Last autumn, “good” a dirty word, Equipped with lame suit and bombarded with rotten eggs.
People who show compassion, especially public figures, was met with scorn and head shaking. Immigration debate rages and distorting language in its path. In Sweden democratic means “good” nowadays naive, at best, but it has also got more oily connotations. Goodness is seen as hypocritical, insincere and self boost spirit.
Dagens Nyheter’s editorial writer Erik Helmerson wrote about the phenomenon: “In the refugee hostile context, they are written, so it feels at least, with an audible sneer, a cold smile: Look at these people manifesting transparency and encourages others to get involved, they like to be as good and righteous, but … “
The minister Johanna Elin Grelsson Almestads novel” The dogs on the main street “is such a good person network bullies like to stand in the ring around and push around among themselves.
She has been living in a sheltered existence, with a secure upbringing as the child of Kramfors strong man, a Social Democratic municipal tycoon animated by the class struggle. She has lived in Sweden, where everything has been constantly improved. But when she engages in a refugee boy who gets asylum raging her world together.
Her colleagues in the church committed to half-hearted, but the subtext is clear – we can not do anything more, we are not activists, we have enough of our own.
In their desperation call Johanna to notify the police that a child is taken away in a plane handcuffed.
“The dogs on main street “is a novel that revolves around two major disappointments: The church and social democracy. The latter is treated in a past timeline, in which the author returns to Johanna’s youth and through her eyes portrays her father’s growing bitterness. His faith in the party start to fail, the EU is crap, the class struggle is passé and the party leadership in Stockholm seem to have forgotten what the core of the movement.
Self caught his private purchase on the municipality’s credit card; bitterness accelerating, like a cancer progression without turning back.
Of the two, the disappointments, the father struggles with the betrayed ideals strongest captures my interest. It is a scathing current story that I read in parallel with the reports of the Municipal jam jar. But it is not only a story of social democracy but about the whole Sweden and a time to rush forward, do so many old certainties obsolete. Change hurts – this is a theme that should be enough for hundreds of novels.
Goodness fighting pretty role is less interesting than the struggle that Elin Grelsson Almestad portrays. Goodness faced indifference. Johanna makes himself impossible among his priest colleagues, a raging majeld next still burning candle. She is most interesting as a novel figure, seen from colleagues’ perspective, because it is so easy to ashamed to recognize themselves in them. Those who are willing to put a coin in the beggar’s cup or donate old clothes to a collection, but who are not prepared to change their lives fundamentally and whose existence thus threatened by Johanna glow.
This novel is Elin Grelsson Almestads mere second and she does not have enough tools sharpened yet to make stuff completely fair. In large part, she manages nevertheless portray this complex disappointment in a thoughtful way, and I like to read a novel for which she can attack the subject.