Olsson, Berndt; Ingemar Algulin Litteraturens historia i Sverige. References In a broader sense, The Dwarf is a brilliant parable outlining major evils of humanity, as told by the dwarf, an outsider and completely evil himself. Each character demonstrates various vices and foibles: The prince, devious, murderous, and hypocritical, The princess is self-centered, adulterous, naive, and foolishly religious. Bernardo a Da Vinci type , a sycophant who shows the dark side of science, diverting his art and skill for killing.
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He received a traditional religious education — he would later say, with little exaggeration, that he "had had the good fortune to grow up in a home where the only books known were the Bible and the Book of Hymns". In his teens he broke away from Christian beliefs, but, unlike many other writers and thinkers in his generation, he did not become vehemently critical of religious beliefs as such. Though he was politically a socialist for most of his life, he never indulged in the idea that "religion is the opium of the people".
Much of his writing is informed by a lifelong interest in man and his symbols and gods and in the position of Man both as individual and mankind in a world where the Divine is no longer present, no longer speaking. His anguish was derived from his fear of death, the World War , and personal crisis.
He tried to explore how a person can find a meaningful life in a world where a war can kill millions for very little reason. From The Eternal Smile on, his style largely abandoned the expressionist pathos and brusque effects of his early works and there was a strong striving for simplicity, classical precision and clean telling, sometimes appearing close to naivism.
The content, however, was never truly naive. A Swedish critic remarked that "Lagerkvist and John the Evangelist are two masters at expressing profound things with a highly restricted choice of words". The novel is based on a Biblical story. Jesus of Nazareth was sentenced to die by the Roman authorities immediately before the Jewish Passover , when it was customary for the Romans to release someone convicted of a capital offense.
When the Roman procurator Pontius Pilate offers to free either Jesus or Barabbas a convicted thief and murderer , a Jerusalem mob demands the release of Barabbas, who later watches Jesus as he bears the cross to Golgotha, witnesses the crucifixion, and then spends the rest of his life trying to understand why he was chosen to live rather than Jesus. A movie based upon the novel was filmed in , with Anthony Quinn playing the title role.
Lagerkvist died in Stockholm in at the age of 83, his wife having died in
[PDF] The Dwarf Book by Par Lagerkvist Free Download (228 pages)
Shelves: literature , scandinavian-lit , nobel-prize May be 4 and half stars. I can speak much about this novel. That itself is a warning I give to myself. For I will be tending to blabber and bore the hell out of the reader. So instead, let me try to be precise with my observations and impressions by ordering them in neat points. This is my fifth book by Lagerkvist. And unlike the other books, the theme of religion is not extensively treated in this one.
There is a reference to Santa Croce being in the immediate surroundings, but this is possibly mixed up with the Basilica di Santa Croce di Firenze , so the story could actually be set in Florence. In this way aspects of all these historical places and people are mixed into the background of the novel. The dwarf is the narrator, obviously obsessed with writing down his experiences in a form of diary. Everything in the novel is described from his viewpoint, mostly in retrospect, ranging from a few hours or minutes to several weeks or months after the actual events. He hates almost every person at the court except for the prince who is the ruler of the city-state , rather king than prince , or rather aspects of him. He loves war, brutality and fixed positions. While almost all other characters of the novel develop during the chain of events, the dwarf does not change.