"Here is a rich new biographical perspective on the brilliant storyteller whose sophisticated romantic fiction . . . made her an international success and perpetual candidate for the Nobel Prize for Literature. . . . These letters] contain the raw material that was later transformed into her classic memoir "Out of Africa" (1937). They also reveal her as a highly intelligent and sensitive analyst of a strange new world." Bruce Allen, "Christian Science Monitor"
""Letters from Africa" is literary gold, 24 karat." Alden Whitman, "Boston Globe""
Hans Christian Andersen's haunting and enigmatic tale, The Snow Queen, has not only enchanted generations of children, but has also fascinated and puzzled adults. Lederer uncovers the roots of this perennial enchantment by interweaving an astute psychological analysis of the fairy tale with an account of Andersen's life. Engaging and highly readable, this book is suffused with perceptions culled from psychology, folklore, and myth.
"Isak Dinesen . . . had an original approach to life that permeated all her work. She loved storytelling, with the result that most of her essays are quasi-narratives, which proceed not from major to minor premise but from one anecdote to another as the way of making concrete whatever idea she is considering. Her work is a delight and at times a marvel." "The New Yorker"
"Through these daguerreotypes we begin to understand other periods, the renunciations of World War I, the purpose of houses and mansions, of ritual ceremonials, such as tatooing. We are given a fresh and vivid view of the women's movement . . . which urges that what our 'small society' needs beyond human beings who have demonstrated what they can "do," is people who "are." 'Indeed, our own time, ' she wrote in 1953, 'can be said to need a revision from "doing" to "being."' She demonstrated it in her own work and craft, with courage and with dignity. This collection is as real as a gallery of old daguerreotypes, moving and unfaded. The work, as Hannah Arendt says, of a wise woman." Robert Kirsch, "Los Angeles Times "
"These essays . . . have the flavor of good conversation: humorous, easy, personal but not oppressive, the distillation of reading, thought, and experience. Their subjects are of surprisingly current interest. We need make no concessions to the past, need not set our watches back to 'historical.' Isak Dinesen was not a faddish thinker. . . . 'In history it is always the human element that has a chance for eternal life, ' Dinesen remarks, and she gives these essays their chance." Penelope Mesic, "Chicago"
Despite being a minor language, Danish literature is one of the world's most actively translated, and the Scandinavian country is the home of a number of significant writers. Hans Christian Andersen remains one of the most translated authors in the world, philosopher S ren Kierkegaard inspired modern Existentialism, Karen Blixen chronicled her life in colonial Kenya as well as writing imaginary, cosmopolitan tales, and the writers among the circles of literary critic Georg Brandes in the late 19th century were especially important to the further development of European Modernism.Danish Literature as World Literature introduces key figures from 800 years of Danish literature and their impact on world literature. It includes chapters devoted to post-1945 literature on beat and systemic poetry as well as the Scandinavia noir vogue that includes both crime fiction and cinema and is enjoying worldwide popularity.
Diary of a Seducer records Johannes's discovery of a girl with the Shakespearean name Cordelia, whom he sets out to control. Intricately, meticulously, cunningly, the seduction proceeds. No detail is too small to escape Johannes. She sits on the sofa by the tea table and I sit on a chair at her side. This position has an intimate quality and at the same time a detaching dignity. Less erotic than an intellectual depiction of seduction, Diary of a Seducer shows the casuist Kierkegaard in what he characterized as the aesthetic mode. A new introduction by Michael Dirda puts this influential novella into high relief.
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.
Johanne, Johanne is an SMS (Short Message Service, or text messaging) novel about a young woman's flight from the often mundane reality of everyday existence and her knife-edge attempt at forging an identity for herself in a lifestyle obsessed, big city environment, where unlimited options seem available at every turn: freedom, career, excitement, sex, love, security, husband and babies, "whatever."
The book follows Johannes's life for nine months via her text messages (and only hers) to the somewhat older Jonas, who fulfills her dream of a huge sweeping illicit love affair, but also forces her to make some fateful choices. Much is possible, but how much is wise?
A very cleverly constructed, multi-layered story that initially reads as a sexting novel but soon confronts every reader with a range of much deeper questions. A smartphone mirror into the way we live right now, where 50 Shades of Grey is shocked to meet Flaubert and Kierkegaard in digital space.
Although Klaus Rifbjerg's output is prodigious--including more than 25 novels and 15 volumes of poetry--only two works, a volume of selected poems and one novel are thus far available in English. Charlotte Gray has provided a comprehensive introduction to the works of this versatile man of letters, who enjoys a reputation not only as a novelist and poet but as a critic, playwright, journalist, and editor. She discusses Rifbjerg's place both in the contemporary Danish literary scene and in modern letters. Offering a thorough analysis of each work, she traces Rifbjerg's development chronologically and in terms of his contributions to various genres--particularly modernist poetry and psychological fiction--and points out the underlying unity of his work within these different forms. The author's generous use of quotations and her sensitive commentary give a keen impression of Rifbjerg's style and central concerns and convey his sense of the comic and tragic dimensions of modern existence.