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Selma Lagerlöf

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Subject: Nobel Prize in Literature, Selma Lagerlöf, Adventures of Nils Holgersson, Scandinavian literature, Gösta Ekman (senior)
Collection: 1858 Births, 1940 Deaths, Christian Writers, Illis Quorum Recipients, Lgbt Christians, Lgbt Writers from Sweden, Liberal People's Party (Sweden) Politicians, Members of the Swedish Academy, Nobel Laureates in Literature, People from Sunne Municipality, Selma Lagerlöf, Swedish Children's Literature, Swedish Christian Pacifists, Swedish Feminists, Swedish Lutherans, Swedish Nobel Laureates, Swedish Novelists, Swedish Women Novelists, Swedish Women Writers, Swedish Writers, Swedish-Language Writers, Women Nobel Laureates, Women Novelists, Writers from Värmland
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Selma Lagerlöf

Selma Ottilia Lovisa Lagerlöf (; 20 November 1858 – 16 March 1940) was a Swedish author. She was the first female writer to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, and most widely known for her children's book Nils Holgerssons underbara resa genom Sverige (The Wonderful Adventures of Nils).

Contents

  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
  • Literary adaptations 3
  • Awards and commemoration 4
  • Bibliography 5
    • Works by Selma Lagerlöf 5.1
    • Works about Selma Lagerlöf 5.2
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8
    • Resources 8.1
    • Works online 8.2

Early life

Born at Mårbacka[1] (now in Sunne Municipality) an estate in Värmland in western Sweden, Lagerlöf was the daughter of Lieutenant Erik Gustaf Lagerlöf and Louise Lagerlöf née Wallroth, the couple's fifth child out of six. She was born with a hip injury. An early sickness left her lame in both legs, although she later recovered. She was a quiet child, more serious than others her age, with a deep love of reading. The sale of Mårbacka following her father's illness in 1884 had a serious impact on her development.

Career

Lagerlöf was educated at the Högre lärarinneseminariet in Stockholm from 1882 to 1885. She worked as a country schoolteacher at a high school for girls in Landskrona from 1885 to 1895[2] while honing her story-telling skills, with particular focus on the legends she had learned as a child. Through her studies at the Royal Women's Superior Training Academy in Stockholm, Lagerlöf reacted against the realism of contemporary Swedish language writers such as August Strindberg. She began her first novel, Gösta Berling's Saga, while working as a teacher in Landskrona. Her first break as a writer came when she submitted the first chapters to a literary contest, and won a publishing contract for the whole book. She received financial support of Fredrika Limnell, who wished to enable her to concentrate on her writing.

Selma Lagerlöf receives the Nobel Prize in Literature. Illustration from Svenska Dagbladet, 11 December 1909.

In 1894 she met Swedish-Jewish Sophie Elkan, also a writer, who became her friend and companion. Judging from letters between them, Lagerlöf fell deeply in love with her.[3] Over many years, Elkan and Lagerlöf critiqued each other's work. Lagerlöf wrote of Elkan's strong influence on her work, often disagreeing sharply with the direction Lagerlöf wanted to take in her books.

A 1900 visit to the American Colony in Jerusalem became the inspiration for Lagerlöf's book by that name.[4] By 1895, she gave up her teaching to devote herself to her writing. With the help of proceeds from Gösta Berlings Saga and a scholarship and grant, she made two journeys which were largely instrumental in providing material for her next novel. With Elkan, she traveled to Italy, and she also traveled to Palestine and other parts of the East.[5] In Italy, a legend of a Christ Child figure that had been replaced with a false version inspired Lagerlöf's novel Antikrists mirakler (The Miracles of the Antichrist). Set in Sicily, the novel explores the interplay between Christian and socialist moral systems. However, most of Lagerlöf's stories were set in Värmland.

She moved in 1897 to

Preceded by
Albert Theodor Gellerstedt
Swedish Academy,
Seat No.7

1914-1940
Succeeded by
Hjalmar Gullberg

Works online

  • Selma Ottilia Lovisa Lagerlöf on Nobelprize.org
  • The Wonderful Adventures of NilsThe background to the writing of

Resources


External links

  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Barbro Hedwall (2011). Susanna Eriksson Lundqvist. red. Vår rättmätiga plats. Om kvinnornas kamp för rösträtt. (Our Rightful Place. About women's struggle for suffrage) Förlag Bonnier. ISBN 978-91-7424-119-8 (Swedish)
  7. ^ Leif Furhammar (2010), "Selma Lagerlöf and Literary Adaptations", Mariah Larsson and Anders Marklund (eds), "Swedish Film: An Introduction and Reader", Lund: Nordic Academic Press, pp. 86-91.
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ http://www.worldbanknotescoins.com/2015/04/20-swedish-krona-banknote-2008-selma-lagerlof.html
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^

References

See also

  • Berendsohn, Walter A., Selma Lagerlöf: Her Life and Work (adapted from the German by George F. Timpson) – London : Nicholson & Watson, 1931
  • Vrieze, Folkerdina Stientje de, Fact and Fiction in the Autobiographical Works of Selma Lagerlof – Assen, Netherlands : Van Gorcum, 1958
  • Nelson, Anne Theodora, The Critical Reception of Selma Lagerlöf in France – Evanston, Ill., 1962
  • Olson-Buckner, Elsa, The epic tradition in Gösta Berlings saga – Brooklyn, N.Y. : Theodore Gaus, 1978
  • Edström, Vivi, Selma Lagerlöf (trans. by Barbara Lide) – Boston : Twayne Publishers, 1984
  • Madler, Jennifer Lynn, The Literary Response of German-language Authors to Selma Lagerlöf – Urbana, Ill. : University of Illinois, 1998
  • De Noma, Elizabeth Ann, Multiple Melodrama: the Making and Remaking of Three Selma Lagerlöf Narratives in the Silent Era and the 1940s – Ann Arbor, Mich. : UMI Research Press, cop. 2000
  • Watson, Jennifer, Swedish Novelist Selma Lagerlöf, 1858–1940, and Germany at the Turn of the Century: O du Stern ob meinem Garten – Lewiston, NY : Edwin Mellen Press, 2004

Works about Selma Lagerlöf

Her vogue in the United States was in part due to Velma Swanton Howard, who early believed in her appeal to Americans and carefully translated many of her books.[2]

  • Gösta Berlings saga (1891; novel). Translated as The Story of Gösta Berling (Pauline Bancroft Flach, 1898), Gösta Berling's Saga (Lillie Tudeer, 1898), The Story of Gösta Berling (R. Bly, 1962)
  • Osynliga länkar (1894; short stories). Translated as Invisible Links (Pauline Bancroft Flach, 1899)
  • Antikrists mirakler (1897; novel). Translated as The Miracles of Antichrist (Selma Ahlström Trotz, 1899) and The Miracles of Antichrist (Pauline Bancroft Flach, 1899)
  • Drottningar i Kungahälla (1899; short stories). Translated as The Queens of Kungahälla and Other Sketches From a Swedish Homestead (Jessie Bröchner, 1901; C. Field, 1917)
  • En herrgårdssägen (1899; short stories). Translated as The Tale of a Manor and Other Sketches (C. Field, 1922)
  • Jerusalem : två berättelser. 1, I Dalarne (1901; novel). Translated as Jerusalem (Jessie Bröchner, 1903; V.S. Howard, 1914)
  • Jerusalem : två berättelser. 2, I det heliga landet (1902; novel). Translated as The Holy City : Jerusalem II (V.S. Howard, 1918)
  • Herr Arnes penningar (1903; novel). Translated as Herr Arne's Hoard (Arthur G. Chater, 1923; Philip Brakenridge, 1952) and The Treasure (Arthur G. Chater, 1925). See also 1919 film Sir Arne's Treasure.
  • Kristuslegender (1904; short stories). Translated as Christ Legends and Other Stories (Velma Swanston Howard, 1908)
  • Nils Holgerssons underbara resa genom Sverige (1906–07; novel). Translated as The Wonderful Adventures of Nils (Velma Swanston Howard, 1907; Richard E. Oldenburg, 1967) and Further Adventures of Nils (V.S. Howard, 1911)
  • En saga om en saga och andra sagor (1908; short stories). Translated as The Girl from the Marsh Croft (Velma Swanston Howard, 1910) and Girl from the Marsh Croft and Other Stories (edited by Greta Anderson, 1996)
  • Hem och stat: Föredrag vid rösträttskongressen den 13 juni 1911 (1911; non-fiction). Translated as Home and State: Being an Address Delivered at Stockholm at the Sixth Convention of the International Woman Suffrage Alliance, June 1911 (C. Ursula Holmstedt, 1912)
  • Liljecronas hem (1911; novel). Translated as Liliecrona's Home (Anna Barwell, 1913)
  • Körkarlen (1912; novel). Translated as Thy Soul Shall Bear Witness! (William Frederick Harvey, 1921). Filmed as The Phantom Carriage, The Phantom Chariot, The Stroke of Midnight.
  • Stormyrtossen: Folkskädespel i 4 akter (1913) with Bernt Fredgren
  • Astrid och andra berättelser (1914; short stories)
  • Kejsarn av Portugallien (1914; novel). Translated as The Emperor of Portugallia (V.S. Howard, 1916)
  • Dunungen: Lustspel i fyra akter (1914; play)
  • Silvergruvan och andra berättelser (1915; short stories)
  • Troll och Människor (1915, 1921; novel). Translated as The Changeling (Susanna Stevens, 1992)
  • Bannlyst (1918; novel). Translated as The Outcast (W. Worster, 1920/22)
  • Kavaljersnoveller (1918; novel)
  • Zachris Topelius utveckling och mognad (1920; non-fiction), biography of Zachris Topelius.
  • Mårbacka (1922; memoir). Translated as Marbacka: The Story of a Manor (V.S. Howard, 1924) and Memories of Marbacka (Greta Andersen, 1996). See Mårbacka.
  • The Ring trilogy:
  • En Herrgårdssägen: Skådespel i fyra akter (1929; play), based on 1899 work En herrgårdssägen
  • Mors porträtt och andra berättelser (1930; short stories)
  • Ett barns memoarer: Mårbacka (1930; memoir). Translated as Memories of My Childhood: Further Years at Mårbacka (V.S. Howard, 1934)
  • Dagbok för Selma Ottilia Lovisa Lagerlöf (1932; memoir). Translated as The Diary of Selma Lagerlöf (V.S. Howard, 1936)
  • Höst (1933; short stories). Translated as Harvest (Florence and Naboth Hedin, 1935)
  • Julberättelser (1936)
  • Gösta Berlings saga: Skådespel i fyra akter med prolog och epilog effer romanen med samma namn (1936)
  • Från skilda tider: Efterlämnade skrifter (1943–45)
  • Dockteaterspel (1959)
  • Madame de Castro: En unglomsdikt (1984)

Works published in Swedish with English translations.[12][13]

Works by Selma Lagerlöf

Bibliography

Two hotels are named after her in Östra Ämtervik in Sunne, and her home, Mårbacka, is preserved as a museum. Since 1992, her portrait has been featured on the Swedish 20 kronor-bill.

In 1907 she received the degree of doctor of letters from Uppsala University.[2] In 1928, she received an honorary doctorate from the University of Greifswald's Faculty of Arts. At the start of World War II, she sent her Nobel Prize medal and gold medal from the Swedish Academy to the government of Finland to help raise money to fight the Soviet Union.[11] The Finnish government was so touched that it raised the necessary money by other means and returned her medal to her.

In 1909 Selma Lagerlöf won the Nobel Prize "in appreciation of the lofty idealism, vivid imagination and spiritual perception that characterize her writings".[8] But the decision was preceded by harsh internal power struggle within the Swedish Academy, the body that awards the Nobel Prize in literature.[9] In 1904, the Academy had awarded her its great gold medal, and in 1914 she also became a member of the Academy. For both the Academy membership and her Nobel literature prize, she was the first woman to be so honored.[2] She was the first woman to be depicted on a Swedish banknote of 20 Kronor[10]

Selma Lagerlöf on a 1959 postage stamp of the Soviet Union.

Awards and commemoration

In 1919 Lagerlöf sold all the movie rights to all of her as-yet unpublished works to Swedish Cinema Theatre (), and so over the years many movie versions of her works were made. During the 'Golden Age' of Swedish silent cinema her works were used in film by Victor Sjöström, Mauritz Stiller and other Swedish cinema pioneers.[7] Sjöström's retelling of Lagerlöf's tales about rural Swedish life, in which his camera recorded the detail of traditional village life and the Swedish landscape, provided the basis of some of the most poetic and memorable products of early silent cinema. Jerusalem was adapted in 1996 into an internationally acclaimed film Jerusalem.

A street in Jerusalem, Israel, named for Selma Lagerlof

Literary adaptations

Selma Lagerlöf was a friend of the German-Jewish writer Nelly Sachs. Shortly before her death in 1940, Lagerlöf intervened with the Swedish royal family to secure the release of Sachs and Sachs' aged mother from Nazi Germany, on the very last flight from Germany to Sweden, and their lifelong asylum in Stockholm.

[6]

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