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Book Title: Den forsvundne fuldmægtig|
Date of issue: 1992
ISBN 13: 9788700143562
The author of the book: Hans Scherfig
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 6.77 MB
Read full description of the books Den forsvundne fuldmægtig:Two men, former schoolmates, disappear, and one appears to have committed suicide. Later, a strange man shows up in a rural town...
I can't remember where I found this book, but likely I picked it up due to the striking linocut print on the cover, made by the author, who was a painter and a naturalist as well as a writer. This novel is a scathing satire on life in pre-war Denmark written by an avowed Communist. Given that I am an avowed monarchist and reactionary from the other side of the globe, I'm not exactly his intended audience, but then I'm used to such matters.
I will give Scherfig credit for not being a doctrinaire ideologue in writing this. It's far too filled with a sort of humor and humanity for it to be so dull. If anything, I can share the in his view of the modern world as pointlessly bureaucratic, oppressive, corrosive and dehumanizing. Certainly, the humor and biting irony is what makes this short book enjoyable, as well as the skill in which the author portrays the natural world.
Two things brought me down about the novel. At times, when not focused on external description, the expository prose is almost horrendously clunky. I'm not sure if it's like that in the original Danish, or it's just a bad translator, but whenever the omniscient narrator takes over, it's just this flat passively written voice that describes and never *shows*. It brings everything to a stylistically screeching halt.
The other, and far more grating flaw, is one that I've noticed that a lot of Communists and Socialists of a bourgeois background have. Despite their revolutionary aspirations, they not only don't understand the proletariat, they fear and loathe them with a passion. For example, while the satirical parts set in the world the Copenhagen middle class are very deftly done, with an aura of verisimilitude, once the setting moves to the country, it becomes a wide farce with completely overdone caricatures done in a heavy hand. Other than the disabled farmer Anders, and the unnamed shop-girl, nearly everyone in the country is portrayed as a physically and morally monstrous person consumed with undermining and reporting on their neighbors, and ripping off people every possible chance they get. It's rather sad, because the descriptive prose is at its best in the countryside and it's all wasted on this overblown rendition of Jante's Law.
It's far better when misanthropes simply accept that humanity is doomed, rather than trying to find reasons why it's so and affix blame somehow. It allows for far more nuanced depictions of reality than this. That said, at times it's pretty funny.
Read information about the authorHans Scherfig was a renowned Danish author and artist.
His most famous works of literature include Det Forsømte Forår (Stolen Spring), Frydenholm, Idealister (Idealists), and Skorpionen (The Scorpion), the last of which was published in over 20 countries. He is also well-known for his distinctive Naivist lithographs which depict jungle and savanna scenes that owe something to Henri Rousseau, and various drawings and paintings with satirical, political, and biblical subject matter.
Central to Scherfigs work was his life-long political engagement. Already in his early years he became a dedicated communist and remained so until his death in 1979.
Because of this Scherfig was imprisoned by the Nazi German military occupation forces in Denmark during WWII. During the Cold War, Scherfig intensified his critical attitude against the USA.
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