Kampmann, Christian

(1939-1987)
   A Danish novelist and short story writer, Kampmann took middle-class life as his subject and explored it in a large number of short stories and novels. He had his literary debut with the short story collection Blandt venner (1962; Among Friends), which was followed by another collection, Ly (1965; Shelter). An important issue in these stories is that bourgeois values simply do not promote people's real involvement with each other. The need for security is the theme of Kampmann's earliest novels. Sammen (1967; Together), Nærved og næsten (1969; Near and Nearly), and the short story collection "Vi elsker mere" (1970; "We Love More") are all marked by the irony of their titles. Nok til hele ugen (1971; Enough for the Whole Week) documents the marital crisis of a middle-aged woman who gets her sense of meaning from reading weekly magazines.
   Kampmann's greatest artistic achievement is a series ofnovels that depict the life of the upper middle class in Denmark during the period 1954-1974. Consisting of the volumes Visse hensyn (1973; Certain Considerations), Faste forhold (1974; Regular Relationships), Rene linjer (1975; Clear Lines), and Andre mader (1975; Other Ways), this tetralogy about the life of the fictional Gregersen family has been very popular among the Danish reading public and has also been filmed. The series is a saga about the changes that Danish society underwent during these two decades, from the rather quiet lives of people in the 1950s to a time when traditional marriage was being questioned while people's material prosperity was growing rapidly, but with the presence of the energy crisis of the 1970s hanging as a shadow over their paradise of consumption.
   Before Kampmann was murdered in 1987, he wrote an autobiographical trilogy consisting of Fornemmelser (1977; Sensations), Videre trods alt (1979; Onward in Spite of Everything), and I glimt (1980; Seen as Glimpses), as well as other books. The novel Gyldne løfter (1986; Golden Promises) tells about an attempt to solve one's problems in life through meditation.

Historical Dictionary of Scandinavian Literature and Theater. . 2006.

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