Out- and Inlaws.

I’m reading Discipline and Punish.
The bookseller:
“This book is outstanding.”
“I know. I should have read it but I’ve ever stalled.”

I finished The Outlaws. The English word, “Outlaw”, is not a proper translation, because the title refers to those Swedes who – having broken the law – became automatically like beasts: anyone was free to kill them, but these “outlaws” are free to do what they wanted. They had no protection, that’s all.
(How you think has Island been discovered?)
Good book, really. Freezing irony, sarcastic judgment, idealism that crashes into reality and tries to devour it. I’ll miss it, because it’s someway unique. It’s not the kind of book that nowadays will be appreciated, it works through and thanks of ideas no longer “enjoyable”. It tells about a battle against middle-class, idealistic battle that today would be seen as naive or dangerous, no middle ways – that’s why I suggest it to you.

Discipline and Punish mentions Mettray. What’s Mettray? I collect prisons names. Not so many. San Quentin, phantom but dread Mexican prisons, and Mettray, quoted by Jean Genet. It was a reformatory. I love Genet. Genet loved and hated jails. It’s been years I’m interested in prisons and jails. Genet repeats that name hundreds of times. How could I forget it?

I’m going to furnish my room. To IKEA-furnish. I searched for something practical but minimal, black and white, with a large – yeah, large – bookshelf. I have no space for all my books – I have too many books, most of them in my by now full loft.
Some months ago I decided a shelf had to be only for contemporary history and so on, and it’s almost full. The Reformation-&-Counter-Reformation shelf will soon fall onto me. They both are part of a store-shelf, making my bedroom sort of bohemian. The OldNorse&Vikings shelf is in a corner behind the door, sadly alone. I’ll kiss my new large bookshelf for hours.

(I didn’t know the word in-law (hyphenated). A person you are related to by marriage, esp. the parents and other members of your husband’s or wife’s family. Interesting.)


  1. Discipline and Punish

    was the first Dostoevsky book which I read so don’t remember the details but just interested – in what context Mettray is mentioned?
    enjoy the book )

    1. Re: Discipline and Punish

      Maybe you mean Crime and Punishment. 🙂 (That I’ve never read.)
      Discipline and Punish isn’t fictional. It’s written by Michael Foucault:

      Originally published in 1975 in France under the title Surveiller et punir: Naissance de la Prison, it was translated into English in 1977. It is an examination of the social and theoretical mechanisms behind the massive changes that occurred in western penal systems during the modern age.

  2. In-laws

    The terms for relatives gained out of wedlock is much more simple than Italian. You don’t have to learn different words and you just have to put in-law after the word you want. Unfortunately it only works for mother, father, brother and sister, daughter and son. The word mother-in-law causes grief just as the word suocera does in Italian.


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