October 13 in Swedish History
1956: Swedish Nobel laureate Harry Martinson’s epos ”Aniara” is published for the first time. ”Aniara” is a science fiction poem, consisting of 103 cantos, and it relates the tragedy of a space ship originally bound for mars with a cargo of colonists from the ravaged Earth. However, after an accident it is ejected from the solar system and into an existential struggle. The style is symbolic, sweeping and innovative for its time. One of the major themes explored is the nature and necessity of art, symbolised by the semi-mystical machinery of the Mima, who relieves the ennui of crew and passengers with scenes of far-off times and places, and whose operator is also the sometimes naïve main narrator.

Listen to excerpts from the opera by Karl-Birger Blomdahl Karl-Birger Blomdahl - 'Aniara'