Words of Wisdom:

"Never fear the otter, he will be silenced." - NewRaVer

Sweden

  • Date Submitted: 05/27/2010 02:12 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 38.4 
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Notwithstanding the fact that individual Swedish authors wrote essays during the 18th century, there was no organized effort then to further the genre in Sweden. To the brief list of 18th-century Swedish essays belongs Count Johan Thuresson Oxenstierna (1666-1733), whose Recueil de pensies du Comte J. O. sur divers sujets (1720-21; Collection of thoughts of Count Johan Oxenstierna on diverse subjects) attracted international attention. Oxenstierna has been referred to as "the Montaigne of the North"; the allusion is to the authors' similar choice of topics, their use of quotations, and the general disposition of their works. Pensées was printed 18 times in French, but it was not translated into Swedish until 1767.

Swedish-language epistles can first be identified with En gammal mans bref till en ung printz (1756; An old man's letter to a young prince) by Carl Gustaf Tessin (1695-1770). The Swedish-language tradition continued, mostly in the form of Spectator literature. Even before Olof von Dalin's Then Swänska Argus, Sweden could boast of Carl (1703-61) and Edvard (1704-67) Carleson's Sedolärande Mercurius (1730-31; Didactic Mercury). In both of these publications, the essays were usually character portrayals. Following the cessation of Then Swänska Argus, a number of Swedish moral weeklies appeared. Parallel with the moral weeklies emerged essays in the form of literary criticism. Den Swänska Mercurius (1755-61, 1763-65; The Swedish mercury) of Carl Christoffer Gjörwell (1731-1811) can be described as the beginning of Swedish literary criticism published on a daily basis and in brief essays.

The early 19th century is represented by P. D. A. Atterbom (1790-1855), Johan Erik Rydkvist (1800-77), and Louis Gerhard de Geer (1818-96). Rydkvist's journal Heimdall (1828-32) was English- and French-inspired at a time when the Swedish cultural climate was dominated by Germany. Associated with the familiar essay , and an admirer of Francis Bacon , de Geer produced...

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