It is really not very difficult to me to give esteem to the Swedish writer Selma Lagerlöf as her name is written rightly. I grew up with her books back in Switzerland, some of them were even read in school.
Selma Lagerlöf was also the first female writer to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1909. What an honor and esteem given to her in a time where women weren’t esteemed for their work publicly!
She received the Nobel Prize of Literature in appreciation of the lofty idealism, vivid imagination and spiritual perception that characterize her writings.
One of my favorite childhood book is her story The wonderful adventures of Nils which I still read from time to time. I still can get lost in her superb writing style, in the pictures she painted with wonderful sentences pouring out a magic realism I never can escape.
The Wonderful Adventures Of Nils And The Further Adventures Of Nils Holgersson
- Author: Selma Lagerlöf
- Editors: Deb Schense, Joan Liffring-Zug Bourret and 7 more
- Publisher: Penfield Press; 2 edition (June 1, 2000)
- 408 pages
BONUS: Ten new pages about Selma Lagerlöf and Sweden added. Three landscape photos included. Selma Lagerlöf is best known in America and worldwide for her masterpiece children’s’ stories: NILS: The Wonderful Adventures of Nils and The Further Adventures of Nils Holgersson. Originally commissioned by the Swedish National Teachers’ Society to teach introductory geography to young Swedish schoolchildren, these adventures, first published in 1906–1907, take flight when Nils, a Swedish imp, is magically reduced to elfin size, gets astride a gander who joins a flock of wild geese that fly a route covering the significant geographical and historical sites of all of Sweden. Along the way, they encounter the consequential elements of survival, both socially and environmentally: predator and victim, friend and foe, the land and its users. Told in a series of narratives, these adventures demonstrate this Nobel-prize-winning author’s skill at defining the sublime in simple, everyday existence. Much of Selma Lagerlöf’s work is rooted in her childhood experiences at the ancestral home, “Mårbacka.” In her Memories of Mårbacka, she recounts the flight of one of Mårbacka’s ganders who joins a flock of wild geese and returns during the next seasonal migration, proudly bringing new family and friends to share the domestic trough, only to come to a horrific end at the hands of the wicked housekeeper. The emergence of these childhood impressions coupled with adult wisdom suggests the appeal of the adventures of Nils to both children and adults. Family and household staff were a source of entertainment and amusement; the imaginative enchantment of storytelling was a main diversion. Of the many concerns in these adventures still appropriate today is that of the environment expressed by the wild goose: “If you have learned anything at all from us, Thumbietot, you no longer think that the humans should have the whole earth to themselves,” . . . “Remember you have a large country and you can easily afford to leave a few bare rocks, a few shallow lakes and swamps, a few desolate cliffs and remote forests to us poor, dumb creatures, where we can be allowed to live in peace.”
It is a wonderful adventurous tale, of a boy turned into an elf who learns about the best and worst of humanity (and animal-kind), and is able to become more fully human himself. Beware, when you go to buy or borrow this book, translated from Swedish, that its English translation was published as 2 volumes, rather than as the 1 volume written in Swedish. Not knowing this, you could end up with a book that stop in the middle of the adventures, as I did when I got the book from the library. The only way I could access the second half was to purchase this copy–which contains both the first and second parts. I could not find the second part at all in any of the local Chicago libraries! So give yourself and an adventurous child a treat. A picture from the original book is on the cover, and there are some line drawings inside.
When I was a young boy my Grandmother read the story of Nils’ adventures and I still have the books. They are falling apart now so I read from the new book I received promptly from Amazon to my Grandsons. I am now 75 years old and The Wonderful Adventures of Nils and The Further Adventures of Nils Holgersson will live on in my family.
It is a very simple plot, but with amazing skill, the author made it a wonderful book to read, while some of the concept are very basic, it also promote peace, among all living things, not just human, promote awareness of the nature that surrounded us, and it will no doubt help many young boy to grow mentally, make them more mature and more understanding to other. Now, at age 20, 10 years after reading this book, i finally found the book again, in an English version, this book surely will help to cheer anyone up through a rainy day (perfect time to sit and read this book). Buy it for yourself, or your kid, they will love it.