A History of Norwegian Literature

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Harald S. N ss
U of Nebraska Press, 1993 - Literary Criticism - 435 pages
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Long under the cultural domination of Denmark and the political hegemony of Sweden, Norway first defined itself through its literature and continues to do so to our day. A History of Norwegian Literature reviews the complex role literature has played in Norway since runic times. Beginning with rock carvings five millennia old, Norwegian literature first came to flower with the Norse poets of the ninth century, who chronicled the heroism of Viking explorers and conquerers.

The authors describe the subsequent progression of Norwegian literature through the middle ages and the baroque to Ludvig Holberg and the age of enlightenment, and from thence to the cultural debates of the nineteenth century, the dramas of Ibsen, the psychological novels of Sigurd Hoel, the modernist poetry of the 1950s and 1960s, and the postmodernism of the present. The works of Nobel Prize winners Sigrid Undset, Knut Hamsun, and Bjornstjerne Bjornson are covered in some detail, and separate chapters are devoted to children's literature and women writers in Norwegian literature.

Like other volumes in A History of Scandinavian Literatures; A History of Norwegian Literature views the literature of Norway not only as part of an interrelated Scandinavian tradition but as part of world literature. A comparative approach is used throughout, and social and cultural history feature prominently. Contributors to Volume 2 include leading scholars James E. Knirk, Kathleen Stokker, Harald Naess, James McFarlane, William Mishler, Jan I. Sjævik, Margaret O'Leary, and Faith Ingwersen.

 

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Contents

James E Knirk
1
The Viking Age 8001066
7
The Early Middle Ages 10301150
20
The High Middle Ages 11501370
27
Oral Tradition Humanism and the Baroque
39
Development of Vernacular Poetry
48
Harald Naess
53
From Holberg to Tullin
71
Norwegian Literature 19101950
200
Prose Writers of the Early Twentieth Century 2O3
203
In Search of Norways Soul 1226
226
Wildenvey Bull Overland 242
242
Fangen and Christiansen 258
258
Norwegian Literature since 1950
277
Lyric Poetry 19501965 295
295
Norwegian Drama in the Sixties Seventies and Eighties 3 24
324

Johan Sebastian Welhaven
86
Aasen and Vinjc and the Development of Nynorsk
99
Henrik Ibsen 113
113
Realism and Naturalism 140
140
From the Eighties to the New Centurv 161
161
Knut Hamsun 184
184
The Golden Age 18901914 338
338
Faith Ingwersen
349
Bibliography 373
373
The Contributors 391
391
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About the author (1993)

Harold S. Naess is Torger Thompson Professor of Scandinavian Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Among his other works are Knut Hamsun og America (1969) and an edition of Knut Hamsun: Selected Letters (with James McFarlane, 1990).

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