blogweiser) »

"There are a lot of speedos on Europe’s beaches. Some European males are evidently more comfortable sporting small, stretchy suits on public beaches than I would be. I accept it may be nice to have swimwear that’s not long and cumbersome. A speedo is maybe also good for tanning. But strolling around town in a..." READ »

 

27 July

Approaching Stockholm (Around Sweden in a kayak) »

"I woke up in the comfort of my own little cabin on Eva and Rolf’s boat, it was 7:30am and I was feeling a bit groggy after a couple of beers with all the lovely locals the night before. The previous day had really taken its toll on my body and I was very stiff and..." READ »

 
 
 
Lifestyle
Stockholm Pride kicks off
Analysis
The top six ways the US and Sweden differ
National
Swedish youth suicides hit 25-year high
National
Politician reported for selling 'negro ball'
National
Police turn blind eye to Swedish 'slave trade'
Gallery
Stockholm Pride: Allsång på Skansen with Conchita Wurst
Skatteverket
Sponsored Article
Introducing... ID cards and permits in Stockholm
Gallery
People-watching, June 26th - 28th. Get inside Stockholm's hottest nightclubs
Gallery
Top ten Swedish taboos
Society
Seven-year-old Swede cycles to Berlin
Politics
'Gaza conflict needs help, not empty rhetoric'
Society
Swedes voted 'most beautiful' in the Nordics
Business & Money
Sweden demands EU clarity on Bitcoin tax
National
Swedish organic sales enjoy 'amazing' growth
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
Society
What's On in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching July 23
National
Swedish cops elect not to shoot 'angry elks'
Business & Money
New alcohol retail rules threaten micro-breweries
Gallery
People-watching Båstad
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

741
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se