Lundkvist, Artur

(1906-1991)
   A Swedish poet, essayist, and novelist, Lundkvist was the most prolific Swedish man of letters of his generation, with well over 80 books to his credit. He also wrote scores of essays and articles. The sheer volume of his literary production may thus seem forbidding, but his work is structured by a major principle: his desire to investigate and describe the interplay between such opposed forces as nature and culture, reason and the subconscious, and reality and the imagination.
   Although born into a rural family with little literary culture, Lundkvist was determined to become a writer and started producing journalism at the age of 16. Later he associated with a group of young men of similar background, the so-called Fem unga (Five Young Men), who were inspired by works of high modernism and rebelled against the traditionalism of contemporary Swedish poetry. Lundk-vist's first poetry collections, Glod (1928; Ember), Naket liv (1929; Naked Life), and Svart stad (1930; Black City), contain poems written in free verse and the same positive view of technology that is to be found also in the works ofthe Danish modernist Johannes V. Jensen, such as Jensen's poem "Paa Memphis Station" (At the Memphis Train Station).
   Lundkvist s admiration of modern technology did not last long, however. The poetry collections Vit man (1932; White Man), Nattens broar (1936; Bridges of the Night), Sirensang (1937; Siren Song), and Eldtema (1939; Fire Theme) chronicle his interest in surrealism. Surrealism is also an important theme in a collection of essays entitled Ikarus'flykt 1939; The Flight of Icarus). During these same years Lundkvist traveled in Africa, which resulted in the travelogue Negerkust (1933; Negro Coast). He later traveled extensively in Asia and the Soviet Union, and these travels resulted in the books Indiabrand (1950; India Fire) and Vallmor fran Taschkent: En resa i Sovjet-Unionen (1952; Poppies from Tashkent: A Journey in the Soviet Union).
   The experience of World War II made Lundkvist increasingly conscious of the significance of politics. Trying to steer a middle course between the ideologies of the two superpowers, he understood that both Western-style capitalism and Marxist-Leninism had their limitations. Such poetry collections as Spegel foir dag och natt (1953; A Mirror for Day and Night) and Vindrosor (1955; Wind Roses) express his sympathies with those who want to throw off oppression and exploitation. His novel Darunga (1954) describes a revolution in a Latin American country and points toward Castro s takeover in Cuba.
   In keeping with his interest in mediating between opposites, Lundkvist experimented extensively with bringing prose and poetry together into the prose poem or poetic prose. Most of his work in the late 1950s and the 1960s was in this vein. Representative titles are Berget och svalorna (1957; The Mountain and the Swallows), Det talande tradet (1960; tr. The Talking Tree, 1982), and Sida vid sida (1962; Side by Side). The long poem Agadir (1961; tr. 1980) tells about his impressions of a destructive earthquake in Morocco.
   Lundkvist also wrote several historical novels that depict moments in history when cultures meet and are transformed. Their disparate settings include Skane in Sweden and ancient Babylonia. In the 1970s he further experimented with the mixing ofsuch genres as essays, poems, and biography. Some titles from this period are Lustgardens demoni (1973; The Demonism of Paradise), Fantasins slott och vardagens stenar (1974; The Castles ofthe Imagination and the Stones of Every Day), and Flykten och oiverlevandet (1977; Flight and Survival). Färdas i drommen och forestallningen (1984; tr. Journeys in Dream and Imagination, 1991) contains prose poems that tell about his dreams while in a coma subsequent to a stroke.

Historical Dictionary of Scandinavian Literature and Theater. . 2006.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Lundkvist, Artur — ▪ Swedish writer and critic in full  Artur Nils Lundkvist   born March 3, 1906, Oderljunga, Swed. died Dec. 11, 1991, Stockholm       Swedish poet, novelist, and literary critic.       Lundkvist grew up in a rural community, where he felt himself …   Universalium

  • Lundkvist, Artur — ► (1906 91) Poeta sueco. En su obra se advierten influencias surrealistas. Autor de Sangre de dragón (1936) y Compañía para la noche (1965) …   Enciclopedia Universal

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  • Artur Lundkvist — (3 March 1906 in Perstorp Municipality, Skåne County – 11 December 1991 in Solna, Stockholm County) was a Swedish writer, poet and literary critic. He was a member of the Swedish Academy from 1968. He wrote around 80 books, and his works have… …   Wikipedia

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  • Artur Lundkvist — 1952 Artur Nils Lundkvist (* 3. März 1906 in Hagstad, Gemeinde Perstorp; † 11. Dezember 1991 in Solna) war ein schwedischer Schriftsteller, Dichter und Literaturkritiker. Er war seit 1968 Mitglied der …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • LUNDKVIST (A.) — Artur LUNDKVIST 1906 1991 Écrivain d’une grande diversité et d’une productivité sans égale, Artur Lundkvist fut aussi le «phare» et l’arbitre du goût de l’intelligentsia de son pays, le diffuseur et l’intercesseur de tous les grands mouvements de …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Artur Lundkvist — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Artur Lundkvist. (Escania, Suecia, 3 de marzo de 1906 Estocolmo, Suecia, 11 de diciembre de 1991). Escritor y poeta sueco. Aunque más conocido por su obra poética, escribió también novelas y ensayos en más de un… …   Wikipedia Español

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