Pippi and Lisbeth. Lisbeth and Pippi.

E and I are going to a movie tomorrow.  We talked about seeing Girl With A Dragon Tattoo, but are going for The Descendants instead.

You would think I would jump at the whole hot “Dark Sweden” vibe.  But I have a real ambivalence about the Millennium trilogy by Stieg Larsson.

Especially when people, including Larsson, compare his heroine, Lisbeth Salander, with the classic Swedish heroine Pippi Longstocking.

I wrote a post about it at Double X at Slate a few weeks ago:

Yes, both characters do spring from the same Swedish/Western cultural well, and both have no mother to speak of and missing fathers that turn up with unforeseen consequences. But Larsson claimed that Lisbeth is Pippi grown up in the real world, instead of that this is what happens to his Pippi in his alternate universe. This isn’t what Lindgren intended.

There was one point that got cut in editing that was actually the inspiration for the whole post.

And here it is:

But Lindgren created a heroine out of the work of Swiss philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau – natural, unspoiled, resilient – while Larsson crafted a world reflecting the popular perception of English philosopher Thomas Hobbes – all trauma, betrayal and destruction.


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