This thesis examines popular Danish author Finn Søeborg’s relation to the public literary and
historical debate surrounding the idea and consequences of the Danish welfare state during its
foundation and heyday around 1950 to 1970. Through a thematic reading of all nine Søeborgnovels
the thesis aims to clarify his specific contribution if any and present an educated guess
as to why he has largely been passed over by previous research – has this been warranted?
The broad themes chosen for the readings are materialism, conformism and bureaucracy, so
chosen because they are believed to be concurrent and important within the debate
independently of the author himself. Any contribution is worth considering since current
research into Søeborg is scarce. The thematic readings are then cross-referenced with literaryhistorical
research by Lasse Horne Kjældgaard and Søren Schou among others, as well as
prominent welfare state-commentary and fiction from that period. The studies find that
Søeborg did in fact write fully within the welfare-fiction framework and used the themes
outlined above and related welfare-tropes to weigh in.
He writes fiction to further a moralistic anti-conformity and anti-state agenda where those
who resist the onslaught of historicist conformity are elevated. Apart from these few the
masses are an unfree, sorry lot and the future looks gloomy. Søeborg shares existentialist
attitudes with Hans Jørgen Lembourn and anarchist attitudes with Johan Fjord Jensen –
prominent welfare-commentators. He is different from them both however, in that he refuses
all power-structures making literary alliances, recognition and categorization very difficult.
The thesis concludes that Søeborg was a forerunner in terms of exploring in fiction some of
the negative lifestyle effects resulting from the welfare state’s materialistic and bureaucratic
excesses, and should be held in higher regard historically for that reason; but his obstinate
moralism, mostly copying subject matter from the 1930s literature and not being able to fully
express his insights before they were displayed in a better way by others, is to his historical
and literary detriment.
|Uddannelser||Dansk, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Master|
|Udgivelsesdato||28 feb. 2019|
|Vejledere||Lasse Horne Kjældgaard|