Location/Culture Reports

Culture Report – Sweden

Now admit it, aren’t you right now singing “Dancing Queen, feel the beat from the tambourine, oh yeah, you can dance, you can jive having the time of your life.”
Sweden’s greatest and most well-known contribution to culture is ABBA. Seriously, ABBA is awesome. The foursome of Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, Agnetha Fältskog, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974 with “Waterloo,” and their other hits include “Chiquita”, “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)”, “Money, Money, Money”, “Knowing Me, Knowing You”, “Fernando”, “Dancing Queen” and “Mamma Mia.” Now admit it, aren’t you right now singing “Dancing Queen, feel the beat from the tambourine, oh yeah, you can dance, you can jive having the time of your life.” If you doubt the greatness of ABBA, just watch the movies “Muriel's Wedding” and “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.”

Books about Sweden include Swedish History in Outline by J. Weibull; A Concise History of Sweden by A. Åberg; Swedish Politics During the 20th Century by S. Hadenius; Nature in Sweden by P. Hanneberg; Nordic Folk Art by M. Nodermann; Manor Houses and Royal Castles in Sweden by B. Söderberg; The Vikings by Else Roesdahl; Swedish Reflections, From Beowolf to Bergman by Judith Black and Jim Potts; Swedish Mentality by Ake Daun; The Swedish House by Lars Sjoberg; Stockholm, City of My Dreams by Pers Anders Fogelstrom; The Emigrants by Vilhelm Moberg and Gustaf Lannestock; The Messiah of Stockholm, A Novel by Cynthia Ozick; and The Saga of the Volsungs, The Norse Epic of Sigurd the Dragon –Slayer by Jesse Byock.

August Strindberg, the Swedish writer, became one of the most important dramatists of his time and is very important to the development of modern drama. His books include Married, Inferno, the Red Room, and his autobiography, The Son of a Servant. His plays include The Father, Master Olaf, Comrades, Creditors, and Miss Julie.

Movies that have been filmed in Sweden include Dancer in the Dark, Dogville, Gorky Park, Independence Day, The Long Kiss Goodnight, and Smilla's Sense of Snow.

One of the greatest films directors of all time, Ingmar Bergman, is Swedish. His films include Sommarnattens leende aka Smiles of a Summer Night (on which Stephen Sondheim based A Little Night Music); Fanny och Alexander; Det Sjunde inseglet aka The Seventh Seal; and Smultronstället aka Wild Strawberries.