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Aniara: An Epic Science Fiction Poem Paperback – September 1, 1998
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Top customer reviews
Martinson invented new words to describe the technology, all of them beatiful. The translation works just great.
Part of Martinson's greatness is that he saw that we were heading in the wrong direction much earlier than his contemporaries; either stuck in the "American Dream" or trapped by "Soviet Progressive" ideals. The book cn be read in so many planes: belief in technology while forgetting human values, fear of nuclear war, shallow searches for instant gratification, man's - and mankind's - loneliness in an uncaring universe.
Martinson was an apostate from communism, and he was ostracised by the Swedish intellectual establishment, and later commited suicide.
This is the 24-year story of how the 8,000 inhabitants of a doomed 'space ark' try to cope with their hopeless situation. It is a dark review of the human condition, sometimes difficult, often beautiful.
The introduction and translator's notes are a must-read. Strangely, there is no mention at all of the 'modern' opera by Karl-Birger Blohmdahl (the only true 'space opera'?) which is how most non-Swedes have been introduced to Aniara for many decades.
The Aniara Suite was featured as side 2 of a very rare release of the "2001..." soundtrack years ago. If still available, the 1985 Caprice 2-CD set (CAP 22016 1-2) is an excellent companion to this book.
The main problem about Aniara is that noone can tell you what it is like, you have to see for yourself. Trying to describe Aniara is like telling you what a song sounds like whitout singing: You either get the wrong impression or don't get it at all. You have to experience it by yourself.
See that you do.