Geijer, Erik Gustav

(1783-1847)
   A Swedish poet, Geijer was, with P. D. A. Atterbom, Sweden's greatest proponent of romanticism, which for him had a decidedly nationalistic slant. He studied at Uppsala University and eventually got a professorship in history there. He was also active in one of Uppsala's several associations, Gotiska forbundet (The Old Norse League), and published some poems in its journal, Iduna. Two of these poems bear mention, as they gesture at the two main strands within national romanticism. "Vikingen" (The Viking) is an example of the interest that the national romantics took in the ancient history of Scandinavia, especially the Viking Age. Geijer was, however, more interested in the Viking as a personality type than in the factual history of the Vikings. The other poem, "Odalbonden" (The Yeoman Farmer), ties in with national romanticism's admiration for the common folk of the rural districts, who lived close to nature and were direct descendents of the ancient Scandinavians.
   Geijer started out as a cultural and political conservative. With the passage of time, however, his ideas became more liberal, and this development can be studied in Den bla boken (1837; The Blue Book), which contains articles and aphorisms. Geijer also wrote several historical works.

Historical Dictionary of Scandinavian Literature and Theater. . 2006.

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