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Newsletter no 10

In the presence of John Cowper Powys

by Håkan Stockhaus


The Powys Society Newsletter no 61, 2007, contains a contribution of Charles Lock where he tells about a meeting with Sven Erik Täckmark in the end of April at the nursing home Katarinagården. During the summer Håkan Stockhaus did visit Sven Erik, and here follows a transcription of their talk, written while Sven Erik was still living among us.


At a meeting with Sven Erik Täckmark this summer I did meet an alert and curious gentleman. John Cowper Powys called him ”Eric the Red” when they met in Wales 1938, and over the years they developed a rich correspondence which deepened their affinities.


Håkan Stockhaus: How do you stay in such good shape, Sven Erik?

Sven Erik Täckmark: I try to care as much for my surrounding world as for my cultural interests.

HS: You are curious, then?

SET:  That’s right! I am as curious now as I have been all my life. The curiosity will always lead you forwards, as long as you affirm it. It leads to interest and engagement. Yes, even to motivation. It is a very important quality. As you may know, I am still reading with great pleasure and joy..

HS: Do you in any way feel the presence of John Cowper here at Katarinagården?

SET: I have to answer both yes and no.

HS:  Do you mean that you can see John Cowper Powys walking around here at the ward? That you feel his spiritual presence?

SET: No, not at all. But I can feel his mentality. As you know John Cowper Powys have always spoken to me through his texts. In a way he has talked to me. I do often stay in tune with what he wrote with such skill. I can imagine and feel his magic art of narrating, his language. At times I can feel the presence of John Cowper Powys and an inspiration of his literary genius here at the nursing home. In that way, he is very much alive!


We end the pleasant conversation with a cup of coffee and a bun, and Sven Erik sends his greetings to all friends wherever they are.




This page updated 4 April 2012.