Jan Henrik Krogh Nielsen
Major works of Scandinavian literature by selected authors.
Questions about religion and gender are interwoven themes in the selection of novels, short stories, drama, and poetry for this course. The readings include J. P. Jacobsen’s stylistically beautiful exploration of the atheistic life in Niels Lyhne, Pär Lagerkvist’s version of Barabbas’ experiences around the time of Jesus’ crucifixion, Knut Hamsun’s Pan, and two literary representations of the aesthetic life of the seducer, namely H. C. Andersen’s “The Shadow” and Søren Kierkegaard’s portrait of the aesthete Johannes the Seducer in “The Seducer’s Diary” (Either/Or, part I). Finland-Swedish Mikael Niemi’s Popular Music from Vittula is a funny coming-of-age story from the Northernmost parts of Sweden. Scandinavian drama is represented by August Strindberg’s classic “Miss Julie,” followed by contemporary Swedish playwright P. O. Enquist’s dramatic version of Strindberg’s personal life in “Night of the Tribades,” and Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House.” Possibly, we will also read Kaj Munk’s play “The Word” and watch Carl Dreyer’s famous film version.
We will read a limited selection of poems, which will include Edith Södergran’s modernist, Nietzsche-inspired poetry, and excerpts from Harry Martinson’s science fiction poem “Aniara.”
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
The class will be conducted as a seminar with discussions of the texts, group presentations, response papers, and a final paper.
Class assignments and grading