“Naive. Super” by Erlend Loe, or What used to excite me when I was a child

2013/04/11 § 4 Comments

“I’ve written a new list. It shows what used to excite me when I was younger. It’s quite long. (…) My existence was full of these things. It was so nice and uncomplicated. When I wasn’t sleeping I ran around and was excited. I never walked. I ran. (…) I speculate about making a list of things that excite me today. I find pen and paper, but notice that I am hesitating. I am afraid the list will be a short one. I should never have stopped running.”

(Erlend Loe)

This was a quick, easy and enjoyable read. A lovely book. Naive. Super. I still haven’t written a proper review (and maybe never will), but thought I could share my own list of childhood memories, just in case Loe would like to see it.

What used to excite me when I was little

– animals, especially cats, birds and baby goats
– betting my life on everything – if this does/doesn’t happen, I die; racing against buses – if I lose, I die
– broken toys and old things, small parts of broken things
– building blocks / construction toys
– buttons
– cardboard boxes
– cartoons before evening news
– chewing/eating small parts of plastic toys
– chocolate and sweets, especially “čupavci” Mom used to make

– collecting small things I could sort and count over and over again
– collecting snails
– Dad’s workshop, the smell of sawdust
– Danube river
– dead birds that fell out of the nest, how their skin was transparent
– “discovering” that my family were aliens/impostors, looking for evidence to prove it
– driving under an overpass
– having lots of books and papers, taking notes and pretending it was very important
– hiding
– horror movies
– Kinder eggs
– Kucon, imaginary dog I had, that I used to draw anew every day, showing him to everybody (he looked like Mark Ryden’s Yoshi, minus the antlers and with a somewhat bigger nose)

Yoshi, oil on canvas, 2007, 36″ x 48″

– listening to my grandparents talking about “the old”
– mud, letting it dry on my hands
– my brown Moskvitch pedal-car
– packing all my stuff in an old accordion case, as if I’m about to leave for good
– plasticine
– playing football (soccer) with boys
– playing under the kitchen table
– playing with paper toys (called “leterci”, a primate species my brother and I made up)
– pop-up books
– pretending I was someone else, especially after seeing a film on TV (one of my favorite characters was Mowgli, but I called him Jungli; I was also fascinated with robots and motorcyclists)
– robots
– sand
– Sherlock Holmes
– singing and talking in (misheard) foreign languages
– small toy cars
– snow
– swinging high and staring at the sky & clouds
– The X-files & FBI agents
– thinking about catastrophes, like war
– trains and railways
– walnut tree in our yard, neighbor’s willow; climbing them

“I still don’t know if things fit together, or if everything will be all right in the end. But I believe that something means something. I believe in cleansing the soul through fun and games. I also believe in love.”

NAIVE. SUPER (1996) by Erlend Loe



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§ 4 Responses to “Naive. Super” by Erlend Loe, or What used to excite me when I was a child

  • Jazzy says:

    You’ve had a great childhood. :D

    • Yes, I think I have :) I’m also happy to have kept that child inside me and to still be able to appreciate the beauty of those small things from the list.

  • Afiag says:

    ¿How is that I never seen this post before? What the hell was I doing instead of reading this? Well, the fact you apreciate these things, is remarkable. I really hope you never change, I mean the way you apreciate those things, these are the foundations of how you see the world, wich I think is pretty awesome. :)

    And that book is so on my list.

    • :D Well, it seems that I haven’t changed too much in the last 20 years, so I believe that I’ll always keep a part of that little person with(in) me.

      Thanks for commenting. I’m sure you’re gonna like the book. If you can’t get a copy, let me know, I’ll be glad to send it.

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