Friday, August 10, 2007

Stamp of the Day: Gösta Berlings Saga

Recently I was in an antique store in little Lafayette in northern New Jersey, and while looking around I found about 20 leatherbound books scattered in the store. They were all in Swedish and it was either Selma Lagerlöf or Maxim Gorky that had written them. Among them were Gösta Berlings Saga (Gösta Berling's Saga, in English), a famous book written in 1891 that I read a long, long time ago. It was Selma's first book, and instantly popular. The whole book is on-line in Swedish here.

The famous first sentence is: "Finally, the vicar was in the pulpit". Or in Swedish: "Äntligen stod prästen i predikstolen". Gösta was an alcoholic priest in Värmland and the book is about his interactions with an upperclass widow at a small ironworks inthe 1830s (I think it was ironworks, I might be wrong).

Today's stamp is of course Greta Garbo playing her role in the 1928 movie version of that tale.

After visiting the store, I had lunch at a cafe next door, and there they played Roxette's It must have been love on the radio. Old and New Swedish things, right here in New Jersey.


PP said...

whats Roxette?

LS said...

Roxette is a superfamous Swedish band from the 80s and they made that song. It is just pop, nothing you would really like, I think. The singer is Marie Fredriksson, and the only other member of the band is Per Gessle.

I can't remember any other songs they made, but since they were singing in English, most people don't know they are from Sweden.

EH said...

Swedes know they come from Sweden... =)

and you´ve herd other songs too in the US I think, like Dressed for success and Listen to your heart.

LS said...

I think those songs came out before I left Sweden. Wasn't this late 80s, early 90s?

EH said...

Yes thats right, I was on a concert in Stockholm 1988. Great to see them live, that was before they got world famous.