Sweden Literature Part II

By | September 2, 2021

According to softwareleverage, the disturbing interpreter of the changed spiritual climate is JA Strindberg (1849-1912), in whose immense production, lyric, dramatic, narrative, the most contradictory trends of an era are summarized. In his work, external reality, analyzed and crudely portrayed according to naturalistic ways, is reinvented by a lucidly visionary fantasy, by an exasperated subjectivism that takes the place of the objective development of an action. Writers of a more naturalist orientation, but of less artistic interest, are AC Leffler (1849-92), G. af Geijerstam (1858-1909), E. Ahlgren (pseudonym of Victoria Benedictsson, 1850-88) and the poet O. Hansson (1860-1925), in whose lyrics the social interest fades into vibrations of sentiment. The last decade of the century was characterized by a reaction to naturalism, recognizable in a new search for formal values ​​and in a newfound fantastic and coloristic vein vaguely corresponding to the trends of European decadence. Principal writers were C. von Heidenstam (1859-1940), Nobel laureate 1916, interpreter of a sort of bourgeois aristocraticism; EA Karlfeldt (1864-1931), Nobel 1931, creator of the character of Fridolin, one of the most popular figures in Swedish literature; the poet G. Fröding (1860-1911), who evokes the native province with refined verbal and figurative magic; S. Lagerlöf (1858-1940), Nobel laureate 1909, author of the imaginative novel The Saga of Gösta Berling, poetic re-enactment of the legends of native Värmland and moralistic apologue on good and evil. With the twentieth century it is difficult to identify a dominant line in Swedish literature: the themes of the anguish of life, the desperate search for a faith are tangible or underground elements of a rich and contradictory literary production, individualistic but at the same time sensitive to social reality. Only for the sake of convenience can we recognize currents in which to situate the many important names of the twentieth century, which can be assigned to different tendencies due to the variety of reasons of their work. In the wake of Karlfeldt, of Lagerlöf, of Fröding, a regionalist current was formed that combined a marked autobiography with a taste for describing popular and bourgeois circles. Main exponents were H. Söderberg (1869-1941), S. Siwertz (1882-1970), the poet B. Bergman (1869-1967), interpreters, albeit with very different accents, of the atmosphere of Stockholm; H. Bergman (1883-1931), colorful and grotesque narrator of the provincial environment; the poets V. Ekelund (1880-1949) and A. Österling (1884-1981), who draw inspiration from the native Scania; B. Sjöberg (1885-1929), author of the series of The Book of Frida which describes the provincial life of his city with ironic accents and crepuscular tones. The same themes, but with more modest artistic importance, refer to narrators such as A. Engström (1869-1940), LA Nordström (1882-1942), G. Hellström (1882-1953), E. Wägner (1882-1949), feminist writer and active pacifist propagandist, S. Lidman (1882-1960). The great isolated author is P. Lagerkvist (1891-1974), Nobel laureate 1951, who in a large-scale production, lyric, narrative and dramatic, expresses the crisis of a generation dominated by the anguish of life, incapable of faith and yet attracted by its calls. The themes of modern man’s spiritual solitude are central to the lyric of H. Löwenhjelm (1887-1918), K. Boye (1900-41) and above all H. Gullberg (1898-1961), who makes irony a refined instrument of psychological counterpoint to anguish, and of G. Ekelöf (1907-68), surrealist poet interpreter of the absurdity of life. A current of great interest is that represented by the so-called proletarian writers: the Nobel laureates (1974) E. Johnson (1900-76) and H. Martinson (1904-78), and then I. Lo-Johansson (1901-90), J. Fridegård (1897-1968), V. Moberg (1898-1973). Two poets, E. Lindegren (1910-68) and KG Vennberg (1910-95), are the interpreters of nihilism postwar, of that spiritual and literary anarchism that welcomes the most diverse intellectual and affective experiences to express the complexity of the modern soul. To the same generation belongs L. Forsell (b. 1928), translator of E. Pound and promoter of immediate poetic forms, such as the ballad. The revolutionary fervor that dominated the cultural climate of the 1960s opens up new perspectives: literature becomes the spokesperson for social dissent and tackles new issues, more immediate genres flourish, such as reportage and investigation, of which African reports are an example. by P. Wästberg (b.1933) and from China by J. Myrdal (b.1927) and the novels of S. Lidman (b. 1923). Similarly, the works of S. Lindquist (b.1932) who continued his civil and political battle with Utrota varenda jävel (1992; The extermination of the brutes), written in the form of travelogue and denunciation of the European “colonial mentality”. Compared to the undoubted dominance of the poetic form on the literary scene of the 1950s, in the following two decades we witnessed a notable development of fiction in all its forms. For Olof Sundman (1922-92) he points out the contradictions between abstract theoretical knowledge and existential uncertainties of contemporaneity; for O. Enquist (b. 1934) manages to demonstrate the ambiguity of any real data with great skill in textual editing; L. Gustafsson (b. 1936) goes even further in the line of experimentation. S. Delblanc (1931-92) and K. Ekman (b. 1933) return to local history, which had inspired so much literature of the 1950s. A less and less ideologization, hand in hand with a growing attention to language, seems to distinguish the voices of the narrators who established themselves in the 1980s, among which we mention G. Tunström (1937-2000), T. Lindgren (b.1938) and the younger E. Brunner (b. 1950), who dedicated the novel Edith (1992) to the figure of the poet E. Södergran, P. Kihlgård (b.1953), E. Runefelt (b.1953), K. Ostegren (b.1955), S. Larsson (b.1955), who after narrating everyday life in Komedin I (1989) addressed the theme of death in Om en död (1992), and M. Kandre (b. 1962), author of the moving prose-poetry of Deliria (1991). In addition, the names of R. Kangas, PC Jersild, B. Ranelid, A.-K. Palm, S. Combüchen, I. Alfvén and, in the field of poetry, those of Th. Tranströmer, A. Rydstedt, M. Johansson, K. Lung, K. Espmark, A. Johnsson and A. Jäderlund. § For the theater, finally, in addition to the aforementioned Enquist, the most significant name is that of L. Norén (b. 1944), whose plays are part of the great Nordic tradition. § For Swedish-language literature in Finland, see. Finland.

Sweden Literature 2