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Doktor Glas [PDF / EPUB] Doktor Glas Stark brooding and enormously controversial when first published in 1905 this astonishing novel juxtaposes impressions of fin de siècle Stockholm against the psychological landscape of a man besieged Stark brooding and enormously controversial when first published in this astonishing novel juxtaposes impressions of fin de siècle Stockholm against the psychological landscape of a man besieged by obsession Lonely and introspective Doctor Glas has long felt an instinctive hostility toward the odious local minister So when the minister’s beautiful wife complains of her husband’s oppressive sexual attentions Doctor Glas finds himself contemplating murder A masterpiece of enduring power Doctor Glas confronts a chilling moral uandary with gripping intensity.

  • ebook
  • 206 pages
  • Doktor Glas
  • Hjalmar Söderberg
  • Swedish
  • 26 June 2015

About the Author: Hjalmar Söderberg

Hjalmar Emil Fredrik Söderberg was a Swedish novelist playwright poet and journalist His works often deal with melancholy and lovelorn characters and offer a rich portrayal of contemporary Stockholm through the eyes of the flaneur Söderberg is greatly appreciated in his native country and is sometimes considered to be the eual of August Strindberg Sweden's national author.

10 thoughts on “Doktor Glas

  1. says:

    I wonder what it feels like to have a crime on one's conscience In less than 200 pages this secret marvel of literature rivets subverts perturbs Originally published in Sweden in 1905 Doctor Glas is another frightening character unsuited to his profession a man who has no business being anyone's doctor see his buddies Lecter Frankenstein and Moreau over there in the corner He finds bodies repulsive and regards most people with distainful disenchantment Not surprising then that he's isolated and introspective He's also sexually stunted At thirty something Glas has never been with a woman and judges intercourse to be undignified at best Knowing all this makes reading his private diary highly interesting turning the reader into a shameless rubber neckerWhen the wife of a despicable old clergyman comes to his office in need of help Glas has the opportunity to act to do something of importance He's trapped in a uandary not unlike Raskolnikov's rid the world of a thoroughly awful person or not? If yes why? What was it that I had been dreaming? Always and the same thing That I killed the clergyman As much as it is about the act it's even about the why So while you're pulled along by tension created by the voyeuristic experience of reading Glas' diary will he or won't he? you're also engaged in a philosophical argument good enough for readers of Dostoevsky but in far fewer pagesDespite that it's over a century old Doctor Glas has a distinctively modern appeal I was pulled into the stream of consciousness narrative from the first page It's frank dramatic and controversial Söderberg takes a close look at human nature the desire to connect He also makes a fascinating comparison between the pursuit of enduring happiness vs the immediacy of pleasure What I wonder is why this book isn't gobbled up like the delicious vicious delight that it isBrooding dark intellectual Gimme gimme gimme

  2. says:

    In this short strong novel we get debates about light pollution you can’t see the stars any tourism there are just too many assisted dying it should be legal abortion likewise and because of the fear of germs we also get an interesting discussion about whether communion wine should be administered in church by capsules rather than unhygienic shared chalicesAnd then the main arc of the plot is all about marital rape which became illegal in the UK in 1991 So I kept checking if this book was written in 1990 or 1980 or 1970 but no the copyright page kept saying 1905 I guess Hjalmar Soderberg must’ve had a fully functioning crystal ball This then is the diary of Dr Glas over the summer months of a single traumatic year Into the labyrinth of his self torment you will go his beautiful frightening voice spooling out all the darkness of a man teetering on the edgeRecommended Can be read in one day easySay would you look at that a short review finally

  3. says:

    MeToo Anno Domini 1905 in Stockholm delivering a male solution to a female problem a stylistically perfect execution Is it justifiable to kill a man to save his wife from repeated marital rape? Doctor Glas feels no guilt Kill the monster become the monster live on A woman would probably have carried the scars of guilt and shame after committing an act of violence even though she is the victim of the absurdity of marital rights as shown in this tale of disgust lust passion and sober reflection acted out in front of a wonderful view of the most beautiful cityThe story of Adam and Eve as told by the snake who rescued Eve from the oppressive Eden

  4. says:

    This short novel is a melancholic guide of Stockholm It is a compendium of thoughts and reflections upon life from a peculiar character It is a story of alienation and unreuited love And it is also the story of a planned murder Although than a hundred years old this novel feels as fresh as if written yesterday The only hint of its age are depictions of places in Stockholm that no longer exist and some obsolete debates on abortion for example but otherwise the language doesn't fell dated and the ideas are as universal as everTyko Gabriel Glas is a young doctor in Stockholm He is intelligent and well off but his cynical view of life has made him a solitary man He has a habit of falling for women that are already in love with other men as only they seem to spark his interest But he is painfully aware that no woman can truly get to know and accept himHe spends his evenings alone strolling through the city streets and writing in his diary His nature is that of a spectator he prefers to observe people from afar rather than spend time in their company On the other hand he doesn't have a high opinion of himself either I'm going through grey days and dark moments I'm not happy But I wouldn't take the place of anybody else; my heart cringes at the thought that I could be one of my acuaintances I don't particularly like myself neither the shell nor the core But I wouldn't want to be anybody elsePastor Gregorius is the man he despises and dreads the most and after the preacher's beautiful wife asks for his help in a delicate matter Doctor Glas abandons his reserved position and decides to interfere But how far is he willing to go for the woman who gradually becomes the object of his affection he who used to hide behind the screen of duty when it came to breaking the law?I can see why this novel was considered controversial in 1905 Hjalmar Söderberg touches some sensitive topics abortion assisted suicide which he envisions as a human right in the future sexuality morality and religion In my opinion the novel hasn't lost its flavor so it's totally worth reading it

  5. says:

    This book has become uite well known recently due to the theatre production starring Krister Henriksson We saw it in London a few months ago and it is indeed very good; but I was surprised to discover that the book is substantially different The eponymous Glas as most people now know is a doctor in late 19th century Stockholm who kills the husband of one of his patients Fru Gregorius is young and beautiful; her husband is a hypocritical old priest whose very presence makes Glas feel physically sick Gregorius's wife is secretly unfaithful to him and Glas is the only person she has told She cannot stand the fact that her husband still insists on having sex with her and asks Glas if he can do anything In the play Glas's motivation seems clear A lonely person with no one to love he falls for the beautiful wife's charm and agrees to everything she asks for; he came across as rather like M Hire in Patrice Leconte's film though things work out better for him But I experienced the book in another way The central puzzle is why Glas murders the priest The clear lines of the play are blurred; he is indeed very taken with the wife but he could eually well have responded to Fröken Mertens who is also young and beautiful and clearly loves him He chooses to ignore her and there are factors in play Glas has always found sex disgusting The girl he loved as a young man died in a tragic accident shortly after he kissed her for the first time And so many of his female patients have begged him for abortions He has consistently turned them down but he's wondered and often if he's been right to do that Somehow sex and death have got mixed up in Glas's cold analytical mind The book is the diary he starts keeping as he tries to disentangle things He scrupulously weighs up the pros and cons of his various choices discusses the morality of the situation plans carefully to minimize the chance of being discovered considers whether he's likely to suffer pangs of remorse But after he's killed Gregorius he still doesn't really know why he's done it He rereads his notes and decides he probably did the right thing but he's not sure All he can see is an infinite web of cause and effect stretching out into the past He wishes he hadn't investigated it so carefully The book too has its own web of causes and effects Several of the characters come from earlier Söderberg novels The hunchbacked watch maker who sells Glas the case in which he keeps the cyanide pills also appears in Förvillelser Söderberg's first book; there he marries the shop girl that Thomas Weber gets pregnant Martin Birck a character that Glas often meets is the hero of Martin Bircks Ungdom written four years earlier where he is pretty clearly Söderberg himself And although people at the time hated Doktor Glas and called it implausible and immoral it has aged well The edition I read has a postscript briefly explaining how it was chosen in 2002 to be the first book in the series Stockholm läser Stockholm reads I think Söderberg would have been touched by this gesture of appreciation from the city he loved so much and I am sure Swedes and in particular people from Stockholm will carry on reading it for a long time to come

  6. says:

    When I finished this book I didn't feel much impressed however it grew on me in time There are some passages that I came back to read again and again Its a strange insightful and interesting book written at the beginning of 20th century The story is about a young doctor who either pities or despises his patients and plays the judge and the jury and the executioner sometimesThe book makes you uestion fundamental issues such as morals ethics and faith

  7. says:

    What is moonshine? Secondhand sunshine Diluted counterfeit Extremely thought provoking especially regarding views on abortion euthanasia marital rights and morally justified murder No wonder it had the crowd roaring in protest at the time it was published

  8. says:

    I rather fell in love with this book It’s concise— a novella than a novel—and the plot is extremely simple hardly than a vehicle for the first person narrator’s dark philosophical meditations But that doesn’t prevent it from being a compelling read The novel’s great strength is its voice It takes the form of a series of diary entries over a few summer months in Stockholm in an unidentified year close to the time of composition it was published in 1905 apparently much to the épatement of the bourgeois touching as it does on scandalous subjects such as abortion The diarist is a thirty something doctor Tyko Gabriel Glas whose smooth social surface conceals a turbid inner life compounded of thwarted romanticism sexual phobia and a proto existentialist consciousness of the meaningless of the universe Glas is unhappy and self hating yet at the same time half in love with his outsiderdom as his astute and cynical alter ego journalist friend Markel remarks at one point There are people who lack all talent for happiness and know it with painful inescapable clarity Such people don’t strive for happiness but to bring a little order and distinction to their unhappiness Glas is one of themGlas’s attempt to bring order to his unhappiness takes a peculiar form arising from his half chivalric half erotic obsession with a pastor’s young wife and his corresponding feeling of repulsion for her much older husband who clearly embodies for him much of what he loathes in his culture The meetings with husband and wife that punctuate the novel are beautifully handled especially those with the wife whose attitude to the doctor is intriguingly ambiguous Does she feel the genuine admiration and meeting of souls she suggests? Or has she intuited his infatuation and decided to exploit it? I shan’t go into the way in which this situation is resolved—or not resolved—as it would be difficult to do so without spoilers Suffice to say I thought the ending superb Dr Glas is one of those books with nominally dark subject matter that is far from depressing to read It’s a delight in fact The protagonist’s diaristic meanderings are fresh and eccentric and unpredictable and the writing is wonderful in so far as one can tell in translation I found the Stockholm setting evocative as wellAs a sample here is Dr Glas at a dramatic moment in the novel distracted by his consciousness streaming off in an unexpected direction Suppose I allow her to love me? I’m so lonely Last winter I had a tabby cat but he ran off come spring I’m put in mind of him now as the light of the first autumn hearth fire dances over the flame red rug He’d lie there just in front of the hearth and purr In vain I exerted myself to win his affection He lapped up my milk and warmed himself by my fire but his heart remained cold What became of you Smutter? You had decadent tendencies I fear you may have fallen into dissolute ways if you are still roaming the earth Last night I heard a cat’s cry in the churchyard and I was sure I recognized your voiceI love those rhythms There’s an edition of this novel by Harvill Press with what sounds like an excellent introduction by Margaret Atwood to judge from this sample

  9. says:

    I'm sitting at my open window now and writing this for whom? Not for any friend or girlfriend scarcely even for myself for I don't read today what I wrote yesterday and I won't be reading this tomorrow What I'm writing on these pages isn't a confession; to whom should I confess? I don't relate everything about myself I relate only what it pleases me to relate but I never say anything untrue Not that I can lie away my souls misery if miserable it must beSynopsisDoctor Glas an epistolary novel by Hjalmar Söderberg tells the story of a physician in 19th century Sweden who deals with moral and love issues Published in 1905 it takes the form of a journal over the course of a sultry summer Doctor Glas is the main character while the antagonist is Reverend Gregorius a morally corrupt clergyman Gregorius' beautiful young wife confides in Doctor Glas that her sex life is making her miserable and asks for his help Glas in love with her agrees to help even though she already has another adulterous lover He attempts to intervene but the Reverend refuses to give up his marital rights she must have sex with him whether she likes it or not So in order to make his love happy he begins to plot her husband's murder A husband's right to sexual intercourse was assured by law in several ways It was impossible for a husband to be tried for rape because by marrying the wife had 'given herself up' sexually to her husband; cohabiting with her husband meant he could rape her with impunity A woman's pleasure was supposed to be derived purely and entirely from making him happy and her only sex related desire was for motherhood Any women who went outside of this rigid boundary eg those who admitted to sexual desires had sex with men outside of marriage unmarried mothers lesbians and prostitutes were labelled 'immoral' 'impure' 'scandalous' 'fallen' or 'mentally ill' A woman who left her husband or was divorced would find herself outcast from respectable society although she did nothing wrong AuthorHjalmar Söderberg 1869 1941 was one of the most distinguished of Scandinavian novelists He was born and raised in Stockholm and spent the last twenty five years of his life in Copenhagen After working as a civil servant he turned to journalism and eventually devoted himself full time to a literary career In addition to novels he wrote short stories and plays as well as literary criticism and philosophical works about religion He has been praised for his fictional vignettes of Stockholm life and for being a forerunner in the use of psychoanalytic theory and stream of consciousness in his fiction Söderberg's novels include Confusions Martin Birck's Youth and The Serious Game; Doctor Glas is regarded as his masterpieceMy reviewStark brooding and enormously controversial when first published in 1905 this astonishing novel juxtaposes impressions of fin de siècle Stockholm against the psychological landscape of a man besieged by obsession Lonely and introspective solitary and melancholy Dr Glas is a sad tragic figure and a tortured soul Loneliness in one form or another provides the leitmotif of this book It makes me feel as if there's no one in the world lonely at this moment but I I doctor of medicine Tyko Gabriel Glas who sometimes helps others but has never been able to help himself and who on entering his thirty fourth year of life has never yet been with a womanNothing diminishes a man and drags him down so much as the consciousness of not being lovedPeople want to be loved; failing that admired; failing that feared; failing that hated and despised They want to evoke some sort of sentiment The soul shudders before oblivion and seeks connection at any priceI found the emotional pull of Dr Glas's loneliness to be very strong especially during his grey days and black hours I felt so bad for him I just wanted to take him in my arms Eually there were times when my repulsion of him were as tenacious as those he held for Reverend Gregorius Doctor Glas is one of those marvellous books that appears as fresh and vivid now as on the day it was published And even in translation the integrity of the writing compels It deals with issues such as abortion women's rights suicide euthanasia and eugenics This is a powerful novel As the English writer William Sansom has said In most of its writing and much of the frankness of its thought it might have been written tomorrowAn impressive book and certainly recommended Postscript In 2012 a restaurant called Doktor Glas was opened in Gothenburg in recognition of the book's place in Swedish literatureI am dedicating this review to another Goodreads reader Richard because he very kindly and patiently assisted a fellow reader and non techhead in learning the tricks of adding a photo Thanks Richard

  10. says:

    June 12 I've never known such a summerHere is the eponymous doctor's journal on show and he is most definitely not the sort of person one would wish to have as a GP Some of the lines are priceless with their gallow humour against all that is generally held to be humane sensibility It's all in here arguments and mental brooding over abortion prostitution snobbery lust no wonder it caused such a furore within hypocritical Lutheran society in Stockholm in the early 1900's Many chests would have been puffed up in outrageMy copy has an introduction by Margaret Atwood

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