Phila Danica - Literature & Religion
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The area Literarure and Religion comprises the authors and their works within literature, lengends, Danish language, religion and myths.
Literature  
 
images/hca/rom19551217.jpg Romania 1955.
H. C. Andersen.
Andersen, Hans Christian (1805-1875), Danish author, born in Odense. His fairy tales have inspired plays, ballets, films, comics and works of sculpture and painting all over the world. It was his more than 150 stories and tales of fantasy that established him as one of the great figures of world literature. Andersen's tales of fantasy, which include "The Ugly Duckling" (1843), "The Emperor's New Clothes" (1837), and "The Little Mermaid" (1837), have been translated into more than 200 languages.
images/tur19350417-su.jpg Turkey 1935.
Sigrid Undset.
Undset, Sigrid (1882-1949). Norwegian-danish author born in Kalundborg, Denmark. She is best known for her historical novel "Kristin Lavransdatter" for which she in 1928 received the Nobel Prize in Literature. Other famous works are "Jenny", "The Master of Hestviken", and "The Faithful Wife". Especially the novel "Elleven Year" (1934; da. 1954) is an autobiography from her childhood in Kalundborg. Because of her opposition to the Naziism she had to leave Norway when occupied by the German. She fled from Norway via Sweden to USA in 1940.
images/mdw19951228e.jpg Maldive Islands 1995.
Johannes V. Jensen. .
Jensen, Johannes Vilhelm (1873-1950). Danish writer, born in Farsø, Jutland, and educated at the University of Copenhagen. His writings are notable for their profound understanding and sympathetic portrayal of humble people. He first gained recognition for Himmerlandshistorier (Tales from the Himmerland, 3 vol., 1898-1910), a collection of folktales of the people of his native province. Jensen was deeply interested in the theory of evolution and is best known for a series of six novels (1909-20) in which he expounded his view of the development of humankind from savagery to lofty intellectual aspiration. These novels were combined (1938) into two volumes under the title Den Lange Rejse, after they had been translated into English under the title The Long Journey (3 vol., 1922-24). Jensen, who wrote more than 60 volumes of poetry, plays, and novels, was awarded the 1944 Nobel Prize in literature.
swe19771117 Sweden 1977.
Gjellerup and Pontoppidan.
Gjellerup, Karl Adolph (1857-1919). Danish writer and Nobel laureate, born on the island of Sealand. He studied theology, but later became an atheist under the influence of the Danish literary critic Georg Morris Brandes. After 1892 Gjellerup lived in Germany; many of his writings are in German and demonstrate his admiration for the humanistic and mystical side of German culture. His last writings also show a preoccupation with Buddhism. Among his works are the novels En idealist (1878), Minna (1889; trans. 1913), and The Pilgrim Kamanita (1906; trans. 1911). Gjellerup was also a poet and a playwright. He shared the 1917 Nobel Prize in literature with the Danish novelist Henrik Pontoppidan.
Pontoppidan, Henrik (1857-1943). A Danish novelist born in Fredericia and educated as an engineer at the Polytechnic Institute in Copenhagen. He worked as a journalist until he turned (circa 1880) to writing fiction. In his novels he was an accurate observer of social and political life among the Danish peasantry. Pontoppidan's first novel cycle, Det Forjättede Land (1891-95), is about the life of a Danish clergyman; it includes Emanuel, or Children of the Soil (1896), The Promised Land (1896), and the untranslated Dommens Dag (Day of Judgment, 1895). His major work, the autobiographical Lykke-Per (Lucky Peter, 5 vol., 1898-1904), reflects his dissatisfaction with his bourgeois Protestant upbringing. De Dödes Rige (Kingdom of the Dead, 5 vol., 1912-16) describes the decade from 1900 to 1910 in Denmark.
images/dee19690205.jpg Germany, East 1969.
Birth anniv. of Martin Andersen Nexø. .
Nexø, Martin Andersen (June 26, 1869 - June 1, 1954) Nexø was born in the slums of Copenhagen into extreme poverty. He was the fourth of eleven children. When he was eight, the family moved to the town of Nexø on the island of Bornholm, whose name he adopted in 1894. Nexø graduated as a teacher in 1897 and found work at a Gruntvigian folk school in Odense. (1901) he gave up teaching and devoted entirely to writing. His breakthrough work was "Pelle Eroberen" (1906-1910). Ditte Menneskebarn (1917-1921) depicted in this novel the darkest sides of capitalism. In 1922, after a trip to the Soviet Union, he had joined the Communist Party. During World War II Nexø was held for a time by the Danish police as a Communist. He took refuge in Sweden and then moved to the Soviet Union. In 1949 Nexø settled in the German Democratic Republic. His memoirs, "Erindringer" (Under the Open Sky), appeared in 1932-39. It gives much information of the background of his novels. Nexø died in Dresden, East Germany, on June 1, 1954.
images/lso19910620.jpg Lesotho 1991.
Famous Films. Meryl Streep as Karen Blixen.
Blixen, Karen (Apr 17, 1885 - Sep 7, 1962). "I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills" is how Karen Blixen starts her probably most famous novel Out of Africa, which has been hailed as the greatest pastoral elegy of modernism. She lived in Africa for 17 years of her life and this inspired her to write Out of Africa. She wrote the story, and many of her other novels, under the pen name Isak Dinesen.
images/nor19841005.jpg Norway 1984.
300th Birth Anniv of Holberg.
Holberg, Ludvig (Dec 3, 1684 - Jan 28, 1754). Danish-Norwegian writer considered the founder of Danish literature. He was born in Bergen, Norway, and educated at the universities of Copenhagen and Oxford. He taught at the University of Copenhagen and in 1747 was made baron Holberg. At a time when the only literary use of Danish was in hymns and ballads, and plays on the Danish stage were given only in German or French, Holberg wrote a vast body of dramatic, poetic, and historical works that almost by themselves established Danish as a literary language. In all, he wrote more than a dozen successfully performed plays in Danish. They include the comedies Den Vaegelsindede (The Waverer, 1722) and Henrik eg Pernille (1724). His poem Pedar Paars (1719; translated 1962), a satire on contemporary manners, is a Danish classic. Other verse satires are Metamorphosis (1726) and Niels Klim's Subterranean Journey (1741; translated 1960). Holberg also wrote a history of Denmark and a volume of philosophical essays. His letters were published in five volumes between 1748 and 1754.
 
images/error/gmb19860610.jpg Gambia. June 10, 1986.
Jacob August Riis.
Riis, Jacob August (1849-1914), American social reformer, photographer, and journalist, born in Ribe, Denmark. Riis came to the United States in 1870 as a carpenter. In 1877 he became a police reporter for the New York Tribune. In 1888 he began working for the New York Evening Sun. Riis actively sought reforms in tenement housing and schools and his "How the Other Half Lives" (1890) was one of the earliest popular social documentary books in the United States. The book instigated reform legislation in New York City by attracting the attention of Theodore Roosevelt, then police commissioner of New York City, who cooperated with Riis on reform programs. Riis's other writings, mostly sociological, include "Out of Mulberry Street" (1896); his autobiography, "The Making of an American" (1901); and Neighbors: "Life Stories of the Other Half" (1914).
 
Works  
images/bel20070522.jpg Belgium 2007.
Title: Tintin i Congo.
Tintin. The front page here is in Danish language: "TINTINS OPLEVELSER. TINTIN i CONGO". Anyway, the stories with Tintin is made by the Belgian writer Georges Remi, alias Hergé (1907-1983), who was inspired by the Danish actress Palle Huld. Palle Huld was born in Hellerup, Copenhagen, 1912. In 1928 he won a competition in the newspaper Politiken, launched on the occasion of the Jules Verne's 100th birthday. Palle Huld made a trip around the earth in 44 days by ship, rail, and car, and he described his trip in the book "Jorden rundt i 44 Dage af Palle" Hasselbalch , 1928, 178 pages with photos. The book were at that time printed in many countries, ie. Denmark, England, USA, Czechoslovakia, Sweden, Finland, Hungary, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Italy, and Spain. It was the book that inspired Hergé to create the jaunt journalist, Tintin. A photograph in the book shows Palle Huld on Moscow's Red Square wearing golfing trousers and a cap. On his return, he was welcomed by a huge crowd at Copenhagen railway station, just like Tintin in his first adventure created by Hergé in 1929 with the story: "Tintin in the Land of the Soviets".
images/cze19790830.jpg Czechoslovakia 1979.
Illustration by Svend Otto S.
Svend Otto S. Svend Otto S was the artist name Svend Otto Sorensen (1916 - 1996), a Danish illustrator and author. He was particularly known for its ease drawings in traditional watercolor style in a variety of picture books for children. Svend Otto S. was born in Copenhagen and studied here for several years in the 1930s, later at St. Martins School of Arts and Craft in London in 1938. He designed book covers and magazine illustrations, and in the 1950s he began to illustrate children's books.
Language  
images/fin20010117.jpg Finland 2001.
European Year of Languages.
The Danish language is one of the Scandinavian languages, a sub-group of the Germanic group of the Indo-European language family. The closest relatives of Danish are the other North Germanic languages of Scandinavia: Norwegian and Swedish. Written Danish and Norwegian are particularly close, though the pronunciation of all three languages differs significantly. Proficient speakers of any of the three languages can understand the others. The similarity between the three languages are so close that some international linguists classify them as dialects of a single language. Danish is written using the Roman alphabet, with three additional letters: Æ/æ, Ø / ø, and Å / å, which come at the end of the Danish alphabet, in that order. Before an orthography reform in 1948, aa was used instead of å; the old usage still occurs in names and old documents.
Religion  
images/tza19920413.jpg Tanzania 1992.
Pope Visiting Denmark 1989.
Religion. Karol Józef Wojtyla was born in Wadowice, Poland on May 18, 1920. October 16, 1978, at age 58, he became Pope Johannes Paul II. In 2 days between June 6 and 7th, 1989, the Pope visited Denmark. He spoked with the prime minister Poul Slüter and with Queen Margrethe II. The 1st day he selebrated Mass at Høsterkøb in the Northern Sealand and the 2nd day at Øm Kloster near Silkeborg, Jutland.
Myth  
images/myth/isl20040326.jpg Islands 2004.
"Odin and Sleipnir".
Norse Mythology is a pre-Christian religious beliefs of the Scandinavian people. The Scandinavian legends and myths about ancient heroes, gods, and the creation and destruction of the universe developed out of the original common mythology of the Germanic peoples and constitute the primary source of knowledge about ancient German mythology. Most information about Scandinavian mythology is preserved in the Old Norse literature (Icelandic Literature); Norwegian Literature, in the Eddas and later sagas; other material appears in commentaries by the Danish historian Saxo Grammaticus and the German writer Adam of Bremen.

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