Martinson, Harry

Martinson, Harry, 1904–78, Swedish writer. Orphaned early, Martinson was self-educated. His works reveal his appreciation of nature and his distrust of modern technological society. He is best known for his long narrative poem Aniara (1956), about the journey of a spaceship. It was set to music in 1959 by K. B. Blomdahl. Noted for their novel, expressive style, his major works include Kap Farväl! [Cape Farewell] (1933), based on his travels; several volumes of poetry, Nässlorna blomma [flowering nettle] (1936); and Vägen till Klockricke (1948, tr. The Road, 1956), a sympathetic portrayal of society's outcasts. Martinson was the first writer of the working classes to be admitted to the Swedish Academy. He shared the 1974 Nobel Prize in Literature with the Swedish writer Eyvind Johnson. A collection of Martinsson's poems, tr. by William Jay Smith and Leif Sjöberg, was published as Wild Bouquet (1985).

See study by L. Sjöberg (1974).

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