More than a Room: Variations on a Childhood Home in Klaus Rifbjerg

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Klaus Rifbjerg (1931-2015) is the author of 150 books – a literary œuvre that stands out as a monument of post-war Danish welfare in a modernist middle-class version. While divorces soon split up many families and their homes, Rifbjerg’s childhood home remains intact from before his birth until the mid-1980s. Moreover, it is named in his writing spanning the lyrical début in 1956 and a book on architecture from 2008. This article explores four different contexts – poetry, memoirs, literary montage, essayism – in which Rifbjerg addresses his childhood home as a house. In particular, the study highlights the literary staging of his own room, including the bed. The individual room is central to the narrator’s childhood and adolescence. But it also represents a limited interiority that may be transgressed, and give way to new subjectivities, elsewhere. Later on, Rifbjerg keeps writing (on) his childhood house that he finally posits as a matrix of his aesthetic values and practices.
Translated title of the contributionMere end et værelse: : Variationer over et barndomshjem hos Klaus Rifbjerg
Original languageEnglish
JournalCostellazioni. Rivista di lingue e letterature
Issue numberSpecial issue on "Spatialities"
Number of pages15
Publication statusSubmitted - 2021

Bibliographical note

Contribution to special issue on "Spatiality as interpretative approach to contemporary Scandinavian culture and literature", to be published in spring 2022

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Humanities - Klaus Rifbjerg (1931-2015), Danish Literature, childhood home, individual room, bed, Copenhagen, Amager

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