I'm reading the new biography of Gunnar Björling - ”My language is not in the words,” and snorts to myself. Streckar in with the pencil, make a note in the margin. The townspeople, savior and genius, växelryttare, Helsingforsprofet, dadaist and one of the biggest of the finland-Swedish modernists. Perhaps the largest.
For me, Björling of course always ended up in second place after Edith Södergran. Also, the other big modernistnamnen as Elmer Diktonius and Henry Parland, I have had a closer relationship to. Björling, I have read, but it often bothered me. He is an elusive jumping jack with his strange, angular language, which he purposefully pure. But it is also precisely these qualities that made him the way he was, a poet in his own right, an artist with an integrity that was absolutely.
there are many who hold him as the greatest. His language resembles no other. The elements of the underlying comedy is masterful. One suspects often a grinning countenance of his poems.
(the Cross and the promise, 1925)
The finland-Swedish literary scholar Frederick Herzberg is one of the most prominent experts in his field. His book ”My language is not in words”, as last year, came out on the Appeal to the publishers and the society of Swedish literature in Finland, is the first major biography of Björling. I devour it.
was born in a Russian grand duchy, and died in the independent democracy Finland, after having witnessed three wars. Hertzberg describes a poet who was bourgeois and impoverished, tysksinnad and antinazist, a writer, brought the scandals with his poems, however, brought with the old-fashioned sirlighet in a social context.
In the civil war he supported the whites, something which attracted some attention among contemporary Swedish worker-writer. Björling was both antinazist and antibolsjevik. His aversion toward the authoritarian system was instinctive.
Björling was also växelryttare, which meant that he lived on the equivalent to the vip-loans - short-term loans at high interest rates. In order to finance the repayment was Björling had to take a new loan. Interest grew in interest and Björling was constantly without money.
he wrote in a letter during the inter-war period in 1940.
financial distress is a useful lesson in the author's living conditions. While I read, sometimes my thoughts several times to the scandal surrounding Katarina Frostenson pension, which she managed to obtain the release of the Swedish Academy. Björling was reduced to writing begging letters to patrons and apply for meagre grants.
Gunnar Björling wrote poems nevertheless wrote again and again. In between he fell he around in bekantkretsen to get reluctant friends to write on his bills. He loved to sit on the Helsingforscaféer and surrounded himself with a large group of finland-Swedish and Finnish intellectuals. The book is a thorough review of the finland-Swedish intelligentsia in the 1920s, 30's and 40's. These circuits was attended often by the Swedish author, who felt Björling as extremely eccentric and talented, behjärtansvärd and "strange".
during a time when homosexual relations were prohibited in the law. He could never live out their sexuality in public, and his unhappy loves are described in several places in the book. In his poems, depicting the Björling sometimes, indirectly, of their predicament and vulnerability.
(her Debut book, ”Resting day”, 1922)
I read. It is cut in the heart.
at the same time, I feel so wonderful to be uplifted by this book. Of tidsskildringen, of the momentum in order to opt, of egensinnigheten, of Björling's absolute solidarity with the literature and his strong integrity against both the fascist Lapporörelsen and the bolsheviks.
of nationalism and småskurenhet that for a few hours to settle down in Björling's, minimal, smoky, and probably quite smelly basement room in the Park, covered with books, clippings, and notes from the floor-to-ceiling windows. In 1944 it went forever up in smoke in the soviet bombing of Helsinki. But Björling's word lives.