En nyhistoricistisk læsning af Mogens Klitgaards Der sidder en mand i en sporvogn (1937)

Lauritz Korfix Schultz

Studenteropgave: Speciale


This thesis focuses on the Danish novel Der sidder en mand i en sporvogn from 1937 by Mogens Klitgaard. The thesis investigates how the relation is in the novel between the individual, i.e. the psychological, elements and the societal problems that arise in connection with the financial crisis in Denmark in the 1930s. Drawing on Mikhail Bakhtin’s notion of chronotope, I also examine how time affects the characters of the novel: Does Lundegaard and the other characters act because of the crisis, or can their actions be considered independent of time? The thesis employs a new historicism approach, and the analysis is therefore founded on the premise that the novel is influenced by how the Danish society in the 1930s looked like. Since I look into how the society leaves its mark on the novel, I investigate to which extend Lundegaard lives up to den lille mand, and how he lives up to the Larsen-figure as it is defined in the journal Kulturkampen. The analysis shows that the actions of Lundegaard and the other characters are influenced by the economic situation in Denmark. But the analysis also points to the fact that the crisis is not the single reason for Lundegaard’s economic and social decline. Thus I argue that Lundegaard does not independently take the initiative to get out of his misery, even though he repeatedly is aware what to do. Instead, Lundegaard’s actions are reactions to the obstacles that the economic crisis imposes on him. It is not only Lundegaard’s own individual life the crisis puts down. The analysis shows how the structure of Lundegaard’s family disintegrates during a crisis, for instance love during the crisis is not spontaneous or emotional but instead calculated and imperative. The analysis emphasizes that the novel is part of the literary movement critical realism: The conflict between the individual and society is omnipresent in the novel. Lundegaard’s position as middle class, his middle-class dreams and his detachment to working class makes him an example of den lille mand. He is only partly a Larsen since he does not ‘find the melody’ because he does not reconcile with his bourgeoisie complex.

UddannelserDansk, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) KandidatHistorie, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat
Antal sider73
VejledereLasse Horne Kjældgaard