Paludan, Jacob

(1896-1975)
   A Danish novelist and essayist, Paludan was a conservative voice in Danish literature during the inter-war period. The son of a literary historian, he was educated as a pharmacist, and he traveled to the United States and Ecuador in 1920-1921. While in the United States he developed a strong dislike for the American emphasis on success and the role of materialism in American culture. This criticism was first voiced in the novel De vestlige veje (1922; The Western Roads), in which a disillusioned emigrant offers his satirical view of the hollowness of American life in general and urban life in particular. Paludan s next novel, Søgelys (1923; Searchlight), deals with similar themes but is set in Copenhagen.
   In the novel En vinter lang (1924; Winter Long) Paludan drew on his own experience and offered a psychological analysis of the figure of the outsider. His next book, Fugle omkring fyret (1925; tr. Birds around the Light, 1928), has as its setting the economic bubble during World War I, which led to decline among many older moneyed families but created a great deal of new wealth. Paludan s novel describes a hubristic construction project, a new port, which the ocean rises up and washes away, thus demonstrating the superiority of nature over culture. The novel Markerne modnes (1927; The Fields Are Ripening) likewise expresses Paludan s cultural pessimism.
   Paludan's finest novel is the two-volume family saga Jørgen Stein (1932-1933; tr. 1966), which covers the history of the Stein family, starting before World War I and ending around 1930. Jørgen's father, a government official, is most likely modeled on the father of Paludan's close friend Eric C. Eberlin (1899-1943), who provided Paludan with much of the material for his novels. In Jørgen Stein the father experiences financial ruin and the disintegration of his system of values, while Jørgen s brother Otto becomes a speculator and eventually commits suicide. Jørgen himself knows that he cannot go back to the life of his father and refuses to accept the values of his brother; in the end, he marries and becomes a chicken farmer.
   Jørgen Stein was Paluden s last novel. He then turned to the essay, of which he became a master, eventually publishing numerous volumes on the subjects of nature and literature. He also wrote several volumes of memoirs.

Historical Dictionary of Scandinavian Literature and Theater. . 2006.

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  • Paludan, Jacob — ▪ Danish author born February 7, 1896, Copenhagen died September 26, 1975, Birkerød, near Copenhagen       Danish novelist and conservative critic whose work expressed a mistrust based on the fear of Americanization of European culture of Danish… …   Universalium

  • Paludan-Müller — Paludan ist der Familienname folgender Persönlichkeiten: Caspar Peter Paludan (1805–1882), dänischer Historiker Frederik Paludan Müller (1809–1876), dänischer Schriftsteller Jacob Paludan (1896–1975), dänischer Schriftsteller …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Paludan — ist der Familienname folgender Persönlichkeiten: Caspar Peter Paludan (1805–1882), dänischer Historiker Frederik Paludan Müller (1809–1876), dänischer Schriftsteller Jacob Paludan (1896–1975), dänischer Schriftsteller Dies …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Jacob Paludan — Stig Henning Jacob Puggaard Paludan (* 7. Februar 1896 in Kopenhagen; † 26. September 1975 in Birkerød) war ein dänischer Schriftsteller. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Werk 3 Auszeichnungen …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Stig Henning Jacob Puggaard Paludan — (* 7. Februar 1896 in Kopenhagen; † 26. September 1975 in Birkerød) war ein dänischer Schriftsteller. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Werk 3 Auszeichnungen …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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