News/ 19 January 2016
An unusual poet who readers love
Johan Jönson's new publications
The Swedish poet Johan Jönson (born 1966) made his debut in 1992. Over the next few years, he focused on writing texts for the radical performance group Teatermaskinen, including such work as FAUST-FUCK, Extas +/- Noll and Woyzeckmaskinen. At the start of the new millennium, he published the five-volume collection Krigsmaskinen and then in quick succession the books Virus, Monomtrl, Collobert Orbital, Restaktivitet, Efter arbetsschema (which won Aftonbladet’s Literature Prize for best book of 2008) and and he has also worked with the dance company ccap.
Jönson has become one of the most loved and well read poets in Sweden (his books are continuesly getting reprinted) which might occur odd concering his projects.
Last week the great but also peculiar and sometimes controversial poet published dit. dit. hään, the last part in his trilogy that began with med. bort. in (2012) and mot. vidare. mot (2014). A trilogy of all together 3830 pages, published by the main Swedish publishing-house Albert Bonniers, with poetry based in as well political and aesthetic theory as the experiences from low-paid work as a care worker and assistant nurse.
Writing more with a pair of scissors than his pen Jönson forms a collage of theory, pornography, rage, but also reflection that forms a sort of postmodern social realism mixing the pain after getting home from work and a friends suicide with dreams of shooting the prime minister.
Jönson himself calls his poetry discursive and wants his process to be an hermenuetic circle. Of great importance for dit. dit. hään is Thomas Kling that Jönson has translated and mistranslated to create a language material for the book. It’s an eternal dark poetry in continual tranformation.
Johan Jönson is not only loved by the readers but alos by the critics and the reviews have been overwhelming also this time:
I simply throw myself into a pitch-black world that arouses my frail hope. Again and again.
- The newspaper Dagens Nyheter
A very solitary voice wary of the metaphoric poetics, but that shape the world's contours with an ax and a nail file. Everything pulses; typography degree and weight, the gaps, the uppercase and lowercase letters, text strings run in a single row over random pages.
- National Radio
This time he gives his readers a real test, here you have to fill in all the gaps between the fragments yourself. But it's worth it.
- National TV
To conclude the trilogy Johan Jönson this week is reading all 3830 pages cover to cover at the quality-bookstore Rönnells in Stockholm. Between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday to Friday Jönson is reading non-stop for people to come and go and listen.
Here you can listen to Jönson reading his poetry in Swedish: