The Marriage Feast and Other Stories

The Marriage Feast and Other Stories

Pär Lagerkvist

Language: English

Pages: 228


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

A fine collection of short stories, fables, and satires. Outside of the longest short story (almost novella length really, "The Masquerade of Souls" is nearly 90 pages), this is what I read yesterday.

The non-satirical tales involve motifs that run through Lagerkvist's fiction: man's place in the modern world; modernism versus a pastoral traditionalism; themes involving religious existentialism and man's place in the know the routine.

The satire can be deeply amusing. "The Children's Campaign" is a reflection on militarism and how it is perpetuated by way of describing the successful military campaign of a child's army against a lesser nation. One of the better stories in the bunch.

I highly recommend "Paradise"--a short story about God and his creations (specifically, man and the Tree of Knowledge). On a first reading of the book, I'd say it was my favorite.

Lagerkvist is not well represented on the tracker....But I think I do have one or two more ebooks that duplicate my hardcopies (like this anthology). Please leave a note if you'd like me to prioritize other books of this Nobel Prize winner.

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they were dead. They were to be used elsewhere. The Lift That Went Down into Hell M R S M IT H , a prosperous businessman, opened the elegant hotel lift and amorously handed in a gracile creature smelling of furs and powder. They nestled to­ gether on the soft seat and the lift started downward. The little lady extended her half-open mouth, which was moist with wine, and they kissed. They had dined up on the terrace, under the stars; now they were going out to amuse themselves. “ Darling, how

better and as prettily as they could wish. “Now I think we ought to hurry up and get your dress on.” “Yes, I suppose it’s nearly time. . . . Oh, Agnes dear, you’ve no idea how strange it feels.” “Yes, it must.” “Just imagine being dressed as a bride—it’s all like a dream. I can’t really believe it’s true.” “ If I might suggest it,” Agnes said, “you ought to wear your nice black dress instead, it suits you so well.” “Agnes dear, how can you! You’re not serious!” Frida 18 TH E M A R R I A G E F

E A S T looked at her in amazement, quite distressed that she could say anything so thoughtless. “A bride must have white, you know that; it’s an occasion for joy.” “ Yes, yes, I only meant—that’s my opinion—but of course you must do just as you like.” So Frida had her way. It would have been strange if she hadn’t, after getting herself the dress for this very moment, sitting up sewing it night after night. And all the dreams she had put into it. Agnes helped her put it on. It was all so

him. Lay there with the TH E M A SQ U E R A D E OF SO U LS 145 cigarette out over the table—dropped it on the plate. Until she gradually wakened—slowly like an animal which gets up without there being any sign of the quarry’s approach— clung tightly around him, soft and quiet, without a sound; all that was heard was a groan. Inside him he exulted, exulted. He loved her! Loved her! Yes! Yes! It was true. He knew it. He felt it inside him in glowing happiness. Dragged his mouth across her

Yes, there must be a lot of work, a lot that is not apparent. She thanked him for making this moment so sacred, for all the beautiful words he had read. Both she and Jonas went to the door with him, and Jonas helped him on with his coat and opened the gate leading out into the road, where he stood bowing until the pastor had dis­ appeared through the trees. Dinner was ready now, and they all sat down, the bridal pair in the principal seats in the centre of one side, and the others gathered around

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