Laterna Magica

It was several years since I had a reading experience like this. Only a handful of times before have I been captured by a book like this. The book is 'Laterna Magica'; the autobiography of Ingemar Bergman.

I haven't read much of late. Due to my hard work and the sick leave that followed I haven't read a single book in a year. I simply haven't had the strength. When I have picked up a book it has felt like a long and heavy project and I've simply had to put it away. Which has been very frustrating since I used to read quite a lot. During my years as an undergraduate at Chalmers I typically read an hour or so every day. I've come to understand that that's very uncommon.

Laterna Magica is an ancient kind of projector in english known as the magic lantern. It mostly resembles a slide projector but used painted on pieces of glass instead of slides. Ingemar Bergman got a Laterna Magica on his tenth birthday.

Friday last week, Good Friday, my fiance and I went to her parents to spend the weekend. As it turned out we were shown to a new room to sleep in, not the usual one that we normally use. The new room used to belong to my fiance's little sister. On one of her shelves I found a copy of Laterna Magica and curiously started leafing through it. It didn't take long before I realized that I had actually started reading the book. And I just couldn't stop.

This isn't the kind of book I plan to read. First of all it's a biography which is usually enough to scare me away. But secondly, and more important is that it feels extremely pretentious to read an autobiography of one of the greatest filmmakers ever to have lived. It's like reading the book of nobel prize winners. It's like I should read it just so that I can brag about having read it despite what I may think about it. I just don't plan to read books like this. But I'm happy now that I did read it.

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