cover image Short Stories

Short Stories

Hjalmar Soderberg, Author, Carl Lofmark, Translator Norvik Press $19.95 (154p) ISBN 978-1-870041-03-4

Soderberg (1869-1941) has a considerable reputation in Sweden for his essays, reviews, novels, plays and short stories, and this collection of 26 tales covers a wide range of topics, including philosophy, religion, politics and the gamut of human emotions and experiences. Simple, poignant fairy tale-like stories are timeless in their appeal. ``The Fur Coat'' illustrates how a poor man believes that the borrowed garment will lend him self-confidence and the respect of others; instead, he discovers his spouse's infidelity with a wealthy man. ``The Chimney-Sweep's Wife'' depicts how a cold, jealous woman sets out to destroy the young love blooming between her stepson and his girlfriend. Soderberg was an active participant in the public debate of political, social and moral questions. ``Patriarch Papinianus'' is an indictment of the establishment, including the Church, and a defense of Dreyfus, a contemporary. Soderberg's style is highly metaphoric and much concerned with moral principles and problems, as in ``A Dog Without a Master,'' in which a dog's mourning for his master represents man's sorrow upon losing faith in God. Terse and precise in detail and imagery, these stories will familiarize Americans with Soderberg's work. Lofmark is a German professor at the University of Wales. (June)