Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Pippi Longstocking

Quotation of the day: Astrid Lindgren: We’re living in a free country, aren’t we? Aren’t you allowed to walk any way you like?

I've just finished reading Astrid Lindgren's 1950 book "Pippi Longstocking." And i adored it, such fun!

 A children's classic, i'm told, but i'd never read it before. Well, why would i have? When i was a child in England my parents weren't inclined to corrupt me with such foreign rubbish. It was all A.A. Milne, C.S. Lewis, Kenneth Grahame and Lewis Carroll for me. (Oh, and Dr Johnson, too, but that's a different kettle of fish 'n' chips.)

Now, i don't need to tell you why i read it now, at my advanced age, do i? Or do i?

As my regular reader will know, i am quite haunted by the woman Stieg Larsson created for his Millenium trilogy, Lisbeth Salander -- one of the most compelling characters in all of modern literature. One day, as i was browsing around on Stieg Larsson's website (http://www.stieglarsson.com/) i came across this:

"Pippi Longstocking as a source of inspiration.

"Kenneth Ahlborn, a former colleague of Stieg's at TT, says in an interview with Veckans Affärer that Stieg got the idea for the character Lisbeth Salander after a discussion during a break from work. They were talking about how different characters from children's books would manage and behave if they were alive and grown up. Stieg especially liked the idea about a grown up Pippi Longstocking, a dysfunctional girl, probably with attention deficit disorder who would have had a hard time finding a regular place in the 'normal society', and he used part those characteristics when he created Lisbeth Salander."

Now, as anyone with O.C.D. will understand, this meant that i had to at least investigate Pippi's personality, and so i ordered the book from Stratford's best bookshop, Fanfare Books, and, thanks to their invariably efficient service, had it in my hot little hands a week later. (5% discount okay, Bob?) And i devoured it. What a delightful discovery. I have now ordered the other two Pippi novels and Fanfare Books, brilliant as ever (maybe i should hold out for 10%?) tells me i should have them later this week.

Now, the question. Did i see Pippi in Lisbeth? Well, not specifically: Pippi was, let's face it, a motormouth, which Lisbeth decidedly wasn't. Pippi was happy-go-lucky, Lisbeth was far from it. But in broad terms, yes, absolutely, i do. They're both socially inept, strong-willed, and fiercely independent. I'm looking forward to the next two volumes.

(N.B., it seems i made an error in a previous post on this subject ( http://spriggsblog.blogspot.ca/2013/03/my-cd-collection-3.html). I wrote that Mikael Blomqvist in the Millennium series was nicknamed "Kalle" Blomqvist after a character in the Pippi series. Right writer, wrong series: Kalle Blomqvist was the boy detective in Astrid Lindgren's Mästerdetektiven Blomkvist books.)

(Oh, and thanks to Catherine, one of my favourite servers at my local pub, for inspiring me to write this post. In fact, she threatened to whack me over the head with a bar stool if i didn't write it.) (No wonder i keep going back....)

And here's my most  recent playlist, because i know you care:

Steve Hackett - The Voyage Of The Acolyte
Billie Holiday - Lady In Satin
Junior Wells - Live Around The World
Fairport Convention - Liege & Lief
Yes - Yessongs
Richard Thompson - The Songs Pour Down Like Silver
Marillion - Somewhere Else
Walter Trout - Full Circle
Saga - 10,000 Days
Rory Gallagher - Blueprint
Various Artists - Marr And Friends
Foreigner - The Very Best Of Foreigner
Fairport Convention - A Fairport History
King Crimson - Beat
Various Artists - I Am Sam

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