Lingonberries and Siegfried-motives in Astrid Lindgren’s Emil from Lönneberga. Photo of the Week #53

In the marketplace of Lund, Sweden you can buy all sorts of wonderful local produce. At the moment the chanterelles and lingonberries would be my primary choice. Look at those masses of lingonberries:


This seems to be one of the essentially Swedish foods. They cook them to marmalade and eat it with meatballs and mashed potatoes and many other dishes I’m sure.

In Danish lingonberries are called “tyttebær” and that word was connected with one thing when I was little: Tyttebær-Maja. Tyttebær-Maja is an old crone who tells terrible ghost stories to Emil and his sister Ida in the legendary Emil from Lönneberga by Astrid Lindgren.

When looking her up I realised that she’s not called Lingon-Maja in Swedish, but Krösa-Maja. Maybe someone Swedish would tell me what that means? I can’t find it in the dictionary… And looking for an English or German translation I came across the German article on Wikipedia for Emil – or Michel as they call him down there (another weird thing – what ever’s wrong with Emil now?). Seriously those Germans do not make a joking matter out of Emil I dare say. As the only ones on Wikipedia they give this wonderful analyses on how Emil’s relationship to his father is just like Siegfried’s is to Wotan in Wagner’s Siegfried. They are always up for a good and heavy take on life. Gotta love it! Go here and enjoy!

And just to illustrate here is one of the most classic episodes from the television version. The father is played by Allan Edwall who was one of Sweden’s best actors. He did a superb job in Bergman’s Fanny & Alexander for instance. But here he is as a cheap 19th Century farmer.


This entry was posted in Film, Literature, Photo of the Week, Photos, Sweden, Television, YouTube. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Lingonberries and Siegfried-motives in Astrid Lindgren’s Emil from Lönneberga. Photo of the Week #53

  1. anninateatime says:

    Turns out ‘Krösa’ means Lingonberry in the dialect they speak in Emil’s county. Thanks, Jenny!


  2. Ana says:

    I know this was written some time ago. In case you are still wondering. There is nothing wrong with the name Emil but at that time of the translation into German there had already been a very popular book with the main character named Emil.

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