Practical Theory - The Origin
The Scholars in CyberEnglish
ToDaY's MeNu - Ted

Monday, June 19, 2017

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman


A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman is filled with many conundrums.  First how is the man’s name pronounced? Is it Ove as in “love” and “dove”? Or is it Ove as in “stove” and “drove”? Or is it Ove as in the Yiddish “Oy Vey”? The Yiddish is closest for me since the character in this book is the Yiddish definition, “expressing dismay or exasperation.” Ove exasperates everyone with his ways. When others encounter Ove, they become dismayed with him. He dismays and exasperates himself throughout the novel as he fails to commit suicide on many occasions.
Secondly, this is a Swedish novel and follows closely a Swedish tone of dismay and exasperation. Consider the Swedish detective Kurt Wallander and we have Ove. Ruminate over the Swedish director, Ingmar Bergman’s work. Even little brother Norway produced The Scream. This novel fits in well with these three; they are cut from the same cloth.
The final conundrum is the man himself and his actions. “Instead they had parked here and walked all around the block looking for the café. Because Ove, as Parvaneh had soon realized, was the sort of man who, when he was not quite certain where he was going, just carried on walking straight ahead, convinced that the road would eventually fall into line. And now when they find that the café is directly opposite the spot where they parked, Ove looked as if this was his plan all along.” Ove is a man of principles. He will not pay an extra krona when he doesn’t believe he should and will forgo something or make his life harder. He never ever breaks the law or social more. As we watch all of his interactions with others, our only reaction is “Oy Vey.”
The man called Ove is a curmudgeon. The irony of his life is that he has a big heart, both literally and figuratively. His wife, Sonja, shows him this, much to his own dismay. Even his new neighbor, Parvaneh, provides reasons for Ove to display his big heart in the face of his persistence to be the curmudgeon. He is a man who wants to die and can’t take his own life because he has things to do for others.
This is a very satisfying and reflective read.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Our new Reality

A person who tells us a truth and is arrested and jailed. A person who lies is not arrested nor jailed. Our government knows stuff, we the people, need answers to and yet they withhold this information. Government officials lie under oath, are put in charge of key government positions, are outed, and yet no jail. I'm very confused. Our government is not on our side, it is on its side protecting itself, its job and not looking out for us. Liars tell us the truth is fake when we plainly see they are not lies and that the liars are lying, and yet we do nothing but go along with our merry lives accepting this new reality. Willful ignorance is our new reality and that makes us losers, not winners. Reality winners are in jail, the liars are not. It's all upside down. We are not the United States. This is our partisan government's fault and ours for allowing it and creating it. Willful, loser, ignorance. I see an American flag flying upside down and at half staff. People in power are allowed to stumble and make gross mistakes and continue in their jobs and yet the rest of us are not allowed these passes in error. When will this nightmare end? When will reality be restored?
I need to reread the Emperor's New Clothes.