Lars Johan Wictor Gyllensten was a Swedish author and physician, and a member of the Swedish Academy, which has the aim of furthering the "purity, vigour and majesty" of the Swedish language and selects the recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature each year.
Gyllensten was born and grew up in a middle-class family in Stockholm, son of Carl Gyllensten and Ingrid RangstrÃ¶m, and nephew of Ture RangstrÃ¶m. He studied at the Karolinska Institute, becoming a doctor of medicine in 1953, and was an associate professor of histology there from 1955 to 1973.
His first written work, published under the pseudonym Jan Wictor in 1946, was a collection of poetry by Gyllensten and Torgny Greitz entitled Camera Obscura, a straight-faced parody of Swedish modernist 1940s poetry. The Swedish Academy biography refers to his "dialectic" prose trilogy Moderna myter, Det blÃ¥ skeppet och Barnabok as the "real" beginning of his authorship. His last work was published in 2004. He left the Karolinska Institute to become a full-time author in 1973. He has been described as a Swedish counterpart to Thomas Mann and Albert Camus. Few of his works have been translated into English, French or German.