En holländsk bestsellersucces i (efter)krigstidens Danmark


  • Ulrik Lehrmann


Bestseller, Hans Martin, sociology of literature, reading culture, book history


Bestsellers play a pivotal role in the literary exchange between Scandinavia and the rest of Europe. During the 1940s and 1950s, the Dutch author Hans Martin (1886-1964) had huge success in Scandinavia. While his novels were little reviewed and officially the public library system was very reluctant to stock his novels, for two decades they were among the most bought and read novels in Denmark. Martin depicts a European jet set (business figures, artists) during the first half of the twentieth century and the difficulties of balancing family traditions, individual creative urge, career and love. By focusing on individualization and globalization, Martin's novels can to a certain extent be considered as a modernizing corrective to contemporary Danish popular literature (Morten Korch). Despite attempts to relaunch Martin's novel in paperback editions and book series in the 1970s, his books have been forgotten, probably replaced by other forms of popular media; for example, international TV series such as Dynasty and Dollars.