Gösta Berling's Saga
(Gösta Berlings saga) was Nobel laureate Selma Lagerlöf
's first novel, published in 1891. The novel is a notable and still much read example of the 1890s wave of Swedish Neo-romanticism
. Using wolves, snow, supernatural elements and eccentric upper-class characters to project an exotic image of 1820s Värmland
, the novel can be compared to magic realism
. The title is meant to give associations to the Icelandic sagas
The first sentence, "Finally, the vicar was in the pulpit," is one of the most famous in Swedish literature.
Listed in Peter Boxall's 1001 Books to Read Before You Die (2006), it has been translated into English by Pauline Bancroft Flach, 1911 (as The Story of Gösta Berling) and by Lillie Tudeer, 1933 (as Gösta Berling's Saga).
In 1924 it was made into a Swedish silent film (Gösta Berlings saga) starring the then mostly unknown Greta Garbo and popular film actors Lars Hanson and Gerda Lundequist, directed by Mauritz Stiller.
There is also an opera by Riccardo Zandonai, I cavalieri di Ekebù (1925), based on it.
A San Francisco rock band, with many songs about silent film stars and stories, is named Gosta Berling A swedish progressive rock band is also named Gösta Berlings Saga