Hagar Olsson

Olsson, Hagar


Born Sept. 16, 1893, in Kustavi. Finnish writer and literary critic writing in Swedish.

Olsson began writing in 1916. In 1922 she helped found the literary journal Ultra, published in Finnish and Swedish. Together with the poet E. Diktonius, she established Finno-Swedish modernism.

The hero of Olsson’s first expressionist novel, Mr. Jeremias Seeks an Illusion (1926), finds escape in death after vain efforts to become reconciled with reality. Olsson’s dramas deal with topical social problems, while such plays as The Robber and the Girl (1944) have mystical elements as well. The novel in the form of a legend The Engraver and Death (1940) and the fantastic short story “The Chinese Outing” (1949) are her best works.

Olsson’s later work was lyric in tone and dealt with problems common to mankind, as seen in the drama The Death of Love (1952).


Ny generation. Helsinki, 1925.
Chitambo. Helsinki, 1933.
Hemkomsl. Helsinki, 1961.
Drommar. Helsinki-Stockholm, 1966.
Ridturen: Noveller. Helsinki, 1968.


Maailman kirjat ja kirjailijat. Compiled by T. Anhava. Helsinki, 1957.
Laitinen, K. Suomen kirjallisuus, 1917–1967. Helsinki, 1970.


References in periodicals archive ?
Hagar Olsson: Pa Kanaanexpressen (In the Kanaan Express Train)
One year after the publication of Andre Breton's novel Nadja the Finnish author Hagar Olsson published her novel In the Kanaan Express Train (1929), a caleidoscopical composition, which "Knut Brynhildsvoll has called a photonovel." (Holmstrom 105) Both novels are remarkable because they include photos in the running text.
Initially appreciated by only one critic (Hagar Olsson) in a generally hostile critical climate, Sodergran eventually became a much-loved figure.