Book//mark – Kallocain | Karin Boye, 1940

Karin Boye Kallocain

Kallocain, 1940 / Karin Boye, 1900-1941

“And is this not the very reason for the establishment of the State? If there were cause and reason for confidence among individuals, the State would never have come into existence. The sacred and essential foundation for the State is our mutual and well-founded suspicion of each other. Anyone questioning this foundation throws suspicion upon the State.”

“From thoughts and feelings, words and actions are born. How then could these thoughts and feelings belong to the individual? Doesn’t the whole fellow-soldier belong to the state? To whom should his thoughts and feelings belong then, if not to the state?”

“My heart sank, although I tried to suppress my antagonism”

“When we meet in the world outside, we’ll recognize each other”

“I suppose it is appropriate to use the word “love” when in the midst of hopelessness two people still cling to each other, as if, in spite of all, a miracle might take place—the agony itself having assumed a value of its own, having become a testimony that at least there is something in common: a hope of something that does not exist.”

“Clearly and unmistakably, it dawned on me, Ossu and Laila were the children of the new age. Their approach was matter-of-fact and right, while my own was a remnant of obsolete romanticism.”

“Not everyone is true enough to hear the truth, that’s the sad thing. It could be a bridge between man to man—as long as it is voluntary, yes—as long as it is given as a gift and received as a gift. Isn’t it strange that everything loses its value as soon as it ceases to be a gift—even the truth?”

Karin Boye, Kallocain, 1940
trans. by Gustaf Lannestock

Karin Boye, was a Swedish novelist, poet, and short story writer, born in October 1900. Boye published her first book of poems, Clouds (Moln in swedish), when she was 22. One of her best known works is the 1940 science fiction novel Kallocain. Boye committed suicide in 1941, at age 40.

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