Marxism

   Marxism, particularly as practiced in the Soviet Union, first became influential in Scandinavian literature following World War I, when it was often paired with Freudianism as a means of social and economic analysis. One of the best examples is Hans Kirk's collective novel Fiskerne (1928; tr. The Fishermen, 1999), which tells the story of a group of Danish fishermen who migrate from the Jutland coast to the relatively sheltered Limfjord area. Sigurd Hoel's novels from the 1920s and 1930s also show evidence of Marxist thinking, as do the works of Martin Andersen Nexø,in which the history of the Danish labor movement figures prominently. The Swede Karin Boye strongly expressed her reservations concerning Marxist totalitarianism in her dystopian novel Kallocain (1940; tr. 1966).
   In the 1960s and 1970s Marxism again became a major force in the literature of Scandinavia, but at that time the inspiration came chiefly from China and to a lesser extent Albania; the latter was particularly attractive to the Norwegian novelist Espen Haavardsholm. The Swede Jan Myrdal reported on Mao Zedong's revolution in China, and the Norwegian writers Edvard Hoem, Tor Obrestad, and Dag Solstad wrote novels in which the Maoist variety of Marxist-Leninism was held up as an ideal; Solstad's Arild Asnes, 1970 (1971) is perhaps the best example ofthis type ofliterature.

Historical Dictionary of Scandinavian Literature and Theater. . 2006.

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