Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Lennart Hellsing is dead – Swedish Dagbladet

Lennart Hellsing (1919-2015). Photo: Ingvar Karmhed

Lennart Hellsing was born in 1919. He was not only a children’s author, but rather an all-rounder, moving between different genres. Lennart Hellsing created a world that amused both children and adults – that no one else he could write poetry about smoked sausage and bespectacled bananas.

Lennart Hellsing’s breakneck rhyme, ordglädje and original characters have gilded life for generations. The productive Lennart Hellsing made her debut as a children’s author in 1945 with “The cat is blowing in the silver horn”.

Last year, in conjunction with the author’s 95 anniversary, published the book “Shoes” in which various types of footwear swirls up over the sides.

“Traditional subjects has never been something for this poet who refused to submit to the prevailing taste and consistently taken on the role of challenger and provocateur,” wrote Hellsing recognizer Lena Kari Country when she reviewed the book in SvD.

Lennart Hellsing would actually become an engineer, it was the family’s request. But World War II got him second thoughts. He decided that he wanted to spread the joy and get people to think in new ways. And then it was important to begin with the children.

At the same time he wanted to make up with a idylliserad children’s literature, marked by romanticism and moral tales. Lennart Hellsing worked very deliberately to renew the Swedish children’s book. He played with the norms and taboos, he mixed humor and social criticism. Lennart Hellsing distanced from older children’s literature and Elsa Beskow’s legacy – he instead wanted to convey anarchy and joy to the children.

Lennart Hellsing showed the absurdity of existence, he joined the high and low. The families of his books were not of the ordinary kind; in the “Music Bus” is a family of ten pairs of twins, and the family of Uller “is a mess”.

The books include is clear that the author was technically interested and knowledgeable. It is plenty of machines, movement and new technology. 1960′s “Sjörövarbok” was too coarse for some; This is the pirates who go to a bar and drink liquor. Lena Kari Country demonstrated there is much masculinity of Lennart Hellsing, but it is not just about traditional masculinity – men are often in the kitchen.

With the 1970s came a cultural climate that is not always suited Lennart Hellsing comedy and approach to the issue .

– I was on a tour of Children’s Book Association, and I have rarely seen so much dull literature for children. It was just stuff like “Lasse’s father is dead” and “Bosse is in the hospital,” said the author of Expressen when he looked back on the 1970s in connection with his 90th birthday in 2009.

Lennart Hellsing collaborated extensively with artists from different fields, such as music and visual arts. He chose gladly illustrators outside the children’s book world. During his long career he worked with ceramic artist Stig Lindberg, illustrator Gunna Grähs, composer George Riedel and newspaper subscribers Riber Hansson and Fibben Hald.

Lennart Hellsing was since 1953 married to actor Yvonne Lombard, and together they five children. It was also Yvonne Lombard proof-read everything he wrote, he told Språktidningen in 2009.

There, Lennart Hellsing is also the question of where all the joy came from.

– Life is not fun continues but one must keep their spirits up, anyway. I have fun when I write and laugh some at my own lyrics. That I basically am a happy type probably because I had a mother who had a tremendous confidence. The I took over. So that there was so many books are probably partially mother’s virtue, he replied then.


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