According to intershippingrates, contemporary literature is of particular commitment and broader scope. Suffice it to mention JV Jensen (1873-1950), Nobel Prize 1944 for literature with the novel The Fall of the King, which goes beyond pure historical representation in the duality of superimposition between the contemporary world and ancient roots, to create a tension of very modern lucidity.. Like him, a native of Jütland is the poet J. Aakjær (1866-1930), whose work has influenced an entire generation. In the field of children’s literature, the work of the writer Karin Michaëlis is of great importance (1872-1950), in particular for the novels that narrate the adventures of the little heroine Bibi. If the novel of an intimate spiritual tone has an excellent representative in H. Kidde (1878-1918), the fiction of M. Andersen Nexo (1869-1954), the most full-bodied creator of realistic novels, is of stronger impulse and great vigor., in which he instills a Marxist faith that is exalted in the analysis of popular characters and sentiments. His most characteristic novels have been translated into several languages: Pelle the conqueror (1906-10) and Ditte menneskebarn (1919-21; Ditte, daughter of man). J. Paludan (1896-1975) and T. Kristensen (1893-1974) continue the line of a critical narrative in antithesis to the themes of their generation. Among the poets, of particular value, are V. Rørdam (1872-1946), N. Petersen (1897-1973) and P. La Cour (1902-1956). Around 1930 the theater has moments of splendor with K. Munk (1898-1944), Kjeld Abell (1901-1961), who gave us a masterpiece with Days on a Cloud (1947) on the theme of postwar moral disorientation, and Carl Erik Soya (1896-1983), who traced in The Parasites (1929) an unforgettable and ferocious satire of the petty-bourgeois world.
Internationally renowned narrator is Karen Blixen-Finecke (1885-1962), author, among other things, of the collection of short stories Seven Gothic Tales (1934; Seven Gothic stories) and of moving African re-enactments (Den afrikanske Farm, 1937; My Africa). H. Ch. Branner (1903-1966) is instead the master of the short novel (Historien om Børge, 1942; The story of Børge) and of the short story (To Minutters Stilhed, 1944; Two minutes of silence); he also wrote some plays, including Thermopyla (1958). Among the poets M. Nielsen (1922-1944) and H. Rasmussen (1915) occupy a considerable position alongside Martin A. Hansen (1909-1955), considered the greatest exponent of his generation. With the second post-war period, the beginning of the literary current defined as “modernism” is generally made to coincide, which in a more or less decisive manner asserted itself for over two decades. A first phase, called Heretica, from the name of the symbolist magazine (1948-53), had as its main objective the promotion of poetry as a superior form of knowledge, in controversy with the rational and realistic tradition, guilty of having ignored the irrational forces that they had triggered the recent catastrophes. In this climate, in which opera naturally dominates, the works of O. Wivel, O. Sarvig, T. Bjørnvig, F. Jaeger flourish and Tage Skou-Hansen, while others, such as Paul La Cour and Erik Knudsen, leave the group criticizing their mystical positions. However, even in recent years there are prose writers who continue the tradition of psychological realism, such as Hans Lyngby Jensen and Poul Ørum (1919-1997). Other important voices of the late sixties are those of the poet Benny Andersen (b. 1929), the most popular of the new generation for his simple and ironic verses; Ivan Malinovski (1926-1989), committed singer of atmospheres made gloomy by the loss of ideals; Jørgen Gustava Brandt (1929-2006), Jørgen Sonne (b. 1925), Per Højholt (b. 1928) and Tove Ditlevsen, a cursed poet who committed suicide in 1976. In the narrative we can distinguish the absurdist prose of Peter Seberg (b. 1925), the documentarism of Thorkild Hansen (1927-1989), the direct and anti-moralistic realism of Leif Panduro (1923-1977) and Anders Bodelsen (b.1937).
The works of Sven Åge Madsen (b. 1939) raised talk of a new modernism and a peak of poetic experimentation was reached by Inger Christensen’s Det (1969; This) (b. 1935). At the end of the seventies, marked by a strong political commitment but with an enormous variety of literary expressions, the authors of the punk generation prevail, such as Michael Strunge, Bo Green Jensen and Pia Tafdrup, and especially women’s literature, whose main representatives, albeit in different orientations, are Elsa Gress, Vita Andersen, Dea Trier Mørch, Ulla Ryum, Marianne Larsen, Cecil Bødker, Dorrit Willumsen. Although most of these authors have come over time to more personal and less demonstrative forms of expression, the lesson of women’s literature has not yet finished its deepening, provoking a rereading in many fields, from language to history and economics., in academia and beyond. A new phase of modernism, breaking with tradition, but which does not renounce to affect the social debate, is announced by the pages of the magazine Vindrosen, under the direction, between 1959 and 1963, of two of the most incisive personalities of contemporary Danish literature: Villy Sørensen (1929-2001) and Klaus Rifbjerg (b. 1931). The first, who with his original short stories symbolically describes the contradictions of modern man, undertakes with Apoilons opror (1989) a philosophical reflection on human nature; always philosophical is the subsequent work Den frie vilje (1992), while in Jesus og Kristus (1992) the attention is focused on the figure of Christ in his historical and human dimension. The second, Klaus Rifbjerg, a very prolific poet and narrator, provides further proof of his imaginative and ironic vein with the series of short stories dedicated to the middle (1989), to then publish two collections of lyrics, Bjerget i himlen (1991) and Krigen. En digtcyklus (1992). Alongside Sørensen and Rifbjerg were the poet Ole Wivel (b.1921), who in Modspil (1991) describes his own experience as a critic, Jørgen Gustav Brandt (1929-2006) with the volume of poems Poppeldigte (1989) and the aforementioned Madsen with the fantasy novel on the theme of unemployment Jagten pa et menneske (1991). Crucial for all is a new use of language, virtuosic and experimental, as the only tool of knowledge. It is more difficult to orient oneself among the novices of recent years, whose large number, together with the difficulty of identifying common trends, roots or profiles, has made the critic Carsten Jensen speak of “epiphytic literature”; however, Jens Christian Grøndal (1959-1988), Jørgen Christian Hansen (who died in 1988 at the age of 32), Jens-Martin Eriksen (b.1945), Søren U. Thomsen (b.1956) and Astrid Saalbach (b. 1957). Thanks to the publication of a very particular detective story set between Copenhagen and the ice of Greenland, Peter Høeg (b.1957) then met a huge international success with the novel Frøken Smillas fornemmelse for sne (1992; Smilla’s Sense of Snow), from which a film was made in 1997. Other important contemporary authors are Henrick Stangerup (1937-98), essayist, novelist and filmmaker, whose works are translated all over the world, the narrator Kirsten Thorup (b.1942) and Ib Michael (b.1945).