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Rollo May & Existenstialism.

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  • Rollo May & Existenstialism.

    Hi Mike!

    I saw "Land of Dreams (1988) by Jan Troell" on TV today.
    Although i reckon only half of it. What i found interesting was that they used Rollo May as an observer of swedish society. I could really understand what he was getting at that swedes have "lost a sense of awe and mystery in their lives". I wonder if you Mike, have experienced something of the same about us during your visit here? Or anyone else for that matter?

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096024/

    I also read on some of his materiel on Existentialist Philosophy and Psychology and his work of introducing it in America.

    P.S. The movie is a bit outdated BTW, and i don't know if it would 'really' hold up it's argument anymore...

    Seeya pards!

  • #2
    Re: Rollo May & Existenstialism.

    Originally posted by Theocrat
    Hi Mike!

    I saw "Land of Dreams (1988) by Jan Troell" on TV today.
    Although i reckon only half of it. What i found interesting was that they used Rollo May as an observer of swedish society. I could really understand what he was getting at that swedes have "lost a sense of awe and mystery in their lives". I wonder if you Mike, have experienced something of the same about us during your visit here? Or anyone else for that matter?
    I take it, Theocrat, that you're Swedish (Or should I say, "Du أ¤r svensk."
    Varifrأ¥n kommer du i sverige?) You seem very interested in finding fault
    with your country. I've made extended visits there, have some friends
    there, and speak the language a little. It's always been my impression that
    the general cultural outlook there is one that prizes being practical, sometimes
    to the point of being a trifle prosaic. Yet, this is also the country that
    produced Ingemar Bergmann, Pأ¤r Lagerkvist, and August Strindberg.
    I sense a contradication. :-] Perhaps it's closer to the truth to say that
    there exists more than one line of development when it comes to the general
    Swedish Weltanschauung.

    I'm not that high on Rollo May as a cultural arbiter for something like
    this. As for finding fault with Swedish society or character, I won't
    do that. I'll observe that it's a beautiful country, with nice people, who
    are admittedly a bit serious in outlook :), and hey, look on the bright
    side: it isn't Fresno, CA or Hoodoo, TN. (Yes, such a place really
    exists.)

    LSN

    Comment


    • #3
      Jo dأ¥! Jag أ¤r svensk! Hehe.. No i don't either think Rollo May to be a good choice. But the main thing was hearing someone from the outside express both a liking and impression about us up here in these cold harsh lands.

      But i've also been living abroad in singapore 6 years of my childhood. And got to see the four corners of the globe as well..

      Comment


      • #4
        That's always interesting, I think. One of the most interesting texts i've read on racism in the US was actually written by a Swedish scientist ("Rasrisk" by Something Gardell). It's always good to get a new perspective, I think. Unfortunately, it's not too common that US scientists come to Sweden to study our peculiar habits and problems. It's understandable, though.

        As for the seriousness, well, I think that very much of Swedish humor is based on irony and understatements, which sometimes makes it hard to know if someone is joking at all. Or at least that's how it works in my part of Sweden. Generalizing's always a risk, I think, when spending some time in a foreign country and then trying to talk about your impressions of the people there. I once met a lady who made lots of very self-confident statements about what US citizens are like and what they do. After a while I realized, though, that she was actually talking about the part of the town where she had lived, where apparently most (or all?) of the population concisted of rather conservative Jews...

        Another problem is that many Swedes get their "information" of the US from TV. I've made a few mistakes there, myself.

        Who is Rollo May, by the way?
        You can't spell "politically correct" without "correct".

        Comment


        • #5
          Hey, you Swedes! Your's is a great country and I hope to go there more often in future. All my Swedish friends and relatives bicker a lot (buying German cars instead of Volvos), but when it came to introducing the Euro they all stood together: nej

          Yes, who is or was Rollo May?
          Google ergo sum

          Comment


          • #6
            Hmmm...I think finding fault in Sweden is a part of the Swedish national pride. "We Swedes, we are always critisizing our country, we are not flag-waving nationalist ignoramuses like those Finns and Norwegians."

            But yes, I think Sweden is a great society, although they seem to have problems with their prison security.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Olio
              Hmmm...I think finding fault in Sweden is a part of the Swedish national pride. "We Swedes, we are always critisizing our country, we are not flag-waving nationalist ignoramuses like those Finns and Norwegians."

              But yes, I think Sweden is a great society, although they seem to have problems with their prison security.
              :lol: :lol: :lol:

              Right on target on both accounts. I knew that security is pretty low at prisons where people convicted of less serious crimes are locked up (and that's ok with me), but I thought that it was a lot higher at a "sluten anstalt". I mean, no metal detectors, what can you expect? I hope that Saddam gets to spend his prison time in Sweden as he hopes to do. That'd make some interesting news...

              Finns and Norwegians can celebrate their independence from, well, Sweden (and from Russia as well, as far as the Finns go). We Swedes have a harder time finding reasons for national pride in more recent history, I think. Which is fine with me.
              You can't spell "politically correct" without "correct".

              Comment


              • #8
                We have at least made many remarkable achievements in science/culture/medicine/art/film and last but not least 'Music'!
                Which is one of our main exports..

                We should celebrate our country's ingenuity and creativity
                which seems to permeate throughout our country.
                I find pride in that notion of our country.
                And not just our military feats that historians look to as our pride.

                Maybe which should get rid of our monarchy i guess. Since it's main function seems to consist of creating tabloids. Our Queen is the only one who seems to be doing something usefull at least.

                And -> !JOBS FOR EVERYONE! :)
                Well.. i can dream can i?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Rymdolov

                  As for the seriousness, well, I think that very much of Swedish humor is based on irony and understatements, which sometimes makes it hard to know if someone is joking at all. Or at least that's how it works in my part of Sweden.
                  It is to laugh. I understand that irony appears to be non-existent in the
                  U.S., and I've had at least one person from Britain tell me that Americans
                  don't understand it. Trouble was the sample space: he was dealing with
                  American engineers, who as a group are extremely literal-minded. :-] The
                  truth is, it seems we've heard about it in these here parts, and sometimes
                  even make use of it, along with bathos, sarcasm, and understatement. :-]

                  It might be helpful to remember that the U.S. is, to some extent, a nation
                  of immigrants. L'Etranger and I had a brief discussion along these lines
                  some time back. Irony works differently in different places, sometimes. ;-]

                  Generalizing's always a risk, I think, when spending some time in a foreign country and then trying to talk about your impressions of the people there. I once met a lady who made lots of very self-confident statements about what US citizens are like and what they do. After a while I realized, though, that she was actually talking about the part of the town where she had lived, where apparently most (or all?) of the population concisted of rather conservative Jews...
                  Most edifying. I wonder what her source of information was?


                  Another problem is that many Swedes get their "information" of the US from TV. I've made a few mistakes there, myself.
                  I imagine that's inherently error-prone. I haven't looked at a TV in about 5 years,
                  but the trends are easy enough to extrapolate.



                  Who is Rollo May, by the way?
                  Persona non grata.

                  LSN

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by L_Stearns_Newburg


                    The truth is, it seems we've heard about it in these here parts, and sometimes even make use of it, along with bathos, sarcasm, and understatement. :-]

                    It might be helpful to remember that the U.S. is, to some extent, a nation
                    of immigrants. L'Etranger and I had a brief discussion along these lines
                    some time back. Irony works differently in different places, sometimes. ;-]
                    I hope I didn't give the impression that I think that understatements and irony are features found exclusively in Sweden. Americans seem to be known for not understanding irony, though. I've heard that, too. As always, it's a generalisation, of course.

                    One of my friends who moved to a different part of Sweden (Umeأ¥) said that the people he met there didn't understand irony. It's probably rather a matter of different ways of using it, as you say. In some places it's okay to be ironic and/or sarcastic at anyone, in other places it's reserved for people you know well. This is probably what leads to those misunderstandings.

                    Anyway, I really admire anyone who goes through the trouble to learn how to speak Swedish. In some ways it's a tricky language and the reward is being able to speak to a mass of people as large as the population of New York, most of which understand English anyway. I've met a number of Brits of Americans who speak Swedish quite well, though. My hat is off to you!
                    You can't spell "politically correct" without "correct".

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Maybe I missed something, but I was first introduced to irony, at least in literature, by the works of Mark Twain -> an American.
                      Or was this all ironic?
                      Google ergo sum

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Rymdolov
                        Anyway, I really admire anyone who goes through the trouble to learn how to speak Swedish.
                        Well, English and Swedish are related languages anyway...imagine the pain a Finn has to suffer when is learning Swedish, a language that is completely alien to the Finnish. In Finland, we have compulsory Swedish lectures in school, leaving generations of young Finns with strong anti-Swedish sentiments...

                        I have survived my traumas, and nowadays I love Swedish. After all, it is the language of Moomin trolls, Strindberg, Arne Anka, Bellman, Astrid Lindberg and Peter Englund :D .

                        As a teenager, I had to hone my Swedish by reading the clumsy Swedish translations of Elric novels! The local bookstore had none of the English originals. Imagine that!

                        (Should this thread be renamed as "North European Moorcock fans slapping and stabbing backs of each other?)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Olio
                          Originally posted by Rymdolov
                          Anyway, I really admire anyone who goes through the trouble to learn how to speak Swedish.
                          Well, English and Swedish are related languages anyway...imagine the pain a Finn has to suffer when is learning Swedish, a language that is completely alien to the Finnish. In Finland, we have compulsory Swedish lectures in school, leaving generations of young Finns with strong anti-Swedish sentiments...
                          True enough. Compared to the gulf between Swedish and Finnish, English and Swedish come across as different accents of the same language. I went to Finland with my parents as a teenager and I always felt like a young colonial brat when my parents spoke Swedish to clerks, etc.

                          Originally posted by Olio
                          I have survived my traumas, and nowadays I love Swedish. After all, it is the language of Moomin trolls, Strindberg, Arne Anka, Bellman, Astrid Lindberg and Peter Englund :D .
                          Ah, the Moomin trolls! The best fantasy books after Moorcock's? (not being ironic here :) )

                          Originally posted by Olio
                          As a teenager, I had to hone my Swedish by reading the clumsy Swedish translations of Elric novels! The local bookstore had none of the English originals. Imagine that!
                          Those translations have been discussed in the thread "Sweden and the translations" here at the MWM. I would post a link to it if I knew how to do it. We're still looking for financers for a better translation, so if Finnish fans would like to step in with fresh Euros, please go ahead. :)

                          Originally posted by Olio
                          (Should this thread be renamed as "North European Moorcock fans slapping and stabbing backs of each other?)
                          There is definitely need for such a thread, but have you guys been stabbing my back? Maybe I'm not so good at irony after all... :(
                          You can't spell "politically correct" without "correct".

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Rymdolov
                            Those translations have been discussed in the thread "Sweden and the translations" here at the MWM. I would post a link to it if I knew how to do it. We're still looking for financers for a better translation, so if Finnish fans would like to step in with fresh Euros, please go ahead. :)
                            Well, I think I stick with the English originals I have pursued down during the last 10 years :) . And Swedes seem to be speaking better English than many native English-speakers, so why to bother anaway? I am not the biggest fan of Tolkien, but maybe you guys should re-translate Lord of the Rings first. I find the Ohlmarks translation quite bizarre...

                            By the sheer curiosity: do you know if the Moorcock books have been translated into Danish or Norwegians? Nowadays we have the Dancers At the End of Time serie in Finnish, but the translation project of the Elric saga was given up after the first novel.

                            Originally posted by Rymdolov
                            (, but have you guys been stabbing my back? Maybe I'm not so good at irony after all...
                            Oh no, no...so far it has been only back-slapping.

                            I went to Finland with my parents as a teenager and I always felt like a young colonial brat when my parents spoke Swedish to clerks, etc.
                            Well, most Finns prefer the Swedes to speak English. On the other hand, there are still places in Finland where the inhabitants are mostly Swedish-speaking. "Moomin Swedish", as the dialect is known... :D

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I remember when I was in N. Finland some years back and knowing little Finnish, which of course is closer to Hungarian than anything else this
                              side of the Continent, I could hardly order a simple meal. I found it was best to try English first and if that didn't work Swedish. They often understood Swedish better, but, as you say, preferred me to speak in
                              English. I loved the time we spent up there that summer, though I did
                              wind up getting very confused about the day and time, since we weren't
                              near 'civilisation' for a long part of the time and would go to sleep (in bags) when we were tired, get up when we woke up and ate when we were hungry. It's amazing how quickly your sense of structured days and weeks disappears in those circumstances.
                              For a long time few of my books sold in countries like Sweden and Holland, for instance, because so many of the readers had already bought and read them in English. It could possibly be the same situation
                              in Finland. What I am pleased about is that my books are being translated in the Baltic states. I never thought that would happen.
                              The problem with Russian translations of my work is that quite a lot of it appeared in samizdat editions, typed and reproduced by amateurs --
                              who also did the translations and pirate publishers took over those editions from the original enthusiasts. It's getting better in Russia now, but those very bad translations are still floating around.
                              When I was hitch-hiking in the 50s I knew German better than I knew anything else but again found in certain countries it was better to try
                              English first because at that time more people knew German, but,because of WW2, weren't exactly pro-German -- so we'd wind up with German, but there was this pantomine of trying English and French first!
                              Thankfully, that's no longer a problem and, because the Germans and English are the largest percentage of tourists these days, either's usually
                              OK.

                              Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                              The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                              Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                              Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                              The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                              Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

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