Sandemose, Aksel


Sandemose, Aksel
(1899-1965)
   A Norwegian novelist, Sandemose was born in Denmark and had six books to his credit before he decided to become a Norwegian writer. For several decades he was considered one of Norway s most important literary artists. Most of his early books have little enduring value, but one of them, the novel Ross Dane (1928; tr. 1989), which tells about Danish immigrants in Alberta, Canada, established him as more than a writer of entertainment fiction.
   After he moved to Norway, Sandemose quickly published En sjømann gar i land (1931; A Sailor Goes Ashore), in which he introduces the character Espen Arnakke. Drawing on his own time as a sailor and as a lumberjack in Canada, Sandemose vividly depicts Espen's experiences, which culminate in a murder. The story about Espen continues in En flyktning krysser sitt spor (1933; tr. A Fugitive Crosses His Tracks, 1936), in which Espen, now age 34, reflects on his actions as a 17-year-old murderer and searches his soul in order to understand the various forces that shaped him. Drawing on Alfred Adler's brand of psychoanalysis, Sandemose depicts Espen's labor as a kind of self-analysis that is presented in a disjointed and fragmentary form similar to that of a clinical narrative. Sandemose thus became both one of the foremost exponents of modernism in Norwegian literature and one of its first writers to use psychoanalysis as a significant thematic component. His analysis of Espen's life in the fictional Danish town Jante also made a lasting contribution to the Norwegian language; "Jante" has come to signify any small town, and the "Law of Jante," a set of unspoken rules for social control, has come to mean the kind of norms that are designed to make an individual limit his or her aspirations for fear of offending a community that values mediocrity. Two other but less significant novels about Espen are Der stod en benk i haven (1937; A Bench Stood in the Garden), which tells about his puberty, and Brudulje (1938; Upset).
   Rivalry and jealousy, important motifs in the Espen Arnakke novels, return in Vi pynter oss med horn (1936; tr. Horns for our Adornment, 1938), which portrays the dynamics among six men on board a ship bound for Newfoundland. Similar themes govern a novel first published in Swedish while Sandemose was in exile during World War II, Det svundne er en drøm (1944; The Past Is a Dream), which is also strongly influenced by the German occupation of Norway. Its narrator is the Norwegian-American John Torson, who, while trying to come to terms with past wrongdoing, discovers that evil resides within him and is still a threat to himself and others. Sandemose's next novel, Tjærehandleren (1945; The Tar Merchant), offers a portrait of a charlatan who preys on older and wealthy women, while Alice Atkinson og hennes elskere (1949; Alice Atkinson and Her Lovers) again discusses the relationship between jealousy and murder, again prominently featuring the experience of World War II.
   Nazism and wartime collaboration are central themes in the novel Varulven (1958; tr. The Werewolf, 1965), which centers on the murder of Felicia Venhaug, the female member of an erotic triangle that also consists of her husband Jan and the narrator of Varulven, the writer Erling Vik. The novel is an attempt at understanding both the nature of sexual passion and the desire for revenge. Felicias bryllup (1961; Felicia's Wedding) adds additional background information to the story told in Varulven.
   Some of Sandemose's most productive years were spent at a small farm named Kjørkelvik, where he published a magazine for which he wrote all of the content, Årstidene (1951-1955; The Seasons). Some of this material was later published in book form. Sandemose also wrote a book of personal essays, Murene rundt Jeriko (1960; The Walls of Jericho).

Historical Dictionary of Scandinavian Literature and Theater. . 2006.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sandemose, Aksel — ▪ Norwegian novelist born March 19, 1899, Nykøbing, Mors Island, Denmark died August 6, 1965, Copenhagen  Danish born Norwegian experimental novelist whose works frequently elucidate the theme that the repressions of society lead to violence.… …   Universalium

  • Sandemose — Aksel Sandemose (* 19. März 1899 in Nykøbing, Jütland; † 6. August 1965 in Kopenhagen) war ein dänisch norwegischer Schriftsteller. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Werke 3 Literatur 4 S …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Aksel Sandemose — (19 de marzo de 1899 5 de agosto de 1965) fue un escritor danés noruego en cuyas obras se reflejerarían las ideas de Sigmund Freud. Su obra maestra es El pasado es un sueño ( Det svundne er en drøm , 1946), aunque también …   Wikipedia Español

  • Aksel Sandemose — (1934) Aksel Sandemose (* 19. März 1899 in Nykøbing Mors; † 6. August 1965 in Kopenhagen) war ein dänisch norwegischer Schriftsteller, Entwickler des Jantegesetzes. Sein Geburtsname war Axel Nielsen. 1921 nahm er den Namen Aksel Sandemose an …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Aksel Sandemose — (March 19, 1899 August 5, 1965) was a Danish/Norwegian novelist, born in Nykøbing, Mors Island, Denmark of a Danish father and Norwegian mother. As well as writing, in his early years, he worked as a teacher, journalist, sailor and lumberman in… …   Wikipedia

  • Aksel Sandemose — (19. marts 1899 6. august 1965), dansk norsk forfatter. Aksel Sandemose blev født på Nykøbing Mors. Han fødenavn var egentlig Axsel Nielsen, men i 1921 tager han navneforandring til Aksel Sandemose. Hans opvækst på Limfjordsøen Mors, giver stof… …   Danske encyklopædi

  • Sandemose —   [ sandəmuːsə], Aksel, dänisch norwegischer Schriftsteller, * Nykøbing 19. 3. 1899, ✝ Kopenhagen 6. 8. 1965; ab 1929 in Norwegen, schrieb ab 1931 in norwegischer Sprache. Verband in seinen farbigen, nuancenreichen Werken modernistische… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Norwegian literature — Introduction       the body of writings by the Norwegian people.       The roots of Norwegian literature reach back more than 1,000 years into the pagan Norse past. In its evolution Norwegian literature was closely intertwined with Icelandic… …   Universalium

  • Jantegesetz — Das Jantegesetz (norw./dän.: Janteloven, schwed.: Jantelagen) ist ein vom dänisch norwegischen Autor Aksel Sandemose entwickelter Begriff in seinem Roman Ein Flüchtling kreuzt seine Spur (En flyktning krysser sitt spor) von 1933. Sandemose wuchs… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Jantelag — Das Jantegesetz (norw./dän.: Janteloven, schwed.: Jantelagen) ist ein vom dänisch norwegischen Autor Aksel Sandemose entwickelter Begriff in seinem Roman Ein Flüchtling kreuzt seine Spur (En flyktning krysser sitt spor) von 1933. Sandemose wuchs… …   Deutsch Wikipedia


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