Journal Article


Literary Denmark has spent the past two years searching within itself for a kind of literature common elsewhere in Europe but sadly lacking at home. “Poesi og prosa, der ser den danske virkelighed med nye øjne,” [Poetery and prose which sees Danish reality with new eyes] was the phrase that the Gyldendal publishing house and the Berlingske Tidende newspaper used to describe the goal of their competition Nye Stemmer, a “litteraturkonkurrence for alle med anden etnisk og kulturel baggrund” [literary competition for all those with a different ethnic and cultural background.] The resulting volume by the same name, published in early 2007, was an anthology of those writers who would, hopefully, represent the new, multiethnic Denmark. In this way, Gyldendal and Berlingske hoped that Danish literature would catch up with neigh- boring Sweden, where since 2001 authors such as Johannes Anyuru, Marjaneh Bakhtiari, Jonas Khemiri and Alejandro Leiva Wenger have formed the basis of an imagined ethnic lit- erature: a minority perspective within the nation-state but with roots beyond it, capable of depicting mainstream society through new eyes.