Some years ago in a comment on someone’s [Swedish] blog I said I didn’t know who Bengt Ohlsson was. Another blog reader told me that since he’s a really great literary author and columnist, this was impossible. I [hope I] replied that I had no cause to lie. In the end I was allowed to not know Bengt because I was living abroad.
Anyway, yesterday I read a short story by Bengt. Vi magazine is celebrating their 20th Literature Boat (where authors and readers take to the high seas for book events and food) and have asked some of their former performers to write a short story for the magazine. The theme is literature at sea. The first story, last month, was about stalking an author.
The second one, by Bengt, was – seemingly – about boarding the Literature Boat for one more trip. It started in a fairly pedestrian way, but by the end it actually became something quite different.
It was interesting, and entertaining, but it didn’t necessarily make me want to join one of the sailings.
What I really appreciated, however, was the almost supernatural coincidence Vi provided me with. You see, there are more authors of some repute that I don’t know; not only poor Bengt. His story was in the December issue, and I’d saved it for ‘reading later.’
Yesterday morning, before reading the short story, I had glanced through the January edition of Vi. It very conveniently had an article about three shortlisted authors for the Vi book award; none of whom I’d heard of.
Within an hour, one of the three turned up as a character in Bengt’s story. And I wouldn’t have realised!