TOVE DITLEVSEN

Tove Ditlevsen (1917-1976) var forfatter og en av de mest markante danske litterære personligheter i det 20. århundre. Etter et hardt liv med flere skilsmisser og psykiske problemer begikk Tove Ditlevsen selvmord i 1976 i en alder av 58 år.

 

I 1939 fikk hun sin forfatterdebut med diktsamlingen Pigesind. Første halvdel av Tove Ditlevsens forfatterskap kretser spesielt rundt barndommen og ungdomslivets sorger og utfordringer. Den selvbiografiske Barndommens gade (1942) er hennes hovedverk fra denne perioden. Senere ble det ekteskapets utfordring og den moderne kvinnes utilfredsstillende stilling i samfunnet det hun beskrev mest. 

 

I de senere år har det kommet en helt ny interesse for Ditlevesens forfatterskap. Med flere nye digtsamlinger og teaterforestillinger basert på hennes forfatterskap har hennes tekster fått et stort og bredt publikum. Andre bøker og samlinger fra henne er Man gjorde et barn fortræd, Om sig selv, Ungdom, Kjærlig hilsen Tove (tekst hentet fra gyldendal.dk).

FOTO: gyldendal.dk

Verk: 

VILHELMS VÆRELSE

The Faces and Vilhelm’s Room are two related novels about the fictional author Lise Mundus that points to Tove Ditlevsen’s fourth and final marriage. The novels explore marriage and divorce, love and madness, fear, tenderness and evil.

Vilhelm’s Room is the story about Lise Mundus and her husband, editor Vilhelm Mogensen and their a twenty-year-long liaison of mutual attraction and revulsion. Their unhappy union is exposed and their inevitable divorce brings insanity into a family where the child is caught in the middle and suicide is deemed the only escape. Each of the partners has the power to destroy the other, before they destroy themselves. Vilhelm’s Room puts a tumultuous point at the end of a magnificent oeuvre.

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UNGDOM (YOUTH)

A searing portrait of a woman's journey through love, friendship, ambition and addiction, from one of Denmark's most celebrated twentieth-century writers.

Forced to leave school early, Tove embarks on a chequered career in a string of low-paid, menial jobs. But she is hungry: for poetry, for love, for real life to begin. As Europe slides into war, she must navigate exploitative bosses, a Nazi landlady and unwelcome sexual encounters on the road to hard-won independence. Yet she remains ruthlessly determined in the pursuit of her poetic vocation - until at last the miracle she has always dreamed of appears to be within reach.

Youth, the second volume in The Copenhagen Trilogy, is a strikingly honest and immersive portrait of adolescence, filled with biting humour, vulnerability and poeticism.

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GIFT (DEPENDENCY)

The final volume in The Copenhagen Trilogy, the searing portrait of a woman's journey through love, friendship, ambition and addiction, from one of Denmark's most celebrated twentieth-century writers

Tove is only twenty, but she's already famous, a published poet and wife of a much older literary editor. Her path in life seems set, yet she has no idea of the struggles ahead - love affairs, wanted and unwanted pregnancies, artistic failure and destructive addiction. As the years go by, the central tension of Tove's life comes into painful focus: the terrible lure of dependency, in all its forms, and the possibility of living freely and fearlessly - as an artist on her own terms.

The final volume in The Copenhagen Trilogy, and arguably Ditlevsen's masterpiece, Dependency is a dark and blisteringly honest account of addiction, and the way out.

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ANSIGTERNE (FACES)

It's Copenhagen, 1968. Lise, a children's book writer and married mother of three, is becoming increasingly haunted by disembodied faces and taunting voices. Convinced that her housekeeper and husband are plotting against her, she descends into a terrifying world of sickness, pills and institutionalisation. But is sanity in fact a kind of sickness? And might mental illness itself lead to enlightenment?
Brief, intense and haunting, Ditlevsen's novel recreates the experience of madness from the inside, with all the vividness of lived experience.

As always with Ditlevsen, The Faces is a novel about the agonies of love, about longing and infidelity and writing. Ditlevsen operates at the fringes of reality, mixing harsh social realism and tender poetic sensitivity. A novel that questions who is sick and who is healthy. 

“But what was real here in the world, and what wasn’t real? Wasn’t it a kind of sickness, people going round clinging firmly to their own selves? All that chaos of voices, faces and memories, which they only dared let go of drop by drop and could never be sure of getting back.”

The Faces is the first part of Ditlevsen’s narrative about Lise Mundus, a portrait she finished seven years later with her final novel, Vilhelm’s Room.

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BARNDOMMENS GADE (STREET OF CHILDHOOD)

Ester grew up in a working-class home in the 1930s Copenhagen. Her world is limited to the dark backyard-apartment and the narrow street and she rarely dares to cross the line to the Promised Land; the world outside. But in her thoughts she is out there where the world is bright and light and the people are beautiful and rich. She dreams of another life, longs for love and acceptance but reality and dreams rarely come together and the disappointments await her. 

The loneliness torments Ester. She has a big empty space in her heart and she does not know who will fill it. Many of her dreams are lost except the dream of finding love. Everybody seems to be self-sufficient – or at least not in need of her. Every morning Ester struggles to fight her feeling of hopelessness, which surrounds her like a suffocating dim and a longing for oblivion seizes her. 

Tove Ditlevsen makes Ester reflect the youth’s groping insecure years where carnal temptations, intense longings and unattainable dreams fill the entire existence with anxiety. With a special gift to observe and express sense impression, Tove Ditlevsen does not just take the reader back in time and into the core of an environment that used to be. She also takes the reader into the vulnerable essens of youth.

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BARNDOM (CHILDHOOD)

Tove knows she is a misfit, whose childhood is made for a completely different girl. In her working-class neighbourhood in Copenhagen, she is enthralled by her wild, red-headed friend Ruth, who initiates her into adult secrets. But Tove cannot reveal her true self to her or to anyone else. For 'long, mysterious words begin to crawl across my soul', and she comes to realize that she has a vocation, something unknowable within her - and that she must one day, painfully but inevitably, leave the narrow street of her childhood behind.

Childhood, the first volume in The Copenhagen Trilogy, is a visceral portrait of girlhood and female friendship, told with lyricism and vivid intensity.

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