The world knows Ingmar Bergman mostly for his cinematography, but as many in the publishing world know, Bergman also was an exceptional author. His autobiography The Magic Lantern was sold at auctions to a large number of international publishers (unusual for its time!) and published to rave reviews.
CEO of The Bergman Foundation, has written a new monography focusing on Ingmar Bergman as an author.
Whenever the subject came up, Ingmar Bergman would claim that he had no ambitions as a writer. The screenplays he wrote were at best half measures, and his preferred medium was lm, or so he said. His legendary contributions to cinema not- withstanding, this book demonstrates that more than anything else, Bergman was a writer. And as such, one of the great authors of the 20th century, still waiting to be discovered.
“Bergman was an unwilling author, who wrote eagerly and with great joy for self-expression. In other words, his relationship to writing appears to have been as contradictory as that which sprung from his hands. In his book, Jan Holmberg commendably captures this tension at the heart of Bergman’s authorship. It is a welcome and necessary contribution to the already rich literature on Bergman.”
“Holmberg’s portrayal is ceaselessly interesting, for many reasons. For one, he is a talented writer himself, with great knowledge of his subject. Secondly, Ingmar Bergman is a character that continues to fascinate, and is likely to do so for many years to come.”
“In his pioneering work, Ingmar Bergman, Author, Jan Holmberg focuses on the writing. The book has unique qualities and is characterized by a contagious joy for reading.
The access to and familiarity with Bergman’s archive is a unique quality, which makes Ingmar Bergman, Author a welcome addition to the already heavy shelf of literature on Bergman.
Jan Holmberg convincingly argues that Bergman was more interested in artistic truth than harsh reality, and in some of the book’s most fascinating passages he demonstrates how statements, expressions and images wander between Bergman’s private notes and his published fictional and autobiographical works, and how the three mutually influence one another.
However, the great merit of Ingmar Bergman, Author is the contagious desire for reading that characterizes Holmberg’s argument. The combination of unromantic objectivity, elegant irony, and barely concealed admiration offers a stimulating journey through the bergmanian text production. Like few other film makers, Ingmar Bergman created an utterly distinctive cinematic world, and a diversity of maps is needed in order to explore this fluctuating topography. Jan Holmberg’s ambitious atlas is both beautiful and useful.”
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