Danish and Faroese Women Writers
Modern feminist study of Scandinavian literature has lasted for several decades-maybe it should be dated to the Red Stocking days of the late 1960s and early 1970s--and thus it may seem parochial to include a special chapter on women writers in a volume like this one. Why are the woman writers not integrated into the general discussion of Danish literature? They are, of course, represented in that study. It should be noted, however, that even if several feminist scholars were intricately involved in writing a Danish literary history of the 1980s--the nine-volume Dansk littteraturhistorie (History of Danish Literature)--there is still an ongoing Nordic project called "Nordisk Kvindelitteraturhistorie" ( Nordic History of Women's Literature). It seems, then, that whether editors integrate the women authors or separate them, as Stig Dalager and Anne-Mari Mai have so ably managed in Danske kvindelige forfattere ( 1982; Danish Women Writers), the choice will call forth criticism. The decision to attempt both in the present work is not a wishy-washy compromise, but the effect of the desire to include women writers in the historical charting of Danish literature and simultaneously admit that the creative conditions for women who wanted to write were different enough from those of male authors that a separate treatment of them is necessary.
Another reason for adding a separate chapter on women writers is that the feminist movement has achieved that pluralism (sometimes distinguishing between feminist, feminine, and female) that spurs disagreements among critics who have the same cause at heart. The ongoing debate as to whether or not it is possible to speak of a special female aesthetics cannot be resolved here. The very fact, however, that the issue is not resolved requires that spe-