Preface and acknowledgements
Writing this book has been a long and difficult intellectual journey. In some respects, it is similar to ‘Vasaloppet’, the annual 90-km-long cross-country skiing race my father and I have taken part in for many years. In order to reach the finish line in Mora, extensive physical preparations are required. Of course, one also needs the right equipment. But while for each kilometre of the Vasaloppet there is a placard telling you how many kilometres remain, one does not always receive the same kind of mental signposts when writing a book; the number of kilometres left is constantly changing and, sometimes, the finish line seems to disappear entirely. The geography (or perhaps the geology!) is also constantly changing. New hills to tackle are introduced, but sometimes a welcome downhill will emerge.
Many people and institutions have helped me along my journey. I would especially like to thank Marise Cremona for her advice, patient guidance and encouragement.
I dedicate this book to my parents.
Stockholm, July 2017