Thursday, December 7, 2017

Fritiof Nilsson Piraten

Fritiof Nilsson Piraten ("the Pirate") (1895 – 1972) was a Swedish author from the country’s southern-most province Skåne.
Educated as a lawyer at Lund he left a successful practice in 1932 to write and that same year published his debut, Bombi Bitt och jag ("Bombi Bitt and me"), a Scandinavian Tom Sawyer-like story. Bombi Bitt is what he is most remembered for; it was made into both a movie in 1936, and a TV-series in 1968.
Piraten went on to write two more books about Bombi Bitt, one in 1946 and one in 1974. Most of his books are collections of anecdotes about eccentric people in Skåne, such as his novel, Bock i örtagård ("Buck in herbal garden", 1933), about an illiterate horse-dealer and squire who bullies his way into a church-wardenship to win a bet.
A later novel, Bokhandlaren som slutade bada ("The book-dealer who ceased bathing", 1937) is a deeply tragic story, dotted with occasional comic situations, about a too-sensitive man falling in love with a woman and marrying her before he realizes who she really is, and the disasters that follow. 1969 a movie came out based on this novel. Most of his books are considered to fit well in the tall tale category.
Nilsson was deliberately non-literary, getting along with sailors, farmers and businessmen, and probably got his nickname for that reason. His humour is based more in understatement than in hyperbole, although the stories may be wild enough. 

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