Globalokalisering – hinsides Europa


  • Poul Houe


Hjemstavnsdigtning, globalisering, emigration, drama, filmadaptation, idealisme


Globalocalization is a term that reflects a particular tension between the local and the global since the late 19th century, when Danish author Johan Skjoldborg thematized the migration of smallholders and farmhands from Denmark to the United States (from where some would later return to their country of origin). In both a drama and a travel book from 191l Skjoldborg shows how torn between their Danish roots and the lures of modern America such subjects could be, and how precariously they might navigate the mental Pond between the Scylla and Charybdis of their conflicts. A later edition of the drama, and not least two later popular film adaptations of its text, make evident that the clash between the cultures of its two worlds persists well beyond the second world war. Attraction and repulsion remain in a tug of war, although the balance between the opposing forces, and some attempts at conflict resolution as well, tend to shift in tune with other historical changes within the culture.

Regional authenticity, the fairly solid point of departure for Skjoldborg and his ilk of Danish writers when they first envisioned the modern world, becomes increasingly bracketed in the course of the 20th century; and when writers nowadays attempt to celebrate recent incarnations of this authenticity, on closer inspection their output typically reveals how globally tinged the so-called local has actually become.