The rapid socio-economic transformation of Sweden in the last twenty years is accompanied by a literature that has characters very similar to those of contemporary European and American literature. It can be said that since 1920 two fundamental tendencies have dominated: one realistic-social can ideally be traced back to the ideology of 80’s naturalism, the other regionalistic (Hembygdsskildring) and peasant may derive from the aestheticism of the 90s. Both reveal, both in the lyric and in the novel, ambitions of violent reaction to all forms of the past (symptomatic is the renewed relevance of the naturalist and mystic Strindberg, and the misoneistic attitude of conservative critics such as J. Landquist, F. Böök, M. Lamm) for which the spirit of the new art, if in part overcomes the one-sidedness of the taste of the past, then leads to opposing one-sidedness. The most significant example of this is the debut of five young poets (Fem unga, Five young people, 1929) “proletarians”: A. Lundqvist, E. Asklund, I. Kjellgren, H. Martinsson, G. Sandgren, with a program between futurist and vitalist, hostile to the conservatism of university science, to the coveted rhetoric of the great nineteenth-century Swedish writers and the tyranny of syntactic and metric laws. Inspired by postwar American and English literature, particularly Sweden Anderson and DH Lawrence, they proclaim the cult of sexual freedom, of the primitive, of the subconscious (from 1933 to 1934 the head of the movement, Lundqvist, founded and directed together with the surrealist G Ekelöv the Karavan magazinewhere, with knowledge of Jung’s theories and on the example of André Breton, automatism is preached as the principle of poetic creation), of the machine “which contains a new, not liberated poem and is the symbol of a form of life not yet reached “(Lundqvist) and profess a vague Communist sympathy. But apart from a few noteworthy single works (H. Martinsson, Resor utan mål, Travel without a goal, 1932; A. Lundqvist, Glöd, Ardore, 1930) this current of thought (which had parallel developments in the novels of Krusenstjerna, 1894-1940), although justifiable in its innovative intentions, soon became sterile and trivialized in the unilateral overestimation of a single moment of the spirit.
In contrast to the sensualistic naturalism of the “proletarian” poets who without academic studies, from practical life or from radical journalism, came to the world of culture, he contributed to restore the sense of the spirituality of poetry together with P. Lagerqvist, H. Gullberg. A refined and learned humanist, an open enemy of every form of collectivism, in a tone of conversation, calm, ironic and allusive, he was able to brilliantly overshadow his mystical-religious sentiment of life.
There are many names that deserve a mention after that of Gullberg: from B. Bergman elegiac and Parnassian mystic to the idyllic B. Sjöberg, from the meek and religious R. Jändel to the eclectic Sweden Selander, from E. Lindorm to F. Blomberg, from FG Eengtson to K. Ek, from H. Löwenhjelm to B. Malmberg, to the Finnish-Swedish Zilliacus and GM Silverstolpe, and others, virtuosos of form and tender idyllic, easy versifiers and intimate harvests. Important figures among young people are in the lyric J. Edfeldt (born in 1904) and N. Ferlin (En döddansares visor, Canzoni macabre, 1930; Barfotabarn, Bimbi scalzi, 1933) in which echoes of Fröding’s poetry are merged with a gaunt tone by Dan Andersson to reflect the tragic everyday life of today (Goggles, 1938); nevertheless he is an artist still susceptible to changes, because he is tied to an impressionistic way of his own from which he visibly tends to free himself.
In prose, FG Bengtson has been and is much discussed, whose parody of the Viking adventure novel, a singular essay on Swedish “escapism”, Röde Orm (Orm the Red, 1941) has met with the approval of official critics; E. Johnson, originally belonging to the Marxist and Freudian “proletarian” literature, who, with cold intelligence not separated from a repressed human pathos, reflects in his novels (Krilon, 1941; Strändernas svall, The Undertow, 1946) the chaotic and bloody reality of the events connected with the Second World War (to which also works such as Kallocain by K. Boye; Trägudars land, The land of idols, by J. Fridegård; Dvärgen, The dwarf, by Lagerqvist); V. Moberg (b.1898) author of strongly biased social and rural novels (Raskens, 1927; Rid i natt, A horse tonight, 1943). O. Hedberg, ironic moralist endowed with remarkable narrative virtues (Stopp, tänk på något annat, Alt! Think of something else !; Får jag be om räknin gen, The bill please, 1937; Ut med blondinerna, Out of the blondes, 1939); Jan Fridegård (b. 1897), I. Lo Johansson (b. 1901), H. Beijer (b. 1896), K. Boye (1900-1941), L. Ahlin, D. Edqvist and others. On the other hand, the extreme sensitivity and restlessness, the assiduous search for an internal balance through the most varied and complex spiritual experiences, is a common feature of the entire last generation of Swedish writers.
According to APARENTINGBLOG.COM, this multiplicity of addresses and literary trends is accompanied by a copious journalistic and critical production; the latter of a decidedly positivist imprint, perhaps because Sweden lacked a historical-speculative tradition from which the new methodology could arise. Masters such as H. Schück, M. Lamm, G. Castrén, O. Sylwan belong to the scholarly and comparative criticism; to the psychologizing one of the romantic type RG son Berg, O. Holmberg and F. Böök (the latter, however, endowed with a happy and balanced intuition). Alongside, and mostly in contrast with these who are the greatest representatives of academic criticism (other notable ones could be added such as K. Hagberg, I. Harrie, K. Strömberg, H. Söderhjelm, H. Ahlenius) Marxist (A. Ljungdahl, Sweden Ahlgren), journalism and controversy of little importance in spite of the noise of its revolutionary attitudes; and Iion has not even lacked in a critical-philosophical context some single attempt to study the problems of art (H. Larsson) also on the basis of the Croatian aesthetic thought (N. Svanberg).