Here’s an excerpt:

H.L. Hix: Would it be in the spirit of your concluding observation in the “Translator’s Note” (that Berg “shows how every language may be foreign, even to its native speakers” [ix]) to take as one example of such a made-foreign language the ending of “In Dovre Slate Mill” when the speaker’s “stiff hands cupped around the surface of your black cranium” (21), a kind of translation of a gesture of love into a foreign language?

Johannes Göransson: What I mean in a very general sense is the way Berg amplifies certain features of the Swedish language—the brutal consonants, the awkward sentence structures, the neologisms, the violent and physical phrases—to a degree that makes me feel the way a foreigner might feel trying to learn Swedish. As I point out in the intro, there are so many weird neologisms that I begin to read regular compound words (such as spackhuggare, killer whale) as strange neologisms (spack = blubber, huggare = biter, thus “blubber biter” in my translation). Or the way her odd phrases makes me see how strange regular idioms are. For example, in Uppland she uses the phrase halla sig i skinnet, which means “calm down” (what you say to an unruly kid), but with strange variations of it calls attention to the literal meaning, “hold on to you skin” (she uses variations of this throughout).

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