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Title: Ibsen and Drama
Contributor(s): Ryan, John S  (author)
Publication Date: 1971
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Abstract: For literary and general cultural purposes, it is often convenient to treat the Scandinavian countries as a unit. While Iceland may have been the parent of the others, and Denmark may have borrowed unashamedly from Norway, as Sweden has from Finland, -- the fact remains that there is an historical cycle common to them all. In their classical autumn there came the saga; during the Gothic Middle Ages they were influenced greatly by the Church; for she developed their native gifts and began to acquaint them with a wider culture. After the Reformation, Paris, and finally Berlin, became in turn their centre of attraction. The Norse were rusticated by polite European society, so that they were driven back upon their own resources and in the seventeenth century a Dano-Norwegian translation of the Bible, together with the Sagas, was the staple literature of northern Europe. This reappearance of the Sagas had a lasting effect on Scandinavian writing. Character rather than scenery or setting, actions rather than personal motives or personal decisions, were emphasized by the classic authors; and this style was accepted by the moderns as one facet of a grand, unbreakable tradition. Human character in turn possessed certain marks by which it could be recognized and measured. The chief attribute would be the will for freedom. Adventurers, travellers and explorers, the Vikings had quested far afield in search of liberty: liberty to grow, after their kind, in physical and mental stature. And this quality has been the abiding strand in all the texture of Norwegian cultural and social life.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Norway, p. 69-91
Publisher: University of New England
Place of Publication: Armidale, Australia
Field of Research (FOR): 200205 Culture, Gender, Sexuality
210307 European History (excl British, Classical Greek and Roman)
200509 Central and Eastern European Literature (incl Russian)
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
Series Name: Group Study Courses
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Appears in Collections:Book Chapter

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