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English (translation)
Original Swedish

157 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1956

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About the author

Harry Martinson

116 books65 followers
Harry Martinson (May 6, 1904 – February 11, 1978) was a Swedish sailor, author and poet. In 1949 he was elected into the Swedish Academy. He was awarded a joint Nobel Prize in Literature in 1974, "for writings that catch the dewdrop and reflect the cosmos.", together with fellow Swede Eyvind Johnson. The choice was very controversial, as both Martinson and Johnson were members of the academy and had partaken in endorsing themselves as laureates.

He has been called "the great reformer of 20th century Swedish poetry, the most original of the writers called 'proletarian'."

Detailed Biography: http://authorscalendar.info/harrymar.htm

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 223 reviews
Profile Image for Lisa.
991 reviews3,320 followers
September 17, 2016
Of all Nobels on my shelves, Harry Martinson's Aniara is the one I have reflected on the most, unable to put it into comprehensible context, and to give it an honest and fair evaluation. I don't claim to be able to do it now either, but I can't stand the idea of this favourite being left to travel in a void, straight ahead into space without any recognition from me, the grateful reader. It has shaped my relation to Swedish literature more than anything else.

Being a poem, a science fiction post-apocalyptic verse epos, and a deeply disturbing journey into the human condition, it is one of the books I quite often open randomly to enjoy the brilliant Swedish verse. I actually bought an English translation, second hand but very expensive, because I thought I could read excerpts from it with my students, but in the end, Martinson's language was so much connected to Swedish in my mind that I did not go ahead with the project.

Of all the Nobel Prizes in Literature, the one awarded to Martinson and Johnson in 1974 is probably the most disputed. Both were members of Svenska Akademien at the time, and they had to endure harsh criticism for receiving the prize from their own colleagues. It is still a sore chapter in Swedish literary history, and Martinson's dramatic suicide is thought to be directly linked to the fact that he was deeply hurt by the reaction to the Nobel award.

Politics aside, having read quite a lot by both Johnson and Martinson, and at least two or three works by all other laureates worldwide as well, I belong to the party claiming they deserved the honour DESPITE being in the academy.

Aniara speaks for itself. A group of survivors after an apocalyptic catastrophe on Earth travel straight ahead, without goal, in space, still mourning what they lost, and trying to make sense of their existence in a void.

The result is a strange swaying back and forth between over-exalted emotions and complete numbness, - a scary feature of hopelessness which I recognise in many layers of global society today. While Wells in his The Island of Dr. Moreau still finds hope and solace in humankind's heart despite wild experiments with horrible outcomes, the dystopia of the nuclear age is bleak, hopeless, an eternal trap.

"Efforts at escape through flights of mind
and fading in and out from dream to dream -
such methods were at hand.
With one leg washed by surges of emotion,
the other resting on emotive death,
we'd often stand.
My questions of myself got no reply.
I dreamed a life up, but I lived a lie.
I ranged the universe, but passed it by -
for captive on Aniara here was I."

The Swedish flow of words is a song, creeping under my skin:

"Försök till räddning genom tankeflykt
och överglidningar från dröm till dröm
blev ofta vår metod.
Med ena benet dränkt i känslosvall
det andra med sitt stöd i känslodöd
vi ofta stod.
Jag frågade mig själv men glömde svara.
Jag drömde mig ett liv men glömde vara.
Jag reste alltet runt men
glömde fara. -
Ty jag satt fånge här i Aniara."

Being locked forever in a small community, similar to the one evoked by Brooks in The Bunker Diary in its inevitable isolation and lack of possibilities, different religions and groups start to form according to the personalities of the inhabitants, leading to a cult of regret at the loss of paradise, which in this case is the less than perfect Earth they had to evacuate from:

"In Memory Hall there are recanters' fêtes
and those immersed most deeply in recanting
have gathered, bearing ashes on their pates,
self-torturers with their recanting-chanting:

Stand and confess. The walls of grievous rage
are closing on the fate we engineered.
our doom is mirror-image to the cage
at which from outside we at one time sneered."

"I Minneshallen hålls det ångermässor
och de som sjunkit djupast i sin ånger
ha samlats där med askbeströdda hjässor
torterande sig själv med ångersånger:

Stån upp till svars. Den tunga vredens murar
sig sluter om det öde vi beredde.
Vårt straff är spegelbilden av de burar
som en gång utifrån vi själv beledde."

The Aniara travellers try different illusions to make their life more bearable, such as artificial gardens or projections in space to fill it with the illusion of context. These schemes fail, as the humans are too aware of the tricks and only feel more definitely detached from the earth they left behind. Theirs is a world where God and Satan drop their eternal fight and unite in mourning over the human disaster:

"Describe the creature fine and fair
who sewed the shrouds for his own seed
till God and Satan hand in hand
through a deranged and poisoned land
took flight uphill and down
from man: a king with ashen crown.

Beskriv den människa som i glans
sit släktes likdräkt sydde
tills Gud och Satan hand i hand
i ett förstört, förgiftat land
kring berg och backar flydde
för människan, askans konung."

The dichotomy of the beautiful, heart-warming verse and the scary message is omnipresent in Martinson's epic poem, and the relevance of the worrying scenario is as acute now as in the 1950s. The world is still developing in a direction where power to destroy is given to people with no sense of love and responsibility for the beautiful nature of our shared planet and our common cultural heritage.

Aniara is a cautionary tale, holding up the mirror of regret when it is too late: don't travel straight ahead without purpose!

Noble Nobel Martinson! You were well worth your award.
Profile Image for Sawsan.
1,000 reviews
May 8, 2022
قصيدة طويلة من الخيال العلمي للكاتب السويدي هاري مارتينسون الحاصل على نوبل عام 1974
أنيارا سفينة فضاء تهاجر بالبشر إلى المريخ بعد دمار الأرض بفعل إشعاعات الحرب النووية
تنحرف عن مسارها وتضل طريقها وتظل سابحة في الفضاء لسنوات فتتحول إلى سفينة للموت
تترواح مشاعر وأحوال ركاب أنيارا ما بين حنين للأرض, الخوف, الذعر وصولا لليأس
وتختلف محاولات البقاء على قيد الحياة.. بالأوهام, الذكريات, المتعة, الأحلام والعبادة بكافة أشكالها
سرد حزين وغير تقليدي يتناول القضايا التي اهتم بها مارتينسون بعد الحرب العالمية الثانية
السباق النووي وتكنولوچيا تصنيع أسلحة الدمار في العالم وخاصة في فترة الحرب الباردة
الحروب وآثارها البائسة والمدمِرة ليس على الانسان فقط بل على الأرض والكون عموما
ويعرض بذكاء طرفي النقيض بين قوة العلم والتقنية.. ووهم الوصول للمعرفة الكُلية
Profile Image for Jesse.
154 reviews44 followers
October 4, 2011
oh my good friends, i've stumbled on a little treasure that is hidden wonder. billed as an 'epic science fiction poem', 'aniara' was the crowning achievment of harry martinson. i came across this author, while digging into past nobel prize winners and seeing that martinson (along with another member of the swedish academy - yeah that's the group that decides who wins the award) was given the nobel prize over that years favorites: graham greene, vladimir nabokov, and saul bellow. bellow eventually won the award, but by some crime against humanities, nabokov never got one. alas, i had to know what the merit was of these two authors that the swedish academy deemed more deserving than a vladimir nabokov. i couldn't find much on eyvind johnson (the other winner), so i decided to take a shot on this harry martinson. of course my interest was piqued when i saw what his epic poem cycle aniara was about: a spacecraft, in a post-apocolyptic world, gets knocked of track on a flight to mars, and is thus floating into deep space with no chance of returning. the plot line alone is packed with several genres, philosophies, and prophecies. as you would imagine, my poor library did not own a copy, but had to get one from asu, to lend to me. i'm about a third of the way through this book, and so far it has lived up to its potential. i'll offer more thoughts upon completion, but i couldn't wait and had to share this spectacular, and unique work of art.

so this is a wonderful, little piece of art that seems sadly overlooked in world literature. it is such a unique piece of writing that blends such disparate, genres, ideas, and styles. i'm not gonna go too far into it for two reasons: 1) i'm in the middle of re-reading it to try and unlock some of the allusions and mythology used in the poem (martinson used many different cultures and myths, as well as etymologies from different languages for his neologisms); also, 2) i don't wanna spoil it for anyone else who may wanna read it. so i'll prob. post so more thoughts on this, in a month or so.
Profile Image for Ignacio.
1,120 reviews206 followers
July 28, 2023
Lo que hace Harry Martinson en este libro es desarmante. Coge las ilusiones de la conquista del espacio, las pasa por un tamiz apocalíptico y construye un poema épico sobre nuestra caída que, a la vez, es tremendamente lírico. Los recuerdos de la Tierra que quedó atrás; los sucesivos cambios en la nave que se pierde en el espacio; la observación de ese universo incierto, hermoso, aterrador... se entretejen en un centenar de cantos con una lenguaje evocador que, en su belleza retórica, exhibe un conocimiento desbordante de la ciencia de su época. Además anticipa obras posteriores de cf (Tau Zero, La balada de Beta Dos, Jinetes de la antorcha, Los genocidas...) en una síntesis que la hace merecedora de entrar en un canon que, tristemente, la ha olvidado.
Profile Image for John.
8 reviews1 follower
December 26, 2018
Jag måste härvid bekänna
att mitt läshuvud ej räckte till.
När min poetiska båge jag spänna
förlorad i rytmen därtill

Ibland var den så förgrymmat vacker
men kontexten mig då kollra bort,
i DaiseliDoodyGhazilnutattacker
mitt fokus var synnerligen kort.
Profile Image for Christina.
62 reviews77 followers
February 19, 2019
Gillade stämningen såååå mycket, så ensligt och bortom allt hopp. De ba flyter utan riktning i rymden. Ingen kan rädda dem. Literally lost in space. Fantastiskt. Tyckte dock det blev lite väl mkt med alla egenkomponerade ord, och kände verkl bara wtf när den där sekten bildas (?) och den ”leds” av en kvinna som ba jo men absolut jag lägger mig här så kan alla män som vill komma och ha sex med mig d lugnt i like it :))) och att det skrivs som ngt storslaget och vackert fast det egentligen bara suger.
Profile Image for Bbrown.
705 reviews82 followers
October 4, 2021
"That was how the solar system closed
its vaulted gateway of the purest crystal
and severed spaceship Aniara’s company
from all the bonds and pledges of the sun.

Thus given over to the shock-stiff void
we spread the call-sign Aniara wide
in glass-clear boundlessness, but picked up nothing.

Though space-vibrations faithfully bore round
our proud Aniara’s last communiqué
on widening rings, in spheres and cupolas
it moved through empty space, thrown away.

In anguish sent by us in Aniara
our call-sigh faded till it failed: Aniara"

Such is the fate of the spaceship Aniara, as chronicled in Nobel Prize-winner Harry Martinson’s epic poem. After being thrown off course, its 8,000 souls are left to live what remains of their lives in a vast spaceship hurtling into the unknown emptiness of space, with no hope of ever returning to the rest of civilization.

This epic poem is everything a work of science fiction should be, providing a fantastic situation that nevertheless resonates with our actual lives, and using that situation to explore what it means to be human. Here Martinson chooses as his topic how mankind comes to terms with hopeless, pointlessness, and the inevitability of death. Being trapped on Aniara renders life meaningless for all the passengers on board- if they make scientific discoveries they can’t send them back to Earth so no use will ever come of them, they can write poems and songs but they will never escape the confines of the ship, and everyone knows that eventually Aniara will reach its limits on this unending journey and everyone aboard her will die. This is a fantastic situation, yes, but is it really so different from our lives? The passengers of the spaceship Aniara are making, after all,

“A lifelong journey onward to an end
which would have come in any case, and comes.”

The struggle with whether our actions in life have meaning, and the struggle to come to terms with our eventual demise, are obviously not challenges that are unique to space travel. Martinson explores how people deal with these real world challenges by presenting us with the microcosm of the ship. At first the passengers keep the hopelessness of the situation at bay with mima, “a filter of truth, with no stains of her own.” Mima presents the passengers with images of far off planets and with recordings of terrible events happening back on Earth, providing a Plato’s cave that people are all too happy to flock to. Mima is more than a computer, she’s a conscious entity that has desires of her own, and she eventually welcomes death to avoid seeing the horrors of Earth dying behind them. With the loss of mima the mirror world she created is lost as well, and thus the passengers turn to religion, whether the old ones of Earth, or factions worshipping the lost mima, or sex cults. As the journey gets longer and the ship travels deeper into the emptiness of space the religions get more extreme as the hopelessness becomes harder to bear: a cult featuring human sacrifice has a surplus of volunteers. People retreat into memories of their life before entering the ship, even if the places left behind seem hellish. The bearers of these memories aren’t the usual archetypes found in science fiction, but interesting characters in their own right, from a female pilot (about whom the narrator notes “she wounds you in the way that roses wound”), to a blind poetess,

“with songs so beautiful they lifted us
beyond ourselves, on high to spirit’s day.
She blazoned our confinement gold with fire
and sent the heavens to the heart’s abode,
changing every word from smoke to splendor.”

Despite a few events that rejuvenate the excitement of the passengers there are no long-term victories on Aniara. Being on the ship forces an acknowledgment of the inevitability of death, strips the passengers of the normal pantheon of reasons life isn’t pointless, and the passengers are powerless to invent new reasons that satisfy them; even the religious cults are abandoned in time, with only some small symbolic gestures remaining. Nihilism conquers this microcosm, as the numbers of insane and suicides multiply. Eventually the ship breaks down too severely to be repaired and death comes for all who remain. Having read The Death of Ivan Ilyich recently I can say with certainty that I found Aniara more affecting. The events of the poem are hopeless, yes, but the warning rings through clear: for all its flaws Earth is a paradise, and mankind, “a king with an ashen crown,” must maintain it or face the vast emptiness of space.

This work essentially won Martinson his Nobel Prize in literature, and, despite the controversy, the win was well deserved. It’s a travesty that this work is out of print, and so rare that used copies cost hundreds of dollars. It’s beautifully written, the characters are usually not drawn with much detail but still manage to be interesting, and the setting it presents is masterfully constructed. Best of all, these virtues exist to actually explore ideas worth exploring and to say something worth saying, which you would expect to be commonplace in science fiction but which, sadly, is not. Why is this work so little known in the genre of science fiction when far, far lesser works like Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land, Clarke’s Childhood’s End, and Neuromancer by Gibson are not only still widely read, but held up as some of the best works of science fiction to ever be put to paper? Aniara is better than any of those works by an order of magnitude, and yet it’s been all but forgotten. It speaks poorly of the genre’s fans, and sadly is justifies some of the lack of respect shown to science fiction. Aniara lives up to the potential of science fiction as a genre, and you should read it unless you absolutely can’t stand that genre.

One minor complaint: in Aniara Martinson makes up a plethora of words, used both to identify technology and in normal conversation. Especially in the few stanzas that make heavy use of the slang of old Earth I found it just too much. I wish he had pulled a Gene Wolfe and only used existing but rare or archaic words, but it’s impossible for me to criticize Martinson for this too severely when he effectively addresses this exact point:

“The galaxy swings around
like a wheel of lighted smoke,
and the smoke is made of stars.
It is sunsmoke.
For lack of other words we call it sunsmoke,
do you see.
I don’t feel languages are equal
to what that vision comprehends.
The richest of the languages we know,
Xinombric, has three million words,
but then the galaxy you’re gazing into now
has more than ninety billion suns.
Has there ever been a brain that mastered all the words
in the Xinombric language?
Not a one.
Now you see.
And do not see.”
Profile Image for fonz.
378 reviews33 followers
November 22, 2015
Metáfora muy negra de la trayectoria vital del ser humano, perdido en el estéril vacío de un cosmos inmenso e indiferente. Un viaje terrible en el que en todo momento cargamos con el atroz conocimiento de que vamos hacia una muerte vacía de significado (una idea que Thomas Ligotti emplea y amplía en su "La conspiración contra la raza humana"), y con la convicción de que lo malo que ocurre en el mundo es culpa nuestra.

Me ha gustado mucho como Martinson, un poeta que nada tiene que ver con el género, emplea metáforas de ciencia ficción para hablar de estos temas en un poema épico futurista y moderno; la nave espacial, la guerra nuclear, la colonización de planetas, el vacío estelar... Los mejores momentos son cuando emplea el lenguaje científico, incluso usando palabras inventadas típicas de la cf, con sentido lírico. Las descripciones del viaje al principio del libro, o el canto 77 donde se describe una estrella muerta son puro sentido de la maravilla. Curiosamente también emplea esa típica herramienta del género, la inmersión, con un resultado excelente. Es algo que siempre he pensado, que el sentido de la maravilla y la inmersión, cuando están bien conseguidas, más que especulación científica, son lírica y poesía por necesidad. Además, como señala Martinson en el canto 85, hay realidades científicas inexpresables con otro lenguaje que no sea la poesía. Esta idea es muy potente, un camino de salida a una paradoja que me fascina, la de los límites de la ciencia ficción, es decir, cómo podemos expresar en un lenguaje comprensible las maravillas y terrores del universo, los paisajes alienígenas, la inabarcable e incomprensible inmensidad y frialdad del cosmos.

Pero eso solo es parte del libro, hay otros cantos menos narrativos y más introspectivos, sobre la memoria, la espiritualidad, la felicidad, la tragedia, el dolor que causa la humanidad, que para un lerdo en poesía como soy yo, me han dejado más indiferente y no he terminado de comprender bien.

Resumiendo, una rara avis que se lee muy fácilmente y con interés, gracias a la, en mi opinión, acertada decisión de la traductora de transformar los versos originales en un poema en prosa. A mí me ha recordado a ratos a la obra de Samuel Delany, un escritor que me gusta mucho, con algunas gotas de Bester cuando se ponía lírico. También me gustaría hacer notar cierto paralelismo; Delany era admirador de Bester y le fascinaba cómo éste empleaba lenguaje poético para plasmar sensaciones inexpresables por el lenguaje "llano" en "Las estrellas, mi destino" ("El frío sabía a limones y el vacío era un rasguño de garras en su piel"). Todo esto me ha hecho preguntarme, primero, qué llevo a Martinson a escribir ciencia ficción y cuál era su relación con el género (se nota que lo conoce y que está versado en ciencia y tecnología) y cuántos de los escritores de la new wave norteamericana e inglesa (incluyendo a mavericks como Stanislaw Lem), conocían esta obra (recordemos que publicada en 1956, misma fecha que "Las estrellas, mi destino").
Profile Image for Berit Lundqvist.
578 reviews25 followers
August 21, 2018
This year, it has been 40 years since the Swedish Author Harry Martinson died. On February 11, 1978, he took his own life by cutting up his belly with a pair of scissors, a ritual suicide just like harakiri. He was at the time admitted to a hospital in Stockholm had been suffering from severe depression for quite a while.

But why was he depressed? one might ask. He was at the prime of his career. Only four years earlier he had received the Nobel Prize for literature. Well, in this case the Prize was the problem. As a member of the Swedish Academy he had awarded himself with the Literature Prize, and for this he was violently critizised by both the newspapers and fellow authors. As a result, he fell into a depression.

Nothing new under the sun regarding the Swedish Academy, eh. Juicy scandals then, juicy scandals today.

Today Harry Martinson is mostly remembered for his epic space poem Aniara from 1956. I’m usually not very keen on reading poetry, since it’s far beyond my horizon. But Aniara is something very special, and very beautiful. You don’t need to be into neither poetry nor science fiction to appreciate it. On the contrary, both the verse and the distance in time and space are of utter importance to refine the thoughts. The text is divided into 103 songs of pure magic, a universe in a drop of rain.

Some time in a far future, the 32:nd World War has made the Earth inhabitable. People are evacuated to Venus and Mars. 8,000 people are travelling to Mars on the space ship Aniara. However the ship is knocked out of course, and heads into deep space with no chance of returning.

Life goes on, but people will never be the same. Still they try do the same things as before. There is a supercomputor for entertainment, a sex cult (also for entertainment), religious cults, and of course an evil commander.

The whole story is told mainly by the voice of a narrator to the bitter end. All that remains for him is to come to terms with his ultimate fate.

Light a candle, put on some soft music and embark on the spaceship Aniara to explore the beginning, the final destiny, and everything in between.

English online version here (the songs start on p 33):

Swedish online version here:

Or, if you’re not in the mood to read, just listen to this beautiful interpretation of the Blind poetiss’ song (song 49) by the wonderful Helen Sjöholm, from a fairly recent musical version:
Profile Image for Bjorn.
828 reviews152 followers
January 1, 2017
A spaceship hurtles towards a distant constellation, going faster than anything in human history but essentially standing still from a relative point of view.

That wasn't the point, of course. They were just supposed to be temporarily evacuated to Mars and Venus while Earth "recovers". All of humanity being shipped out on spaceships - each one just making a routine trip, just on a much grander scale. Except for the Aniara which gets hit by a meteor shower. Her steering gets knocked out, her SOSs go unanswered, her AI kills itself after it sees Earth be destroyed in a nuclear holocaust, and the Aniara and her thousands of passengers are sent hurling on a 15,000 year journey towards Vega, with only their memories for company.

It's staring. It's staring cold outside.

It sounds like a potentially cheap sci-fi movie, it is actually a pretty fucking great sci-fi story except told in verse. Martinson tells it through the eyes of the AI operator whose job it is to keep the systems running as the years pass, the systems fail, and all the distractions - virtual reality and social media (yes, in 1957), religion, sex, music, science, even suicide - lose their allure and only the impossible vastness of space remains. He switches style from canto to canto, examining different characters, different aspects, different ways of trying to cope with the uncopeable.

Myself I questioned, but gave no reply.
I dreamt myself a life, then lived a lie.
I ranged the universe but passed it by -
For captive on Aniara here was I.

This book is 50 years old this year. It's lost absolutely none of its power.
Profile Image for Anders.
4 reviews2 followers
August 16, 2012
An immense spaceship drifts deeper into space, away from an Earth ravaged by nuclear holocaust. Wonderfully melancholic and at times painfully tragic, reading Harry Martinson's sci-fi poem (here in the original Swedish) is a great but uneven experience. I found the first third or so, as well as the finale, to be the most powerful, while the middle part failed to hold my interest in the same way. Some parts are excellent, but at other times the text feels confusing and contrived. I'm also not crazy about Martinson's way of using invented words (this is not a principled objection, it just didn't work that well for me here). To be fair though, my expectations may have been unreasonably high. Overall, I wanted to like "Aniara" more than I actually did; for me, the premise is better than the execution. I will probably give it another shot in a year or so, however, as I got the feeling it will improve on a second reading.
Profile Image for Mind the Book.
828 reviews64 followers
January 2, 2021
En till blev det visst. I elfte timmen, bokstavligt talat, på Nyårsafton fick jag för mig att läsa något dystopiskt. Minns detta epos ur gymnasieantologin, men då tilltalade den mig inte lika mycket som t.ex. den minst lika morbida och melankoliska Dorothy Parker gjort i motsvarande verk för högstadiet.

Nåväl, med den stora frihetslängtan hans andra verk skälver av är Harry Martinson ändå en själsfrände. Har någon sett filmatiseringen av Aniara ? Förhoppningsvis inte instängd i en sarkofag...

Trailer: https://youtu.be/3MIlE9R00ik
Uppdatering 2/1 2021. Ikväll såg vi filmen! Ett minst lika existentiellt cri de coeur. Drabbas av klaustrofobi enbart av åsynen av inspelningsplatserna; finlandsfärjor och Mall of Scandinavia. Övriga interiörer lär byggts upp i Fårösund här på ön.
Profile Image for Santiago L. Moreno.
287 reviews32 followers
February 16, 2022
"Aniara" es un poemario constituido por 103 cantos, publicado en 1956 por el premio Nobel sueco Harry Martinson y ahora traducido y prosificado por Carmen Montes Cano. Cito su nombre porque es obligado, puesto que la tarea de volcado al castellano se me antoja un auténtico tour de force. Personalmente, he tardado en aclimatarme a la conversión en prosa, pero una vez asimilada, la lectura se ha convertido para mí en una auténtica delicia, un proceso de navegación tan armónico que la primera palabra que acude a mi mente para calificarlo es "música".

El relato describe la singladura de una gigantesca nave espacial perdida en el espacio, con rumbo fijo entre la Tierra y la constelación de Lira. La premisa inicial me ha recordado el cuento Tricentenario, de Joe Haldeman, aunque el contenido no puede ser más distinto. El corpus de la narración está constituido por los sucesos y los cambios sociales que se dan a lo largo de esos años y por el recuerdo de la historia anterior al despegue. Si la métrica se ha perdido, el aliento poético de esta epopeya pervive aún en sus páginas. No puedo imaginar la potencia con la que este texto, tan cercano a Bradbury en su calidad lírica, debe de golpear al lector en su forma original, con su naturaleza rítmica y su rima al completo.

Bajo la épica del náufrago, Martinson narra el desarrollo vital y el ocaso de los habitantes de una nave que apunta a generacional pero que, finalmente, no llega a serlo, describiendo a la par, con similar pulso lírico, los vaivenes humanos y los paisajes cósmicos. De paso, crea, en maravillosos interludios, una mitología completa de una Tierra al borde de la extinción situada a casi veinte mil años en el futuro.

Esto no es una novela, es un canto, una melodía que invade la mente con imágenes hermosas. Una extraña flor tan breve como bella.
Profile Image for Sara.
588 reviews60 followers
January 21, 2022
I made the not-so-wise decision (Monday night. Hello void) to watch Pella Kagerman and Hugo Lilja's brilliantly depressing adaptation, which hovered over me all week like a dark and decidedly unfluffy cloud. Cut to Martinson's poem being out of print and almost impossible to find in English translation. 350$ for an old paperback seems to be going rate.
Thank the Mima for fellow internet obsessives bearing links.
This is astounding. As depressing as the film? Yes, but also moving, beautiful, and with a tinge more mystery, although you'll appreciate the film even more--who the hell would think to take THIS on and succeed so beautifully? It's also prophetic, and not just about climate change and COVID and every other disaster hurtling toward us, but about the ways we've come to consume stories and art.

But even tapestries of fantasy
have need of some support from human will
a little offering from within of dreams
from those who just demanded, giving nothing
to us but their blankness, like a hole
to fill with pretty pictures by the roll
Now this blankness has been turned on me.
I'm driven to the spacecraft's worst recesses
and given death threats if I don't at once
account for why the blankness still oppresses

Humans do suck, Mima. You were right.

That this is out of print is a travesty.
Profile Image for Czarny Pies.
2,532 reviews1 follower
August 10, 2018
"Aniara" brillamment rendu en français par Philippe Bouquet et Björn Larsson est le grand chef-d'œuvre littéraire de l'époque post-Hiroshima. Publié en 1956 "Aniara" offre toujours l'analyse la plus poussée et la plus percutante de la possibilité de l'annihilation de l'humanité par lune guerre nucléaire. Dans le monde réel le problème est toujours très actuelle même s'il a plus au moins disparu de la littérature.

Le poème raconte l'histoire du vaisseau spatial "Aniara" et ses 8000 passagers qui quittent la Terre, rendue inhabitable par la guerre nucléaire, afin de s'installer sur la planète Mars. "Aniara" des déviée de son trajectoire par une astéroïde et rate son atterrissage. Ses passagers sont condamné à voyager dans le vide jusqu'à la fin de leurs jours. Au bout de vingt-quatre ans, la structure du vaisseau est abimée et ses systèmes de maintien de vie se dégradent. "Aniara" devient un sarcophage et tous ses passagers meurent.

La thèse de Martinson est consternant. Il ne semble pas regarder l'autodestruction de la race humaine comme une tragédie mais plutôt l'aboutissement digne d'un phénomène qui n'avait pas de sens. D'après Martinson la vie de l'homme est absurde. On peut réfléchir sur l'extinction de la race humaine mais il ne faut pas en pleurer.

Aux yeux de Martinson la chance et le miracle sont la même chose. Dieu in n'existe pas. Les passagers d'Aniara refusent d'accepter la réalité de leur situation. Ils créent des nouvelles religions et ils fondent des écoles pour former une relève. On scrute continuellement les galaxies à l'extérieur pour des signes d'espoir. Malgré tout ils ne s'échappent pas à leur destin.

"Aniara" est connu en-dehors de la Suède seulement à cause de l'opéra du même nom de Karl-Birger Blomdahl qui a eu sa première en 1959 à Stockholm. Dans les quatre ans qui ont suivi, on a monté l'opéra dans une douzaine de villes à l'étranger. Bien que fulgurant, le succès a été de très courte-durée. La dernière représentation à l'étranger a eu lieu à Montréal en 1967 devant une salle vide. La dernière représentation à Stockholm a lieu deux ans plus tard. Ensuite on l'a montée à Gothenburg en 1994 et à Malmö en 1917. À mon avis, le poème et l'opéra sont des œuvres de grande importance et méritent un meilleur sort. Comme démontre la confrontation et entre le Corée du Nord et les États-Unis la possibilité d'une guerre nucléaire est aussi forte qu'à l'époque ou Martinson a écrit son poème épique.
Profile Image for Mariamosh.
152 reviews1 follower
February 14, 2019
Ljuv kombination av science fiction och poesi när rymdfärjan Aniara reser mot kolonier på Mars för att rädda sig undan en jord på väg att förgås av människan, men direkt hamnar ur kurs och blir dömda att i en evighet färdas ut ur galaxen i det eviga rymdmörkret.
585 reviews8 followers
November 30, 2013
Nobel Prize Project
Year: 1974
Winner: Harry Martinson

Review: This is a lyrical account of a group of people fleeing the destruction of Earth who are hurtled into the reaches outer space and are forced to confront the insignificance of mankind in the grand scheme of the cosmos. It's a beautiful, though bleak, book filled with great lines and fine observations. If the idea of an science fiction poem that confronts atomic age era fears appeals to you, this is about as good as it can be. It's an odd, thoroughly unique classic (though sadly, it is currently out of print and very expensive).

My favorite poem of this book is Poem 85:
"The galaxy swings round
like a wheel of shimmering smoke
which is the light of stars,
or sun haze.

For lack of other words, you know,
we call it sun haze.
I mean just that languages do not suffice
to express everything
contained in that spectacle.

The richest of the languages we know,
Xinombric, has some three million words,
but the galaxy you are watching now
contains far more than ninety billion suns.
Has any human brain ever mastered all the words
of the language of Xinombra?
Not a single one!
Now do you understand?
And yet--do you?

Analysis: The co-win in 1974 of Harry Martinson and Eyvind Johnson was considered controversial at the time, because both were members of the selection committee and both were pretty much unknown writers. I assume the fact that Harry Martinson has the most BS Nobel citation of all time didn't hurt either ("for writings that catch the dewdrop and reflect the cosmos"). I'm sure he won it for some more boring poetry, but it makes me happy that the writer of a book such as this won the Nobel, no matter how shady the circumstances.
Profile Image for Alex Black.
688 reviews49 followers
July 23, 2019
I had a great deal of difficulty with this poem. The first 29 cantos were wonderful, and I found out after reading that they were originally a standalone piece of poetry. The rest of the poem was only added later, and for me the distinction was obvious. I was almost entirely lost for most of the rest of the story, only following again for a bit in the end.

I'm sure part of that is because this is one of my first forays into poetry pretty much ever, and I'm not a sci-fi reader either. This was far out of my comfort zone in every regard. But I also read this online in what I believe was an unofficial translation. There were numerous spelling errors and inconsistent repetition and rhyming, so part of it could also have been the translation (I really have no idea in that regard- it could have been fine, but it seemed worth a mention). Additionally there were notes at the very end which I didn't know about until I'd already finished, and those would have been immensely helpful. They explained a lot of the made up words that were scattered throughout.

So my rating is a combination of thoroughly enjoyed some parts of the poem, but couldn't follow others at all. I think the first 29 cantos would have been four stars for me because I thought they were lovely. The language was wonderful and the story itself grabbed me. Beyond that, it seemed to lose focus and that's why it took me over a month to get through. It was hard to pick up a poem I knew I wasn't understanding/appreciating.

I think I would reread the first 29 cantos again and stop there, and I would definitely recommend picking this book up if you enjoy science fiction just for that beginning. It was worthwhile, and I'm glad I pushed myself out of my comfort zone even the work overall wasn't for me.
Profile Image for Clara.
69 reviews
March 27, 2022
Det börjar med att jag inte fattar någonting. Tänker att detta är någon prettobok som man inte kan förstå om man inte är smartare än mig. Jag undrar vad Aniara och Mimahallen är i boken, söker upp på Google. Man kanske ska lista ut själv, men jag tappar tålamodet. Sedan förlikar jag mig mer med det jag inte vet och dras in i flödet och följer människornas flykt ut i rymden bort från deras försvunna jord.

Påminner mig om Alice Notley, 1984 eller kanske till och med en slags bibel, men är unik i sig själv. Ett flöde, som jag på detaljnivå kanske inte alltid förstår, men som också gör det intressant och gör att jag skulle kunna läsa om den igen.
Profile Image for Johan Thilander.
466 reviews34 followers
February 26, 2019
Omläst inför ett samtal med regissörerna till filmatiseringen.

Var lite beredd på att hata omläsningen av denna - flera böcker som jag älskade när jag var yngre skäms jag över idag. Men denna var inte dålig. Därmed sagt: jag tycker den är överskattad. Inte att det är en dålig dikt, men folk skattar den för högt. Det är bra litteratur, det är en kompetent skriven dikt, men som en av de hundra bästa litterära verk på Världsbibliotekets lista? Nåja.

Peppad på att se filmatiseringen och prata med regissörerna, om ni är i Nynäshamn den 4/3 kl. 14.00 - kom till biblioteket!
Profile Image for Emelie.
6 reviews
July 15, 2018
Ju längre in jag kom i boken, desto mer obegripligt kändes det att min hemkommun valt att döpa ett torg till Aniaraplatsen. Nog för att jag ofta känt att allt är hopplöst och på väg åt helvette när jag varit där, men det handlar nog mer om mitt tonårsjag än om platsen i sig. Hur som helst är boken väldigt vacker, och jag tycker att alla borde läsa den. Speciellt de som är ansvariga för platsnamn i Sollentuna kommun
Profile Image for Kenneth.
441 reviews5 followers
October 12, 2021
This epic science fiction poem is an outstanding work that deserves a wider readership. This book needs to be republished now!

Addendum: There's a science fiction short story entitled "The Wind in Her Hair" by Kris Neville that pairs very well with this poem. It can be found at Gutenberg.org.
Profile Image for César Bustíos.
279 reviews101 followers
September 21, 2023
DNF - 50%

The concept is great. A spacecraft carrying colonists is escaping Earth en route to Mars but after an asteroid collision it goes off course. 15,000 years will pass before they reach the next star.

The execution wasn't great for me. Poetry basically complicated the experience for me.

Kudos to the translator. That must have been a hard nut to crack!
57 reviews
August 16, 2020
Inte så mycket för ”sci fi”, men detta känns som något annat? Väldigt bra.
”I brist på ord säger vi solrök, har du fattat. Jag menar, att språken inte räcker, till vad synen innerymmer.”
Profile Image for محمود أغيورلي.
639 reviews655 followers
February 26, 2018
هناك جماليات كثيرة في هذه الملحمة الرمزية ، ولكن جزء كبير منه تظلمه الترجمة الى لغة اخرى ، هناك مقاطع يمكن اسقاطها على هجرات الانسان المتكررة و هناك مقاطع يمكن اسقاطها على مناح عدة من الحياة ، يفضل ان تضع عنوان عريض قبل ان تتوقف عن القراءة لكي يسهل عليك المتابعة لاحقا ، و العنوان فقط يكفيه ان تكتب اين وصلت المركبة الفضاية و ماهو اخر حدث حصل .

مقتطفات من الملحمة إنيارا للكاتب هاري مارتينسون
أرواحنا ننفقها في الاحلام , ابدا نمحو حلما بحلم , لحاجتنا الى ما هو حقيقي , و كل ايماءة جديدة تصبح سلماً , باتجاه آخر خواء مسربل بالحلم , ويصبح كل ما هو بعيد وناء بيتا لنا , وراء التخوم تكمن طمأنينتنا حقاً
مجبرون نحن للبحث عن كلمات أخرى قادرة على ان تحتوي وتضم كل شيء وتجلب لنا الطمأنينة
محاولات الفرار عبر شطح العقل والانزلات ذهابا وايابا من حلم الى حلم طرق لطالما الفناها , بساق واحدة غرقت تحت فيض الشعور و اخرى مقيدة الى شعور مات و انقضى , كنا نقف , استجوبت نفسي , لكنني لم اعثر على جواب , حلمت لنفسي بحياة ما , لكنني عشت كذبة , جلت اصقاع الكون , لكنني مررت به مرورا , وها أ،ا هنا مجرد سجين على متن إنيارا
ثمة حماية تقينا من كل مكروه تقريباً , من النار , ومن اخطار العاصفة والصقيع , و لتضيفوا ما يخطر على بالكم من ضربات اخرى , لكن لا توجد حماية ضد الجنس البشري
عندما تحركنا الحاجة , لا احد يرى بوضوح , كلا , فقط عندما تصبح المهمة تعذيب القلب , و نبش جميع كنوزه من الاحلام , من اجل ان ننفق السنوات الباردة والشريرة
على وقع نداء الحياة يزيد الوقت في سرعته , يصيل امد اللحظة نفسها , عندما يوشك احدنا على التلاشي , ياله من رعب ينكفىء الى الداخل , وياله من رعب يميد الى الخارج , ويالها من حالة رهيبة دائما , عندما يكون المرء على وشك الانفجار
كم عدل ان تكون لك امنية عن حياة قادمة ستأتي , هذا يشهد لمتعة في العيش ولرغبة جارفة بأن ترى روعتها من جديد , لا ان انموت بكل بساطة مثل ذباب على شاطىء
جميل اننا ننسى الاشياء احيانا و جميل ان ذاكرتنا لا تسعفنا الا للحظات وجيزة , و جميل اننا لا ندرك دوما فحوى ترحالنا المنحوس
Profile Image for Matilda.
153 reviews59 followers
January 16, 2018
"An Epic Science Fiction Poem" må låta obskyrt och pretentiöst. Hade nog aldrig läst den om det inte vore för litteraturvetenskap A. Men oooo som jag gillade denna!

Detta diktepos från -56 är inte som någon annan poesi jag läst tidigare. Martinson har gjort något så fascinerande som att korsa sci-fi och poesi, och framföra det i 103 sånger - ett epos om ett folk som flyr en jord förstörd av människans påhitt. Ombord på skeppet Aniara går allting utför, hoppet sinar, och människans tillit till teknologi och drömmar skildras, och allt är sååå otroligt vackert, finurligt och samtidigt väldigt mörkt.

Det finnes skydd mot nästan allt som är
mot eld och skador genom storm och köld
ja, räkna upp vad slag som tänkas kan.
Men det finns inget skydd mot människan.

Allt är (som jag så ofta finner i poesi) inte glasklart eller självklart, men allt är tänkvärt och följer ändå en slags story. Därav tror jag att även den som inte är så bekant med poesi skulle gilla denna. Hade jag haft en egen hylla för diktverk så hade denna hamnat på toppen! Svinhäftig.
Profile Image for Mina Widding.
Author 2 books34 followers
July 27, 2022
Omläsning och -lyssning. Inläsningen av Ulf Palme är fantastisk, läs och lyssna gärna samtidigt, för allra bästa läsupplevelsen.
Alltså, det är en svensk dystopi på vers från 1956. Det känns fortfarande som ett unikum. Och den håller, den dystopiska bilden, dels av jorden de evakuerar från och som människan förstört, dels livet på drift i rymden, när de av en olycka kommit ur kurs - dekadensen, verklighetsflykten, sekterna osv.
Profile Image for Jakob Hessius.
183 reviews8 followers
August 23, 2017
Den här texten må vara upptakten till Martinssons Nobelpris, men det förändrar. Ingenting. Det här var verkligen inte min grej alls. Poesin gick mig helt över huvudet. Kändes helt slumpmässig då den inte håller någon fast form utan byts från kapitel till kapitel. Jag är nog inte tillräckligt smart för det där.
Profile Image for Mika Auramo.
835 reviews29 followers
December 17, 2021
Harry Martinsonin kirjoittama ja Aila Meriluodon hienosti alkuperäistä tunnelmaa jäljittelevä suomennos ja runomuotoinen scifispektaakkeli vie allegoriselle matkalle kohti unohduksen yötä avaruudellisiin tähtitarhoihin.

Ennen kuin päästään vuosikymmenten taa ja lähestyvään katastrofiin Aniara-niminen avaruuslaiva lukuisine gondolderi-aluksineen taivaltaa Maasta eli Dorislaaksosta kohti kaukaisuuksia ja mystistä Lyyraa, joka olisi voinut tuoda pelastuksen.

Teknologian palvonta on saavuttanut lakipisteensä ja keskustietokoneesta eli Miimasta tulee jumalan kaltainen, ja maalliset perinteet juhlineen (ja itse planeetta) haihtuvat utuun sitä myöden, kun se etääntyy kaukaisuuteen yhä pienemmäksi pisteeksi vuosien varrella.

Matka on keskeinen motiivi niin kuin ihmiselossakin, ja silti turvaudumme vanhoihin ajatusmalleihin ja rutiineihin. Niin käy myös tähtien lomassa ajelehtiville ihmispoloille, jotka kuvittelevat olevansa jonkin suuren äärellä, mutta oikeastaan taantuvat jopa esihistorialliselle tasolle ihmisuhreineen (Goptaoppi), kun on tarkoitus lepytellä konejumalia.

Ennen kuin degeneroidutaan, koukataan myös totalitarismin kautta. Siinä mielessä teos on voimakkaan pasifistinen, eli alistavaan yhteiskuntapolitiikkaan kuten natseihin ja sotiin suhtaudutaan hyvin kriittisesti. Sellaista kuvaa erinomaisesti despoottinen päällikkö Chetone, joka ottaa kaikki mahdolliset keinot käyttöönsä säilyttääkseen valtansa ja täydellisen kontrollin alamaisiinsa.

Lopulta, niin kuin arvata saattaa, eräänlaisista avaruuden tutkimusmatkailijoista tai uuden elämän idealistisista etsijöistä tulee ikään kuin kohtalonsa vankeja. Avaruusaluksista tulee vain galaktisia sarkofageja tuhoon tuomituille ajelehtijoille – kun pääastronomikin vielä menettää järkensä.
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