Journal

by Birgitta Hjalmarson

Mark and the Devil

May, 2018

They say when God created Sweden, he began with the south, and so it became fertile and good in every way. The Devil, meanwhile, ran farther north, where he created the district of Mark.  On the surface it was deceptively beautiful: rounded mountains in a bluish distance, dark forests with caves for the wild animals, deep valleys with shimmering rivers and lakes. But underneath the land was harsh and stony, designed to break the backs of those who tried to farm it.  When God saw what the Devil had done, he frowned. “You have created the land,” he said. “Now I shall create the people.”  And so he made the people strong and industrious — and almost invincible.

 

Journal

by Birgitta Hjalmarson

Before Fylgia. II.

Journal by Birgitta Hjalmarson They say when God created Sweden he began with the south, and so it became fertile and good in every way. The Devil, meanwhile, ran farther north, where he created the district of Mark.  On the surface it was...

Before Fylgia. I.

Journal by Birgitta Hjalmarson Before Fylgia, there was another story, compiled during my visits to Sweden. Many of my readers have asked about it, and so I decided to post it here. This is the first installment. Not yet fiction, it occupies a...

Horse Meat in Sweden. Its Troubled Past.

Journal by Birgitta Hjalmarson Dead horses hang from a giant tree. Blood drips from their lacerated flesh. Below, hooded figures tend to cauldrons, the air putrid from boiling meat. Did I dream it? Or did I hear about it as a child in Sweden?...