Aniara: An Epic Science Fiction Poem [Harry Martinson] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. This is the paperback edition translated from the. The great Swedish writer Harry Martinson published his masterpiece, Aniara, during the height of the Cold War – right after the Soviet Union. When Swedish poet and writer Harry Martinson was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in “for writings that catch the dewdrop and reflect the cosmos”.

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In the beginning of our twenty-fourth year thought broke down and fantasy died out. A science fiction epic, consisting of cantos broken into four sections and utilising a variety of rhyming schemes, it is a grand, fatalistic vision of the future of mankind, recounting the story of Aniara, an ark carrying some passengers to Mars from a dying Earth.

The great Swedish writer Harry Martinson published his masterpiece, Aniara, during the height of the Cold War – right after the Soviet Union announced that it had exploded the hydrogen bomb. The main theme is to contrast their longing for Earth with the horror of their memories of the nuclear wars and so forth that are going on there.

The Swedish progressive metal band Seventh Wonder ‘s album The Great Escape contains a minute track of the same name which is based on the Aniara saga.

Review: Aniara by Harry Martinson | Dawn of books

An impossible task, to be sure. The hall of mirrors which for four years running prolonged our illusion lay smashed and shattered and fragments in the hundred thousands covered in heaping drifts the floor that we had danced on. It’s a real shame that this should be his legacy, because martknson overshadows a rags-to-riches talent that in its best moments bordered on rare genius. How terror blasts inward, how horror blasts outward.

Review: Aniara by Harry Martinson

But this same language, meant to clear up all, grew murky for us too, a rigmarole of words avoiding words and playing blind amid the clarity of cosmic soul. The last passenger dies after some 25 years. A central role is played by the ship’s computer, the Mima, which is not just intellectually superior to any human – it also harbors deep emotions and dies from grief when it witnesses the Earth’s destruction.


As the flight of the ship progresses, the reader learns more about the reasons behind the destruction of Earth as well as the horrifying secrets behind the evacuation plan.

They became independent tales, living lives of their own, legends in their own right, myths people are familiar with without necessarily knowing who created them or having read the books in which they were first told. Return to Book Page. In anguish sent by us in Aniara our call-sigh faded till it failed: The Aniara flies onwards, into the great unknown. 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.

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Theodore Sturgeonreviewing a American edition for a genre audience, declared that “Martinson’s achievement here is an inexpressible, immeasurable sadness. Being a poem, a science fiction post- 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. It’s an odd, thoroughly unique classic though sadly, it is currently out of print and very expensive.

What a grand idea, a science fiction poem! A malfunction knocks the craft off course, taking these would-be Mars colonists on an irreversible journey into deep space.

If the idea of an science fiction martjnson that confronts atomic age era fears appeals to you, this is about as good as it can be. He really was no optimist, Harry Martinson. It’s a beautiful, though bleak, book filled with great lines and fine observations.

Aniara – Wikipedia

I don’t know where to start with this review, so I’ll just leave that quote up there and say my martinosn is to learn Swedish so I can get a copy in the original language and read it again. Oh, how I wish I could understand haery original Swedish version! Theirs is a world where God and Satan drop their eternal fight and unite in mourning over the human martunson Swedish online version here: Nothing new under the sun regarding the Swedish Academy, eh.

The Aniara, a craft that is sixteen thousand feet long and three thousand wide, carries some eight thousand people when it begins its journey. True, it has been translated into many languages, but in my opinion no translation can do justice to Martinson’s wonderfully creative use of the Swedish language.


Martinson even suggested the world might possibly be heading to its doom.

To ask other readers questions about Aniaraplease sign up. 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. Refresh and martnson again.

Stanza by stanza, most of it is really great poetry. The artificial intelligence is an interesting addition — and its fate an interesting take — while the humans behave in generally predictable ways. Poetry in and about space, the tragic flaw of the main character our species shut in a capsule and shot into cosmic dimensions. Overwhelmed by the perpetual enigmas of star-strewn galaxies without an end.

But many were the changes in the life we led in the world that had become our own. Aniara isn’t a poem of the apocalypse, but in allowing some humans an escape from it yet having them find no redemption or salvation Martinson’s poem remains a dark, pessimistic vision of any human future.

The whole story is told mainly by the voice of a narrator to the bitter end. A bit of science-terminology — mostly invented — gives it a slightly different feel, but ultimately this is spiritual poetry, the voyage of the individual and of humanity, and what has been left behind, a world ruined by mankind, leaving the survivors adrift in space “where no god heard us in the endless void”.

Life goes on, but people will never be the same. A female clerk says: 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.

Not a single one! The text is divided into songs of pure magic, a universe in a drop of rain.

The mental stress is great on the humans as well: It has shaped my relation to Swedish literature more than anything else. View all 6 comments. Want to Read saving…. That the Mima had invented half herself.