Mellem videnskab og fiktion - Om menneskets oprindelse i genren 'forhistorisk fiktion'

Allan Jeppsson

Studenteropgave: Speciale


This study investigates the literary genre 'prehistoric fiction' and explains its origin, tendencies, and handling of its main source of scientific influence, paleoanthropology. By including both literary and paleoanthropological perspectives, the goal is to connect the dots between science and fiction and uncover how these two seemingly opposites coexist in the same genre.

The objects of the analysis are three novels by three different authors: Jack London’s Before Adam (1907), Johannes V. Jensen’s Det Tabte Land (1919), and William Golding’s The Inheritors (1955). These novels represent very different takes on prehistoric times and the meaning of the concept 'human nature'. The various views on primitivity, evolution, the progressive mind, and our place in nature shows a genre with an immense potential for uncovering innovative ideas about the development and nature of our own species.

The study concludes that a change of the general understanding of our own species can be traced over the course of the 48 years between the three novels. A change that reflects the progress of the genre and the paleoanthropological science in the first half of 20th century. From the initial raw and realistic view on prehistory, where a neutral and naturalistic perspective is used to show mankind’s place in nature, to a more biased portrayal of the inferior primitivity versus the superior progressive mind, and finally to the darker and more dystopian view on the darkness of mankind’s devious intellect.

UddannelserDansk, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) KandidatEngelsk, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat
Udgivelsesdato1 jun. 2018
Antal sider69
VejledereLasse Horne Kjældgaard


  • Forhistorisk fiktion
  • Forhistorisk tid
  • Forhistorisk
  • Darwinisme
  • Jack London
  • Johannes V. Jensen
  • William Golding
  • Before Adam
  • Den Lange Rejse
  • Det Tabte Land
  • The Inheritors
  • Homo sapiens
  • Neandertaler
  • Neandertalere
  • Neandertalerne
  • Menneskearter