All posts tagged: Denmark

The Reading Chair

The reading chair has travelled far. When I bought it, I called the town of Nuuk home. Nuuk, the capital of Greenland is nestled in a massive fjord system, surrounded by the oldest cliffs known to man. I bought the reading chair on a trip to Denmark, and so it was necessary to pack it in bubble wrap and thick cardboard, before steadying the reading chair in a seasoned container. With the clang of heavy machinery, that container was loaded onto the red-hulled ship. I imagine the reading chair’s journey from the habour town of Aalborg in Denmark was begun with a salutary whistle as the ship cleared the quay. Ahead laid a journey across the unruly North Sea, north of the Oakney and Shetland Islands, south of the Faroe Islands. The compass guided it west as the stars and desperation guided Vikings a millennium earlier. I imagine that moment when the sea gulls sag behind and with a last cry turn and fly back towards their home coasts. I imagine the ruggedness of the …

Copenhagen Shooting

Last night – Valentine’s Day – I left home around 4:30 PM to have dinner with a friend in Copenhagen. We had a lovely dinner, took a long walk in the inner city, before having cocktails at Ruby. We walked together down Købmagergade, past Krystalgade around 11:45 to the train station Nørreport where I took the train home at 00:04 AM. It was a wonderful evening in great company – an evening of smiles, great conversation, and gourmet experiences, but this morning, I was completely shaken to hear how the night also had been. At 3:30 PM, there were reports of a shooting with an automatic weapon at a debate concerning freedom of speech with the attendance of the Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks. One civilian was killed and three police officers were wounded. At 00:45 AM, shots were fired at the synagogue in Krystalgade – where I had passed by just an hour before. One civilian was killed and two police officers were wounded. The manhunt for the perpetrator continued through the night, until he …

What French Women Know – Debra Ollivier

What is it about French women that seems so sensual, intelligent, beautiful, sophisticated, and above all French from an Anglo-Saxon (American or British) perspective? That is what American-born, French-wed Debra Ollivier explores in this tongue-in-cheek book with the catch phrase: about love, sex and other matters of the heart and mind. Despite the fact that “What French Women Know” does include reference to scientific studies around the differences between French and American mindsets, the book is a broad generalization about women on both sides of the Atlantic in chapters about men, mystery, rules, perfection, nature, art de vivre, and body. A witty pearl, written without scruples, “What French Women Know” works because of the generalization. The epitome French woman is so clearly defined that it is easy to see her positive and negative facets, and compare and contrast her the Anglo-Saxon woman. Debra Ollivier has lived in France for a number of years and experienced the cultural clash between French and Anglo-Saxon women first hand, so the caricature is not without factual observations and truth …

Kvinden i Buret – Jussi Adler-Olsen

Jussi Adler-Olsen er noget af en in forfatter i øjeblikket. Det virker som om han spyr krimier ud hurtigere end læserne kan nå at læse dem. På den ene side er det imponerende med så produktivt en forfatter, hvor Jussi Adler-Olsen er en blandt mange, men samtidigt får det mine fordomme- klør frem til angreb. Bliver det ikke hastværkslitteratur, der blot læses og smides væk? Og er dette ikke symptomatisk for dagens Danmark (og resten af den vestlige verden)? Inden jeg begiver mig for langt ud af denne omend interessante tangent, må jeg rette fokus på “Kvinden i buret”. Med “Kvinden i buret” bliver grundstenen lagt til en ny serie om Afdeling Q, der beskæftiger sig med sager af særlig bevågenhed, ledet af Carl Mørck, der på alle måder fremtræder som en rå, utilnærmelig sorteper. Efter en tragisk hændelse i tjenesten, der efterlader en kollega død og en anden lænket til sin seng, fremstår Carl Mørck som den, der slap for store fysiske skader, men til gengæld fik de psykiske. Hertil lægges, at Mørck i …

Med Venner i Lys – Øjvind Kyrø

Kristendommen, døden, kærligheden og levnedsforløb er nogle af de store emner, Johannes Møllehave og Jan Lindhardt samtaler om, mens de slendrer rundt i Roms kirker og drikker espressoer på cafe. Resultatet er “Med Venner i Lys”, hvor ungdomsvennerne spiller med og til tider mod hinanden med deres finurlige humor. Såvel Johannes Møllehave som Jan Lindhardt er interessante mennesker, hvis meningstilkendegivelser er nøje overvejede, og der begge hverken er bange for at sætte ord på tunge emner eller kalde en spade for en spade. Ind imellem dvæles der ved de to herres levnedsforløb, hvilket jeg til tider fandt en smule irrelevant. Flere gange er de omtalte episoder knyttet til et overordnet emne, og der er det personlige perspektiv interessant. Derudover bliver det lidt for meget to gamle gubber, der mindes hverdagen i deres liv. Hovedindholdet af “Med Venner i Lys” er imidlertid en skøn vekselvirkning mellem dybsindige tanker og morsomme vignetter, og således viser bogen to individer, der med humoren i behold, har taget stilling til de store emner som tro, livet, kærligheden og døden. Jeg …

Viking Circular Strongholds

I recently read a wonderful little book about the period in which Denmark was founded (c. 600-1200) and while my review of the book is featured in a seperate blog entry (in Danish), I want to share just a little Danish history with you. Denmark is old kingdom with more history than I can fathom and despite its size, it plays and has historically played a dominate role in European and global politics. Back before Denmark was one united kingdom, the rulers were local chieftains, the belief system was Old Norse, and international commerce consisted of Viking raids and plunder in Great Britian and mainland Europe. During the time, when power was consolidated and Denmark become one or a few kingdoms, approximately five circular strongholds were built. The inner diametres were c. 135 metres and the houses were c. 30 metres long – massive constructions. What I find intriguing about these strongholds is that not much is known about them. Written sources from the period are pretty much non-existent and excavations have so far only …

Da Danmark blev til – Olaf Olsen

“Da Danmark blev til” gengivet 6 radioforedrag, som Olaf Olsen holdte i slutningen af sidste århundrede efter at have fået en formidlingspris. Olaf Olsen er historiker og arkæolog; han har været professor i middelalderarkæolog og rigsantikvar på Nationalmuseet. Radioforedragene har følgende overskrifter: 1. Arkæologi og historie 2. Hvornår blev Danmark ét rige? – og hvorfor? 3. De ældste danske byer 4. Da kristendommen kom til Danmark 5. “… og gjorde danerne kristne” 6. De gådefulde vikingeborge Bogen blev udgivet i 1999, og den nye forskning, som Olaf Olsen refererer til, er næppe længere ny. Der kan vel sagtens være kommet nyere forskning til endnu, men Olaf Olsen har en interessant betragtning. Historisk forskning i middelalderens skriftlige kilder er gjort på kryds og tværs, og det er uhyggeligt svært for nutidens historikere at byde ind udover nye synsvinkler på gamle kilder. Derimod er der hele tiden nyt indenfor arkæologien, eftersom videnskabelige dateringsmetoder udvikles. På trods af bogens udgivelsestidspunkt, er “Da Danmark blev til” en interessant lille sag. Det er tydeligt, at Olaf Olsen er en blændende …