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Humanities 2018, 7(4), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7040090

Nordic Modernism for Beginners

Department of German, Nordic, and Slavic, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706, USA
Received: 16 July 2018 / Revised: 13 September 2018 / Accepted: 18 September 2018 / Published: 20 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nordic and European Modernisms)
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Abstract

This essay proposes a narrative of the Nordic countries’ relationship to modernism and other major literary trends of the late 19th and 20th centuries, that situates them in conjunction with the rest of Europe. “Masterpieces of Scandinavian Literature: the 20th Century” is a course that has been taught to American college students without expertise in literature or Scandinavia for three decades. This article describes the content and methodologies of the course and how Nordic modernisms are explained to this particular audience of beginners. Simple definitions of modernism and other related literary movements are provided. By focusing on this unified literary historical narrative and highlighting the pioneers of Scandinavian literature, the Nordic countries are presented as solid participants in European literary and cultural history. Further, the social realism of the Modern Breakthrough emerges as one of the Nordic countries distinct contributions to world literature. View Full-Text
Keywords: modernisms; Nordic; European; literature; translation; decadence modernisms; Nordic; European; literature; translation; decadence
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Brantly, S.C. Nordic Modernism for Beginners. Humanities 2018, 7, 90.

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