Erik Gustaf Geijer

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Geijer, Erik Gustaf

 

Born Jan. 12, 1783, in Ransäter, Värmland; died Apr. 23, 1847, in Stockholm. Swedish historian, philosopher, poet, and composer. Professor at the University of Uppsala (1817-46). Representative of Swedish romanticism and the cultural nationalism movement (Gothicism).

Geijer’s historical works (Feudalism and Republicanism, 1818-19, Annals of the State of Sweden, 1825, and The History of the Swedes, vols. 1-3, 1832-36), as well as his literary works, which were written from a romantic point of view, are characterized by a complicated interplay of conservative and democratic tendencies. He was the head of the literary Gothic Society. Geijer sought to revive the heroic spirit of ancient Scandinavia (The Viking, The Yeoman, and The Last Skald, 1811), and he used fantastic motifs from Swedish folklore (for example, The Charcoal Burner’s Son, 1815). He set some of his own poems to music, and they have become popular songs. As a politician Geijer first held conservative views, but in the late 1830’s he shifted to liberal views.

WORKS

Samlade skrifter, vols. 1-13. Stockholm, 1923-31.

REFERENCES

Tolstoi, L. L. Sovremennaia Shvetsiia v pis’makh-ocherkakh i illiustratsiiakh. Moscow, 1900.
Myslivchenko, A. G. “Evoliutsiia mirovozzreniia E. G. Geiera.” In Tezisy dokladov Vsesoiuznoi konferentsii po istorii, ekonomike, iazyku i literature skandinav skikh stran i Finliandii, part 1. Petrozavodsk, 1968. Pages 127-30.
Landquist, J. Geijer, en levnadsteckning. Stockholm, 1954.

A. A. MATSEVICH