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Lucky Per [Paperback]

Henrik Pontoppidan

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Book Description

Oct. 6 2010 143311092X 978-1433110924 1
‘Lucky Per,’ written at the turn from the nineteenth to the twentieth century (1898-1904), has never before been translated into English, although its author, Henrik Pontoppidan, won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1917 together with his Danish countryman Karl Adolph Gjellerup. Indeed, Pontoppidan's novel was singled out by writers like Thomas Mann and Georg Lucács as seminal in modern world literature. ‘Lucky Per’ sweeps through every social, religious, literary, and philosophical circle of the 1890s, through the politics of city power brokers, the engineering of new technology, the alien correctives of provincial complacency by the ecumenical culture and complex of Copenhagen's Jewish set, the victims of the Russian pogroms, and the cosmopolitan chastisement imported from the European capitals by the self-exiled Georg Brandes, Danish critic of huge influence and presence, and a character in the novel. The contrast between the Danish capital and provinces is matched by that between Copenhagen and Berlin. The Austrian Alps are host to a clash between a form of progressive post-Darwinian naturalism and conservative Christianity, whereas Italy mediates between comparative morality and the classical and contemporary worlds. Pontoppidan dramatically incorporates the perspectives of the makers of early modernism, such as Brandes, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Ibsen, biblical prophets, and Bohemian artists. Trolls from Scandinavian fairy tales haunt the novel's realism without ever letting them bully or appropriate either the life of the fiction or the life of the protagonist from his childhood as the son of a strict Lutheran pastor through the passionate sorrows and joys that led him to his full maturity. It is a rich and riveting work of moral, metaphysical, psychological, philosophical, and literary complexity and depth, carried by a large, varied, vivid, and vibrant cast of characters of all classes and persuasions.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 558 pages
  • Publisher: Peter Lang Publishing; 1 edition (Oct. 6 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 143311092X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433110924
  • Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 21.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 816 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,082,783 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Naomi Lebowitz is the Hortense and Tobias Lewin Professor Emerita in the Humanities at Washington University in St. Louis, where she regularly taught courses in world literature. Receiver of many awards, including a Guggenheim and AAUW fellowship, she is the author of books on Henry James, Søren Kierkegaard, Italo Svevo, and Henrik Ibsen, chapters on Michel de Montaigne, William James, George Santayana, Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens, Gustave Flaubert, Joseph Conrad, and E. M. Forster, and articles on Honoré de Balzac, Charles Dickens, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, André Gide, Martin Andersen Nexø, and Henrik Pontoppidan, among others. In 2007, she received the Leif and Inger Sjöberg Award from the American Scandinavian Foundation for her translation of chapter excerpts from ‘Lucky Per,’ which the judges termed highly readable and long overdue.

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A nobel-prize winning novel about modernization in the 1880s-1890s and a young man's drive to fulfill his ambitions Dec 31 2013
By Wolfgang Mostert - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Looking back it is amazing how many outstanding writers never received the Nobel prize in literature, and how many Nobel-prize winners seem rather mediocre and not worth reading nowadays. Henrik Pontoppidan's book is one of those that really deserved the Nobel price it got. The novel and its themes read amazingly modern-day. How an ambitious engineer in Denmark attempts through marriage into a wealthy Jewish family to reach his societal and engineering ambitions. It is about how a society is turned upside down by modernization and by globilisation; how the flows of immigrant Jews from Russia are looked at with distrust; and how religion impacts life.
A truly remarkable book
Wolfgang Mostert

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