Harry Edmund Martinson

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Martinson, Harry Edmund

 

Born May 6, 1904, in Jamshog, Blekinge. Swedish writer, member of the Swedish Academy (1949).

Martinson is the son of a sailor and was himself a seaman. His first collection of verse was The Ghost Ship (1929). He was a member of the literary group known as the Five Youths, which proclaimed the principles of what was called primitivism. Characteristic of the collections Nature (1934), Trade Wind (1945), and Cicada (1953), written mainly in blank verse, is the striving for a philosophical understanding of nature. In the collection The Nomad (1931), books of travel accounts Aimless Journeys (1932) and Cape Farewell (1933), and the novel The Road (1948), he develops the Utopian idea of permanent vagrancy as the means for overcoming the evil of bourgeois civilization. He has published the autobiographical novels Flowering Nettle (1935; Russian translation, 1939) and The Way Out (1936). In the early 1940’s he developed a pessimistic view of technical progress, which in his opinion was endangering human existence (anti-utopian narrative poem Aniara, a Review of Man in Time and Space, 1956).

WORKS

Dikter. Stockholm, 1961.
Utsikt fran en grästuva. Stockholm, 1963.
Dikter om ljus och mörker. Stockholm [1971].
In Russian translation:
“Svobodnoe voskresen’e.” In the collection Shvedskaia novella XIX-XX vv. Moscow, 1964.

REFERENCES

Cederblad-Hansen, C. Tio kvdllar med Harry Martinson. Stockholm, 1957.
Wrede, J. Sangen om Aniara: Studier i Harry Martinsons tankevärld. Helsingfors, 1965.
Espmark, K. Harry Martinson erovrar sitt sprak. [Stockholm, 1970.]

A. A. MATSEVICH

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Swedish author Harry Martinson, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1974, left behind a large and distinguished body of work when he died in 1978.
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