Course overview

This 10 week course will introduce the richness and complexity of modern Scandinavian literature. The texts we will discuss are: Heaven and Hell – John Kalman Stefansson. The Ice Palace – Tarjei Vesaas. Shyness and Dignity – Dag Solstad. The Royal Physician’s Visit – Per Olov Enquist. Doctor Glas – Hjalmar Soderberg. These five novels will introduce us to a range of different Scandinavian nations, ranging from Iceland to Sweden, and we will consider themes involving: • the traditions of storytelling. • the original Nordic noir in Doctor Glas. • the question of identity and psychological realism in The Ice Palace & Shyness and Dignity. • The historical novel in The Royal Physician’s Visit.

Course description

Before Scandi-Noir on television in the shape of The Killing, Borgen and The Bridge, there was a wealth of intriguing, darkly psychological literature produced in Scandinavia, and this course will range widely through discussion led sessions featuring some of the most important novels of the past 70 years, assessing the value of reading beyond the British and North American spheres of literature, which will introduce you to new novelists that you will be keen to pursue further.

Many of these texts will locate you viscerally and intellectually in the Scandinavian world, and will fascinate because of their acute vision of the psychologies of characters and the profound relationship that is seen to exist between characters and an often harsh environment, which at times approaches an existential quality. As with the majority of twentieth century literature questions of identity predominate and involve the issues of moral ethical frameworks with which characters interact and are defined by.

During the course you will travel from the closed environments of Iceland and rural Norway to the more cosmopolitan centre of nineteenth century Stockholm, where Doctor Glas practises obsessive rituals of love. This course is a must for those who are already intrigued by all things Scandinavian.

What financial support is available?

We don't want anything to stand in your way when it comes to bringing Adult learning within reach so if you need anything to support you to achieve your goals then speak to one of our education experts during your enrolment journey. Most of our courses are government funded but if you don't qualify or need alternative financial help to access them then let us know.

What other support is available?

All of our digital content, teaching and learning activities and assessments are designed to be accessible so if you need any additional support you can discuss this with the education experts during your enrolment journey and we will do all we can to make sure you have optimal access.

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