Ahlin, Lars [key], 1915–97, Swedish novelist. Ahlin's works are marked by great creative vitality, psychological realism, and a concern with spiritual values. His first novel, Tåbb med manifestet [Tåbb with the manifesto] (1943), portrays an unemployed man whose growing disenchantment with Communism leads to a spiritual search. Although Ahlin's novel Om [if] (1946) was criticized for narrative meandering and excessive religious theorizing, Kanelbiten (1953, tr. Cinnamoncandy, 1990) won him critical acclaim. During the next few decades his literary output declined sharply. The novel Hannibal segraren [Hannibal the conqueror] (1983), which he wrote with Gunnel Ahlin, his wife, was followed by the autobiographical novel Sjätte munnen [the sixth mouth] (1985). His baring of human foibles and self-deceptions and his vision of life as bizarre are reminiscent of Dostoyevsky.
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