Category: Literary Criticism
This book rather disappointed me. It seemed way to contrived. The author had decided that Lindgren’s books had biblical parallels and by golly he was going to make them fit.
I definitely agree that the books have moral and ethical themes but I think that this is rather typical for children’s books. Last year I read but didn’t review another book of literary criticism with regards to Astrid Lindgren’s books. This book dealt with her folk tale/fairy tale books and the author there discussed the fact that the children’s stories that Lindgren grew up with often had a moral to them. I am not disputing the fact that Lindgren grew up with biblical tales but I do find it hard to see that she has consciously included biblical themes into her stories. Instead this book has made me more convinced that many of these stories are universal in their appeal, no matter what religion you confess.
This book further deepens my belief that we humans create belief systems in order to make sense of the world. These systems and stories change little over the centuries, however their familiarity isn’t a bad thing.
I do like that Fischer-Nielsen highlights one of my favourite Lindgren characters, Madicken. As he points out this is a character that is often forgotten when one analyses Lindgren’s work and I think this is a shame. Madicken and Lisabeth have much to offer girls who live in stable families. I also, as Fischer-Nielsen points out, think these stories have a good discussions on class systems in society. Although these systems are seemingly gone from Swedish society, I think that they are still there in some respects. I think that one of the stories that is highlighted in this book could lead to some very good discussions with children.
Overall I think this is a book that although it is a quick read one could give a miss if one is studying Lindgren’s body of work.