International Web Community for Scandinavian Studies

#2 - Blog-posts

“Rethinking Scandinavia”

- revurderinger af skandinavisk litteratur i Tyskland omkring 1900 med særlig fokus på Axel Junckers forlagsvirksomhed


The importance of the German literary market at the turn of the 19th to the 20th century can not be underestimated with regards to the transmission and reception of Scandinavian literature as world literature. After a first wave of interest in Scandinavian literature in the romanticist period, a second and much more extensive wave follows, focusing on the literature of the so-called Modern Breakthrough. In the decades around 1900, a wider range of German publishing houses focus on promoting the works in translation of Scandinavian authors regarded as groundbreaking new, thus giving them the opportunity to reach out to a larger international public.

This article focuses on the infrastructural implications of this process of transmission and recontextualisation in general, but also on the role and strategies of three publishing houses in particular, S. Fischer Verlag, Albert Langen Verlag and Axel Juncker Verlag. Special focus will be on the latter (and today forgotten) publisher, due to his rather extraordinary status as a Dane establishing a publishing house in Germany with efforts not only to publish Scandinavian and German literature, but also to promote Scandinavian female writers applying innovative marketing ideas. A case study on Danish writer Johannes V. Jensen’s image in Germany – based on the German transmission and reception of his works –rounds up the article by exemplifying the importance and relevance of how Scandinavian literature is launched, marketed and received outside Scandinavia.