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Canons and Contemporary Danish Literature

Abstract

This article deals with recent Danish literature in the light of the discussion about canons occasioned by the publication of the two ministerial canons: Undervisningskanon (Educational Canon, 2004) and Kulturkanon (Cultural Canon, 2006). The article argues that recent Danish literature challenges traditional work categories and the concept of the author on which the two canons are based, and discusses which works and texts in recent Danish literature ought to belong to a future canon.

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Charles Darwin i dansk litteratur med særlig henblik på Johannes V. Jensens forfatterskab

Abstract

Charles Darwin’s theories were already introduced in Scandinavia in the early 1860s, whereas his two major works, On the Origin of Species (1859) and The Descent of Man (1871), were translated by Danish writer J.P. Jacobsen in the 1870s. Jacobsen acts as an important intermediary both as a scientist and, probably, the first Danish writer whose work is influenced by Darwin’s thoughts. But also in the writings of other authors of the time, e.g. Herman Bang, at least the name “Darwin” infrequently occurs as is also the case with the symbolist writers of the 1890s, e.g. Viggo Stuckenberg and Sophus Claussen. However, not until after 1900 does Darwin serve as an artistic inspiration and a positive role model. This happens in an overpowering manner in the fictional and essayist works of the Danish Nobel Prizewinner Johannes V. Jensen. Jensen’s Darwinism was not countered until the so-called “livsanskuelsesdebat” - a philosophical debate - during the 1920s with the eloquent poet and dramatist Helge Rode as his acute opponent. Hereafter, Darwin’s role in Danish literature decreases significantly unless one wishes to see Peter Høeg’s novel from 1996, Kvinden og aben (The Man and the Ape) as the last example of a Darwin-influence on a literary text.

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Die Beziehungen Zwischen Frau und Mann in der Dramatik und Prosa von Dagny Juel-Przybyszewska

Abstract

In Poland, the name Dagny is well-known because of the sad life and tragic death of the Norwegian wife of the famous and scandalising Polish-German fin de siécle writer Przybyszewski. But not many people know that she was a writer and poet herself, even if not a very prolific one. Her ouevre consists of four short plays, five poems in prose and a handful of poetry. The aim of this article is to analyse her plays and prose in respect of the relations between a man and a woman. Especially, I enquire if Juels work is only an expression of the literary conventions of her epoch, or if she gives her texts an unique (feminine) touch. I attempt to demonstrate that the latter is the case in her dramatic work and especially in her prose poetry.

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Ein Superstar der Neueren Finnischen Prosa
Einige Bemerkungen zum Finnischen Roman Fegefeuer von Sofi Oksanen

Abstract

The article is devoted to Sofi Oksanen, one of the most recognizable Finnish authors of the young generation whose literary production has been an unbroken streak of success for the last ten years. It addresses in particular her groundbreaking novel Purge (Puhdistus). In the analysis, the article focuses first and foremost on the aspect of a woman’s corporeality as well as shame and exclusion resulting from sexual abuse. It is one of the central motifs in Osanen’s production. On the example of Aliide the writer depicts, from the feminist point of view, the effects of physical violence towards women used as an element of humiliation and oppression of a conquered nation. The metaphor of a woman’s body as an occupied country gives the novel a universal character and draws attention to the fact that destroying womanhood is a subtle and slow way to the fall of societies. Therefore the deeds of both women are not unambiguously condemned in the novel.

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An Enormous Interstitial Mestizo? The (Im)possibility of Eurasian Identity in Dutch Postcolonial Novels

Abstract

This article examines the (im)possibility of Eurasian identity in Dutch postcolonial novels by second-generation authors such as Marion Bloem and Adriaan van Dis. As a result of Indonesia’s decolonisation 300.000 Dutch nationals came from the former Dutch East Indies to the Netherlands. Among them was a large group of Eurasians, people of mixed Dutch and Indonesian descent. Many of whom had never set foot on the so-called motherland. Although Eurasians had belonged to the European community in the tropics, they were perceived as immigrants by the Dutch government and were subjected to an aggressive, far-reaching assimilation policy - fearing they would otherwise become a major social problem. Their offspring, the so-called second generation, is often assumed to struggle with their identity while growing up in a postcolonial society that did not tolerate cultural differences at the time. What constitutes a Eurasian identity, and can such identities exist after the enforced assimilation of Eurasians in the Netherlands? How do second-generation authors look upon their Eurasian background and how do they portray these assumed identity struggles in postcolonial literature? The texts in question are discussed in relation to theories of hybridity. It is argued that the widespread notion that Eurasians either fall between two stools or grow into examples of hybrid identity are not foregone conclusions.

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Erich von Mendelssohn, Autor und Früher Vermittler Nordischer Literatur

Abstract

This contribution is to commemorate Erich von Mendelssohn (1887-1913), a gifted author and a translator of medieval and modern Scandinavian, especially Danish literature, who lamentably passed away at a very young age. It contains a short biography of von Mendelssohn and deals with his poetic (including a so far unknown poem) and prosaic works (Phantasten, Die Heimkehr, Nacht und Tag, Juliana) on one hand and his translations from Danish (works from J. P. Jacobsen, Thit Jensen, and Svend Fleuron) and Old (several sagas) and New Icelandic (Einar H. Kvaran) on the other.

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Et naivt forsøg på forståelse – dansk samling og Tyskland

Abstract

In the 1930s, one of several small anti-parliamentarian, more or less authoritarian movements in Denmark was “Dansk Samling” (Danish Unity, see note 3), by its critics labeled as fascist or even nazi, in its self-understanding above all Christian and national and thus strongly opposed to any import of German ideology. In 1938, some of its members attended a meeting in Lübeck, and later that same year the movement’s periodical published “greetings to Germany” - a rather naive attempt at reaching a dialogue, but still without giving in on crucial matters.

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The Final Victory for the Barbarians?

Abstract

In 1860 the Dutch author Multatuli (pen name of Eduard Douwes Dekker) published Max Havelaar, which was to become the most famous 19th century Dutch novel. In 2010 the book was rewritten by NRC-journalist Gijsbert van Es. His purpose was to make the book more accessible for secondary school pupils for whom Max Havelaar was on the mandatory reading list. He modernized the language, updated the vocabulary but also cut out a number of long-winded passages, making the 2010 version about one fifth shorter than the original. This article analyses the many reactions to the adaptation, going from lavish praise to complete disapproval. The article focuses on the arguments of advocates and opponents, evaluating their validity. It also tries to answer the question whether the author has achieved his aim.

Open access
“Foran loven”
Moderne skandinavisk kortprosa over for Franz Kafkas roman processen

Abstract

The novel The trial, telling the story of the groundless arrest and prosecution of the bank clerk Josef K., remains one of the bestknown and most influential works written by Franz Kafka. Depicting the pointless struggle of a man placed at the mercy of a remote, inaccessible authority, it gives a symbolic account of the human condition in the modern era, characterised by the lack of universal truth, estrangement, confusion and existential impotence. Grasping the very idea of existential modernity, the novel provides ongoing inspiration for a great number of modernist and postmodernist writers all over the world, including Scandinavia. In the article presented below, The trial is examined as an intertext within the genre of the Scandinavian short prose, as it unfolds at breakthrough of modernism and postmodernism. Starting with the literary and critical works of the Danish modernist Villy Sørensen, and moving forward throughout the Danish and Norwegian minimalism of the 1990's, the paper discusses a range of different aspects of The trial, as they reappear in the short stories written by some of the main representatives of the Scandinavian short story. In this way, the article elucidates the relevance of Kafka's novel as an intertext for contemporary Scandinavian short fiction, as well as draws attention to the dialogical dimension of the genre.

Open access
Fostering Intercultural Competence of Students during Translation Classes at the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin

Abstract

Intercultural communication has become a scientific discipline which aims at improving communication during intercultural contacts by means of fostering the intercultural awareness and competence of the interlocutors involved within the intercultural communication process.

In view of the intensifying European and international contacts the interest for this competency has grown during the last decades. This can among others be observed within foreign language teaching, but also in the training of translators at university level where new didactical approaches and teaching methods are being developed in order to improve the intercultural of future translators.

This article presents a preliminary collaboration between the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin and non-profit organization of translators, as well as the theoretical and practical backgrounds of a project which that they envisage to realize in future in order to transform its participants into intercultural competent translators.

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