Modern Breakthrough

Modern Breakthrough

The Modern Breakthrough (Danish: Det Moderne Gennembrud) is the normal name of the strong movement of naturalism and debating literature of Scandinavia near the end of the 19th century which replaced romanticism.

The Modern Breakthrough is used about the period 1870-1890 about literature in Scandinavia, which in this period had a breakthrough in the rest of Europe. Although some of the authors had already begun to write before him, the Danish theorist Georg Brandes is often considered to be the "wire-puller" behind the movement. His lectures at Copenhagen University starting 1871 and his work Main Currents in 19th Century Literature (Danish: Hovedstrømninger i det 19de Aarhundredes Litteratur), mark the beginning of the period.



The authors during the Modern Breakthrough revolted against old traditions, especially the literary period of romanticism, characterized by increased international outlook, a freer view on sexuality and religion, along with interest in scientific breakthroughs such as Darwinism. In short, one can speak of literature with increased focus on realism.

Another important aspect is the serious treatment of the conflict between the sexes, especially with female authors gaining an influence, which previously was almost unheard-of.

Course of events

The very beginning of The Modern Breakthrough is usually attributed Georg Brandes, who already in 1869 translated the controversial essay The Subjection of Women by John Stuart Mill into Danish. In the following years, Brandes lectured at Copenhagen University and after that in most of Europe with criticism of romanticism. He also wrote books and articles on the subject, and especially Main Currents in 19th Century Literature, which was published in several volumes from 1872 important as a theoretical basis for the literature of the time.

A number of the other authors of the period had international contacts, and many of them lived abroad in shorter periods. In this way, there were small colonies of Scandinavian artists in cities such as Paris, Berlin and Rome, and some of the artists published literature directly in foreign languages. In any case, their works were translated much faster than previously, and the movement thus had its breakthrough.

In the 1890s, the movement was in part replaced by Symbolism, originating in many of the authors' interest in subjects of a religious or spiritual nature. But the realism in the Modern Breakthrough has influenced later authors such as Selma Lagerlöf, Johannes V. Jensen and Martin Andersen Nexø in the following years (1900-1920), which some call the popular breakthrough (Danish: "Det Folkelige Gennembrud"), because the authors in this period write about the lower rungs of society, e.g. Martin Andersen Nexø's Pelle the Conqueror, filmatized in 1987.

The cultural radical movement of the 1920-1940 is often characterized as the continuation of the Modern Breakthrough, or the Modern Breakthrough as the beginning of Cultural Radicalism.

Authors in the Modern Breakthrough

Among famous authors in the Modern Breakthrough are:


  • Sørensen (ed.), Jørgen (1974). Fronter 1870-1890 - en tekstmontage. Copenhagen: Gyldendal. ISBN 87-00-41601-0. 
  • Stangerup, Hakon (1946). Kulturkampen 1-2. Copenhagen: Gyldendal. 
  • Hertel, Hans (2004). Det stadig moderne gennembrud : Georg Brandes og hans tid, set fra det 21. århundrede. Copenhagen: Gyldendal. ISBN 87-03-00576-3. 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Modern breakthrough —    The period 1870 1890 is generally referred to as the Modern Breakthrough in Scandinavian literature. Its beginning is associated with a series oflectures given in Copenhagen by Georg Brandes in 1871, in which he argued that the purpose of… …   Historical Dictionary of Scandinavian Literature and Theater

  • Modern Pain — Studio album by Corb Lund and the Hurtin Albertans Released 1995 …   Wikipedia

  • Modern Physics and Ancient Faith — (2003) is a book by Stephen M. Barr, a physicist from the University of Delaware[1] and frequent contributor to First Things. This book is an extended attack on what Barr calls scientific materialism. National Review says of the book: [A] lucid… …   Wikipedia

  • Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music — Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music …   Wikipedia

  • Modern rock — For Mod music, see Mod (subculture). For the music genre associated with this format, see Alternative rock. For the album by The Clean, see Modern Rock (album). Modern rock (also known as alternative rock, or just alternative) is a rock format… …   Wikipedia

  • The Last Breakthrough — Infobox Television show name = The Last Breakthrough (天涯俠醫) caption = genre = Modern Drama format = runtime = 45 minutes (approx.) creator = director = producer = writer = starring = Nick Cheung Raymond Lam Sonija Kwok Leila Tong Sharon Chan… …   Wikipedia

  • Danish literature — Hans Christian Andersen (1805–1875) …   Wikipedia

  • Architecture of Denmark — Renaissance styled Frederiksborg Palace completed by Hans van Steenwinckel the Younger in 1620 …   Wikipedia

  • Cultural radicalism — (Danish: Kulturradikalisme) was a movement in Danish culture. It was particular strong in the Interwar Period, but its philosophy has its origin in the 1870s and a great deal of modern social commentary still refer to it. At the time of the… …   Wikipedia

  • Finnish literature — Introduction       the oral and written literature produced in Finland in the Finnish, Swedish, and, during the Middle Ages, Latin languages.       The history of Finnish literature and that of Swedish literature are intertwined. From the mid… …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”