A History of Danish Literature

By P. M. Mitchell; Mogens Haugsted | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IV
An Age of Dualism. Baroque Literature

The era which embraced the Danish Reformation, the subsequent changes in philosophy and theology, and the many reactions which consequently made themselves felt in daily life, lasted about one hundred years. Then, when a new spirit of scientific curiosity already had permeated western Europe and learning had begun to establish itself beyond the bounds of ecclesiastical authority, a new, worldly culture began to make itself felt in Denmark. This culture, although secular in nature, had not actually disassociated itself from the dominant theological thinking of the preceding century. The new worldliness did not engender an wholely secular literature but a literature which, struggling to be self-sufficient, was nevertheless bound to traditional, if reformed, religious convictions. It was almost inevitable that the two great poets of the seventeenth century were religious poets.

The Reformation had taken away the security of existence and instead had stressed the importance of the search for a philosophy of life. That is to say, the Reformation had given secular literature a new ethical function and assignment. As literature gradually was released from ecclesiastical domination, its philosophical importance continued to grow throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries until secular literature finally became more important than ecclesiastical literature in considering the ideas and problems of daily life.

The didactic attitude of litterateurs at the beginning of the century was succinctly expressed by the authoritative and influential German critic Martin Opitz in his Buch von der deutschen Poetery ( 1624) in which he declared: "Poetry is in the first instance nothing but a hidden theology." Alpha was however not omega. The secularization of literature also produced a literature of words, words artfully and artistically combined, but a literature for which figures of speech were as important as ideas. This literature we term baroque.

For the first time since Christianity had swept away the pagan literature, poetry now existed independently, in the face of the incredible destruction wrought by the Thirty Years' War. And now the number of poets

-64-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
A History of Danish Literature
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 324

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.