Bergman, Hjalmar

Bergman, Hjalmar

(yäl`mär bĕr`yəmän), 1883–1931, Swedish novelist, dramatist, and short-story writer. A popular and prolific writer, Bergman wrote from the background of an unhappy childhood and chronic mental depression. His works are characterized by insight into the ambivalence of human emotions. Bergman's individual style combines a basically pessimistic view with ironic humor, as in the play Swedenhielms [the Swedenhielm family] (1925) and the novels God's Orchid (1919, tr. 1924) and The Head of the Firm (1924, tr. 1936).

Bibliography

See his Four Plays (tr. 1968); study by E. H. Linder (1975).

Bergman, Hjalmar

 

Born Sept. 19, 1883, in Örebro; died Jan. 1, 1931, in Berlin. Swedish writer.

Bergman studied history and philosophy at the University of Uppsala and in Italy. His first published work, the drama Mary, Mother of Jesus, came out in 1905. He wrote the so-called Bergslagen cycle of novels (named for an industrial region of Sweden). The Bergslagen novels include His Grace’s Will (1910), Memoirs of the Deceased (1918), God’s Orchid (1919; Russian translation, 1959), Thy Rod and Thy Staff (1921), The Head of the Firm (1924), and The Kerrmans in Paradise (1927). In these novels realism is combined with fantasy, psychologism, satire, and grotesque humor. Bergman’s novel The Clown Jac (1930) depicts the tragic fate of the artist in the bourgeois world. Bergman is the author of the satiric plays The Swedenhielms (1925), The Dollar (1926), The Rabble (1928), and others.

WORKS

Samlade skrifter, vols. 1–30. Stockholm, 1949–58.
In Russian translation:
Rasskazy. In the collection Shvedskaia Novella XIX-XX vv. Moscow, 1964.

REFERENCES

Levander, H. Hjalmar Bergman. Stockholm, 1957.
Ek. S. Verklighet och vision. Stockholm, 1964.

A. A. MATSEVICH

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