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Contributed by Michael Twomey on 09/25/2013
Steven Hartman (English, BA 1987) has published a translation of short stories by Swedish author Stig Dagerman (1923-1954). Titled Sleet (Boston: David R. Godine, 2013) after one its stories, the collection originally appeared in Sweden in 1947 under the title Noveller i Urval (‘selected stories’).
In his Translator’s Introduction, Hartman notes that during World War II, as a correspondent in the Allied Press Corps, Dagerman wrote that “journalism is the art of coming too late as early as possible,” whereas in these stories he sought “the art of coming in time,” giving his readers “an understanding of the tragedies of human suffering before they became faits accomplis.” Dagerman’s writing was praised by British novelist Graham Greene for its “beautiful objectivity,” its "choice of facts like bricks to construct an emotion." In her preface to Sleet, American author Alice McDermott (Charming Billy, 1999, American Book Award) singles out Dagerman’s gift for “a tenderness that does not seek to distract the reader from what is terrible about human experience, but manages instead to confirm it.”
After graduating from Ithaca College, Hartman received his M.F.A. from American University in 1991 and his Ph.D. in English from SUNY Albany in 2003. Currently he is Chair of the Nordic Network for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies at Sweden’s Royal Institute of Technology, and he is Professor of English Literature at Mid-Sweden University. His discovery of a previously lost letter by Henry David Thoreau was reported in IC View in 2008.
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