Swedish Novelist Selma Lagerlöf (1858-1940) and Germany at the Turn of the Century: “O Du Stern Ob Meinem Garten”

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An examination of the literary impact Selma Lagerlöf had on German authors of the time. It also clearly sheds new light on Selma Lagerlöf, as well as other notable German authors such as Franz Kafka, Bertolt Brecht, Gerhardt Hauptmann, Nelly Sachs, Ina Seidel and Gustav Frenssen. This book will be of great value to those in the fields of Scandinavian, German and Comparative literature.


“I once reviewed a bibliography of Swedish literature in German translation from 1830-1980, and made up my own “top-ten” list based on the number of pages an author took up in the bibliography. If memory serves, Selma Lagerlöf came in third after August Strindberg and Astrid Lindgren ... Professor Watson's claim that Selma Lagerlöf has been a key influence on German letters is thoroughly justified. The specifics of this influence were unknown to me until I read Professor Watson's book. The connections between Lagerlöf and some of the most important writers in 20th Century Germany will interest scholars in both Scandinavia and Germany. Few Germanists take the time to learn a Scandinavian language and orient themselves in the literary history of Scandinavia, despite the fact that Nordic writers have had a significant impact on German letters since before the turn of the century. This book will be a valuable resource for scholars interested in Brecht, Kafka, Sachs, Hauptmann, for example, who do not have the requisite language skills ... Professor Watson's book presents new information, is thoroughly researched, and clearly written. It is certainly worthy of publication.” – Susan Brantly, Professor and Chair of Scandinavian Studies, University of Wisconsin – Madison

Table of Contents

1. A Star Above Germany’s Garden
2. Selma Lagerlöf and Germany
3. Seidel’s “Gösta Berling”: A Romantic Love Story
4. Brecht’s “Gösta Berling”: A Gegenentwurf
5. Hauptmann’s Winterballade: A Psychological Investigation
6. Frenssen’s Jörn Uhl: A German Gösta Berling saga
7. Kafka’s ‘Die Verwandlung”: An Anti-Märchen
8. Sach'sEarly Prose: A Tribute to Lagerlöf

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