Itsy Bitsy: Ummm....

For discussion of John Ajvide Lindqvist's short story collection Pappersväggar
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gkmoberg1
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Itsy Bitsy: Ummm....

Post by gkmoberg1 » Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:08 am

I was pleasantly surprised to find "Itsy Bitsy" on Amazon and downloaded it straight away to my "Kindle for PC". Something new from JAL for me to read, although in English.

Yet after reading it I am, well, ummm, left wondering "did I read it right?" So I read it a second time, yet I came up equally short. Perhaps, I wonder and hope, things were lost/garbled in the translation? Looking for it auf Deutsch... no luck.

So where to start? Naturally all that follows on this thread will be a spoiler. If you've not read the story - Go! Avert your eyes and come back later! :D

You're not supposed to be reading this if you've not ready the story! Right? Right! Go!

Question #1 (proceeding from bow to stern).... What is it that nearly knocks him from the tree? A club? What?! Whose club? - This I think/hope is a translation problem. The questions to come become increasingly structural with regards to the story. :?

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Re: Ummm....

Post by a_contemplative_life » Tue Nov 15, 2011 3:30 am

I thought it was a bout of lower back pain (?)
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Nightrider
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Re: Ummm....

Post by Nightrider » Tue Nov 15, 2011 4:20 am

[quote]He hears a crack. A club bangs into the small of his back and pain shoots up from his tailbone, exploding in his head.[/quote]

I don't think it was an actual club, but more of a decription of pain...Frank died in that scene and the rest of the story is a mixture of his memories as the life slowly slides past his eyes untill there's nothing left. I think I've mentioned this before, but "Itsy Bitsy" reminds me of a variation on An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce which in itself was an inspiration for "Jacob's Ladder"(1990).
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Re: Itsy Bitsy: Ummm....

Post by Jameron » Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:21 pm

Not available to buy in the UK yet :(

.
"For a few seconds Oskar saw through Eli’s eyes. And what he saw was … himself. Only much better, more handsome, stronger than what he thought of himself. Seen with love."

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metoo
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Re: Itsy Bitsy: Ummm....

Post by metoo » Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:14 pm

gkmoberg1 wrote:Question #1 (proceeding from bow to stern).... What is it that nearly knocks him from the tree? A club? What?! Whose club? - This I think/hope is a translation problem. The questions to come become increasingly structural with regards to the story.
I cannot find that episode. Could you be more specific of where it is? How far into the text (e.g. number of paragraphs)? Then I could check the Swedish text.
But from the beginning Eli was just Eli. Nothing. Anything. And he is still a mystery to me. John Ajvide Lindqvist

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Re: Itsy Bitsy: Ummm....

Post by Nightrider » Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:12 pm

metoo wrote:
gkmoberg1 wrote:Question #1 (proceeding from bow to stern).... What is it that nearly knocks him from the tree? A club? What?! Whose club? - This I think/hope is a translation problem. The questions to come become increasingly structural with regards to the story.
I cannot find that episode. Could you be more specific of where it is? How far into the text (e.g. number of paragraphs)? Then I could check the Swedish text.
It's near the beginning when Frank talks about origins of word "paparazzi". The paragraph starts with "The surface of the water is blue..."
I don't believe it's a real "club" that Frank feels on/in his back...It's something more serious. Like death.
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Re: Itsy Bitsy: Ummm....

Post by metoo » Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:25 am

Ok, I found it:

Han håller handen för ögonen och flyttar sig en decimeter till. Det knakar till. En slägga dunkar mot hans ryggslut och en smärtpuls skjuter upp från svanskotan, exploderar i huvudet.

He covers his eyes with his hand and moves a few inches more. He feels something crack. (Or: A crack is heard.) A sledgehammer pounds against his lower back and a pulse of pain shoots up from the tailbone, explodes in his head.
(My Google-assisted translation)

My interpretation is that the sledgehammer is imagery, there is no actual hammer, but a sudden, very intense pain.
But from the beginning Eli was just Eli. Nothing. Anything. And he is still a mystery to me. John Ajvide Lindqvist

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