Ugly Duckling Presse

Transfer Fat
Transfer Fat

Aase Berg

translated by Johannes Goransson

Poetry | $15 $13
Buy"daring, odd, beautiful, and altogether innovative"

Aase Berg’s Transfer Fat (Forsla fett), nominated in 2002 for Sweden’s prestigious Augustpriset for the best poetry book, is a haunting amalgamation of languages and elements—of science, of pregnancy, of whales, of the naturally and unnaturally grotesque—that births things unforeseen and intimately alien. Johannes Göransson’s translation captures the seething instability of Berg’s bizarre compound nouns and linguistic contortions.

Excerpt ˇ


From Transfer Fat:

"Birth Rubber"

The rubber tumbler glides
along the uneons of time
The eons of echo time
One rams into walls
of one's opposite

Close ˆ

About the Author

Aase Berg is a poet, literary critic and translator. She grew up outside Tensta in Stockholm, where she was born in 1967. Her first book, Hos rådjur, was published by Bonnier in 1997, followed by Mörk Materia, a book-length science-fiction prose poem, in 2000. Since then, she has published six more books in Swedish. Her essays on literature and culture have appeared in BLM, Göteborgs-Posten, 00tal, and other periodicals. Recently, Berg was awarded the prestigious Aftonbladets Litteratur Pris.

About the Translator

Johannes Goransson

Johannes Göransson is the co-editor of Action Books and the online quarterly Action, Yes. In 2005, Action Books published Remainland: Selected Poems of Aase Berg, which he translated from Swedish. Goransson was a guest editor of the Winter 2006 special Swedish issue of the journal Typo, which featured substantial selections of work by major Swedish-language Modernists and contemporary poets. For Ugly Duckling Presse he has translated Ideals Clearance by Henry Parland (2007) and Transfer Fat by Aase Berg (2012).

Advance Praise

The super-electron microscope Berg has used in her research shows the world’s smallest particles—the vibrations of strings (belly buttons, violin strings, super strings)—announcing that matter is music and music is language and language is matter. As in the singularity of a black hole, the reader will find that time and space have become one, and that there are words in all directions.—Daniel Sjölin
Johannes Göransson’s translations of Aase Berg are themselves a kind of gorgeous, dripping fat transference, a 'carry[ing of the] smelt / across the hard lake,' an extra, extra 'pouring' of the 'runny body'. Görannsson’s radical theories of translation, as satanic addition and glorious mutation, are at their absolute best in Transfer Fat. And Berg’s 'meat which flows / between the fingers' is fat to bursting with the sick, slick permeations and violent political possibilities of language/bodies gone haywire. Make that hare-wire.—Kate Durbin
Transfer Fat distends time-space, makes it seize, stutter, and repeat itself. These minute (in-)verses offer temporary microarchitectures no bigger than a duct, an eyelash or a black radioactive grain which might collapse or reboot the Universe in the very next frame. But not here, not yet, where 'rabies is freedom/in the Year of the Hare//here in the black fathermilk/of loneliness.'—Joyelle McSweeney, Montevidayo
By creating an entirely new language to more accurately enact the “madness” and “complexity” stemming from the “symbiosis” between mother and child, Berg finds daring, odd, beautiful, and altogether innovative ways to represent the reality of motherhood for a twenty-first century literature.—Julia Guez, BOMBLOG
Natural space here, in seeming flat from outside, wields wicked access to something bigger inside itself than it should be. Animals operate as little mobile rooms that grow and flood and die around us. Bodies accrued here like lakes and fields and bridges all have undersides, perhaps even many potential undersides, in which others have been stranded, including the reader: 'your meat which flows / between the fingers / which flow.—Blake Butler, Vice Magazine