Meet the author: Peter Cornell

"Paradisets vägar" by Peter Cornell is a book that has attained cult status in Sweden. It sits somewhere between an essay and a piece of fiction and hovers between erudition and mysticism. At last, thirty years after it was written, it has been translated into French and titled "Les Voies du paradis".
Drawing representing Peter Cornell and a background full of stars in a nightblue sky.

Paradisets vägar brings together what might remain of a lost work: footnotes made by a long-dead researcher. These notes, with accompanying illustrations, form an enigmatic set of texts whose common thread is a quest for absolute knowledge and for the hidden order of things—a goal to which so many poets, artists, mystics and scientists aspire, like a secret treasure.

First published in Sweden in 1987, Paradisets vägar has become something of a cult. In it, Peter Cornell offers an unusual perspective on the connections between art, literature, spirituality and the occult. The search for knowledge is presented as a quest that falls into the trap of the irrational. The notes are assembled by association, forming an eclectic programme whose aim is to find original meaning, like the algorithms we now use in the vain hope of organising human knowledge.

Born in Stockholm in 1942, Peter Cornell is a writer, historian and art critic. He used to teach the theory and history of modern art at the University of Arts, Crafts and Design (Konstfack) and the Royal Institute of the Arts (Kungliga Konsthögskolan), and is an honorary member of the Academy of Fine Arts(Konstakademien). He writes regular contributions to publications on contemporary art such as the catalogue for Swedish Ecstasy, an exhibition that took place in Brussels last spring presenting several leading Swedish artists whose creations have in common a sense of mysticism and esoteric speculations.

Peter Cornell will be talking to Sinziana Ravini, art critic and curator. The discussion will be in English. Café FIKA will be selling drinks before and during the discussion.

Les Voies du Paradis by Peter Cornell was translated by Jacques Mangold and is published by After 8 Books, sponsored by the CNAP – Centre National des Arts Plastiques, the Swedish Arts Council, and the Swedish Royal Academy of Fine Arts.

Useful information

  • In English
  • Admission free while seats last
  • Selling of drinks by cafĂ© FIKA