“Everything great that ever happened in this world happened first in somebody’s imagination.” Astrid Lindgren. Over those difficult times for creative writers, emerging Illustrators and indipendent librarians recalling the achievements and most of all the human heritage of this Swden writer.
All contents that will follow are reported from the official Astrid Lindgren’s official website.
Astrid Lindgren’s interest in the world around her began early in her life. She had her roots deeply planted in the Småland soil and in Vimmerby, but in her teens she was already developing a curiosity for the world around her, and for the people outside her little hometown. She devoured whatever books she could lay her hands on and through her reading formed impressions of various places around the world.
This curiosity for the world outside Sweden was indulged when a few years after the War, she travelled to USA on a journalistic tour for Damernas Värld (a Swedish women’s magazine). Her depiction of the oppression suffered by the black population in USA is sharp and deeply critical ( Kati in America ) and is an example of the empathy which Astrid Lindgren always had for those who suffer, wherever they are in this world.
She had a rare ability to be genuinely interested in people and their situation irrespective of where they came from. She couldn’t help but get involved in people’s circumstances, real or as she imagined them to be, and then write about all this with both humour and seriousness so that everybody else would also be given the opportunity to see what she saw. Perhaps this is one of the explanations as to why her books are being read all over the world.
Astrid has said that she writes for “the child within her”. She has simply been storing up the memories and feelings from her own
childhood and conveyed these to others through her stories. She has written for children “who create miracles when they read”, as she
herself expressed it.
The archived literary works of Astrid Lindgren is probably the most extensive left by any single Swedish person. Estimated to occupy 150 linear metres of shelving, it is today housed in the National Library in Stockholm. In 2005, the archive was admitted into the UNESCO World Heritage List, which gives it a status of something worth keeping for humanity at large.
The archive includes book manuscripts, film- and theatre-scripts, articles, shorthand notes, a very large collection of letters from readers of all ages spread around the world, as well as press clippings, photos and many other things. There is, however, only a limited number of letters written by Astrid Lindgren herself, since she seldom kept any copies of her many letters.
Cataloguing of all the material is estimated to continue until the end of 2010. The archive is nowadays open for research.
Astrid Lindgren was well read herself, which is reflected in her works. Her home in Dalagatan is filled with bookshelves, and even at the summer house in Furusund there were plenty of books. Altogether, the collection of books amounts to more than 4,200 titles.
All these books – those at Dalagatan as well as those transferred from Furusund to the National Library in Stockholm – have been catalogued in the national database: http://libris.kb.se/
Hope you’ll always have the time to get inspired by authors like her.