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Par Lagerkvist

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Has anyone here read anything by Par Lagerkvist. I had never heard of him before, but I started reading a collection of his short stories not long ago, and am already almost complete with everything he's written.

While reading his books, it occured to me that many of his stories would make great ballets, literal or abstract. Most of his short stories and novels have a sort of fairy-tale feel to them, but also deal with very important subjects, almost political even.

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The Sybil is one of my all time favorite books; I resisted reading anything else for fear it would "spoil" him for me, and succumbed to Barabas, and I was right. Not that Barabas wasn't a good book, but I found the Sybil to be so absolutely transcendant that anything else was a let down. My fault.

I'm not sure yet how I feel about ballets. I have a feeling from the two novels of such grim endurance and stubborn resignation that it seems all wrong for dance, but I think that may be just a reaction from 8 Nutcrackers in the last two weeks (can there be a ballet without Mother Ginger? Surely not!)

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I'm reading The Sybil right now. I'm definitely enjoying it, and it's very well written, but it's a lot different from Lagerkvist's other books I've read so far. I didn't read Barabas just because of the description on the back of the book. it sounded too depressing for me. His most well known book is probably The Dwarf, and it's also my favorite of his novels. I really liked The Marriage Feast, which is a bunch of his short stories, some really short, and most of them share the same macabre undertone. When I read his stories, even though his writing is very literal and easy to understand, I get the feeling he's not always saying what he seems to be saying.

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