Stangerup, Henrik

(1937-1998)
   A Danish novelist, filmmaker, and cultural journalist, Stangerup is the grandson of the Swedish writer Hjalmar Soderberg. After studying theology, but without taking a degree, he worked as a journalist, specializing in movie criticism. He also made three motion pictures; the last of them, a film version of Ludvig Holberg's play Erasmus Montanus (1731; tr. 1915), was panned by the critics. Stangerup's work as a journalist gave him material for his first novel, the polemical Slangen i brystet (1969; tr. Snake in the Heart, 1996), a story of progressive psychic disintegration set in Paris and an example of the Danish neorealism of the 1960s.
   Stangerup's next novel, Løgn over løgn (1971; Lie upon Lie), investigates the Danish tendency to feel shame and guilt. It is also critical of the ruling leftist faction that, in Stangerup's opinion, held an unhealthily dominant position in Danish cultural life. His critique of the Danish social democratic government is intensified in Manden der ville være skyldig (1973; tr. The Man Who Wanted to Be Guilty, 1982), in which Stangerup argues that people are simply not allowed to take responsibility for their actions. The autobiographical novel Fjenden i forkøbet (1978; Preempting the Enemy) discusses such problems in Stangerup's life as his divorce, the death of his father, and the questionable reputation that his father acquired during World War II.
   A great admirer of the thought of Søren Kierkegaard, Stangerup illustrated the Kierkegaardian theory about the aesthetic, ethical, and religious stages of development, or spheres of existence, in a trilogy written during the 1970s. The ethical stage is illustrated by Vejen til Lagoa Santa (1981; tr. The Road to Lagoa Santa, 1984) and tells the story of Kierkegaard's brother-in-law, the natural scientist P. W. Lund, a pioneer in paleontology who lived in Brazil for years. The second volume, which presents the aesthetic sphere, bears the title Det er svært at dø i Dieppe (1985; tr. The Seducer: It Is Hard to Die in Dieppe, 1990) and recounts the story of the literary critic P. L. Møller, another contemporary of Kierkegaard. The final volume, Broder Jacob (1991; tr. Brother Jacob, 1993), describes the life and times of a Franciscan monk and illustrates Kierkegaard's thought about the religious sphere.
   Stangerup's last book, Datter af: Scener om en mor (1995; Daughter of: Scenes about a Mother), has his mother Betty Soderberg as its subject. He also published several collections of essays, in which the best of his journalistic output has been preserved.

Historical Dictionary of Scandinavian Literature and Theater. . 2006.

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  • Stangerup, Henrik — ▪ 1999       Danish writer and film director whose internationally known works, influenced by the writings of Søren Kierkegaard, revealed his feelings of alienation and contempt for societal attitudes; Manden der ville være skyldig (1975; The Man …   Universalium

  • Stangerup — Henrik Stangerup (* 1. September 1937 in Frederiksberg, Dänemark; † 4. Juli 1998 in Kopenhagen) war ein dänischer Schriftsteller. Er arbeitete als Romanautor, Journalist, Essayist und Filmregisseur. Kennzeichnend für sein Werk sind die… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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