Read Le Jeu serieux by Hjalmar Söderberg Elena Balzamo Online


Århundradets kärlekssaga»Mig får du älska på ett hedniskt vis!« säger Lydia Stille till Arvid Stjärnblom. En gång var hon den oskyldiga flickan han hade kysst bakom syrenhäckarna. Nu är hon gift, liksom han själv, men när slumpen sammanför dem efter tio år flammar deras känslor för varandra upp. Och nu är hon en mogen, självständig kvinna som vågar bejaka lidelsens krav, mÅrhundradets kärlekssaga»Mig får du älska på ett hedniskt vis!« säger Lydia Stille till Arvid Stjärnblom. En gång var hon den oskyldiga flickan han hade kysst bakom syrenhäckarna. Nu är hon gift, liksom han själv, men när slumpen sammanför dem efter tio år flammar deras känslor för varandra upp. Och nu är hon en mogen, självständig kvinna som vågar bejaka lidelsens krav, med konsekvenser som han först bara anar. Den allvarsamma leken är en roman om kärleken, om illusionen och resignationen, samtidigt som den ekar av världshändelserna i det idylliska tidiga 1900-talets Stockholm....

Title : Le Jeu serieux
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9782878580679
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 249 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Le Jeu serieux Reviews

  • Manny
    2019-02-05 21:37

    This book is invariably described as a love story - which is true as far as it goes, but it's an unusual example of the genre. The bare bones of the plot are soon apparent. Arvid, a diffident young man who has just moved from his provincial Swedish town to 1890s Stockholm, is smitten with Lydia, the beautiful daughter of a well-known artist. His feelings are reciprocated; there is some passionate kissing in the arbor, and Lydia says she will wait for him always. But this makes Arvid nervous, since he has no idea how long it will take him to accumulate enough money for marriage to be a possibility. He discourages Lydia, which deeply wounds her feelings. Then her father dies, and she impulsively marries a rich, much older man. Arvid also marries. Ten years later, they meet again by chance and cannot resist the temptation to begin an illicit affair. In most books of this kind, the focus will be on the the intrigue - can things somehow work out for the star-crossed lovers? Failing that, it will be on the morality of the situation or on the main characters' feelings. But here, it's clear pretty much from the start that things can't possibly work out, and there is little talk of morals either. There is more about feelings: Den allvarsamma leken came out in 1912, the year before Un amour de Swann, and in some ways reminds me of it. Though Söderberg's analysis is in some ways rather different from Proust's; he is much more explicit about sex - shockingly so by the standards of the time - and one of the obvious reasons why things go wrong is that Arvid fails to understand how women can be just as interested in sex as men are. Söderberg's deadpan way of presenting this is nicely done, and I believe got him into a fair amount of trouble. But, as with Proust, feelings aren't the central thing either. What both authors are most interested in motivation, and here Söderberg comes up with a striking way of presenting his answer. Arvid is a journalist at a major newspaper, and his work is described in considerable detail. Over and over again, we see that no one really controls what the paper publishes. People make solemn promises that articles will not be published, and then they turn up in the next day's number anyway. Solecisms are carefully corrected in the proofs, but despite everyone's efforts they reappear. No one is surprised: this is how a newspaper operates, and it's taken for granted that the editor's ability to enforce his will is very limited. And, just in the same way, Arvid and Lydia have no real control over their destinies. Arvid gets involved with her again, knowing that it will lead to disaster; she takes a lover, treats him badly, then bitterly regrets it; he writes a cruel and wounding letter that can only make her hate him, reads it through, then posts it. Throughout most of the book the philosophy is kept in the background, but once or twice it briefly moves center-stage. There is a striking scene where an older colleague, seeing that Arvid is becoming involved with the woman he later marries against his better judgement, attempts to dissuade him. Arvid asks him why he thinks it's any of his business; Herr Rissler replies that, if he was going down the street and saw a runaway horse, he would grab hold of the reins before it overturned the carriage. Arvid replies mockingly that this is surely a mixed metaphor: he can't be the horse and the driver, can he? Oh, but you can! says Herr Rissler. Let's talk Kant: as phenomenon, als Erscheinung, you are the horse, but in the noumenal world, als Ding an Sich, you are the driver. Beware.What a clever man Hjalmar Söderberg was. In just the same way, I think his novel is two things at the same time: als Erscheinung, it is a love story, but als Ding an Sich it is a philosophical treatise. Most authors who try this manoeuvre come unstuck, but he does it so well that hardly anyone even bothers to look past the beautiful appearances; he's at least as skillful as Sartre or Camus. Chapeau, monsieur. It's comforting to see that you are not forgotten, and that your works finally seem to be reaching a wider audience.Or, at least, that was my reaction on first reading the book. But after considering it for another couple of days, I decided it was nonsense. You only have to think a little more about Kant's picture to see why it makes no sense: we can never know anything about the Ding an Sich, so it's not reasonable to say that the philosophy is the "real" book and the love story is the appearance. As Kant points out, we only ever have appearances: here, we have a book which sometimes appears as a love story, and sometimes as a work of philosophy.I think this way of looking at it is rather closer to the truth. The author has divided himself between the two characters of Arvid and Herr Rissler, who respectively stand for the emotional and the philosophical ways of seeing what is happening. Arvid is interested in happenings and feelings; but Rissler, like Proust, is interested in why people do things, and, even more, how they write about them to turn experience into art. Proust seems to view art as an end in itself; Marcel's dream is to become an author, and life is mostly viewed as raw material for this process. But Söderberg reverses the process and views art as therapy for the pain of life. Goethe, says Rissler at one point, wrote Die Leiden des Jungen Werther to get over his own heartbreak and inflict it on his readers instead; Strindberg (very topical in early 20th century Sweden) put all his misery into his plays and novels, and was in private life a very happy person. Similarly, Söderberg himself is writing this book to avoid shooting himself after he has been abandoned by his beloved Gertrud. So it's not necessarily a work of philosophy masquerading as a love story; it's at least as plausible that it's a love story masquerading as a work of philosophy.We do not perceive the true reality, as Chuang Tzu said in his celebrated parable of the butterfly and the Emperor...

  • lorinbocol
    2019-02-07 21:26

    il valore aggiunto di un libro così è che dopo guardi scene da un matrimonio e ti sembra una botta di vita. söderberg scrive 60 anni prima di quando bergman gira la sua tomografia computerizzata di una crisi coniugale, e i suoi arvid e lydia non sono nemmeno sposati. il tira e molla però è lo stesso, uguale il farsi e fare male. un ancora tu (ma non dovevamo vederci più) che qui è complicato da annichilimento umano e sentimentale.per essere stato pubblicato nel 1912, il libro mostra quell'indubbia disinvoltura di approccio che noi terroni d'europa tanto invidiamo ai peninsulari lassù. poi c'è il rovescio della medaglia. quando leggi sintesi maceranti (e veritiere) del tenore di questa: «che terribile mania che aveva, però: scegliere sempre i suoi amanti proprio tra i miei amici e conoscenti... dopo quell'orribile autunno di quattro anni fa, quando mi scrisse 'sono stata di un altro mentre tu eri via', mi fidavo ciecamente della sua sincerità. ma era poi solo sincerità? non era piuttosto un piccolo, crudele desiderio di vedere come l'avrei presa? una piccola, crudele curiosità di vedere quante frustate riuscivo a sopportare?», e pensi che gli inverni lunghi ma soprattutto secoli di luteranesimo in scandinavia han fatto danni serissimi, accidenti.

  • João Carlos
    2019-01-22 00:28

    Estocolmo - 1897Nascido em Estocolmo, o escritor Hjalmar Söderberg (1869 – 1941) publicou o romance “Jogo Sério” em 1912.A narrativa de “Jogo Sério” inicia-se num final de tarde no Verão de 1897, numa casa de férias situada numa das 24.000 ilhas do arquipélago de Estocolmo, onde se encontram reunidos vários homens e a jovem Lydia Stille. Três deles, o Barão Freutiger, o notário Loven e o jovem Arvid Stjarnblom, estão enamorados pela lindíssima Lydia; lentamente a noite começa a cair, e é nas sombras e na escuridão do jardim, que os lábios de Lydia e Arvid se uniram num beijo prolongado. Mas é na incerteza que Lydia questiona “… Arvid, achas que tu e eu podemos construir um dia um pequeno mundo para nós dois?” – “Suponho que podíamos tentar”; revelando que Arvid tem pouca confiança em si próprio e que não confiava nos seus sentimentos. Lydia desesperada sussurra-lhe ao ouvido: “Acredito em ti. Acredito em ti. Posso esperar.” E aos vinte e dois anos Arvid confessa: “não suporto a ideia de ter alguém, a esperar por mim… Não é altura de prender-me a ninguém… Antes de mais tens que viver a vida.”As férias de Verão acabam e Arvid regressa a Estocolmo para iniciar um estágio a leccionar Sueco, História e Geografia e, simultaneamente, começa a trabalhar no jornal Nationalblad; os seus pensamentos centram-se em Lydia, mas são completamente dominados pela insegurança emocional e pela precariedade financeira, provocando, no imediato, um desencontro amoroso irreversível e doloroso.A inevitabilidade de Lydia e Arvid prosseguirem e constituírem relacionamentos e vidas separadas, vem acentuar a ruptura comovente de amores “impossíveis”.Passados dez anos, na ópera, o reencontro acontece, “as mãos de ambos procuram-se e encontraram-se.” – “És feliz?” – “Suponho que ninguém seja realmente feliz…” e “fatalmente” a infelicidade, a infidelidade e a mentira imperam sobre compromissos ténues assentes na falsidade e na ambiguidade de relacionamentos incompreensíveis.As personagens de “Jogo Sério” tem simultaneamente comportamentos complexos e melancólicos, onde os conflitos morais e amorosos quase sempre degeneram numa dor física; e inexplicavelmente ou não, assistimos impávidos ao vislumbre do sofrimento e da insensibilidade das atitudes rotineiras, sem amor, felicidade ou paixão. Hjalmar Söderberg tem uma escrita perfeita, emocionalmente comovente, com detalhes primorosos; destaco três exemplos: a folhinha de papel com o desenho de “uma planura outonal com esqueletos de salgueiros nus reflectidos num lago tranquilo, um céu carregado, aguaceiros e um bando de árvores migratórias…” e nas costas da folha Lydia escrevera “Quero ir para longe, oh, muito longe daqui.”, ou o pormenor do selo “Se me condenas e não queres saber mais de mim, cola o selo de cabeça para baixo. Mas se me absolves, cola-o de cabeça para cima.”, ou a simbologia de retirar do dedo o anel de esmeralda - sempre enquadrada por um suspense enigmático sobre os mistérios do amor. “O que é que é felicidade?”"Ninguém sabe", respondeu ele. "Talvez seja algo que imaginamos, e que não existe. Mas será de facto possível imaginá-la? Consegues imaginar uma felicidade constante, que dure para sempre - pois tem que durar para sempre: de outro modo, a ideia de que teria um termo bastaria para a envenenar..."Hjalmar Söderberg (1869 – 1941)Um magnífico artigo do escritor sueco Henning Mankell sobre "Jogo Sério" de Hjalmar Söderberg.

  • Kelly (and the Book Boar)
    2019-02-16 22:30

    If it's good enough for Eric Northman, it's probably good enough for me. But first . . . I must learn Swedish!

  • Emil Söderman
    2019-02-01 19:19

    So, "The Serious Game" was, in my literature textbook described as "Possibly the most beautiful love story written in the swedish language."This is not entirely incorrect, but it probably says something about swedish literature. Basic story: Boy loves girl. Girl marries other man, boy marries other woman, boy and girl meet again, boy and girl have an affair. Girl cheats on boy, boy forgives girl, boys wife finds out, boy finds out girl has cheated on him again, boy and girl break up. The end.This story synopsis does not in any way describe the actual book, first of all, the swedish prose is absolutely brilliant: Söderberg is a wonderful author, witty, observant, cynical, and yet with a vein of sentimentality and fin-de-siecle angst that is very appealing. Throughout the book he makes wry comments on contemporary politics, religion and literature (more on that later) he shows characters armoured in cynicism and really too good-for-this-kind-of-melodrama but yet with the emotional vulnerability to get pulled into it anyway. In typical Söderberg fashion the motivations are often opaque, or at least easily presents multiple different interpretations.There is something cool and slightly detached about Söderberg, which makes an odd juxtaposition in this kind of very emotional story. There is a sense that like his protagonist, Söderberg is a distant observer that somehow still hides emotional depths. This quite unlike Strindberg (whose entire art and life was arguably a kind of performance)The novel was written in 1913, and is set in the period from late 1892 to the year it was published. It serves as a great panorama of fin-de-siecle culture, of a world that is both in many was unmistakably modern and at the same time very alien, the settings an milieus however are relentlessly bourgeisie: Although the books main characters moves at the outskirts they are still part of the cultural and social elite: This is very noticeable in some of the comments made regarding various political issues, and to some extent there is a feeling of "First world problems" over the entire thing.Still, the book is witty, beautifully written, and at times genuinely poignant. And of course eminently quotable.

  • Teresa Proença
    2019-02-03 16:22

    "Anos mais tarde, quando recordava esse Outono de 1908, Arvid referia-se-lhe como o "purgatório". Na época, sentira como se estivesse a percorrer um longo e sinuoso túnel, que se ia afunilando cada vez mais, até o obrigar a túnel sem saída e onde não entrava um raio de luz...De repente, sentiu-se velho. Era como se envelhecesse um ano a cada dia que passava.""Sim, pensou ele, os poetas têm sorte. Podem encontrar consolação para quase tudo. Mesmo que tenham a vida destruída, devastada, estragada, podem sempre achar consolação. Têm o poder de exprimir a sua irredutível infelicidade, e nisso achar consolo. Mas o que há-de fazer um pobre e banal pecador?"

  • Ana Lúcia
    2019-02-07 17:19

    O Jogo Sério é, nas palavras de Henning Mankel, “uma história de amor que não envelhece. Mantém-se tocante, evocativa e vivida”.Escrito de uma forma luminosa e precisa, este romance é um verdadeiro estudo das contradições sombrias da alma humana, dos seus anseios, das inevitáveis renúncias, da traição e do desamparo afetivo.

  • Isabel
    2019-02-15 19:28

    P. 151: ""Canta para mim", pediu ele.Lydia acendeu duas velas sobre o piano, sentou-se e cantou "O Sonnenschein" de Schumann.Enquanto ela cantava, duas borboletas entravam pela janela e puseram-se a esvoaçar em volta das velas"P. 158: ""Passo diante da tua janela todas as manhãs. Se os pensamentos carinhosos se pudessem materializar, a tua sala encher-se-ia imediatamente de rosas. Lydia""

  • Roberta
    2019-02-11 23:31

    Lettura di ottobre 2013 del gruppo Iperborea.Per me non è una storia d'amore, a meno di voler scambiare il tormento (proprio e altrui) con l'amore stesso. Posso capire che i due ragazzi, Arvid e Lydia, non si sentissero pronti al matrimonio nel primo capitolo: giovani, senza arte né parte, sembrava naturalmente troppo presto per parlare di ufficializzare un legame. Ma col passare degli anni continuano a prendersi e lasciarsi, a sottintendere promesse, a cambiare idee. Specialmente lui: sono molte le scuse che si crea mentre la sua carriera decolla per non impegnarsi, né con Lydia Nè con altre, fintanto che non viene in qualche modo incastrato dalla ricca ereditiera. Lei sceglie invece un marito anziano, consapevole che il loro matrimonio le porterà un posto in società e una buona rendita, ma niente amore.Durante tutta la vita si pensano, si prendono e si lasciano. Quando lui è pronto non è pronta lei, e viceversa. Finché, ovviamente, è troppo tardiRomanzo scritto benissimo, ricco di riferimenti alla storia svedese, per me spesso incomprensibili nonostante le note a piè di pagina. Come già detto la trama mi ricorda molto quei bei mattoni russi che divoravo al liceo, dove i personaggi facevano di tutto pur di poter rimanere infelici.

  • Maya Skagegård
    2019-02-11 20:19

    Läst om denna bok en gång om året sedan jag var 14 år gammal, och tycker att den är lika bra varje gång <3

  • No Books
    2019-02-18 16:39

    Una fin de siècle svedeseConsigliatomi per i numerosi e toccanti scorci di Stoccolma che fanno da sfondo ad una storia d'amore (secondo Iperborea l'unica della letteratura svedese) delicata e disincantata, contrastata e profonda, lieve nonostante il pessimismo di fondo.In secondo piano i più importanti avvenimenti storici tra '800 e '900, che entrano a far parte della vicenda grazie all'espediente della professione del protagonista.Pubblicato nel 1912, rispecchia le istanze borghesi, urbane, atee dell'autore con una prosa magistrale, impeccabile e ben resa nella traduzione.Un'opera bellissima, asciutta e agrodolce, che andrebbe riscoperta in quest'epoca di noir svedesi più o meno grossolani. Specialmente da chi ha in progetto di visitare la capitale svedese; o da chi è appena tornato, e ancora ricorda un po' sognante le sue bellezze.

  • Nadja •٠·˙☾✭
    2019-02-19 00:09

    "Man väljer inte sitt öde. Och man väljer lika liten sin hustru eller sin älskarinna, eller sina barn. Man får dem, och man har dem, och det händer att man mister dem. Men man väljer inte."

  • Pixie
    2019-02-09 21:09

    efter att jag läst boken läste jag förordet, enligt vilket bokens stora tema är Otrohet. ja jo det innehåller den ju, men jag läste den som att moral var det centrala temat, och otroheten som ett verktyg för det. men vad vet jag. tyckte i varje fall mycket om boken, vilket säger en hel del eftersom jag läst alldeles för många böcker med otrohet som plot point och vanligtvis tycker det är outhärdligt tråkigt att läsa om. uppskattade även varje gång en karaktär eller annan kritiserade strindberg, ha.

  • Marcus Lagré
    2019-01-27 00:22

    This review may contain spoilers!We follow the life of Arvid Stjärnblom, a young, intelligent young man of lower middle-class origin. Not an educated man, but intellectual nonetheless, who becomes a journalist after passing on the opportunity to study teaching.He falls in love with a young girl, Lydia Stille, the daughter of a once famed Swedish painter. But their love can never quite be. Arvid feels he cannot offer marriage, as he’s not in a financial position to provide a comfortable life for her. And though the two lust for each other, he does not want to persuade her into lewdness, because “should he succeed he’d lose respect for her, and should he fail he’d lose respect for himself.” Ultimately Lydia marries an older, well-to-do historian and author, and moves from Stockholm to live with her husband in the countryside.Arvid often uses his and Lydia’s unrealised love as a springboard for philosophies on moral and duty. However, he does not always live by high moral principles, as he has flings and love interests, and fathers an illegitimate child. (A child that he acknowledges and “does right by” by securing adoption into a good home and by paying support.)He becomes secretly engaged to Dagmar Randel, the daughter of a semi-successful businessman. After a while she tricks him into outing their involvement and he finds himself in an involuntary marriage. Though he’d rather remain “free”, the marriage is not without happiness and mutual respect.With age, perhaps corrupted by his peers, who seemingly more often than not keep mistresses, Arvid becomes less occupied by moral qualms, and feels less obliged to his wife. When Lydia gets in touch with him after a decade of no contact, they promptly engage in a love affair.Set in Stockholm during the late 19th and early 20th century, this book appeals to those fascinated by life during this period. It gives us an insight into the, many times unhappy lives of the middle class. Where marriage is more of a financial agreement, than the result of passion, and family life becomes a prison.There are parallels between Hjalmar Söderberg’s own life and that of Arvid Stjärnblom. And it’s no secret that Lydia Stille is based on Maria von Platen, who for a time was Söderberg’s mistress. That said, Söderberg tries to deny the links between the story and his own past by having the character Rissler, an author and playwright, explain how everything in his salacious writing is made up, and not self experienced. He goes on to blame August Strindberg for leading the public to think everything an author puts on paper is autobiographical.The book, being over a hundred years old, still feels relevant. The prose is beautifully crafted. Flowing easy, though dated in some expressions and the formality with which the characters converse. On its release in 1912, it must have been seen as quite risqué, especially the character of Lydia Stille. After divorcing her husband she lives a “free life”, mainly reserved the male sex back then. As the story unfolds, she keeps several lovers, and vows to never marry again. In the end Arvid’s life falls apart. Dagmar finds out about his infidelity, but refuses him divorce, and he cannot accept that Lydia is involved with other men, ending their relationship.Categorising The Serious Game as a love story would not be incorrect, but there are several morals to this story. One that keeps popping up is formulated by a colleague of Arvid’s, regarding love and family: “You don’t get to choose.” Your fate is sealed. You don’t get to choose your parents, your wife, your children. You get them, have them, and perhaps lose them. But you don’t get to choose.At the same time, I feel that Söderberg argues against this fatalist notion, between the lines. Arvid’s life is largely formed by his own inability to choose and decide. He does not choose to study to become a teacher, he sticks with journalism, a job he gets largely by coincidence.He chooses not to pursue the love of Lydia, under the pretence that he cannot give her the life she deserves, though he simply does not want to settle just yet. He does not want to marry Dagmar, because he does not want to get stuck with her, as he seems to think he can do better. Even when offered a second chance with Lydia, he finds reasons not to marry her. And though he eventually feels great remorse in doing Dagmar wrong, he never acts on these feelings. Never tries to do right until his hand is forced, by which time it is too late.Perhaps Söderberg is telling us that one can’t let haphazardness run life, and then thinks of it as fate. That a man is not judged and rewarded by his thoughts and philosophies alone, but by his actions and decisions. It’s tempting to view Arvid as the victim of circumstance, while in fact he’s a victim of his own cowardice and fear of commitment.

  • Emilie
    2019-02-11 21:13

    3.5/5 stjärnorJag gillade den och kände att den hade ett språk som gjorde att jag ville läsa mer och ta reda på hur det skulle gå. Jag minns inte mycket från Doktor Glas som jag läste i skolan på gymnasiet men jag minns att jag verkligen tyckte om den. Ska snart läsa om boken tänkte jag men jag tror nog att denna inte riktigt levde upp till den, men nära!

  • Anca Iordachescu
    2019-01-23 00:21

    "Sweden's most enduring love story" is written on the back of the book. Reading the beautifully articulated introduction to it (involving Hjalmar Soderberg's life - a useful insight to have) I was really thrilled when I started reading the first pages. However, my excitement diminished once I got through several more. I felt the substance of love between Lydia and Arvid was poorly explored and I didn't get the grasp of what actually made them love each other so fiercely. They've met a couple of times only, and kept obsessing over each others over the years - didn't seem too logic to me, but hey, I guess love is not logic. However, I also need to add that apart from being a love story, this "label" does not make true honor to the book - themes of politics and religion are often brought up throughout the parts, and there are entire "lumps" of the book without any mentioning of Lydia, or any amorous subject at all. Sweden itself is an important part of the whole story, as everything happens in accordance to the weather, the streets, the cafes, the theatre, somehow embedding the scenery into the characters' experience.I really enjoyed reading the last half of the book - I felt it a bit more intense, perhaps it was also character development taking place, and overall thought it was an interesting and authentic Swedish story to read.

  • Birgitta
    2019-02-01 21:26

    Intressant veta vad som rörde sig i huvudet på folk för cirka 100 år sedan. Till viss del självbiografisk bok, något märkligt att den tog sådan tid att skriva, men han hade troligen mycket att tänka på däremellan, den gode Hjalmar.Även märkligt att han inleder med ett kapitel ur Lydias perspektiv för att aldrig återkomma till det senare. Är han helt oförstående? Eller är det ett litterärt grepp jag helt enkelt inte förstår mig på?Avskyr för övrigt huvudpersonen, Arvid. En feg, omogen krake som inte tar ansvar för något mer än att ta sig till sitt arbete. Rädd att binda sig, utnyttjar sin hustru och skyller både sina egna och äktenskapets tillkortakommanden på henne. Också Lydia får skulden, för hur relationen med henne utvecklas.Det finns ett irriterande avståndstagande betraktande av både kvinnorna och samhället, kanske ett uttryck för, eller konsekvens av, rollen som journalist, som huvudpersonen och författaren ju delar.Kan inte se hur det här skulle vara ett mästerverk, särskilt då jag läst "Doktor Glas", som är så mycket bättre.Ser inte heller hur detta kan kallas för en kärlekshistoria. Möjligen handlar den om förälskelse och passion, men här finns ingen kärlek, enbart åtrå. En man som verkligen älskar skulle inte ständigt sätta sig själv före, så som Arvid gör. Inga överväganden gör han för att göra Lydia lycklig, och stundtals är båda tramsigt småsinta, buttra, nästan hämndlystna.

  • Helen
    2019-02-01 19:35

    This wasn't a book I sought out, but something I came across by chance in the library. I thought it was charming, despite the rather sad (but not, at least for the main characters, tragic) outcome. Although described as a love story I am not sure I would call it that - it is more the story of an affair between two people who perhaps should (but on the other hand, perhaps not!) have married each other when younger. Apart from the theme of the secrecy of the affair (all told from the man's point of view), this novel gives a credible impression of Stockholm at the turn of the century (1890s/early 1900s) with Swedish society and even world events impacting just a little on the story. There is - just a little - politics, theology, the life of a newspaper, and the question of Norwegian independence all in the world of the protagonist. A nice accidental find!

  • Amanda
    2019-02-08 19:25

    "Den är bra, för den är SÅ modern och feministisk om man jämför med andra samtidiga författare, som typ Strindberg" sa mina pretentiösa vänner. Så jag började läsa, och ju mer jag läste, desto mer irriterad blev jag. Vadå feministisk? Lyda går runt och och spelar jungfrun-i-nöd, väntandes på att bli räddad av Arvid, i skinande rustning och på en vit springare. Men händer det? Såklart inte. För Arvid har commitment-issues, precis som alla andra män någonsin. Så ungefär halva boken var jag bara arg på alla stereotyper som infriades. Men sedan hände något. Fler nyanser började framträda i båda karaktärerna, och svängningarna dem emellan förvånande mig mer och mer. Boken handlar om Spelet. Känslorna är desamma, då som nu. Och ja - denna storstilade gamla kärlekssaga, kan faktiskt nästan appliceras rakt på dagens tinder-dejtande.

  • Elsie Klumpner
    2019-02-17 20:15

    This is a gem of a book. A warning: don't read the introduction until you have finished the book, unless you want to know the whole story before reading it. It's a good essay but tells the reader too much. The book is about a man who sacrifices love for ambition at a young age and then lives a complicated life as a result. It's beautifully written with characters who come alive - for better or worse. It paints a vivid picture of the the city of Stockholm at the turn of the 19th century. The issues are complex. I enjoyed being with all of the characters, some I enjoyed more than others. It's a quiet book - about difficult life decisions and relationships. An excellent piece of work. (less)

  • Ida
    2019-01-24 18:12

    Hjalmar Söderberg var inntil nylig en ukjent forfatter for meg, og jeg er så glad jeg valgte å lese Den alvorlige leken. Den minner meg litt om deler av Ulysses. De har egentlig ikke så mange fellestrekk, men det er noe med stemningen. Litt melankolsk, satt i ca samme tidsperiode, journalisme, ekteskap og kvinner, vandrer rundt i byen. Jeg påstår ikke at de er veldig like, altså. Ulysses er et kaos, det er ikke Den alvorlige leken. Uansett, likte boka veldig godt! Anbefales!

  • Maria Bengtsson
    2019-02-14 22:15

    Just amazing - true, raw and real. And that it was written back in 1912 makes it even better. Hjalmar S truely is a Swedish Treasure. "Lack of sexual morality usually characterized men, now also belongs to women - same aquired rights instead of same obligations. You do not choose your destiny, your parents or yourself".

  • Raina
    2019-02-15 22:20

    Oy yoy yoy! So depressing! I knew it wasn't going to be happy from the start, but it just got worse and worse as the plot unfolded. Nothing ends well in the book. I suppose the lessons from the book are 1) take it while you can get it and 2) nothing ends well that starts badly. Yet another depressing Swedish book/movie!

  • Åsa
    2019-02-16 18:39

    Det var förvånansvärt roligt att läsa den här boken, med tanke på att den är hundra år gammal. Blev dock rätt förbannad på Arvid och hans kvinnosyn. Jag får läsa om "För Lydia" snart, jag tror att det blir mer givande än sist. Och jag behöver verkligen läsa ut Lydias perspektiv nu känner jag.

  • My
    2019-02-16 19:34

    Blev fan inte klok på den här boken. Så mycket som gjorde att jag ville sätta en stjärna; Tråkig. Långsam. För många ointressanta dialoger män emellan. Men så ibland (rätt ofta) gnistrade språket till. Och sista 40 sidorna var så. himla. bra.

  • Tommy Feldt
    2019-02-15 20:27

    Hjalmar Söderberg har det vackraste språket av alla svenska författare som jag läst, och den här boken tog mig med storm. En klassiker (med rätta!) som fyllde mig med lika delar lycka och vemod och som jag naturligtvis borde ha läst långt tidigare!

  • Peter
    2019-02-14 22:25

    Väldigt nära fyra stjärnor men den startade för segt. Andra halvan var bitterljuvt emo precis som jag hoppades. Har nu läst om den och gillade den fortfarande, men det är ju ett jäkla ältande hela tiden

  • Frida
    2019-01-22 16:13

    En av mina älsklingsböcker. Top ten typ. <3 Söderberg.

  • Hanna Katariina Bengtsson
    2019-02-08 18:11

    Vacker, humoristisk, svart och fruktansvärd på sitt alldeles egna sätt. Kanske den bästa bok jag läst i år.

  • Emme (Bokzoem)
    2019-02-03 16:16

    Nä det var ingen direkt höjdare tyvärr :/ För mycket konflikter, inget intressant som hände... Nej jag har svårt för såna här böcker faktiskt :P