Schoultz, Solveig von

(1907-1996)
   A Finland-Swedish poet, short story writer, and novelist, von Schoultz wrote about family relationships, human relationships in general, and nature.Her work is in many ways an extension of that of the great Finland-Swedish modernists Edith Södergran and Elmer Diktonius,but von Schoultz early found her own distinctive voice and became one of the great poets writing in Swedish, not only in Finland but in Sweden as well. She had her literary debut with a book written for young women, Petra och silverapan (1932; Petra and the Silver Monkey). Her only novel, December (1937), contains clearly autobiographical elements. The stories in De sju dagarna: Tva barn skapar sin varld (1942; The Seven Days: Two Children Create Their World) were inspired by the first seven days in the lives of her two daughters, born in 1934 and 1936.
   Throughout her career von Schoultz wrote more than 50 stories, some of which were published as Ingen dag forgaves (1984; No Day in Vain) and Nästa dag (1991; The Next Day). Many of von Sch-oultz's stories deal with the experience of women. The stories in Ingenting ovanligt (1947; Nothing Unusual) have as protagonists women who embody three different possibilities for women's lives: an insecure young married woman, a woman whose love has been betrayed by her husband, and a war widow. Similar themes are found in Närmare nogon (1951; Closer to Somebody), where some of von Schoultz's protagonists are the lover of a married man, an older woman whose husband is close to death, and an unmarried woman who is dealing with her niece. Other collections of stories are Den blomstertid (1958; That Time of Flowers), Aven dina kamelar (1965; Your Camels Too), and Rymdbruden (1970; The Space Bride). Many of the short stories in Somliga mornar (1976; Certain Mornings) and Kolteckning, ofullbordad (1983; Unfinished Charcoal Drawing) are notable for their depiction of the aging process and the changes in attitude that sometimes accompany that part of life.
   It was as a poet, however, that von Schoultz had her greatest impact on Finland-Swedish literature. Starting with Min timme (1940; My Hour), von Schoultz regularly published poetry right up to the end of her life, her final collection being Molnskuggan (1996; The Shadow of the Cloud). Together with its predecessor, Samtal med en Fjaril (1994; Conversations with a Butterfly), it contains reflections on the process of aging. Generally not formally experimental, von Schoultz's poetry mostly uses free verse and deals with personal experience, particularly with nature. Her breakthrough as a poet came with Nattlig aäng (1949; Nocturnal Meadow), and some of her other collections are Nätet (1956; The Net), Terrassen (1959; The Terrace), De fyra flojtspelarna (1975; The Four Flautists), and Ett satt att rakna tiden (1989; A Way to Count Time). A selection of her poetry bears the title Alla tradvantar faglar (1989; All Trees Wait for Birds).
   Working many years as a teacher, von Schoultz also wrote a number of children's books. Portratt av Hanna (1978; Portrait of Hanna) is a psychologically penetrating book about her mother, the painter
   Hanna Segerstråle, and Langs vattenbrynet (1992; Along the Water's Edge) is a memoir that emphasizes the early part of her life.

Historical Dictionary of Scandinavian Literature and Theater. . 2006.

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