Thomas Tranströmer《記憶看見我》 馬悅然譯 ，台北:行人，20122011年諾貝爾文學獎得主的唯一回憶錄
詩人托馬斯．特朗斯特羅默 Tomas Transtromer
2011年獲頒諾貝爾文學獎桂冠，得獎原因是：「因為透過他那簡練、透通的意象，我們以嶄新的方式體驗現實。」（“Because, through his condensed, translucent images, he gives us fresh access to reality.”）
托馬斯一共發表了十二部詩集：《詩十七首》（1954）；《路上的秘密》（1954）；《未完成的天》 （1962）；《鐘聲與足跡》（1966）；《黑暗中的視覺》（1970）；《小徑》（1973）；《東海》（1974）；《真理的障礙》（1978）； 《狂暴的廣場》（1983）；《為生者與活者》（1989）；《悲傷的鳳尾船》（1996）與《巨大的謎語》（2004）。詩作已被譯成六十多種語言。
托馬斯．特朗斯特羅默自傳性的文本《記憶看見我》，雖然出版於一九九 三年，但是肯定完成於托馬斯一九九○年中風之前。《記憶看見我》八個篇章中，托馬斯敘述他最早的零星記憶，素描他母親與他最親愛的朋友、比他大七十一歲的 外公，和小學、初中與高中同學、老師的畫像。托馬斯引領讀者進入他熱愛的博物館與圖書館，也讓讀者體會到十幾歲的他如何憎恨戰爭威脅歐洲文化的殘忍力量。 這些快樂時光的記述，也伴隨著暗淡悲慘的絕望。
托馬斯．特朗斯特羅默自傳性的文本《記憶看見我》，雖然出版於一九九 三年，但是肯定完成於托馬斯一九九○年中風之前。《記憶看見我》八個篇章中，托馬斯敘述他最早的零星記憶，素描他母親與他最親愛的朋友、比他大七十一歲的 外公，和小學、初中與高中同學、老師的畫像。托馬斯引領讀者進入他熱愛的博物館與圖書館，也讓讀者體會到十幾歲的他如何憎恨戰爭威脅歐洲文化的殘忍力量。 這些快樂時光的記述，也伴隨著暗淡悲慘的絕望。
內容連載 M i n n e n 記憶
「我的一生。」想到這幾個字的時候，我看見面前一道光線。仔細看，那光線真像一顆有頭有尾的彗星。彗星的頭，其最明亮的一端，是童年和青春期；彗 星的核心，其最密集的部分，是決定生命最重要特徵的幼年。我努力回憶，努力鑽進那時代。可是在這濃密的地區中移動很難，很危險，我感覺到我會接近死亡。再 往後，彗星越來越稀疏，有越來越寬的尾巴。我現在處於尾巴的後端。寫這回憶錄時，我已六十歲了。
我最早的記憶是一種感覺，一種驕傲的感覺。我剛滿三歲，有人告訴我這很重要，說我現在長大了。我躺在一間很明亮的屋子裡的床上，然後起床在地板上 走幾步，清清楚楚地意識到我正在長大了。我有一個布偶娃娃，我給她取了我所能想像的最美麗的名字：卡琳．斯品納。我對待她一點都不像一個母親對待孩子。她 更像一個朋友，或者我愛上的一位姑娘。
我們住在斯德哥爾摩的南區，我們的地址是史威登堡街(Swedenborgsgatan)三十三號(現在改名為籬笆門大街 ︹Grindsgatan︺)。爸爸還是我們的家長，可他很快要離開我們。我們的家庭是相當「現代」的—從小我對父母就用「你」這個稱呼。我的外公和外婆 住在附近，在布萊金厄街(Blekingegatan)，轉彎就到。
我的外公，卡爾．黑爾默．魏斯特白格(Ca rl Helmer Westerberg)，生於一八六○年。他是一位領航員，也是我最好的朋友，比我大七十一歲。奇特的是，他跟自己的外公的年齡差別是相同的，他的外公生 於一七八九年：巴黎的居民猛烈攻進巴士底，瑞典貴族反叛國王的兵變失敗了，莫札特寫著他的單簧管五重奏。人類歷史上相等的兩步，漫長的兩步，可並不太長。 我們搆得著歷史。
外公講的是十九世紀的語言。他很多的表達方式，今天的人聽起來會認為是非常過時的古怪。可是對我來說，外公講的話聽起來很自然。外公的個子不高； 他有一對雪白的八字鬚和一副相當大而稍微彎曲的鼻子—「真像個土耳其人」，他自己這麼說。他的性情是比較活躍的，他有時候會生氣。但是沒人把他的發作當作 一回事，馬上就過去了。他簡直不會嘔氣。其實他多麼願意和解的樣子，會讓人認為他是個三心二意的人。要是有人地裡談論別人的壞話，外公老會替那人辯護。
父母離婚以後，媽媽跟我搬到福爾孔街(Folkunga gat an)五十七號。那座大樓容納、混雜著一群屬於底層中產階級的人。我對那大樓與其房客的回憶有一點像一場三○年代或者四○年代的電影。可愛的看門人的妻子 和她那不愛說話且身體很壯的丈夫。我欽佩那看門人的一個原因是他曾被煤氣毒害過—那暗示他英雄般地接近過很危險的機器。
我們透過牆壁聽得見的隔壁鄰居，是一個皮膚淺黃的中年單身漢。他在家裡工作，好像是一種用電話做生意的代理人。講電話的時候，他常常大笑，一種透過牆壁、 令人著迷的笑。另一種常常聽得見的聲音是軟木瓶塞發出砰的一聲，那個時代的啤酒瓶子沒有金屬的蓋子。這些跟興奮有關係的聲音，好像一點都不適合我偶然在電 梯裡會遇見的、那像幽靈一樣蒼白的老頭兒。後來他對別人起疑心，笑聲越來越稀少。
她是一個很有天分的姑娘，很會繪畫。她的專長是畫迪士尼卡通電影的角色。三○年代末年，我一直在繪畫。外公給我帶來那個時代所有的食品雜貨店所用 的白色包裝紙，我則在包裝紙上畫滿了我的故事。我雖然五歲時已經學會寫字，可是我嫌寫作太慢，我的想像力需要更快的表達方式。我也不耐煩好好兒地畫，我發 明一種速寫方法畫劇烈運動的身體，和缺乏細節又非常危險的戲劇。只有我自己能欣賞我畫的漫畫。
我走的方向是對的。那段漫長的行走中，我清清楚楚地只記得一個細節。我記得我到北橋，看見橋下的水流。這兒的交通很擁擠，所以我不敢過街。我跟站 在我的旁邊的一個男人說：「這兒交通很擁擠。」他拉著我的手，領我過街。過了街，他就放開我了。我不知道他和其他陌生的成年人，怎麼會認為小孩兒一個人在 黑夜裡在首都的街上走是一件很正常的事。可就是這樣。從這裡的行走—穿過老城，洩水道和南區的街道—肯定很複雜。我靠的也許是狗和傳信鴿所帶的那種奇異的 指南針—你無論把它們放在什麼地方，它們總會找著回家的路。最後一段路我不記得了。不對，我記得我的自信心一直在增長，記得我回家的時候非常興奮。外公迎 接我。
作者: [瑞典] 托馬斯·特朗斯特羅姆 譯者: 李笠 成都: 四川文藝出版社， 2012-3頁數: 370
內容簡介 · · · · · ·
本書是一本詩集，是2011年諾貝爾文學獎獲得者、瑞典著名詩人托馬斯·特朗斯特羅姆的詩歌全集，收錄了詩人從1954年至今創作的《17首詩》《途中的秘密》《完成一半的天空》《音色和足跡》等13部詩集近200首詩歌，囊括了特朗斯特朗姆迄今為止的所有作品，還收錄了諾貝爾文學獎授獎詞、譯者序言和作者創作於1993年的回憶文章。譯者李笠是旅居瑞典的中國詩人，曾於2001年在國內翻譯出版過《特朗斯特羅姆詩全集》，該書收錄了1999年前詩人的作品。本次出版的全新版本增錄了新作60餘首，此外，李笠還對一些舊作的中文譯文內容進行了修訂，以前有些誤譯的地方，這次已經修改過來，譯文打磨上也更為精緻。作者簡介 · · · · · ·
特朗斯特羅姆（Tomas Transtromer，1931－）瑞典著名詩人。 2011年諾貝爾文學獎得主。 1954年發表詩集《17首詩》，轟動詩壇。至今共發表兩百餘首詩。 1990年患腦溢血導致右半身癱瘓後，仍堅持純詩寫作。15年來，唯一一個獲諾貝爾文學獎的詩人20年來，偏癱的身體，僅靠一隻手寫作30年來，他的詩歌影響了整整一代中國實力派詩人80年來，他堅持用只用詩歌一種文體進行創作目錄 · · · · · ·授獎詞譯者序17首詩(1954)第一部分序曲第二部分風暴夜——晨複調第三部分致梭羅的五首詩果戈理水手長的故事節與對節激奮的打坐石頭聯繫早晨與入口靜息是濺起浪花的船頭晝變第四部分悲歌尾聲...
Tomas Transtromer’s Poems and the Art of Translation
By DAVID ORR
Published: March 9, 2012
If you’re a poet outside the Anglophone world, and you manage to win the Nobel Prize, two things are likely to happen. First, your ascendancy will be questioned by fiction critics in a major English-language news publication. Second, there will be a fair amount of pushing and shoving among your translators (if you have any), as publishers attempt to capitalize on your 15 minutes of free media attention.
And lo, for the Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer, it has come to pass. The questioning came from, among others, Philip Hensher for The Telegraph (in Britain) and Hephzibah Anderson for Bloomberg News, both of whom implied that real writers — Philip Roth, for instance — had been bypassed to flatter a country largely inhabited by melancholic reindeer. And when Transtromer hasn’t been doubted by fiction critics, he’s been clutched at by publishing houses. Since his Nobel moment in October, three different Transtromer books have been released (or reissued): THE DELETED WORLD: Poems (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $13), with translations by the Scottish poet Robin Robertson; TOMAS TRANSTROMER: Selected Poems (Ecco/HarperCollins, $15.99), edited by Robert Hass; and FOR THE LIVING AND THE DEAD: Poems and a Memoir (Ecco/HarperCollins, $15.99), edited by Daniel Halpern. These books join two major collections already in print: “The Half-Finished Heaven: The Best Poems of Tomas Transtromer,” from Graywolf Press, translated by Robert Bly, and “The Great Enigma: New Collected Poems,” from New Directions, translated by Robin Fulton. So a little complaining, a glut of books: pretty typical.
But what’s unusual about Transtromer is that the most interesting debates over English versions of his work actually took place before his Nobel victory. In this case, the argument went to the heart of the translator’s function and occurred mostly in The Times Literary Supplement. The disputants were Fulton, one of Transtromer’s longest-serving translators, and Robertson, who has described his own efforts as “imitations.” Fulton accused Robertson (who doesn’t speak Swedish) of borrowing from his more faithful versions while inserting superfluous bits of Robertson’s own creation — in essence, creating poems that are neither accurate translations nor interesting departures. Fulton rolled his eyes at “the strange current fashion whereby a ‘translation’ is liable to be praised in inverse proportion to the ‘translator’s’ knowledge of the original language.” Robertson’s supporters countered that Fulton was just annoyed because Robertson was more concerned with the spirit of the poems than with getting every little kottbulle exactly right.
To understand this dispute, it’s necessary to have a sense of the poetry itself. Transtromer prefers still, pared-down arrangements that rely more on image and tone than, say, peculiarities of diction or references to local culture. The voice is typically calm yet weary, as if the lines were meant to be read after midnight, in an office from which everyone else had gone home. And his gift for metaphor is remarkable, as in the start of “Open and Closed Spaces” (in Fulton’s translation):
A man feels the world with his work like a glove.
He rests for a while at midday having laid aside
the gloves on the shelf.
They suddenly grow, spread,
and black out the whole house from inside.
The first comparison is surprising enough — work is a glove? With which we feel the world? But notice how quickly yet smoothly Transtromer extends the metaphor into even stranger territory; the gloves expand from the refuge of the house (which is implicitly the private self) to obscure everything we know and are. The poem becomes a meditation on what constitutes a prison, what could be considered a release (“ ‘Amnesty,’ runs the whisper in the grass”) and whether these might lie closer together than we realize. It ends:
Further north you can see from a summit the
endless blue carpet of pine forest
where the cloud shadows
are standing still.
No, are flying.
The clouds appear motionless but are actually flying — just as our lives move, or fail to move, in ways we only dimly understand. Open spaces may become closed, but the reverse is true as well.
Transtromer, trained as a psychologist, has always been interested in the ways our personalities obscure as much as they reveal. “Two truths approach each other,” he writes in “Preludes” (translation by May Swenson), “One comes from within, / one comes from without — and where they meet you have the chance / to catch a look at yourself.” In this context, his heavy reliance on metaphor isn’t surprising. A metaphor insists on the similarity of its tenor and vehicle, but also declares their fundamental difference: after all, the metaphor itself would be unnecessary if its components were identical. These countervailing purposes become, in Transtromer’s hands, a way of holding together what he can and can’t say. As he puts it in Fulton’s translation of “April and Silence”: “I am carried in my shadow / like a violin / in its black case.” He balances these often startling juxtapositions with simple diction and generally straightforward syntax, making the complexity of his poetry a matter of depth rather than surface. His poems are small, cool fields dissolving into dreams at their borders.
This is exactly the sort of writing that tends to do well in translation, at least in theory. The plainer a poem looks — the less it relies on extremities of form, diction or syntax — the more we assume that even a translator with no knowledge of the original language will be able to produce a reasonable match for what the poem feels like in its first incarnation.
The problem is, simple can be complicated. It’s impossible to say how much Robertson did or didn’t rely on Fulton’s translations in preparing “The Deleted World,” but it’s not too hard (if you can corral a Swedish friend, as I did) to figure out where he deviates from the originals. The changes generally make Transtromer less, well, strange and more typically “poetic.” Consider “Autumnal Archipelago (Storm),” which in Robertson’s version begins like so:
Suddenly the walker comes upon the
ancient oak: a huge
rooted elk whose hardwood antlers, wide
as this horizon, guard the stone-green
walls of the sea.
And here is Fulton’s more literal take:
Here the walker suddenly meets the giant
oak tree, like a petrified elk whose crown is
furlongs wide before the September ocean’s
murky green fortress.
Robertson forgoes the poem’s Sapphic stanza form, which seems reasonable, but he also turns the passage’s deliciously bizarre doubled metaphor (an oak tree is like an elk turned to stone) into a less jarring formulation. Similarly, in “From March 1979,” Robertson translates the line “Det vilda har inga ord” into “Wilderness has no words” when a more accurate version would be “The wild has no words” (Fulton says “The untamed . . . ”). “Wilderness” is a bunch of trees; “the wild” is another thing entirely. But perhaps the least successful adjustment is in “Calling Home”:
Our phonecall spilled out into the dark
and glittered between the countryside
and the town
like the mess of a knife-fight.
There’s no fight, with knives or otherwise, in the original — Transtromer’s speaker “slept uneasily” after the call home, but the cause of his unease is unresolved. Again, the poem seems simplified.
That said, some of Robertson’s alterations do a fine job of conveying a poem’s spirit. Rather than using the literal “shriveled” to describe a sail, he says it’s “grey with mildew.” Rather than telling us that “dead bodies” are smuggled into “a silent world,” he says “the dead” are so transported. In general, while one can quibble about Robertson’s book, “The Deleted World” is pleasurable whether or not it’s a good translation of Transtromer.
Is that enough? In some ways, certainly — we read poetry for entertainment, not nutritional value. But translating a poem is like covering a song. We can savor the liberties someone is taking with, say, “Gin and Juice” in a way we couldn’t understand similar variations on songs written by Martians. And Transtromer, however popular he is among poets, remains largely unknown to readers eager to see work from the new Nobel laureate. In this instance, even a sincere imitation probably isn’t the most helpful form of flattery.
2月的一天晚上 我在這裡 接近死亡。
我的名字 我的女兒 我的工作
像一個在校園上 被敵人圍繞的 男孩。
忽然 輪胎抓牢路面： 一粒幫助的沙子
一個突出來的電線桿 啪的一聲 折斷了，
看見有人 在飛雪裡 走過來，
特 朗斯特羅默的翻譯作品，到他獲諾貝爾文學獎為止，在日本只有一本。那是住在斯德哥爾摩的翻譯家Eiko duke翻譯的，由專門出版詩集和詩論的思潮社於1999年發行。書名（悲傷的鳳尾船），初版印行三百本，一般人大概無緣見識到；預 定11月再版。
特朗斯特羅默從二十幾歲起就對俳句的定型詩感興趣，稱正岡子規（1867-1902，提出俳諧革新說，主張將俳諧的「發句」 獨立出來，稱「俳句」，後人沿用至今。）為「在死亡的木板，以生命的粉筆書寫的詩人」。1990年因腦中風，造成右半身不遂和失語症，對表現極為精煉的俳 句更加傾倒。譯者Eiko稱1996年出版的《悲傷的鳳尾船》，「直截表現出與疾病共存的詩人的閉塞感和苦惱，在沉重的悲傷基調下，透明的幻想飄蕩在生與 死的境界。」這本詩集出現所謂的「俳句詩」如：「幾根高壓線／在結凍的國度張弦／音樂圈的北方之涯」；「蘭花的窗邊／滑行而過的油船／月圓的晚上」；「一 對紅蜻蜓／以緊緊糾纏之姿／搖曳著飛走」。
特朗斯特羅默的俳句詩，基本上採五．七．五的俳句詩型，以三行詩的方式呈現，而複數的俳句詩如連 詩般的組合，創造出豐富的意象。2004年出版的詩集《大大的謎題》是詩人渾身努力的結晶，收入四十五篇俳句詩。2005年9月號《現代詩手帖》刊登了 Eiko翻譯、介紹，由十八篇詩組成如默示錄的〈鷲之涯〉。其中一篇：「大海變成牆壁／聽到海鷗的叫聲──／是給我們的信號」。
Haiku by Tomas Tranströmer
with hanging gardens.
Thoughts stand unmoving
like the mosaic tiles
in the palace yard.
Up along the slopes
under the sun – the goats
were grazing on fire.
On the balcony
standing in a cage of sunbeams –
like a rainbow.
Humming in the mist.
There, a fishing-boat out far –
trophy on the waters.
Cool shagginess of pines
on the selfsame tragic fen.
Always and always.
Carried by darkness.
I met an immense shadow
in a pair of eyes.
have set out on a journey.
Hear the wood-dove’s voice.
Resting on a shelf
in the library of fools
the sermon-book, untouched.
My happiness swelled
and the frogs sang in the bogs
He’s writing, writing…
The canals brimmed with glue.
The barge across the Styx.
Go quiet as rain,
meet the whispering leaves.
Hear the Kremlin bell.
The ceiling rent open
and the dead one sees me.
Something has happened.
The moon lit up the room.
God knew about it.
Hear the sighing rain.
I whisper a secret, to reach
all the way in there.
A scene on the platform.
What a strange calm –
the inner voice.
The sea is a wall.
I hear the gulls crying –
they’re waving to us.
God’s wind at my back.
The shot which comes without sound –
a dream all-too-long.
The blue giant passes.
Cool breeze from the sea.
I have been there –
and on a whitewashed wall
the flies are gathering.
The apple trees in blossom.
The big enigma.
Translated by Robert Archambeau and Lars-Håkan Svensson
瑞典皇家科學院在周四（10月6日）宣布將2011年度諾貝爾文學獎授予詩人托馬斯·特蘭斯特勒默（Thomas Tranströmer）。瑞典皇家科學院在周四（10月6日）宣布將2011年度諾貝爾文學獎授予瑞典詩人托馬斯·特蘭斯特勒默（Thomas Tranströmer）。現年80歲的特蘭斯特勒默的詩歌作品被評為會稱為"形象具體""比喻恰當"，為讀者提供了一個"通往現實的新入口"。特蘭斯特勒默是國際文壇很有地位的詩人之一。他的詩集共收集了近100部作品，譯成近50種文字出版。特蘭斯特勒默出身於一個瑞典斯德哥爾摩普通家庭，父親是記者，母親是教師。他本人在上世紀50年代在斯德哥爾摩大學就讀心理學、文學和宗教史。特蘭斯特勒默發表處女作是在1954年。不過他從未中斷過從事心理諮詢師的工作，在一個青少年拘留所做心理專家，直到1990年因一次嚴重的腦溢血而離開了工作崗位。身體稍微恢復後，他又在許多政府部門裡兼職作心理諮詢師。隨著上世紀68學運席捲歐美，特蘭斯特勒默失去了不少讀者。有人批評他的詩歌過於樂觀，缺少揭露矛盾的勇氣，與當時的政治和社會討論議題完全不相吻合。特蘭斯特勒默對此的回應是，他的作品不是以意識形態為根源的，而是著眼未來願景。自從1990年患過一次嚴重腦溢血後，特蘭斯特勒默行動和言語表達能力都受到影響。他和妻子莫妮卡生活在斯德哥爾摩，很少在公眾場合露面。 1993年，在妻子的協助下特蘭斯特勒默出版了回憶錄《記憶看見我》。接下來的許多年，特蘭斯特羅默也沒有停止寫作，出版了多本詩集。
新闻报道 | 2011.10.06
作者: Thomas Borchert 编译：谢菲
Literature | 06.10.2011
'Tranströmer shows one can survive as a poet'
A stroke some 20 years ago left the poet aphasic, so he relies on his wife to help him write. But his writing from decades ago remains modern and accessible to even non-poetry lovers, says a Swedish literature expert.
Deutsche Welle spoke with Ingrid Elam, Senior Lecturer in Comparative Literature at Malmö University, a journalist and prominent Swedish literary critic, about the Swedish Academy's choice this year for the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Why do you think the Swedish Academy decided to award the Nobel Prize to poet Tomas Tranströmer?
The real question is, why didn't they do it before? He's been at the top of the list for many, many years. He's a well-known poet, not only in Sweden, but also abroad. He's been translated into many, many languages and he is held in great esteem all over the world - at least, in the world of poetry.
Some have called him a poetic master 'of the mysteries of the human mind'
This is the first time in more than three decades the Nobel Prize in Literature has been given to a native of Sweden. What does it mean to the Swedish people? And what does it mean for literature?
I think there is one reason [the award committee] hestitated for a long time - because the prize was awarded to Swedish authors 40 years ago and there was a major discussion for some time after that and a lot of criticism. The Swedish Academy was criticized back then for awarding minor Swedish authors the award.
It's a peculiar debate, really, because I can't think of any other prize in a country that doesn't go very often to compatriots of that country. Tranströmer has been talked about for a long time and it's good that he's finally received it.
Swedes have never really had the prize very often. It's usually awarded to international authors. But of course, it's usually been awarded to white, male authors from the Western world - very few Africans and very few Asians.
His works have been translated into countless languagesBut if there's someone who was due to get the prize now, it was definitely Tranströmer. There's no discussion about that.
Why do you say that? What is Tranströmer's defining characteristic as a lyricist? - his poetic signature?
He's been writing poetry for 50 years and he's proven one can survive as a poet. New generations discover him and he's a poet who writes in a way that on the surface is very simple and accessible for anybody. Even those who normally don't read poetry can read Tranströmer. At the same time, he's very complex and very precise in his imagery. He tries to find one image for a feeling or a situation. He looks at the world in a way I would imagine the dead would look at the world - with all their knowledge, condensed into one image.
That's one big reason why he has survived. But also, because he is a poet of modernity. He travels around in his poetry; he goes by car and by train, and by bus. It's a world that is recognizable, and at the same time, you feel you see this world for the first time - because he's found the perfect expression or the perfect image for what he sees and hears. There's a lot of music in his poetry as well.
Tranströmer has been publishing since the 1950s. How much of the collective Swedish conscience do you think is reflected in his work?
Is there a collective Swedish conscience? [Laughs.] I wonder. As I said, he's found expressions for modern life in Sweden.
But at the same time, he's a very existentialist poet. There's a lot of sorrow and death and darkness in his poetry, not only in his late poetry, where it's so obvious, but right from the start. But also light, of course.
Painting the world through words, here, in SwedenSomebody once said that it's like in the Bible when God has to show us all the animals and give them their names. In a way, Tomas Tranströmer sort of does that in his poetry. He creates the world anew through language.
The poet was afflicted with a loss of speech and partial paralysis following a stroke two decades ago. How much do you think that event and his need for a helping hand affected his writing?
A lot. A mean, he's written little since then. The last big, really important collection - "The Sorrow Gondola," inspired by a piano piece by Franz Liszt - consisted of poems written both before the stroke, and also some were written after the stroke. There's hardly any difference between them and I can imagine that those written after the stroke already existed in some form beforehand.
After that, he has written one more collection of poetry where you can see that he's lost some of the touch. I mean, he still writes, but we don't really know how. He writes with the help of his wife, who interprets them. She writes things down, and he says whether or not that's what he meant. Of course it's affected him - after all, he's now aphasic. He can say "good" and "very good" and that's it.
What significance does it have that this year's Nobel Prize was awarded to a poet and not a novelist? Is our abbreviated take of the world nowadays, due to e-mails, text messages and the ever more hectic pace of life, reflected in that choice? Poetry has fewer words, yet more poignant images after all …
I think it was Wislawa Szymborska who was the last poet to be awarded the Nobel Prize [in 1996]. Perhaps I've missed someone, but it's been a very long time since a poet has been awarded the prize. I really don't know how the discussion goes in the Swedish Academy. They don't tell you now. They only tell you after 50 years. The last 10 prizes - I've been so surprised! Every time!
On that note, in the run-up to the announcement, literary critics considered possible candidates to be everyone from Syrian poet Adonis, to poetic music legend Bob Dylan to Japanese writer Haruki Murakami. What do you think personally about the choice?
Tranströmer celebrated his 80th birthday this past April I don't think Bob Dylan will ever get the prize! [Laughs.] I mean, I think he's a great poet, but I think the academy thinks he's in the popular sphere. Adonis has been on the agenda for quite some time and I haven't given up hope about him yet. But this year, I don't think they would ever have given it to him.
Because he's Syrian, it would have been interpreted by the press in a political way and I think the academy wants to avoid that. I mean, the election of a Nobel Prize winner is a very long and complicated procedure, and the ones who are on the committee for the literary prize - they differ very much in opinions, and they all have their favorites.
There's always lots of speculation about the winners every year, and rarely are they accurate. I'm almost always surprised myself.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Just that I'm very happy, and almost relieved that Tranströmer finally got the prize. It was almost too late, and it nearly drove tears to my eyes.
Interview: Louisa Schaefer
Editor: Stuart Tiffen
Tomas Gösta Tranströmer (born 15 April 1931) is a Swedish writer, poet and translator, whose poetry has been translated into over 60 languages. He is the recipient of the 2011 Nobel Prize for Literature "because, through his condensed, translucent images, he gives us fresh access to reality". Tranströmer is acclaimed as one of the most important Scandinavian writers since World War II. Critics have praised Tranströmer’s poems for their accessibility, even in translation; his descriptions of the long Swedish winters, the rhythm of the seasons and the palpable, atmospheric beauty of nature.
 LifeTranströmer was born in Stockholm in 1931 and raised by his mother, a schoolteacher, following her divorce from his father. He received his secondary education at the Södra Latin School in Stockholm, where he began writing poetry. In addition to selected journal publications, his first collection of poems, 17 dikter (Seventeen Poems), was published in 1954. He continued his education at Stockholm University, graduating as a psychologist in 1956 with additional studies history, religion, and literature. Between 1960 and 1966, Tranströmer split his time between working as a psychologist at the Roxtuna center for juvenile offenders and writing poetry.
During the 1950s, Tranströmer became close friends with poet Robert Bly. The two corresponded frequently, and Bly would translate Tranströmer's poems into English. Bonniers, Tranströmer's publisher, released Air Mail, a work comprising of Tranströmer and Bly's mail, in 2001. The Syrian poet Adunis helped spread Tranströmer's fame in the Arab World, accompanying him on readings.
Tranströmer went to Bhopal immediately after the gas tragedy in 1984, and alongside Indian poets such as K. Satchidanandan, took part in a poetry reading session outside.
Tranströmer suffered a stroke in 1990 that left him partially paralyzed and unable to speak; however, he would continue to write and publish poetry through the early 2000s. His last original work, The Great Enigma, was published in 2004.
In addition to his writing, Tranströmer is also a piano player, something he has been able to continue after his stroke, albeit with one hand.
 CareerTranströmer is considered to be one of the "most influential Scandinavian poet[s] of recent decades". Tranströmer has published 15 collected works over his career, which has been translated into over 60 languages. An English translation by Robin Fulton of his entire body of work, New Collected Poems, was published in the UK in 1987 and expanded in 1997. Following the publication of Den stora gåtan (The Great Enigma), Fulton's edition was further expanded into The Great Enigma: New Collected Poems, published in the US in 2006 and as an updated edition of New Collected Poems in the UK in 2011. He published a short autobiography, Minnena ser mig (Memories look at me), in 1993.
Other poets, especially in the "political" 1970's, accused Tranströmer of being apart from his tradition and not including political issues in his poems and novels. His work, though, lies within and further develops the Modernist and Expressionist/Surrealist language of 20th century poetry; his clear, seemingly simple pictures from everyday life and nature in particular reveals a mystic insight to the universal aspects of the human mind.
A poem of his was read at Anna Lindh's memorial service in 2003.
Tranströmer was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2011. He was the 108th winner of the award and the first Swede to win since 1974.> Tranströmer had been considered a perennial frontrunner for the award in years past, with reporters waiting near his residence on the day of the announcement in years prior. The Nobel Committee cited that Tranströmer's work created "condensed, translucent images" that "gives us fresh access to reality."
Tranströmer and his wife Monica appeared at a brief news conference. They were sitting in front of their television waiting the announcement of the winner. Tranströmer managed to say "Very good, very good" when asked what it was like to have won. Permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy Peter Englund said, "He's been writing poetry since 1951 when he made his debut. And has quite a small production, really. He's writing about big questions. He's writing about death, he's writing about history and memory, and nature." Prime Minister of Sweden Fredrik Reinfeldt said he was ”happy and proud” at the news of Tranströmer's achievement.
Tranströmer's other awards include the Neustadt International Prize for Literature, the Övralid Prize, the Petrarca-Preis in Germany, the Golden Wreath of the Struga Poetry Evenings and the Swedish Award from International Poetry Forum. In 2007, Tranströmer received a special Lifetime Recognition Award given by the trustees of the Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry, which also awards the annual Griffin Poetry Prize.
 Awards and honors
- 1966: Bellmanpriset (Bellmanpriset) (Sweden)
- 1981: Petrarca-Preis (Germany)
- 1990: Neustadt International Prize for Literature (US)
- 1991: Nordic Prize of the Swedish Academy (Svenska Akademiens nordiska pris) (Sweden)
- 1992: Horst Bienek Prize for Poetry (Horst-Bienek-Preis für Lyrik) (Germany)
- 1996: Augustpriset, for Sorgegondolen (Sweden)
- 2003: Struga Poetry Evenings Golden Wreath (Macedonia)
- 2007: The Griffin Trust, Lifetime Recognition Award (Griffin Poetry Prize) (Canada)
- 2011: Nobel Prize for Literature (Sweden)
 Swedish collections
- 17 dikter (17 Poems) 1954; Bonniers, 1965
- Hemligheter på vägen (Secrets on the Way), Bonnier, 1958
- Den halvfärdiga himlen (The Half-Finished Heaven), Bonnier, 1962
- Klanger och spår (Windows and Stones), Bonnier, 1966
- Mörkerseende (Night Vision), Författarförlaget, 1970
- Stigar (Paths), Författarförlaget, 1973, ISBN 9789170541100
- Östersjöar (Baltics), Bonnier, 1974
- Sanningsbarriären (The Truth Barrier), Bonnier, 1978, ISBN 9789100436841
- Det vilda torget (The Wild Square) Bonnier, 1983, ISBN 9789100460488
- För levande och döda (For the Living and the Dead), Bonnier, 1991
- Sorgegondolen (The Sorrow Gondola), Bonnier, 1996, ISBN 9789100562328
- Den stora gåtan (The Big Riddle), Bonnier, 2004, ISBN 9789100103101
- Galleriet: Reflected in Vecka nr.II (2007) – an artist book by Modhir Ahmed
 Selected books in English translation
- 20 Poems tr. Robert Bly (Seventies Press, 1970)
- Windows and Stones tr. May Swenson & Leif Sjoberg, University of Pittsburgh Press, 1972, ISBN 9780822932413
- Baltics tr. Samuel Charters, Oyez, Berkeley, 1975; Oasis Books, 1980, ISBN 9780903375511
- Selected Poems, translator Robin Fulton, Ardis Publishers, 1981, ISBN 9780882334622
- Collected Poems, Translator Robin Fulton, Bloodaxe Books, 1987, ISBN 9781852240233
- Tomas Tranströmer: Selected Poems, 1954–1986, Editor Robert Hass, Publisher Ecco Press, 1987 ISBN 9780880011136
- Sorrow Gondola: Sorgegondolen tr. Robin Fulton, Dufour Editions, 1994, ISBN 9781873790489; Dufour Editions, Incorporated, 1997, ISBN 9780802390707
- New Collected Poems tr. Robin Fulton, Bloodaxe Books, 1997, ISBN 9781852244132; Bloodaxe Books, 2011
- Selected Poems Transtromer, Translator May Swenson, Eric Sellin, HarperCollins, 1999, ISBN 9780880014038
- The Half-Finished Heaven tr. Robert Bly, Graywolf Press, 2001, ISBN 9781555973513
- The Deleted World tr. Robin Robertson Enitharmon Press, 2006, ISBN 9781904634485; Enitharmon Press, 2006, ISBN 9781904634515
- The Great Enigma: New Collected Poems. Translator Robin Fulton. New Directions. 2006. ISBN 9780811216722.
- The Sorrow Gondola tr. Michael McGriff and Mikaela Grassl, Green Integer, 2010, ISBN 9781933382449
- The Deleted World tr. Robin Robertson Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011
- ^ a b Bosman, Julie (6 October 2011). "Swedish Poet Wins Nobel Prize for Literature". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
- ^ a b c d e f g h i "The Nobel Prize in Literature 2011 – Press Release". Nobelprize.org. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
- ^ a b c Lea, Richard; Flood, Alison (6 October 2011). "Nobel prize for literature goes to Tomas Tranströmer". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
- ^ "Adonis: Transtromer is deeply rooted in the land of poetry". Al-Ahram. 6 October 2011. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
- ^ "Nobel laureate has an India connection". The Times of India. 7 October 2011. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
- ^ Batchelor, Paul (17 June 2011). "New Collected Poems by Tomas Tranströmer – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
- ^ a b "Swedish poet Transtroemer wins Nobel Literature Prize". BBC News. 6 October 2011. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
- ^ Dugdale, John (6 October 2011). "Nobel prize for literature: Tomas Tranströmer joins a strange gang". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
- ^ "Sweden’s most famous living poet wins Nobel prize". Euronews. 6 October 2011. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
- ^ a b "Sweden's Transtromer wins Nobel literature prize". Reuters. 6 October 2011. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
- ^ "Transtromer Wins Nobel Literature Prize". TIME. 6 October 2011. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
- ^ "Swedish poet Transtromer wins Nobel in literature". Dawn. 6 October 2011. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
- ^ Chappet, Marie-Claire (6 October 2011). "Tomas Tranströmer: Ten things you never knew about the poet you never knew". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
- ^ http://owlsmag.wordpress.com/2010/05/06/olives-transtromer/
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Tomas Tranströmer|
- Official Website of Tomas Tranströmer
- Biography on Pegasos
- Biography and Poems on Poets.org
- Biographical profile on Bloodaxe Books website
- Griffin Poetry Prize Lifetime Recognition tribute, including audio and video clips
- 28 haiku from "The Great Mystery" translated by Anatoly Kudryavitsky, with his essay on Tranströmer
- Sorrow Gondola translated by Patty Crane, with essay by David Wojahn, letter from Jean Valentine, and more in Blackbird, Spring 2011, Vol. 10, No. 1.
- Poems in English translation at Samizdat
- Poetry Fix video on Tranströmer
- Landscape with Suns