Sweden in the Early 1980s
Swedish politics were preoccupied with questioning the policy of neutrality, which had been in place since World War II, after a Soviet submarine ran aground near a Swedish naval base in 1981. The early 1980s in Sweden were also marked by the reelection of the socialist Social Democratic Party, which had been in power for forty-four years when a coalition of non-socialist parties won the election of 1976. An economic downturn led to a Social Democrat victory in 1982, and a return to the policies of the Swedish “welfare” state, which places a large emphasis on redistribution of wealth and an extensive network of social services. Schools, universities, health care, pensions, and various economic support schemes in Sweden were funded entirely through taxation.
Swedish Poetry after World War II
Until the mid-1960s, Swedish poetry was predominantly associated with high modernism and “formalism,” or poetry that placed an emphasis on structure and style as opposed to content. T. S. Eliot was one of the most influential critics and poets to espouse this view and, although it was rapidly going out of fashion in the years following World War II, it remained popular in Sweden for some years. By the 1960s, however, a younger generation of poets was emerging with a tendency to focus on political content and a directly engaging style. As Joanna Bankier writes in her literary biography of Tranströmer,...
(The entire section is 545 words.)