A History of Danish Literature

A History of Danish Literature

A History of Danish Literature

A History of Danish Literature

Synopsis

For centuries, Denmark dominated the culture of Scandinavia, and its literature has influenced such English works as Beowulf and Hamlet as well as major philosophical movements: humanism, romanticism, existentialism. With contributions from nine internationally recognized scholars, A History of Danish Literature reaches back as far as the literary record allows, to the ancient runic inscriptions, and thence to medieval Latin, the development of literature in the vernacular, and the flowering of a distinct Danish literary tradition numbering among its luminaries Hans Christian Andersen, Soren Kierkegaard, and Karen Blixen. The volume includes, in addition, chapters on Faroese literature, women's literature, and children's literature.The approach used in A History of Danish Literature is maintained in the other volumes of A History of Scandinavian Literatures, which surveys the literary history of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, and Finland. These literatures are viewed not only as part of an interrelated Scandinavian tradition but as part of world literature. A comparative approach is used through-out, and social and cultural history feature prominently. Contributors to Volume 1 include David W. Colbert, Sven H. Rossel, F.J. Billeskov Jansen, P.M. Mitchell, Niels Ingwersen, Poul Houe, W. Glyn Jones, Faith Ingwersen, and Flemming Mouritsen.Sven H. Rossel, the general editor of A History of Scandinavian Literatures, is a professor of comparative and Scandinavian literature at the University of Washington. Among his other works are Johannes V. Jensen (1984) and The Diaries of Hans Christian Andersen (coeditor, with Patricia Conroy, 1990).

Excerpt

This book is part of a five-volume work on the histories of the Scandinavian literatures. Its first objective is to satisfy a deep need in Anglo-American scholarship. Various studies dealing with individual Scandinavian literatures have been published in English. Most of them, however, are outdated, out of print, or cover only limited chronological periods, and only few match contemporary expectations of stringent research; furthermore, most of these works have viewed their subject in isolation.

The five volumes of the present work attempt to view Danish, Faroese, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian, and Swedish literature as part of both a continuous interrelationship and world literature at large. For the first time, women's and children's literature have been included, and in addition to a comparatist approach, it has been a major editorial wish to incorporate social and cultural history in the discussion.

Almost fifty internationally recognized scholars from the United States, England, and Scandinavia have contributed to the project. It is aimed at students, comparatists, and a general readership interested in familiarizing themselves with a literary tradition that has produced fifteen Nobel laureates. Since the Middle Ages Scandinavian writers and works have been immensely influential in the development of world literature. They are being introduced and discussed here with the hope that an even larger public will find them attractive, exciting, and entertaining.

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