Sweden Dantesque Encyclopedia

By | December 28, 2021

For the information that D. could have on the political situation of the Sweden (nation as such never remembered by the poet) and in general on the Swedish environment, see SCANDINAVIA.

Fortuna of Dante in Sweden. – If the name of D. had already been known in Sweden for a long time, the first evidence of a direct knowledge of his works dates back to 1788, when the poet Bengt Lidner quoted Pd XXIII 35-39 in Italian. This testimony, however, is isolated, and only two decades later the Uppsaliense circle of young romantics, who had been baptized “Vitterhetens vaenner” (Friends of Letters), began to seriously study the Comedy, which was the subject of several debates within the circle. same.

One of these young people, Lorenzo Hammarsköld (1785-1827), a friend of the Schlegel brothers, translated the episode of Paolo and Francesca into triplets and published in his own magazine “Läsning i hvarjehanda” (1810). On this and other occasions he argued that D., together with Petrarch, had been the initiator of romantic poetry, and did not hesitate to establish comparisons between the Comedy and medieval Scandinavian poems.

He dedicated more profound studies to D. one of the greatest Swedish romantic poets, Per Daniel Amadeus Atterbom (1790-1855), who during his trip to Italy (1818-19) bought and read the Comedy (as evidenced by his letters, in which is not lacking in Dante’s quotations in Italian) and later he was inspired by the figure of Beatrice for the Svanvit of Lycksalighetens ö (The island of beatitude). After him it can be said that no Swedish man of letters ignores Dante anymore. Esaias Tegnér (1782-1846), one of the greatest Swedish poets of all time, was inspired by D., especially in Hell, and was the first to have the idea, then not implemented, of translating the entire Comedy into Swedish and he also drew up a detailed draft of a poem on Limbo, Purgatory and Paradise, in which contemporary characters should have appeared. Tegnér’s son-in-law, Carl Vilhelm Böttiger (1807-1878), poet and literary critic, was inspired by D. in his Italian poems and dedicated several essays to him, including Om Dantes lif och skrifter (On the life and writings of D., 1865) and Dantes Divine Comedy (1875). From 1842 to 1853 he had already translated and published the whole of Hell in handouts, with opposite text and explanatory notes. Its reverse translation was soon superseded by the rhymed and complete one by Nils Lovén (v.). with opposite text and explanatory notes. Its reverse translation was soon superseded by the rhymed and complete one by Nils Lovén (v.). with opposite text and explanatory notes. Its reverse translation was soon superseded by the rhymed and complete one by Nils Lovén (v.).

The most famous of the readers of this translation was undoubtedly August Strindberg. He, while making an exaggeratedly polemical judgment on D., in The Maid’s Son (“D. was a personality of almost no importance … he was ignorant… his thoughts were covered up in visions… he was a son truly idiot of his time “), in reality he admired him albeit only as the realist poet of Hell, as well as as a pamphleteer (” D. was a perfect scandalist, who sent his enemies to hell and published their names “, wrote in Similar and Unlike). In September 1896 the playwright reread all of Hell and drew from it, as well as inspiring motives, also the title Inferno (the word ‛inferno ‘, introduced in the Swedish language by Dante it refers to a particularly difficult situation or state of mind, while Hell proper is designated by the indigenous term helvete) given to his book of confessions, in which D. is openly mentioned several times. Also in the Gothic Rooms (1904) the name of D. returns in an explicit reference to If XXIV, and throughout the book, as well as in Black Flags (1907), the inspiration drawn from the first cantica of the Comedy is clearly evident.

But after 1890 there had been a reaction in Sweden against the social commitment and programmatic realism in literature, of which Strindberg had been the most prominent exponent. The new generation of neo-romantic poets returned to the unreserved admiration for D. and did not limit his study to the Comedy, but also extended it to the Vita Nuova and the Rhymes.

The 1897 version of Wulff’s New Life (v.), But for a decade one of the greatest poets of this generation, Oscar Levertin (1862-1906), had found in D. a source of inspiration and an object of long and loving studies. Levertin entitled Beatrice a poem, dedicated to his prematurely deceased wife, whose metric scheme is a fairly faithful reproduction of those of Ballad, i ‘you who you find again Love; for the poem Ithaca was directly inspired by If XXIV, and he paraphrased the episode of Paolo and Francesca several times. After a trip to Italy (1901) Levertin held several courses on D. at the University of Stockholm and set about collecting the material for a large volume on the poet, which however his sudden death prevented him from writing.

In the twentieth century, new translations of the Commedia into Swedish appeared: the one in loose verse by Edvard Lidforss (1902-1903; 1962-1965), accompanied by an extensive commentary; the non-rhymed one by Sven Casper Bring (1913; 1928), the rhymed one by Arnold Norlind (Inferno 1921, Purgatorio 1930), to whom we also owe a version of the Quaestio, accompanied by an extensive commentary, as well as an important monograph (Dante, 1925). We also have translations by Ernst Carlsson Bredberg (Sonetti a Beatrice, 1948; Vita Nova, 1961). For Sweden 1996, please check pharmacylib.com.

This fervor of works testifies to how great the interest in D. has been in recent generations. Verner von Heidenstam (1895-1940), who declared D. superior to Shakespeare, was familiar with Dante’s works and drew inspiration from them several times; Selma Lagerlöf (1858-1940), Hjalmar Bergman (1883-1931), Per Hallström (1886-1960); Bo Bergman (1869-1967), who evoked the figure of D. in the poem En florentinerfantasi (A Florentine fantasy, 1917); Vilhelm Ekelund (1880-1949), who inlaid numerous Dante quotes in his aphorisms; Hjalmar Gullberg (1898- 1961), who in his Terziner i okonstens tid (Triplets of time without art, 1958) and in Ögon, läppar (Occhi, lips, 1959) not only masterfully used the Comedy meter, but paraphrased several of them steps, and in the poem Insnöad (Buried under the snow) he named D. and his poem.

Among the living beings who have read and were inspired by D. we remember the academics of Sweden, Pär Lagerkvist, Harry Martinsson, Gunnar Ekelöf and the poet Olof Lagerkrantz, author of Dante’s challenging essay Fraan helvetet till paradiset (From Hell to Heaven, 1964), who wrote in a poem from the Linjer collection (Lines, 1962): “In the middle of the journey of our life / it was me, and the underground kingdom / I crossed with the Master at my side”, an eloquent example of the actuality of D. in the Sweden of our days.

Sweden Dantesque Encyclopedia