Lars Gustafsson

Lars Gustafsson

Lars Gustafsson (born May 17, 1936) is a Swedish, poet, novelist and scholar. He was born in Västerås, completed his secondary education at the Västerås gymnasium and continued to Uppsala University; he received his Licentiate degree in 1960 and was awarded his Ph.D. in Theoretical Philosophy in 1978. He lived in Austin, Texas until 2003, and has recently returned to Sweden. He served as a professor at the University of Texas in Austin, Texas, where he taught Philosophy and Creative Writing, until May 2006, when he retired.

Gustafsson is one of the most prolific Swedish writers since August Strindberg. Since the late 1950s he has produced a voluminous flow of poetry, novels, short stories, critical essays, and editorials. He is also an example of a Swedish writer who has gained international recognition with literary awards such as the Prix International Charles Veillon des Essais in 1983, the Heinrich Steffens Preis in 1986, Una Vita per la Litteratura in 1989, a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship for poetry in 1994, and several others.

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Lars Gustafsson: Elden och döttrarna, Atlantis 2012

For those in the Know in original from: “Elden och döttrarna”, Atlantis 2012

For those in the Know

The San Clemente church in Rome
during the baroque period with its swollen
rhetoric proving that everyone doubts anyway,
one floor below:
the old Christian church
dark, cramped, without adornment
with sarcophagi in narrow passages,
a secret society of loyal men
who knew the workings of everything
and yet another layer down
through narrowing stairs and passages
the mithraean altar, the dining place for
a secret society of loyal men
who knew the workings of everything.

© Translation by Maria Freij

Published with the permission of Lars Gustafsson