IN SEARCH OF REALITY - ABOUT REALISM IN DANISH CONTEMPORARY PROSE (W poszukiwaniu rzeczywistosci - o realizmie we wspolczesnej prozie dunskiej)
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The article deals with one of the main streams in Danish contemporary literature, namely the realistic minimalism.Minimalism appeared in Danish contemporary literature at the beginning of the 1990-ties. It was developed by the first generation of writers, who graduated at that time from The Danish School of Writers (Forfatterskolen), founded in 1987 in Copenhagen by the Danish modernist poet and literary critic Poul Borum. The first graduates from The Danish School of Writers wrote mainly short stories, characterized by economy of words and focus on surface description. Due to their form as well as subject matter the works written by Danish minimalists are often called for snapshots of everyday life in nowadays Denmark. Soon after that great outburst of minimalism in Danish literature from the early 90'ties the critics proclaimed the so-called “return to reality” in Danish contemporary literature. Owing to that remarkable phenomenon minimalist literature composed by Danish contemporary writers is often described as a renewed version of realism, whose roots go back to the 70-ties and the 80-ties of the 19th century. The present article gives a brief characteristics of the main features typical of the Danish minimalist realism, which have been discussed in the light of the first wave of realistic literature that came to Denmark in the second half of 19th century. In this way the author compares two related, but though different literary techniques practised by the two generations of Danish realists: the contemporary on the one hand, among whom the author mentions such names as Christina Hesselholdt, Helle Helle and Solvej Balle, as well as their forefathers on the other, where the author respectively refers to Herman Bang, Jens Peter Jacobsen and Henrik Pontoppidan. On the basis of this comparison the author seeks to point out the similarities and the differences between the two series of literary accounts of the Danish reality with regard to their genre specification, form, language and themes. Finally, the author considers the role of minimalism in the contemporary Danish literature and mentions some possible sources of the great interest that minimalist literature still enjoys in Denmark.
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