The Bullerby Books and Tradition

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The Bullerby Books and Tradition

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title The Bullerby Books and Tradition
Author(s) Sundmark, Björn
Date 2009
English abstract
The Bullerby series is one of Astrid Lindgren’s most autobiographical texts, and, among Swedes, one of the best loved. But among contemporary critics one can sometimes see an ambivalent attitude towards the perceived idealisation of Bullerby. The books are lauded for their popular appeal yet criticised for being unrealistic and setting a standard impossible to live up to. “The Bullerby village does not exist. Has it ever existed?” one critic asks rhetorically. Undeniably, Bullerby is far removed from contemporary culture – except as consumable nos-talgia – and it no doubt appears fictional and unrealistic to most Swedes: upholding as it does a norm which may be difficult to live up to. Indeed, it seems that “Bullerby” has become the received, idealised story of our forebears. However, as this article sets out to show, this is an anachronistic way of reading the Bullerby books. My argument is that by using a traditional, anti-modern, but essentially realistic genre, Lindgren sets up an alternative vision of the good society to that provided by modernity, and thus recuperates a past that at the time of writing (late 40’s – early 50’s) was being repressed and written out of history.
Publisher Svenska Barnboksinstitutet
Host/Issue Barnboken;1
ISSN 0347-772X
Pages 28-35
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::HUMANITIES and RELIGION::Aesthetic subjects::Literature
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