Past the limit and other erotic stories (Över gränsen och andra erotiska noveller) contains 13 stories that range from classic left-hand literature to hysteric writing, from absurdist slapstick to realistic but unheimlich descriptions of everyday life sex, depending, of course, on the reader's mood and taste. Among them you also find a piece of my own fan fiction: when I describe what really happened when Rebis and Andreas (from The Alchemist's daughter) go to bed.
(The beautiful cover was made by my genius wife, Loka Kanarp.)
These short stories are the funniest and indeed most personal texts I've worked with in several years. I wrote them during an intense period in the hot summer of 2014; often they had their origin in one or another tale I improvised for friend's entertainment in a orgiastic setting. But in a couple of cases the ideas came from others.
Unlike writing a novel, there is a liberating ease in working with these short texts which are not filled up with characters and where dramaturgy and choreography do not be as complicated as in a 400 pages long adventure.
As for the media reception, there have been two paper reviews and two blog reviews. The paper reviews are diametrically opposed: the critic Camilla Carnmo passionately loves the book (Kristianstadsbladet), while the critic Tim Andersson absolutely loathes it (in UNT, his text is unfortunately, not on the Internet), even finding some cryptoracist themes in it.
Here are a few samples:
Camilla Carnmo: "I read and I get aroused. But that's not the only thing I like about this book. / It's nice that men and women fuck each other, indiscriminately. The desire is directed in different directions, the power structure is in motion. Men may be objects of women's judgment and laudatory glances. But it's certainly not "equality pedagogics,". This is not texts without balls, but they assume that every individual is horny and equally strong, and there is humor, as in the dialogue-based story about the football team, where players jerk and cheer each other with classic football jargon. (---) but it shows nevertheless that it is a "real" writer (one who can write on a more advanced literary level than is usual in the genre) that have been the creator. Even that's exciting. "
Tim Andersson: "Rather than meeting an explosive parapornography you are confronted with old-style garbage-sorted welfare state porn (though of course supplemented by more gazes than the heterosexual male). (---) Even more difficult to digest is the fact that the degree of people's attraction over and over again is produced in direct relation to the absence of pigment in their skin. (---) The book is easy to swallow, but afterwards you would prefer to spit it out. "
As for the blog reviews, they are more ambivalent For the blogger Bookworm, the reading experience was somewhat mixed but basically exciting:
"And it works. It's exciting. And even if not all the stories are in my taste, many of them are. And none of them disgusts me which could easily have been the case. It's a difficult balance to write about sex so that it becomes enticing and arousing rather than off-putting and disgusting. (---) It starts fine. The short story about the male life drawing model sets the tone. "
I was particularly glad over the brilliant Björn Kohlströms (Bernurs) close critical reading of the collection, which also suggests that one could call a "mysterious" (or in his words "transcendent") tendency in many of the stories, a perspective that is highly important in all my writings:
"The risk is well that the fun takes over - however, some of the short stories hint at something unheimlich, and we even find a dark figure in the corner, something monstrous that seems to have housed there since Lovecraft wrote his lugubrious work. An evil foreboding is planted here and there, with a touch of anxiety, and this is probably a necessary ingredient, otherwise the texts threaten to become too much cute clothes' fetishism, with a lot of knee-high socks and other paraphernalia to be used up. (---) Nevertheless: the imagination is the last word, and these short stories clearly show the important function of imagination, both in literature and in the themes embodied in these stories. (---) should I try to find a common theme, it would be transcendence, where eroticism is used as a method to lift the individual from a height that must be described as bliss."
I'm looking forward to more responses -and of course hearing from interested foreign publishers. It is not common for an established (have I become such a thing? Yes, probably...) author to put his name on one of the lowest forms of genre literature. Hopefully, this will help more writers to dare.
(Över gränsen och andra erotiska noveller can be bought in hardcover, epub file and mp3, which I read myself. If you want to consider the rights, please contact me directly.)