Berts vidare betraktelser

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Berts vidare betraktelser
Author Anders Jacobsson and Sören Olsson
Illustrator Sonja Härdin
Country Sweden
Language Swedish
Series Bert
Genre diary, children, youth
Published 1990
Preceded by Berts första betraktelser (1990)
Followed by Berts ytterligare betraktelser (1991)

Berts vidare betraktelser (Swedish: Bert's further contemplations) is a diary novel, written by Anders Jacobsson and Sören Olsson and originally published in 1990. It tells the story of Bert Ljung from 1 May to 31 August during the calendar year he turns 13. The book uses the 1989 almanac following the Gregorian Calendar. As standard, Bert opens the chapters with the words "Hej hej hallå dagboken!" and finishes with "Tack och hej – leverpastej". Bert writes diary for each day during this calendar year, and most notes depicts what happened yesterday.

Originally, the Berts betraktelser trilogy appeared in the radio program Almanackan during 1989, where one program was done each day during one year, which Sören thought was fitting well for a diary. The stories were suppsoed to be more daring than before, but criticism was low.

Book cover[edit]

The book cover depicts Bert, running around in his undity room wearing only underpants, and holding his diary in his hands. In the room are also naked male angels, and clouds. One of the angels wears a cap, and uses bow and arrow, hitting the diary. The other angel plays the violin, and the music strams into Bert's ear and out comes the words "love", while three heart symbols appear above Bert's head. At Bert's writing desk is a grammophone record, and a photography of Paulina. Next to the wall is Bert's halv broken electric bass. On the floor are Phantom comic books, and two eyes watch out of a rat hole.

Plot[edit]

After Bert and Åke have been jumping next to the fire during Walpurgis Night, the Heman Hunters demonstrate on May Day, but are removed after singing "Tupp fick kramp uti magen, sista skiten kom där" ("rooster got cramp out in its stomach, the last shit came there") to the Internationale tune.

On the night between 5 and 6 May, a fire occurs in Bert's hometown, destroying the potato warehouse " Arnes potatislager ". The local local police suspects arson, and Bert suspects Jörgen Karlsson. Bert also visits his mother's sister Lena's dance institution. Paulina attends dancing courses there, and Bert accidentally drops Paulina into the floor, feeling like he is Adolf Hitler's twin brother.

Bert's school class also visited by the 6th graders from Östbergaskolan, as the classes will merge before the 7th grade, and Lill-Erik fears them being communists when their teacher calls them "comrades".

By late May, the 6th graders go to a school camp, after colleting money, and as Bert walks alone in the evening Paulina apepars, and together they walk to a former open air dance platform, where a romance between them takes place.

During the 6th grade commencement at school, Åke launches his own firework in the school desk. The bench cover catches fire, and the schoolhouse is abandoned. On his way home, Bert meets Paulina, who wants to meet him during summer, and they soon go bathing together.

Åke's father has met a new woman, Hillevi who has Norwegian relatives, and Bert goes sailing with his father and a person called Christer, but turns seasick.

For Paulina's name day on 22 June Bert crochets a cloth, and as his caveman persona "Milton " he goes out and attaches the cloth to a stone, which he throws into Paulina's window. However, it falls into the wrong apartment, requiring Paulina's neighbour to hand over the present.

Following tradition, Bert and his relatives spend Midsummer in Babbsand, inside a cottage located on an island. Bert's 18 years old cousin Sandra is bathing naked, and Bert notices his father watching it using binoculars, blaming it on ornithology. When Bert comes home, he finds a letter under the hallway carpet, where Paulina has written a letter telling him to come to Lilla Bryggan during Midsummer Day (when he was Gone).

In July Bert's father's brother Janne, who lives in an apartment in New York City in the USA, has invited Bert's family to a holiday in Jamaica. But first, they must travel over to New York City, and the journey is done by aeroplane. When Bert hears of communists not being allowed into the USA, he turns afraid when he knows his neighbour Olle Collin votes for VPK. The problems turn worse when Paulina's cousin Pavel from Czechoslovakia, a USSR ally state, is visiting Sweden. Because of poor USA-USSR relations, Bert fears the USA sending agents into Sverige and he also fears the USA agents seeing Bert with Paulina and Pavel would risk Bert's entry permit to the USA. Bert thinks he sees USA agents inside a parked Televerket bus. Bert now must shows his supprot for the USA, and calls the embassy of the USA in Sweden, singing "Happy Birthday to USA", but the staff takes it for Russian folk songs. Bert bring the flag of the USA to MacDonalds, when a cigar-smoking man walks by, and the flag catches fire. The local newspaper depicts the event as a youth communist demonstrating outside MacDonalds by desecrating and burning the flag of the USA. The trip finally occurs, but when the Heman Hunters meet, Åke gives Bert a Swedish-Icelandic phrasebook, as Åke means most aeroplanes on their way to the USA have to emergency land in Iceland.

When the Ljung family reaches the USA, Bert's father wants waitstaff to fill the glass to the brim (Swedish: "brädd", may sound like the English word "bread") when they eat at a restaurant, and when he says "Fill it up to the bread", waitstaff gives him a bread-piece in the glass. They also visit the Empire State Building. Then, they visit Jamaica, and during the home trip a drunk man from Finland is almost thrown off the aerolane in Iceland. When Bert comes home, he receives postcards from Åke, who visits Norway and when they pick up their car at Bert's grandmother, Bert's father forgets that Sweden drives to the left side of the road since 1967, sending two moped riders into the ditches. Åke returns from Norway, meaning that a civil war between striped and checked people is racing. In late July, Bert and Åke sleep overnight inside a ghost house.

In August, Bert spends a lot of time with his friends, before the 7th grade starts, including taking apples from foreign gardens. When bathing naked in the Nöckeln lake, Bert notices Louise being naked. Naked, he and Paulina hug each other. Bert also visits church secretly, asking God for forgiveness for thinking so much of girls.

When Bert begins the 7th grade, his class is merged with another one from Österbergsskolan. Bert gets a locker next to Dödgrävarn, who fills his locker with snuffboxes, throwing away books taking too much place, Lill-Erik 's locker ends up in the 9th graders corridor, and he writes a letter to the headmaster to continue the 6th grade for another year. Bert's class gets Banan-Boris as chemistery teacher. Banan-Boris takes up a water hose, spraying water at the class. In mathematics Agneta is their teacher, and Åke protests against home work, for "student democracy" and against "fascism", while Jaana throws the mathematics book out of the window. Åke is sent out of the classroom, and proposes occupation for the teachers' staffroom.

During a floorball game during PE, Jörgen Karlsson and Dödgrävarn in class 7 B start fighting, and after one week Björna comes home to Bert, telling he likes Annica, and that Lena in class 7 C has "done it". Björna also tells he has experienced a lot, but Bert realizes Bjröna "lies too bad" to become a politician.

Bert also gets a visit from Nadja, when he feels down. She gives him a warming hug, but Bert soon falls in love with an 8th grade girl called Ida, but Bert dislikes her being a smoker.

The book ends with Bert doing his homework, and his mother says time has ran so fast sine his parents came home with him fro birthing center, and she wants to kiss him. Burt quickly runs into his neighbor Olle Collin to play the guitar.

Later adaptions[edit]

  • The school camp scenes also apepar in the TV series episode "Fina, fina Paulina", expanded into a story where Lill-Erik is left behind by the bus after a break, and stumbles upon a runaway elephant out in the forest.
  • Bert's 7th grade start also appears in the TV series episode "Ett långt och lyckligt liv", but in that adaption, Dödgrävan is two years older than Bert.

Trivia[edit]

  • A cloloured version of the image on page 96, where Bert goes behind Paulina at the Nöckeln lake beach, works as cover for the June cassette tape recording.[1]
  • Czechoslovakia was still under communist rule during the 1989 radio broadcasting. The book came out in 1990, after the Velvet Revolution.
  • By the time of the release of the stories, it had not yet been revelased that the Bert books are set in Öreskoga, but when the Ljung family visits Jamaica, Bert asks his father how ÖSK plays at Allsvenskan.

Cassette tape[edit]

Berts betraktelser was also recorded for cassette tapes in 1992-1993, with music and songs.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bert