Selma Lagerlöf – The saga of Gösta Berling


A big little epic of the North

How to cope with the weight and the beauty of four hundred pages of pure poetry? Only by arming yourself with patience. Nothing is what it seems under the frozen skies of the mysterious north, where good and evil confront each other until they blend together on more than one occasion. So who are Gösta Berling and the ineffable knights of Ekeby? Are they a congregation of crackpots, whose naïve lack of scruples turns into treachery or rather, due to dark divine designs, into its contrary? What are women? Are they alluring witches or angels? Over the course of one long year, through chapters which can each be read as individual accomplished stories, the Lake people’s cycle of redemption is completed. A collection of fairy tales, a parable, a poem: the genre of this work is indefinable. Fascinating.

Translation by Barbara Pellegrini (edited by Roma O’Flaherty)