Aniara: a review of man in time and space

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Story Line Press, 1999 - Fiction - 157 pages
2 Reviews
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. Aniara is the story of a luxurious space ship, loaded with 8,000 evacuees, fleeing an Earth made uninhabitable by Man's technological arrogance. A malfunction knocks the craft off course, taking these would-be Mars colonists on an irreversible journey into deep space. Aniara is a book of prophecy, a panoramic view of humanity's possible fate. It has been translated into seven languages and adapted into a popular avant-garde opera. This volume is the first complete English language version and received the prestigious American Scandinavian Foundation Award.

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User Review  - BayardUS - LibraryThing

"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 ... Read full review

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User Review  - ari.joki - LibraryThing

Good introduction to poetry for the science nerd and scifi geek who doesn't 'get' poetry. I still don't get most poetry, but read Aniara again every now and then. Read full review


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About the author (1999)

Martinson was an abandoned child (after his father's death, his mother left him and his six sisters and emigrated to America). At a young age, he ran away from his foster parents and went to sea. After returning to Sweden in 1927, ill with tuberculosis and destitute, he came under the care of his future wife, Moa Swartz, who became a well-known author in her own right. Shortly after his first poems appeared, Martinson's reputation as a poet to reckon with was made. Martinson's sense of language is astonishing and his puns sometimes dizzying. He possesses a talent for finding universal significance in a small detail. His novels, even when autobiographical, contain great symbolic depth and his characteristic verbal genius. "The Road" (1948), which tells the story of a tramp, is perhaps the best of them. Martinson was elected to the Swedish Academy in 1949, a notable achievement for a writer with no formal education. His masterpiece is the modern poetic epic "Aniara" (1956), about a spaceship driven off course and left to drift in infinity for eternity. Martinson has been called "the first poet of the space age.

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