ingebjorg9: (Default)
2015-12-21 08:22 pm

This is where I heal my hurts

 Ok, about to get a little personal here.  Also I've blatantly stolen the title from the lyrics of a Faithless track.  Sorry.

I've been kind of absent from online life for a few months now.  Although I doubt many people have noticed, I've noticed.  The last few months have been stressful and difficult and it's been a case of functioning on reduced power emotionally, because I've been feeling depressed and exhausted and there just has not been enough gas in the tank to keep up with everything.  I've missed having the energy and will to go online and read and write about my favourite things.  The fact that I'm back doing it again is a little bit encouraging to me, as it seems I have at least some of my energy back.

Of course, it has been Nordic subjects that have brought me back to my blogs, especially my interest in Wallander.  Henning Mankell's death has been a huge blow – although I never knew him personally, he was one of my few heroes, and was a remarkable person.  We likely would still have had the Nordic noir genre without him, but how would it have looked without his creation Wallander?  In his memory I've started reading the whole series again, and continuing watching the films as I was before my apparent mood disorder interrupted me.  And this is probably where I begin to get back to whatever version of normality I came from.  It's also not the first time.

Fandom was initially an exciting voyage of discovery for me. Wallander introduced me to a new world that I had never considered before, and I was keen to learn as much as possible about my new favourite subject.  Shortly afterwards, however, I entered a difficult, stressful spell in my life, which ended in me uprooting and moving 300-odd miles.  Although it only lasted a few months, while it was going on it felt overwhelming and neverending.  To get through it, I hid myself in books until I had worked my way through most of the Wallander series, several of Henning Mankell's other books, and at least half a dozen other Nordic detective novels including Martin Beck, Van Veeteren and Mari Jungstedt's Inspector Knutas.  I also collected the Wallander DVDs, and watched them, wishing for escape from the interminable rain of Glasgow to the wide open spaces of Skåne (where it also rains rather a lot, I'm told).  Although I've never admitted it before, it wasn't family, friends, faith, my partner or medicine that got me through, it was a group of fictional police detectives from Skåne.

I know that sounds incredibly shallow, but it was either that or nothing, so I clung onto it and came out the other side.  In a crisis, it's really important to have at least one thing that encourages you and makes you feel better.  And yup, I guess for me that's Kurt Wallander.  And I think that not only is this because of how he was written and created by Henning Mankell, but also because of the way Krister Henriksson interprets him on the screen – reassuring, trustworthy, but infinitely human.

So once again I've found myself on a rough road.  This time I've actually asked for help and will be seeing a counsellor to help me work out my difficulties.  I have loving and supportive friends around me, which makes a big difference.  But when I need it, I also have my love of Scandinavian crime fiction to help me escape.  And I have writing.  Without oversharing or bitching too much, maybe writing occasional posts about how life is going might help.

Whatever I end up doing, it's good that with the help of the people and things I love I can actually see some light at the end of the tunnel again.
ingebjorg9: (The bad dreams all go away with you)
2013-05-19 12:27 am

Kurt Wallander is my hero

Okay.  This is probably going to sound strange, but hear me out here.  I don't have many heroes, and over the years their already small number has steadily diminished, but when I was thinking about this a couple of months ago it dawned on me.  To the extent that a fictional person can be your hero, Kurt Wallander is mine.

To anyone not familiar with either the Wallander books or the adaptations this probably does sound weird, and would definitely have sounded odd to me four or five years ago.  However, on reading the books and seeing Krister Henriksson's beautifully nuanced portrayal of Wallander, I've come to know and love the character, and to learn a lot from him.  There's a lot to admire about him:

  • Courage - in spite of all the dangers he chooses to face in The Dogs of Riga, he admits that he doesn't consider himself a brave man, and is frequently afraid.  Yet this is surely the definition of true courage: not a lack of fear, but the ability to act in spite of fear, and even though he doesn't seem to realise it Wallander has great reserves of courage.

  • Humanity - he makes mistakes, gets things wrong, annoys or angers people, and yet is still able to do what he does.  There are few duller and more alienating things in fiction than the boring invincible hero, but Wallander is neither boring or invincible, but a very believable human being.  One that we can relate to more, perhaps, than his more eyecatching younger colleagues, and who is able to relate to the people that he deals with in his work.

  • Empathy - The White Lioness and Sidetracked show how very deeply Wallander feels for the people he has to deal with, as do films such as The Darkness and The Cellist, where he does everything he can to help and get justice for the victims.

  • Determination to do the right thing - basically the driving force behind a lot of what he does.  Wallander hates the idea of injustice and will sometimes go to great lengths to get the right person behind bars.  Just ask Louise Selander.

Wallander is, of course, far from perfect, but his flaws and failings make him more relatable, more human.  The fact that he struggles, that he doesn't get everything right, is actually quite comforting in a way.  He may be Sweden's best crimefighting brain, but he's not perfect, and nor is he expected to be.  There's hope for us all, and I only hope that I deal with the challenges in my own life with the same sort of courage and humanity that he shows.

On top of this, though, I just like the guy.  Of all the fictional characters I've ever come across, he's probably the one I like the most, and that counts for an awful lot.  He's so well-written (and portrayed) that sometimes he almost seems real:- in fact, if you go to Ystad he does seem like a very real and important presence there.  And if Ewa-Gun Westford can claim him as her soulmate and best friend, then I can claim him as my hero.  He may be fictional, but he's added more to my life than I could probably put into words here.

Teh awesum

^And frankly, who wouldn't want this awesomeness in their life? :)