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The Games of Night by Stig Dagerman

The Games of Night (1947)

by Stig Dagerman

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1021118,402 (4)4



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I’ve read embarrassingly little by Dagerman, one of the great Swedish modernists - especially since his work seems so much like exactly what I loved about literature in my early twenties. Indeed, I think the fact that Dagerman is the kind of writer to appeal to young people – angsty, existential and mystic – has sometimes given him a sturm und drang label that is a bit unfair. Much like that thin, dark jewish clerk from Prague by the way, who obviously influenced him a lot.

The Games of might is a collection of short stories, starting out in psychological realism but moving into a more and more strange landscape as the book progresses: expressionistic and sometimes surreal. Most of the stories are very good, and I have favorites of very different kinds. “Var är min Islandströja?” is probably the most well known in this collection, and this inner monologue by a young man getting drunk the night before his father’s funeral, even though he promised not to, is really a masterpiece. I also loved the enigmatic puzzle that was “Mannen from Milesia”, a strange tale about falling to the bottom of society that reminded me of a David Lynch film. The story about a man suddenly losing all his friends due to his son taking up smoking a meerschaum pipe was deliciously odd too, and the story about the child punishing a friend for eating a sandwich he didn’t even want is heart-wrenching. A few stories are slippery and over-stylized though, and I never find my way into them.

All in all, I’m very glad I finally got around to reading this. But I suppose I would have loved it even more if I’d read it twelve years ago – when I bought this book… ( )
2 vote GingerbreadMan | Dec 30, 2011 |
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stig Dagermanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Meyer, MichaelIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Walford, NaomiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Ibland om kvällarna när modern gråter i rummet och bara obekanta steg slamrar i trapporna har Åke en lek han leker istället för att gråta.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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