The Bear in the Queen´s Palace

A Bear is recieved as a guest over night in the Queen´s palace, on the condition that he leaves everything as it was before when he leaves in the morning. He is even bestowed the honor of using the Queen´s own bedroom. The Bear agrees but is kept awake through the night by the Queen´s glittering jewels, which lie on a table next to his bed. Since they´re shining in the darkness, he understands that they have magical properties. He wants them. And since he sees no other way to smuggle them out of the palace then to swallow them, he does so. Upon leaving, the wise Queen suspects him of mischief and has him throw up, and out pop the jewels one after the other. They are considerably smaller in size than before he swallowed them. ”See”, she says, ”they were just sweets, you really didn´t have to steal them.” The Bear gets furious and cries: ”I like candy!” and puts them in his mouth. This time he doesn´t swallow them, but instead suck on them to enjoy the taste. They are indeed sweets, but of a magical kind, that lets him see a series of disjointed images, like isolated scenes from a story. It is too late, though, to put the images together in the right sequence. The story is lost, only the sweet taste remains.
– Hypnagogic story, collage.
Note: The story was recieved in hypnagogic revery. It seems inspired by one of the themes in Ithell Colquhoun´s The Goose of Hermogenes (which I´m currently trying to translate to Swedish); the novel’s young female protagonist is a guest in her uncle’s mansion and has a set of magical jewels, which she suspects that he wants to steal from her:
”I somehow guessed that ny Uncle wanted me in his house because of my jewels, which were beautiful as children´s sweets and very precious, and which he probably fancied to be possessed of alchemystic powers.”
The collage was made some years ago, but seemed to fit with the story.
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2 kommentarer till The Bear in the Queen´s Palace

  1. zoe skriver:

    i love this story and its bear, and the idea that because the jewels glimmer in the dark, they have some magic quality. also, it’s perfect to think of a collage as the pieces of a story that are waiting for *you* to piece together in narrative…
    i had not heard of this novel, do you translate fiction works often? what an undertaking!!

    • Niklas skriver:

      Thanks, yes, collage seems less a method and more of a natural function of thought — although drastically more laborious of course. : )

      No, not often, this is the second novel I translate. Love the book — full of cunning references between alchemy and surrealist techniques. An obvious comparison would be to L C:s writings, so it´s possible you´d appreciate it. And do check out her paintings!

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