This story is a part of a new series exploring the world via books. We’ve requested a few of our favourite writers to advocate studying that helps you get to know their cities and tips about literary landmarks to take a look at. We’ll be touring the world with them for the subsequent few months, from Madrid to Mexico Metropolis to Istanbul and past. Sign up for the Books newsletter to be sure you don’t miss any stops!
To start with, allow us to make it clear to everybody who has learn our books that Stockholm is a really secure metropolis, often utterly with out serial killers. However our capital will not be innocent — no less than not in literature.
Authors have written in regards to the mild of snow and the winter darkness within the alleys, the melancholy of the quick summer season and the disappointment of the autumn. Because of crime writers from Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö and past, there’s most likely not a avenue or park within the metropolis the place a fictitious homicide has not been dedicated (and we acknowledge our intensive contribution).
Stockholm is located within the passage between considered one of Sweden’s largest lakes and the Baltic Sea and has been settled because the Ice Age. The Riddarholmen Church, from the thirteenth century, is the oldest utterly preserved constructing right here. It’s surrounded by medieval buildings, which in flip are surrounded by lovely homes and theaters from the nineteenth century.
Though Stockholm is among the most fashionable cities on the earth (for instance, we don’t use cash), the previous is at all times current. We dwell on Oden Road. Close to us, within the sq. subsequent to the Royal Palace, the Stockholm Massacre came about in 1520, when about 100 aristocrats have been executed. The superb warship Vasa, which sank after touring simply 1,400 yards on her maiden voyage in 1628, might be seen intact on the Royal Nationwide Metropolis Park. The well-preserved metropolis of Birka, a Viking-age buying and selling heart, could be very shut by, and lots of gods from Previous Norse mythology, reminiscent of Thor, are buried — in line with custom — within the close by metropolis of Uppsala.
Authors have at all times been drawn to this metropolis, which is the house of Sweden’s main publishers, the Nobel Prize and the Royal Dramatic Theater. That is the place artists collect; the place music is created; the place movie productions with Greta Garbo, Ingrid Bergman and Ingmar Bergman took off as soon as upon a time; and the place David Fincher shot the American version of “The Lady With the Dragon Tattoo.”
What ought to I learn earlier than I pack my baggage?
If you may get your arms on “Fredman’s Epistles and Songs” you’ll get a glance straight into the Swedish soul, if there’s such a factor. The writer, Carl Michael Bellman, is our personal burlesque, tragic, poetic model of Shakespeare.
One other warm-up studying tip is a novel by Selma Lagerlöf, the primary lady to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, in 1909: “Thy Soul Shall Bear Witness,” a ghost story a couple of very dangerous man who dies on New Yr’s Eve. He’s the final individual to die that 12 months, and is doomed to hold the souls of the useless in his cart till he finds forgiveness and tries to fix what he has damaged.
What books or authors ought to I deliver together with me?
“Physician Glas,” by Hjalmar Söderberg, is an iconic learn — a basic e-book that’s related for brand spanking new generations of readers repeatedly, with its cocktail of perversions, oppression of sexuality, homicide and melancholy within the metropolis of Stockholm. You possibly can even take an “audio walk” of “Physician Glas ” whenever you arrive, the place you hearken to the e-book on the actual locations which might be described in it.
If I’ve no time for day journeys, what books can take me there as an alternative?
The superb archipelago of Stockholm, with all its islands, seashores, cliffs, eating places and sailboats, is admittedly value no less than a day. In Sweden now we have what we name the everyman’ s proper, which is most people’s entry to wilderness, whether or not it’s public or privately owned land, granted by our structure. Chances are you’ll camp and fish nearly anyplace you need.
However in case you don’t have the time, learn “Harbor” by John Ajvide Lindqvist, the writer of “Let the Proper One In” and our personal Swedish Stephen King. “Harbor” is ready within the archipelago and has all the nice substances you want for a horror story.
What audiobook would make for good firm whereas I stroll round?
Why not a e-book by the Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer? He gained the Nobel Prize in 2011 and is taken into account a contemporary icon. His poetry appears easy, nevertheless it opens doorways to the enigma that life is.
Who’re the literary icons I would see named on avenue indicators, statues or public monuments?
August Strindberg’s ghost walks the streets of Stockholm. There’s a large statue of the misogynistic, hateful, legendary however good writer, who wrote the novel “The Purple Room” and the naturalistic play “Miss Julie,” within the Tegnérlunden park, and his phrases are quoted on the asphalt of Drottninggatan, the road the place he lived over the past years of his life in a constructing generally known as the Blue Tower. In the event you can, you must go to: Standing there Strindberg’s desk, together with his pens, papers and books, offers writers a sure acquainted feeling of self-discipline, desires and isolation.
What literary pilgrimage vacation spot — an writer’s dwelling or favored ingesting gap, an unimaginable bookstore, an actual web site of fictional inspiration — would you advocate?
The Nobel Prize banquet is held yearly at Stockholm Metropolis Corridor, a lovely constructing by the water in the midst of the town. Within the cellar of the restaurant Stadshuskällaren you’ll be able to attempt any of the dinners that have been served at previous banquets since 1901. Possibly you’d wish to attempt the dinner served when Ernest Hemingway was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954: smoked trout with cream-stewed spinach; beef tenderloin with artichokes, truffles and mushrooms; and pear with pistachio ice cream and chocolate sauce. Simply keep in mind to e-book your go to prematurely.
On Dalagatan, a avenue in our a part of the city, you’ll be able to go to the standard house of Astrid Lindgren, who wrote “Pippi Longstocking” and lots of different legendary kids’s books.
The Nationwide Library has constructed an area deep beneath the bottom that’s a precise copy of the house of the poet Nelly Sachs, who gained the Nobel Prize in 1966. Visiting her “cabin” — an completely small place the place she sat and wrote within the darkness, making an attempt to not disturb her unwell mom — could be very transferring and unusually chilling.
What’s a great place to curve up with a e-book?
The Home of Tradition is a modernist assembly place in the midst of the town with artwork exhibitions, cafes and eating places, theater, music and a global writers’ scene that has drawn authors reminiscent of Jonathan Franzen, Richard Ford, Margaret Atwood, Susan Faludi, Emma Cline, Philip Pullman, Hilary Mantel, Paul Auster, John Irving, Joyce Carol Oates and Dennis Lehane. It’s, in a manner, a socialistic imaginative and prescient of how tradition doesn’t want grand salons or bourgeois interiors, and is the results of a need to deliver tradition to the place staff and households cross by each day. Anybody can stroll in, curl up with a e-book, have a espresso, play some chess or go to an exhibition.