Ingmar Bergman the Author
With Daniel Mendelsohn, Linn Ullmann and Ane Farsethås
This year marks 101 years since the birth of one of the world’s most influential artists: Ingmar Bergman. The anniversary last year brought renewed focus to his films, but what about his writing?
During his life, Bergman wrote more than 150 plays, film manuscripts, essays, articles and works of fiction. The Best Intentions (1991), Sunday’s Children (1992) and Private Confessions (1996) are often referred to as his “novel trilogy”, being closer in form to novels than texts written for theater or film. But are they novels?
The texts move between memoir, fiction and chamber play, while Bergman explores his own childhood through reminiscence of the past and the dramatic of the everyday.
The novel trilogy has been republished in both English and Norwegian. The American professor, critic, memoirist and translator Daniel Mendelsohn has written the introductory essay to the Norwegian edition, in which he reads the trilogy in light of earlier encounters with Bergman’s works. But what does writer and daughter Linn Ullmann think of Bergman’s novel trilogy? The two meet cultural editor of Morgenbladet and writer Ane Farsethås for a conversation about the author Ingmar Bergman.