Best Scandinavian Literary Criticism Books

Here you will get Best Scandinavian Literary Criticism Books For you.This is an up-to-date list of recommended books.

1. A Doll's House (Dover Thrift Editions)

Author: by Henrik Ibsen
Published at: Dover Publications; 1st edition (February 21, 1992)
ISBN: 978-0486270623

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One of the best-known, most frequently performed of modern plays, A Doll’s House richly displays the genius with which Henrik Ibsen pioneered modern, realistic prose drama. In the central character of Nora, Ibsen epitomized the human struggle against the humiliating constraints of social conformity.

Nora’s ultimate rejection of a smothering marriage and life in “a doll’s house” shocked theatergoers of the late 1800s and opened new horizons for playwrights and their audiences. But daring social themes are only one aspect of Ibsen’s power as a dramatist.

A Doll’s House shows as well his gifts for creating realistic dialogue, a suspenseful flow of events and, above all, psychologically penetrating characterizations that make the struggles of his dramatic personages utterly convincing. Here is a deeply absorbing play as readable as it is eminently playable, reprinted from an authoritative translation.


2. Valkyrie: The Women of the Viking World

Author: by Jóhanna Katrín Friðriksdóttir
Published at: Bloomsbury Academic (April 2, 2020)
ISBN: 978-1788314770

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LONGLISTED FOR THE 2020 CUNDILL HISTORY PRIZEValkyries: the female supernatural beings that choose who dies and who lives on the battlefield. They protect some, but guide spears, arrows and sword blades into the bodies of others. Viking myths about valkyries attempt to elevate the banality of war to make the pain and suffering, the lost limbs and deformities, the piles of lifeless bodies of young men, glorious and worthwhile.

Rather than their death being futile, it is their destiny and good fortune, determined by divine beings. The women in these stories take full part in the power struggles and upheavals in their communities, for better or worse. Drawing on the latest historical and archaeological evidence, Valkyrie introduces readers to the dramatic and fascinating texts recorded in medieval Iceland, a culture able to imagine women in all kinds of roles carrying power, not just in this world, but pulling the strings in the other-world, too.

In the process, this fascinating book uncovers the reality behind the myths and legends to reveal the dynamic, diverse lives of Viking women.


3. In the Land of the Cyclops

Author: by Karl Ove Knausgaard
Published at: Archipelago (January 5, 2021)
ISBN: 978-1939810748

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From New York Times bestselling author Karl Ove Knausgaard comes a collection of ambitious, remarkably erudite essays on art, literature, culture, and philosophy. In the Land of the Cyclops is Karl Ove Knausgaard’s first collection of essays to be published in English.

In these wide-ranging pieces, Knausgaard reflects openly on Ingmar Bergman’s notebooks, Anselm Kiefer, the Northern Lights, Madame Bovary, Rembrandt, and the role of an editor with penetrating intelligence. Accompanied by color reproductions throughout, these essays illuminate Cindy Sherman’s shadowlands, the sublime mystery of Sally Mann’s vision, and the serious play of Francesca Woodman.

These essays capture Knausgaard’s remarkable ability to mediate between the personal and the universal, between life and art. Each piece glimmers with Knausgaard’s candor and his longing to authentically see, understand, and experience the world.


4. Laughing Shall I Die: Lives and Deaths of the Great Vikings

Author: by Tom Shippey
Published at: Reaktion Books; Reprint edition (November 7, 2020)
ISBN: 978-1789142174

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Laughing Shall I Die explores the Viking fascination with scenes of heroic death. The literature of the Vikings is dominated by famous last stands, famous last words, death songs, and defiant gestures, all presented with grim humor. Much of this mindset is markedly alien to modern sentiment, and academics have accordingly shunned it.

And yet, it is this same worldview that has always powered the popular public image of the Vikingswith their berserkers, valkyries, and cults of Valhalla and Ragnarokand has also been surprisingly corroborated by archaeological discoveries such as the Ridgeway massacre site in Dorset.

Was it this mindset that powered the sudden eruption of the Vikings onto the European scene? Was it a belief in heroic death that made them so lastingly successful against so many bellicose opponents? Weighing the evidence of sagas and poems against the accounts of the Vikings’ victims, Tom Shippey considers these questions as he plumbs the complexities of Viking psychology.


5. The Kalevala: An Epic Poem after Oral Tradition by Elias Lönnrot (Oxford World's Classics)

Author: by Elias Lönnrot
Published at: Oxford University Press; Illustrated edition (February 15, 2009)
ISBN: 978-0199538867

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The Kalevala is the great Finnish epic, which like the Iliad and the Odyssey, grew out of a rich oral tradition with prehistoric roots. During the first millennium of our era, speakers of Uralic languages (those outside the Indo-European group) who had settled in the Baltic region of Karelia, that straddles the border of eastern Finland and north-west Russia, developed an oral poetry that was to last into the nineteenth century.

This poetry provided the basis of the Kalevala. It was assembled in the 1840s by the Finnish scholar Elias Lnnrot, who took `dictation’ from the performance of a folk singer, in much the same way as our great collections from the past, from Homeric poems to medieval songs and epics, have probably been set down.

Published in 1849, it played a central role in the march towards Finnish independence and inspired some of Sibelius’s greatest works. This new and exciting translation by poet Keith Bosley, prize-winning translator of the anthology Finnish Folk Poetry: Epic, is the first truly to combine liveliness with accuracy in a way which reflects the richness of the original.


6. The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen

Author: by Hans Christian Andersen
Published at: W. W. Norton & Company (November 17, 2007)
ISBN: 978-0393060812

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A richly entertaining and informative collection of Hans Christian Andersen’s stories, annotated by one of America’s leading folklore scholars. In her most ambitious annotated work to date, Maria Tatar celebrates the stories told by Denmark’s “perfect wizard” and re-envisions Hans Christian Andersen as a writer who casts his spell on both children and adults.

Andersen’s most beloved tales, such as “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” “The Ugly Duckling,” and “The Little Mermaid,” are now joined by “The Shadow” and “Story of a Mother,” mature stories that reveal his literary range and depth. Tatar captures the tales’ unrivaled dramatic and visual power, showing exactly how Andersen became one of the world’s ten most translated authors, along with Shakespeare, Dickens, and Marx.

Lushly illustrated with more than one hundred fifty rare images, many in full color, by artists such as Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac, The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen will captivate readers with annotations that explore the rich social and cultural dimensions of the nineteenth century and construct a compelling portrait of a writer whose stories still fascinate us today.


7. Swede Hollow: A Novel

Author: by Ola Larsmo
Published at: Univ Of Minnesota Press; 1st edition (August 25, 2020)
ISBN: 978-1517904524

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A riveting family saga immersed in the gritty, dark side of Swedish immigrant life in America in the early twentieth century When Gustaf and Anna Klar and their three children leave Sweden for New York in 1897, they take with them a terrible secret and a longing for a new life.

But their dream of starting over is nearly crushed at the outset: a fire devastates Ellis Island just as they arrive, and then the relentlessly harsh conditions and lack of work in the city make it impossible for Gustaf to support his family.

An unexpected gift allows the Klars to make one more desperate move, this time to the Midwest and a place called Swede Hollow. Their new home is a cluster of rough-hewn shacks in a deep, wooded ravine on the edge of St. Paul, Minnesota.

The Irish, Italian, and Swedish immigrants who live here are a hardscrabble lot usually absent from the familiar stories of Swedish American history. The men hire on as poorly paid day laborers for the Great Northern or Northern Pacific railroads or work at the nearby brewery, and the women clean houses, work at laundries, or sew clothing in stifling factories.


8. Smilla's Sense of Snow

Author: by Peter Hoeg
Published at: Delta; Reprint edition (October 1, 1995)
ISBN: 978-0385315142

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She thinks more highly of snow and ice than she does of love. She lives in a world of numbers, science and memories-a dark, exotic stranger in a strange land. And now Smilla Jaspersen is convinced she has uncovered a shattering crime…

It happened in the Copenhagen snow. A six-year-old boy, a Greenlander like Smilla, fell to his death from the top of his apartment building. While the boy’s body is still warm, the police pronounce his death an accident. But Smilla knows her young neighbor didn’t fall from the roof on his own.

Soon she is following a path of clues as clear to her as footsteps in the snow. For her dead neighbor, and for herself, she must embark on a harrowing journey of lies, revelation and violence that will take her back to the world of ice and snow from which she comes, where an explosive secret waits beneath the ice….


9. A Doll's House and Other Plays (Penguin Classics)

Author: by Henrik Ibsen
Published at: Penguin Classics (September 13, 2016)
ISBN: 978-0141194561

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Four of Ibsen’s most important plays in superb modern translations, part of the new Penguin Ibsen series. With her assertion that she is first and foremost a human being, rather than a wife, mother or fragile doll, Nora Helmer sent shockwaves throughout Europe when she appeared in Henrik Ibsen’s greatest and most famous play, A Doll’s House.

Ibsen’s follow-up, Ghosts, was no less radical, with its unrelenting investigation into religious hypocrisy, family secrets, and sexual double-dealing. These two masterpieces are accompanied here by The Pillars of Society and An Enemy of the People, both exploring the tensions and dark compromises at the heart of society.

10. The History of Bees: A Novel

Author: by Maja Lunde
Published at: Atria Books; Unabridged edition (June 5, 2018)
ISBN: 978-1501161384

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Imagine The Leftovers, but with honey (Elle), and in the spirit of Station Eleven and Never Let Me Go, this spectacular and deeply moving (Lisa See, New York Times bestselling author) novel follows three generations of beekeepers from the past, present, and future, weaving a spellbinding story of their relationship to the beesand to their children and one anotheragainst the backdrop of an urgent, global crisis.England, 1852.

William is a biologist and seed merchant, who sets out to build a new type of beehiveone that will give both him and his children honor and fame. United States, 2007. George is a beekeeper fighting an uphill battle against modern farming, but hopes that his son can be their salvation.China, 2098.

Tao hand paints pollen onto the fruit trees now that the bees have long since disappeared. When Tao’s young son is taken away by the authorities after a tragic accident, she sets out on a grueling journey to find out what happened to him.

Haunting, illuminating, and deftly written, The History of Bees joins the past, the present, and a terrifying future in a riveting story as complex as a honeycomb (New York Times bestselling author Bryn Greenwood) that is just as much about the powerful bond between children and parents as it is about our very relationship to nature and humanity.

11. So Much Longing in So Little Space: The Art of Edvard Munch (PENGUIN BOOKS)

Author: by Karl Ove Knausgaard
Published at: Penguin Books; Illustrated edition (March 26, 2019)
ISBN: 978-0143133131

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A brilliant and personal examination by sensational and bestselling author Karl Ove Knausgaard of his Norwegian compatriot Edvard Munch, the famed artist best known for his iconic painting The ScreamIn So Much Longing in So Little Space, Karl Ove Knausgaard sets out to understand the enduring and awesome power of Edvard Munch’s work by training his gaze on the landscapes that inspired Munch and speaking firsthand with other contemporary artists, including Anselm Kiefer, for whom Munch’s legacy looms large.

Bringing together art history, biography, and memoir, Knausgaard tells a passionate, freewheeling, and pensive story about not just one of history’s most significant painters, but the very meaning of choosing the artist’s life, as he himself has done. Including reproductions of some of Munch’s most emotionally and psychologically intense works, chosen by Knausgaard, this utterly original and ardent work of criticism will delight and educate both experts and novices of literature and the visual arts alike.

12. Kristin Lavransdatter III: The Cross (Penguin Classics)

Author: by Sigrid Undset
Published at: Penguin Classics (April 1, 2000)
ISBN: 978-0141182353

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[Sigrid Undset] should be the next Elena Ferrante. SlateA Penguin ClassicKristin Lavransdatter interweaves political, social, and religious history with the daily aspects of family life to create a colorful, richly detailed tapestry of Norway during the fourteenth-century. The trilogy, however, is more than a journey into the past.

Undset’s own lifeher familiarity with Norse sagas and folklore and with a wide range of medieval literature, her experiences as a daughter, wife, and mother, and her deep religious faithprofoundly influenced her writing. Her grasp of the connections between past and present and of human nature itself, combined with the extraordinary quality of her writing, sets her works far above the genre of “historical novels.” This new translation by Tina Nunnallythe first English version since Charles Archer’s translation in the 1920scaptures Undset’s strengths as a stylist.

Nunnally, an award-winning translator, retains the natural dialog and lyrical flow of the original Norwegian, with its echoes of Old Norse legends, while deftly avoiding the stilted language and false archaisms of Archer’s translation. In addition, she restores key passages left out of that edition.

13. A Doll's House

Author: by Henrik Ibsen
Published at: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (December 21, 2020)
ISBN: 978-1514682845

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A Doll’s House is a three-act play in prose by Henrik Ibsen. It premiered at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 21 December 1879, having been published earlier that month. The play is significant for its critical attitude toward 19th century marriage norms.

It aroused great controversy at the time, as it concludes with the protagonist, Nora, leaving her husband and children because she wants to discover herself. Ibsen was inspired by the belief that “a woman cannot be herself in modern society,” since it is “an exclusively male society, with laws made by men and with prosecutors and judges who assess feminine conduct from a masculine standpoint.” Its ideas can also be seen as having a wider application: Michael Meyer argued that the play’s theme is not women’s rights, but rather “the need of every individual to find out the kind of person he or she really is and to strive to become that person.” In a speech given to the Norwegian Association for Women’s Rights in 1898, Ibsen insisted that he “must disclaim the honor of having consciously worked for the women’s rights movement,” since he wrote “without any conscious thought of making propaganda,” his task having been “the description of humanity.”In 2006, the centennial of Ibsen’s death, A Doll’s House held the distinction of being the world’s most performed play for that year.

14. An Enemy of the People (Penguin Plays)

Author: by Arthur Miller
Published at: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (November 17, 1977)
ISBN: 978-0140481402

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Dr. Stockmann attempts to expose a water pollution scandal in his home town which is about to establish itself as a spa. When his brother, the mayor, conspires with local politicians and the newspaper to suppress the story, Stockmann appeals to the public meetingonly to be shouted down and reviled as ‘an enemy of the people’. Ibsen’s explosive play reveals his distrust of politicians and the blindly held prejudices of the ‘solid majority’.

15. The Road to Hel: A Study of the Conception of the Dead in Old Norse Literature

Author: by Hilda Roderick (Ellis Davidson
Published at: Praeger; Reprint edition (August 31, 1968)
ISBN: 978-0837100708

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A startling and gorgeous work by Denmark’s most admired poet finally available in English translation. Awarded the American-Scandinavian PEN Translation Prize by Michael Hamburger, Susanna Nied’s translation of alphabet introduces Inger Christensen’s poetry to US readers for the first time.

Born in 1935, Inger Christensen is Denmark’s best known poet. Her award-winning alphabet is based structurally on Fibonacci’s sequence (a mathematical sequence in which each number is the sum of the two previous numbers), in combination with the alphabet. The gorgeous poetry herein reflects a complex philosophical background, yet has a visionary quality, discovering the metaphysical in the simple stuff of everyday life.

In alphabet, Christensen creates a framework of psalm-like forms that unfold like expanding universes, while crystallizing both the beauty and the potential for destruction that permeate our times.