Other Literary Forms
Carl Jonas Love Almqvist is known primarily for his fiction and nonfiction. His major works, including his plays, were organized within a frame narrative called Törnrosens bok (the book of the friar rose), which he published in two editions: The fourteen volumes of the duodecimo edition appeared between 1832 and 1851 and the imperial octave edition’s three volumes between 1839 and 1850. Inspired by a characteristically romantic aspiration toward an organic unity among the genres and probably also by frame narratives such as Alf layla wa-layla (15 c.e.; The Arabian Nights’ Entertainments, 1706-1708), Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron: O, Prencipe Galetto (1349-1351; The Decameron, 1620), and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Unterhaltungen deutscher Ausgewanderten (1795; Conversations of German Emigrants, 1854), Almqvist combined stories and fairy tales, novels and novellas, dramatic and lyric pieces, treatises and lectures, tracts and speeches, and essays on a wide range of sociopolitical, economic, and religious topics in his Törnrosens bok. These works are not connected thematically and bridge two movements in Swedish literature, Romanticism and realism. However, Almqvist succeeds in creating an organic whole, which has unity despite its heterogeneity, and ambivalence. A firm supporter of liberalism in Swedish society and in education, Almqvist also published a series of influential textbooks in science and grammar books in Swedish, Greek, and French.