Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Per Daniel Amadeus Atterbom

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

ATTERBOM, PER DANIEL AMADEUS, a Swedish poet, was born in Ostergothland in 1790, studied in the University of Upsala from 1805 to 1815, became Professor of Philosophy there in 1828, and died in 1 855. He was the leader in the great romantic movement which revolutionised Swedish literature. In 1807, when in his 17th year, he founded at Upsala an artistic society, called the Aurora League, the members of which included Palmblad, Elgstrom, Hedborn, and other youths, whose names were destined to take a foremost rank in the belles-lettres of their generation. Their first newspaper, Polyxem, was a crude effort, soon abandoned, but in 1810 there began to appear a journal, Fosforus, edited by Atterbom, which lasted for a consider able time, and finds a place in classic Swedish literature. It consisted entirely of poetry and æsthetico-polemical essays; it introduced the study of the newly-arisen Romantic school of Germany, and formed a vehicle for the early works, not of Atterbom only, but of Hammarsköld, Dahlgren, Palmblad, and other eminent poets. Among Atterbom's independent works the most celebrated is Lycksalighetens ö (The Fortunate Island), a romantic drama of extraordinary beauty, published in 1823. Before this ha had published a cycle of lyrics, The Flowers, of a mystical character, somewhat in the manner of Novalis. Of a great drama, Fogel blå (The Blue Bird), only a fragment is preserved, but what exists is among the most exquisite of his writings. As a purely lyrical poet he has not been excelled in Sweden, but his popularity has been endangered, partly by his weakness for allegory and symbolism, partly by his consistent adoption of the mannerisms of Tieck and Novalis. His renown during his lifetime was unbounded.