Artur Nils Lundkvist

Lundkvist, Artur Nils


Born Mar. 3, 1906, in Oderljunga, Skåne Province. Swedish writer and social figure. Member of the Swedish Academy since 1968. Son of a peasant.

Lundkvist’s first collection of poetry was Heat (1928). He participated in the poetry group Fern unga (“the Five Young Ones”), which proclaimed the principles of “primitivism,” in the tradition of which were written the verse collections Black City (1930) and White Man (1932): in these works the striving for the truth of life breaks through the modernistic form. In the collection Naked Life (1929) the theme of the workers occupies an important place. The influence of Freudianism and French surrealism is felt in Lundkvist’s work of the second half of the 1930’s; in the novel The Rivers Flow Toward the Sea (1934) and the poetry collections Bridges of the Night (1936) and Song of the Siren (1937), motifs of loneliness and pessimism appear. In the late 1930’s and early 1940’s, Lundkvist wrote essays about the literature of France, the USA, and Latin America.

Modernist tendencies are characteristic of many of Lundkvist’s postwar poems and short stories, such as the fantastic parody Malinga (1952) and, to some extent, the novels Out of a Populated Solitude (1958) and The Experiences of Orian (1960). The poetry collection Life Like Grass (1954), the novels Vinding Waltz (1956) and Comedy in Hígerskog (1959), the collection of prose poems The Talking Tree (1960), the narrative poem Agadir (1961), and the collection of short stories Side by Side (1962) are characterized by an intensification of realistic tendencies and an interest in social problems.

Lundkvist has also written travel books, including Indian Fire (1950), Poppies of Tashkent (1952), and Volcanic Continent (1957; Russian translation, 1961) about South America. Lundkvist turned to national history in the novel The Life and Death of a Free Shooter (1968) and the epoch of Mongol conquests in the novel The Will of Heaven (1970). Lundkvist is the vice-president of the World Peace Council (since 1950). He was awarded the International Lenin Prize for the Strengthening of Peace Between Peoples in 1958.


Dikter, 1928-1954. Stockholm, 1956.
Texter i snön. Stockholm, 1964.
Mörkskogen. Stockholm, 1967.
Langt borta, mycket nära. Göteborg, 1970.
Antipodien. Stockholm, 1971.
Tvivla, korsfarare. Stockholm, 1972.
In Russian translation:
Govoriashchee derevo: Izbr. stikhi. Afterword by N. I. Krymova. Moscow, 1964. [“Rasskazy.”] In the collection Shvedskaia novella XIX-XX vv. Moscow, 1964.
Zhizn’ i smert’ vol’nogo strelka. Foreword by A. S. Kan. Moscow, 1972.


Afinogenova, A. A. “O poezii A. Lundkvista.” In Skandinavskii sbornik IX. Talinn, 1964.
Matsevich, A. “Artur Lundkvist—romanist.” Izvestiia AN SSSR: Seriia literatury i iazyka, 1967, issue 2.
Neustroev, V. P. “Shvedskaia literatura: A. Lundkvist.” In Istoriia zarubezhnoi literatury posle Oktiabr’skoi revoliutsii, part one. [Moscow] 1969.
Besök i barndomen. Edited by Åke Lindström. Stockholm, 1956.
Espmark, K. Livsdyrkaren A. Lundkvist. Stockholm, 1964.