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Steen Steensen Blicher

1782-1848, author. He was from an early stage admired and imitated by no less a writer than Hans Christian Andersen as the man who had opened the reading public's eyes to the life and nature of Jutland. Søren Kierkegaard was also among his congenial readers.

Steen Steensen BlicherThe moorland of Central Jutland provides the melancholy background atmosphere of the best of his short stories, which were to become the basis of the rise in Denmark of the short story genre as such and in a wider sense of prose realism. Amid a stream of light, banal short stories he created a series of works which were original and deeply moving in terms of language, narrative technique and view of life.

Through their tragedy and their description of a world which is ultimately incomprehensible, they have long survived the 'Golden Age' at whose extreme end they emerged, and today they seem completely modern and relevant despite their language, which was very old-fashioned even for their time.

Blicher had translated Ossian and written collections of poems before his short story production really took off in 1824 with, among others, the major work Brudstykker af en Landsbydegns Dagbog (Fragments of a Parish Clerk's Diary). His best short stories also include Præsten i Vejlbye (1829, The Pastor of Vejlbye).

The suite of poems Trækfuglene (1838, Birds of Passage) is his principal lyric work, little charming nature studies framed by Christian-Platonic pessimism. His stories and poems in the Jutland dialect, E Bindstouw (1842, The Knitting-Room), occupy a special place in the history of Danish literature. Blicher's own sense of being a disregarded outsider was not entirely accurate.

Johanne Luise Heiberg read Hosekræmmeren (The Hosier) aloud on the Royal Theatre's stage in 1832 and his collected short stories were published in five volumes in 1833-36 and seven volumes in 1846-47, the latter edited by the most modern critic of the time, P.L. Møller. Blicher contributed to the political movements of his day with his Scandinavian mass meetings on the Himmelbjerg in 1839-45.

Johan de Mylius, Gyldendal Leksikon

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The lives and achievements of all these Great Danes and many more are outlined in biographies of varying lengths on these pages. Read more about The Great Danes.