I was greatly saddened to learn of the death of Philippe Bouquet, a former Professor of Scandinavian Literature at the University of Caen, and also a translator of Swedish literature and a prominent specialist on the proletarian literary movement.
I had the great pleasure of working with him on a project that was close to his heart, a passion he had developed during stays in Sweden in the regions of Västergötland and Värmland — the study of country churches, often very small ones, richly decorated with paintings dating from the Middle Ages. We travelled through these regions together in the spring of 2009, visiting 31 churches in total, following a well-established routine: while Philippe supplemented his notes from previous visits, I made sure to document in photographs the buildings and the artworks they contain. The book Svenska landsbygdskyrkor / Swedish Country Churches finally saw the light of day last year, published at the author's own expense. But above all, Philippe leaves behind him an impressive list of works translated from Swedish into French. Stig Dagerman, Henning Mankell, Wilhelm Moberg, Björn Larsson, Aino Trosell, Carl-Henning Wijkmark and so many other Swedish authors owe it to him that they can be read in French today.
Philippe was a tireless discoverer who worked with curiosity and tenacity to "smuggle" new literary works across the borders to wider readership. He translated more than 200 literary works.
Värmland, spring 2009
Eglises de campagne suédoises
The book present 30 churches from two regions of Sweden, Västergötland and Värmland.
The foreword and the texts for each church are written by Philippe Bouquet (texts in Swedish, French and English).