I have it on fairly good authority that Emil in Lönneberga is fifty today. Although – as you probably know – he must be quite a lot older, really. Something like just over a hundred, maybe?
Astrid Lindgren’s Emil lived at the beginning of the last century, and to start with he was a little boy. (When he was a fully proper adult he became chairman of the local council.)
But, today it’s fifty years since Astrid needed to calm her grandson who was having a tantrum, and so she came up with Emil. Hujedamej.
The theory is that if Emil was a child today, he’d be diagnosed with something or other. And then he’d be given medication to take for it. (Only in some countries, I’d say.)
To be perfectly truthful, as a child I found Emil a bit too boisterous for my comfort. I like a quieter kind of fictional hero. He got up to so many naughty things, all the time! But there was good in him, I could see that. I was very grateful I wasn’t his sister, being raised to the top of the flagpole. But she did ask.
When the film version came, I was really too old, but this being a National Treasure kind of situation, I went to see it, along with the rest of the country. We can all still hear Allan Edwall as the screen Dad shouting Eeeemmiiil!!!
And the soup tureen adventure always worried me more than it should. I inherited a soup tureen, and all I can think of when I see it is to imagine Emil’s head stuck inside.
I should start thinking of soup.