Of course, you don’t have to believe the common-law wife of the late Stieg Larsson. They’d been living together for more than thirty years when he died, but I’ll grant you any day that we can’t rule out that she’s a scheming bitch. I mean, all I know, except that “know” is a misnomer here, is what I have read and heard – and as we all know, the official and generally accepted version tends, in the end, to have been that of the winning side and, as such, not necessarily the side that deserved to win. Hers is not the winning side.
So if you are one of the “Men who Hate Women” (the original title of Stieg Larsson’s first book – in translations it was changed against his wishes) or, for that matter, a woman who hates women, you will probably be more prone to assume that her story is a construct, and there are no doubt very many reasons to hate women, among the most common: there are innumerable bitchy sarcastic mothers, soft-spoken sadistic teachers, scheming seductive mistresses and, not least, intolerably stupid and ignorant wives. People who have had to endure any of the above for a whole upbringing, not to mention a whole married life, need to work hard to defend their sanity.
By now I will have infuriated some people to the extent that they are pelting tomatoes at me, so I hasten to add parenthetically that there are equally many God’s-gift-to-womenkind-narcissist men, presidents (male of course) of countries we wish we had never heard of, barons of gruesome crime, professional practitioners of torture (and I don’t mean dentists), ect., etc.
So, back to the men who hate women: They tend to crack in the end. Just read Stieg Larsson’s books: The female protagonist and principal hero is a woman who has endured every kind of abuse from men who appear to be normal, who lead normal lives, but who hate women and crack when they think nobody hears or sees.
She herself is anything but bitchy, sarcastic, sadistic, intriguing, seductive, intolerably stupid or ignorant. She’s not even soft-spoken. She’s blunt and abrupt and hurt, with good reason, though mostly silent and sullen. She doesn’t ask for pity, but the male protagonist and secondary hero, senses her pain through her silent anger and reaches out to her.
Do you honestly think that anybody could write three enormous bricks of crime fiction in homage to a pained, silent and talented woman if he had been living, for decades, with a scheming lynx?
So I go for the widow’s story. I believe her for various reasons: In those days – when they became a couple – marrying was something leftists just did not do. Moreover, this particular couple had every reason not to publicise their relationship because he was a profiled investigative journalist who occasionally received death threats.
I have not heard anybody dispute that they lived together for over thirty years or that he received death threats. That is not at issue. The pivotal element is that according to Swedish law, your estate passes to your next of kin when you die unless you’ve left a will. But he died young, in the sense that when you are 50 and in good health – to all appearances – drawing up a will feels ridiculous. I for my part have not done so either, and I am older than he was when he died (and similar laws apply in my country). Since they were not legally married, he was “intestate”, and his estate – the vast proceeds of book sales and the right to administer the copyright of his books – passed to his father and younger brother. And they, to my horror, accepted something that was theirs only through a jinx, since obviously his wife was his next of kin in every way but on paper.
Now in my initial list of pet hates – hates of certain kinds of women and certain kinds of men – I forgot to mention another hate object: that of certain kinds of parents.
Hating one’s parents is hardly more politically correct than hating one’s children. But I assure you that there are people who have good cause to hate the one or the other (not that hating does them any good).
It appears that until the age of nine, Stieg Larsson was brought up by his grand-parents in the country. When his grandfather died, he was sent to live with his parents in town but did not much appreciate the move, it seems. His mother died young, and I find little online information about his relationship with his father, except that there wasn’t much of it. Judging from what has happened after he died, I can well understand that.
You see, the most damning indictment of the father and brother is neither subjective nor conjecture but literally on paper: The fourth installment of Millenium has absolutely nothing to do with Stieg Larsson! It is true that he left material that he had intended for a fourth volume, but in her legal conflict with the family, his widow has refused to release his computer. So a second-rate writer has been hired to invent a sequel to Millenium. It is being released now.
I turn my back on it, and since money evidently matters more than honour to the father and brother of Stieg Larsson, I urge everyone who reads what I write to refrain from purchasing anything at all that bears his name, since the proceeds go, not to the person he would have wanted to inherit him, but to usurpers of his copyright. Please read only borrowed versions of Millenium I-III. Please do not purchase or even borrow volume IV of the series. It is a travesty.
The so-called “Larsson estate”, as well as the publisher and the rogue writer David Lagercrantz have abused what they usurped to even help themselves to Stieg Larson’s characters. This is all the more reprehensible since they have no understanding of his values, attitudes and views, according to the widow (and by golly, do I ever believe her!)
They are scavengers that feed on carrion. May they be perpetually haunted by foul smells.