Other literary forms

(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

The first novel published by Selma Lagerlöf (LAH-gur-lurv), Gösta Berling’s Saga, is a cycle of stories with a common setting and a shared cast of characters; short stories, particularly tales drawn from oral traditions of her native Värmland, are Lagerlöf’s most characteristic form. Lagerlöf published several volumes of stories, and two of her works, The Treasure and the trilogy The Ring of the Löwenskölds, could be classified as tales. Two of Lagerlöf’s major story collections, Osynliga länkar (1894; Invisible Links, 1899) and Drottningar i Kungahälla (1899; From a Swedish Homestead, 1901; also in The Queens of Kungahälla, and Other Sketches, 1917), followed the publication of her first novel. In Invisible Links, Lagerlöf relies on plots from Swedish folk legends. The Queens of Kungahälla is based on the Norwegian royal sagas—the Heimskringla (twelfth century) and others—that record the careers and legends of medieval Scandinavian kings. Lagerlöf has presented these well-known stories from the point of view of the women in them.

Lagerlöf is also the author of the classic of Swedish children’s literature, Nils Holgerssons underbara resa genom Sverige (1906-1907; The Wonderful Adventures of Nils, 1907; The Further Adventures of Nils, 1911). Commissioned by the National Teachers’ Association of Sweden,...

(The entire section is 488 words.)