Skou-Hansen, Tage

   A Danish novelist, Skou-Hansen was born in Jutland but studied comparative literature and spent his early career as an editor and teacher. He is known for two great series of novels, one that deals with the character Holger Mikkelsen and offers an extended commentary on Danish postwar society, and one that is referred to as "Stories from the Round Table."
   The first Holger Mikkelsen novel, De nøgne træer (1957; tr. The Naked Trees, 1959), is set during the German occupation of Denmark in World War II and tells about the activities of a group ofresistance fighters. Its sequel, Dagstjernen (1962; Day Star), deals with the ethics of liquidating informers during wartime. Pa den anden side (1965; On the Other Side) deals with issues of communication in marriage. Hjemkomst (1969; Homecoming) deals with Danish development work in India. Tredje halvleg (1971; Third Half), which is narrated by Mikkelsen, is centered on sport, while Medløberen (1973; The Fellow Traveler) is focused on soccer. Den harde frugt (1977; The Hard Fruit) presents the disintegration ofMikkelsen's marriage. Mikkelsen is perhaps not quite the Danish everyman in Over stregen (1980; Over the Line), in which as a lawyer he has to defend the terrorist daughter of one of his former girlfriends. Mikkelsen returns in Pa sidelinjen (1996; On the Sideline), in which he loses an important lawsuit, and he appears again in Frit løb (2000; Free Run), in which he is an old man and looks back at his life, which is also life in postwar Denmark.
   The Round Table novels are centered on a character named Axel, who joined the Germans during World War II and died fighting on the Eastern Front. Consisting of the novels Springet (1986; The Leap), Krukken og stenen (1987; The Pitcher and the Stone), Det andet slag (1989; The Second Beat), and Siste sommer (1991; Last Summer), the series is a significant artistic achievement.

Historical Dictionary of Scandinavian Literature and Theater. . 2006.

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