Magazine
Latest Issue

Writers without borders: in conversation with Per Wästberg

Tom Chatfield meets Per Wästberg, chairman of the Nobel committee for literature, to discuss translation, his latest novel, and the remarkable story of his life

By Tom Chatfield   July 2010

Captain Cook’s ships in Tahiti in 1776, by the expedition’s artist, William Hodges

The Journey of Anders Sparrman By Per Wästberg (Granta, £18.99)

On 17th January 1773, the two ships of Captain James Cook’s second expedition crossed the Antarctic Circle—the first time in history that Europeans had done so. Among the passengers on Cook’s own ship, HMS Resolution, was the Swedish naturalist Anders Sparrman: ten days later, Sparrman recorded seeing in the sky the “blazing and radiance” of the aurora australis, the southern lights. “Probably never since the day of Creation until now,” recorded Sparrman in awe, had these “appeared…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect