Sodergran, Edith

(1892-1923)
   A Finland-Swedish poet, Sodergran had a short life that is exceptional not only for its events, but largely because those events provided her with experiences that were expressed with remarkable emotional intensity in her poetry. Her life is also remarkable for its impact not only on Finland-Swedish poetry but on Scandinavian literature as a whole, for Sodergran introduced literary modernism to the Nordic countries.
   Born into a well-to-do middle-class family in St. Petersburg, Russia, Sodergran spoke a somewhat idiosyncratic Swedish at home but German and Russian around town and at school. Provided with an excellent education on account of her mother's inherited wealth, she had many cultural opportunities. Sodergran stayed in St. Petersburg for the school year, but during the summer the family lived in the little Karelian town of Raivola. Her father died from tuberculosis in 1907, and about a year later Sodergran was sent to a sanatorium not far from Helsinki for treatment. This was the first time in her life that she lived in a regular Swedish-speaking environment. Later she went to Davos, Switzerland, for treatment and also traveled in Italy. During her stays abroad Sodergran became familiar with contemporary European literature, including that of the avant-garde.
   Sodergran wrote her earliest poetry in German, a few poems in Swedish, and one in Russian. She later switched to exclusively Swedish, however, and that is the language of her first volume of poetry, Dikter (1916; tr. Poems, 1980). The reception was mixed, for Sodergran wrote in free verse with no significant attention to rhythm and rhyme. Her Swedish was also marked by the linguistic idiosyncrasies of her family's dialect background as well as by her multilingual upbringing. Her next collection, Septemberlyran (1918; tr. September Lyre, 1980), was more self-assured and deviated further from what was expected of poetry at the time. It was alternately ridiculed and hailed as something entirely new in both Finland-Swedish and Swedish poetry. It attracted the favorable attention of such important literary figures as Hagar Olsson and Runar Schildt.
   Septemberlyran shows the influence of the German thinker Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), and that influence is increasingly evident in her next volume of poetry, Rosenaltaret (1919; tr. The Rose Altar, 1980). A small volume of aphorisms, Brokiga iakttagelser (1919; tr. Motley Observations, 1984), expresses her admiration for strong men. The poetry in Framtidens skugga (1920; tr. The Shadow ofthe Future, 1980) is even more emotionally intense.
   The Russian Revolution had reduced Sodergran and her mother to abject poverty, which is perhaps part of the reason she published nothing more—Sodergran's literary activity was not a source of any significant income—and most certainly a contributing factor in the decline of her health. After the sale of their Raivola villa, mother and daughter lived in an uncomfortable summer house, where the Finland-Swedish poet Elmer Diktonius visited Sodergran approximately a year before her death. Diktonius later took charge of her papers and arranged for the posthumously published collection Landet som icke ar (1925; tr. The Land Which Is Not, 1980).

Historical Dictionary of Scandinavian Literature and Theater. . 2006.

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  • Södergran, Edith — ▪ Swedish Finnish poet born April 4, 1892, St. Petersburg, Russia died June 24, 1923, Raivola, Fin.       Swedish Finnish poet whose expressionistic work influenced a generation of Finnish and Swedish writers.       Her family moved to Finnish… …   Universalium

  • Södergran, Edith —    см. Сёдергран, Эдит …   Энциклопедический словарь экспрессионизма

  • Södergran — Edith Södergran circa 1918. Edith Irene Södergran, (* 4. April 1892 in Sankt Petersburg; † 24. Juni 1923 in Raivola/Karelien), war eine finnlandschwedische Dichterin und Schriftstellerin. Edith Södergran gilt als Begründerin des …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Edith Sodergran — Edith Södergran Edith Södergran Photographie d’Edith Södergran, vers 1918. Naissance 4 avril 1892 Saint Pétersbourg …   Wikipédia en Français

  • SÖDERGRAN (E.) — SÖDERGRAN EDITH (1892 1923) On s’accorde à dire qu’Edith Södergran fut le «Rimbaud du Nord», l’apôtre du modernisme scandinave. Cette Finno Suédoise morte de tuberculose à trente et un ans traversa le ciel de Finlande comme un météore; elle… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Södergran — Södergran,   Edith Irene, finnische Lyrikerin schwedischer Sprache, * Sankt Petersburg 4. 4. 1892, ✝ Raivola (heute Roschtschino, bei Sankt Petersburg) 24. 6. 1923; die metrisch freien, reimlosen Gedichte (»Dikter«, 1916) der schon 1908 an… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Edith Södergran — circa 1918. Edith Irene Södergran (* 4. April 1892 in Sankt Petersburg; † 24. Juni 1923 in Raivola/Karelien) war eine finnlandschwedische Dichterin und Schriftstellerin. Edith Södergran gilt als Begründerin des finnlandschw …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Edith Södergran — Edith Irene Södergran (April 4, 1892 June 24, 1923) was a Finland Swedish poet. Södergran was born in St Petersburg on April 4, 1892, the daughter of Matts and Helena Södergran. When Edith was a few months old, the family bought a summer home in… …   Wikipedia

  • Edith Södergran — Photographie d’Edith Södergran, vers 1918. Naissance 4 avril 1892 Saint Pétersbourg …   Wikipédia en Français

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