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En Broder Mer/ Stig Dagerman

Stig Dagerman… a burnt child having melancholy in heart and existential angst in mind….

Swedish author, journalist, anarchist who gave birth many masterpieces in 1923-1954 and died by his own hands when 31.

Here you find some selected quotations from Dagerman’s third novel called A Burnt Child (Bränt barn) written in 1948…


“Beyond prayers and thoughts, flowers and poems, tears and words….he cries with emptiness, cries and cries, because emptiness has more tears than anything else.”

“The price is volcanic eruption. Costly but nothing more destructive exits. Therefore we ought to bless the volcanoes, thank them because their light is dazzling and their fire is scorching.

Thank them for blinding us because only when we are blind can we gain our full sight.

Thank them for burning us, because only as burnt children can we give others warmth.”

“For within us, we all carry an image of something dreadful that will happen to us one daywhen it’s very dark….we all carry an image of ghost within us…..A sensation of confirmation mingled with terror is that we all feel.”

“It’s hard to love the one we know very well. To be in love is to be curious.”

 “Peace with everything inside of you that wanted to die,

Peace with everything outside of you that pressured you to live.

Otherwise, nothing has happened, nothing but same loss of blood and the fact that you have become a little older.

You also understand that in order to begin to live, you must have already begun to die.”

 “Strictly speaking, to live means nothing more than to postpone your own suicide day by day. Surely you have experienced this as well, even if you can’t bring yourself to put it into words, but you know it subconsciously.”


Letter to Inga Landgre…A few days before taking his own life…

“Somehow my life has come to standstill, and I don’t know how I’ll able to revive it. I can’t do anything anymore: can’t write; can’t laugh; can’t speak; can’t read. I feel like I’m outside the whole game. When I’m with people, I have to force myself to listen to what they are saying in order to smile at the right moments. And the last time I read Steppenwolf, it hit me that I have a connection there, that is, not with the ones who take their own life out of necessity but the ones who always have death by their side as a matter of precaution, to speak with, to hope for. I don’t know why I’m still living. I see no end to the piling up of these senseless days….If only we had some light to hide ourselves in.”




 simsiyahtır çatılar

pencere pervazları


kara ay

kara kandiller

kara düşünceler

sönsün ışıklar


siyah, ilmiğidir asılanın

karadır bir akıntı gibi


kara ay

kara kandiller

kara düşünceler

sönsün ışıklar


sıkıntı ve melankoli

albeni güvenli pençelerine

hiç bir anlamı yok hayatın

intihardır tek çare


kara ay


kara düşünceler

sönsün ışıklar2


*1 Stig Dagerman, A Burnt Child, Translated by Benjamin Mier-Cruz, University of Minnesota Pres, Minesota (2013).

*2 Niklas Kvarforth, Prozac ArtıkYetmediğinde, KARA (DAGERMAN’IN BAKIŞ AÇISINDAN GÖRÜNENLER), Çev. Altay Öktem, Zeynep Çolakoğlu), Marjinal Kitaplar, İstanbul (2014).

Yazı: Zeynep ÇOLAKOĞLU

Çizim: Kübra DEMİR




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