Saturday, March 10, 2012

Hjalmar Bergman

Hjalmar Bergman

Hjalmar Fredrik Elgrus Bergman was a Swedish writer and playwright. The son of a banker in rebro, Bergman briefly studied philosophy at Uppsala University but soon broke off his studies and took up the life of a free writer. He married Stina Lindberg, the daughter of actor and stage producer August Lindberg. Up to his father's death in 1915 Bergman was heavily sponsored by the family patriarch; after the old man died from a stroke it turned out that the family business had become highly indebted and Bergman was forced to start making money out of his writing and court readers in a more outgoing and more entertaining manner. He rose to the challenge and in the following ten years reached the peak of his work. Much of his output takes place in a small town in mid-Sweden, which is growing into a parallel universe in a Balzacian manner. The shameful secrets of a dozen of interwoven families gradually come out of the closet as the stories grow increasingly symbolic. A pessimistic outlook is always counter-balanced by a grotesque humour - indeed in a book like Markurells i Wadkping the latter almost succeeds in completely shading the former. After an unsuccessful bout as a manuscript writer in Hollywood Bergman's alcoholism and narcotics abuse took over, from which he died prematurely; his final novel Clownen Jac mirrors his awareness of his drift into self-destruction as well as his belief in the honesty and purpose of artistic spectacle.

[Eros Begravning | Mor I Sutre]

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