BERGMAN, INGMAR. 1918-2007. A group of 20 Autograph Letters, some signed ("Ingmar") in Swedish, 78 pp total, 4to and 8vo, Strängnäs and other locations, Sweden, 1938 to 1940, to his girlfriend Barbro Hiort af Ornäs,

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Lot 190
BERGMAN, INGMAR. 1918-2007.
A group of 20 Autograph Letters, some signed ("Ingmar") in Swedish, 78 pp total, 4to and 8vo, Strängnäs and other locations, Sweden, 1938 to 1940, to his girlfriend Barbro Hiort af Ornäs,

Sold for US$ 1,875 inc. premium

Fine Books and Manuscripts

12 Jun 2018, 13:00 EDT

New York

BERGMAN, INGMAR. 1918-2007.
A group of 20 Autograph Letters, some signed ("Ingmar") in Swedish, 78 pp total, 4to and 8vo, Strängnäs and other locations, Sweden, 1938 to 1940, to his girlfriend Barbro Hiort af Ornäs, in ink and pencil, mostly on lined paper, with autograph transmittal envelopes.

A YOUNG INGMAR BERGMAN WRITES WARMLY TO HIS GIRLFRIEND while doing his military service at the end of the 1930s. Most of the letters are sent from the city of Strängnäs, where he was stationed. He writes warmly to her as "Babs," expressing his longing to spend time with her: "... one thinks about lying in the grass on your lap and talking silly things or just peacefully lying there together." However, there are glimpses of the gloom that seemed always to have been part of his existence, when he writes half-jokingly "... there will appear an amazing ugly monster-like person with two sides and you will think of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Wait, I should keep my ugly thoughts under control." Regarding his military service, of which he was required to serve two five-month stints, he was put in charge of maintaining a horse stable, which required some exhausting work shifts. "Any free time on Sunday will not happen for me. I am commanded to the horse stable ... I will stay from Saturday midnight until noon on Sunday...." There was an obvious shared interest in dramatic pursuits, as he refers to a play entitled "To an Uncommon Harbor," saying how much he likes it: "There is so much to discuss about the play. You can always interpret it in different ways."

Barbro Hiort af Ornäs was born in Gothenburg in 1921, three years later than Bergman. She became an actress, working on stage and in numerous Swedish films and TV shows, including Bergman's Brink of Life (1958), Shame (1968), The Passion of Anna (1969), and Scenes from a Marriage (1973). Bergmann's relationship with Barbro is usually overlooked by biographers, but these letters are sincere and honest, and foreshadow the important artist that he would become.
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