“Lisbeth Salander was a quick-witted girl with ‘a rather trying attitude.'”
– The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Lisbeth Salander is one of the main characters in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy comprised of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.
When the series begins, Salander is working part-time as an investigator and living in a 500 square foot apartment. She realizes she could double her earnings by working full-time, but she “had few expenses, and did not need much money.”
“Mimmi had taste and definite views on how she wanted her living quarters to look, what kind of furniture she wanted, and what sort of clothes one should wear. Salander had no taste whatsoever, Mimmi realized.”
– The Girl Who Played With Fire
Without giving away any details, let’s just say, by the end of the first book, Salander manages to come into a significant amount of money, becoming financially independent.
Even with her newfound wealth, she dresses simply. She continues to wear basic clothing, mostly jeans and t-shirts. Though she could afford a Ferrari, Salander buys a 4-year old Honda.
She also travels light: “All she had with her was a carry-on bag containing her PowerBook, Dimensions [a math book], and a change of clothes.”
“Salander was afraid of no-one and nothing.”
– The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
When searching for a new apartment, Salander’s main concerns are that it have a view and a balcony. Her third requirement is that it be “a pleasant, sparsely furnished apartment that was easy to take care of.” Sounds fairly minimalist so far, right?
Her fourth requirement, however, is not: “the new apartment should have plenty of space and closets.” Salander, in fact, chooses a 3,800 square foot apartment in one of Stockholm’s most exclusive neighborhoods.
Interestingly, she furnishes only the rooms she uses, and even in those rooms, has no decorations or knickknacks.
What do you think?
What does being a minimalist mean to you? Do you have to minimize everywhere you possibly can? Does Salander qualify even though she buys a giant apartment?