“Hold op med den selvmedlidenhed” – nye orienteringer i en grønlandsk samtidsroman


  • Rozemarijn Vervoort


Grønlandsk litteratur, identitet, queerness, orientering, tilhørighet


The contribution discusses how Niviaq Korneliussen's novel Homo sapienne (2014) presents new orientations both concerning the theme within the novel, as well as within the Greenlandic literary field. The novel questions what constitutes Greenlandic identity by exploring the experience of someone who falls outside heteronormative structures and struggles with the individual experience of identity. Korneliussen presents different experiences of queerness in an urban environment in Greenland today. Throughout its history under Danish rule, Greenlandic identity and its literature have long developed through an exploration of the colonial and postcolonial aspects of its relationship to Denmark. Korneliussen shows how the relationship between Greenland and Denmark, although still part of the history of Greenland, is no longer a primary element in local processes of identity formation that are given centre stage in contemporary Greenlandic literature. The topics discussed in the novel, as well as its textual elements, which also incorporate contemporary forms of communication such as text messages and Facebook posts, generated a lot of debate in both the Greenlandic and Danish media, especially with regard to the list that explains what it actually means to be a Greenlander. The novel shows how by focusing inwards on Greenlandic identity and by refusing to take a self-pitying stance, Greenlandic literature is opened up to a broader literary field, claiming a spot for Greenlandic literature in its own right. The discussion of Korneliussen's novel in the national and international literary field has established her as a new pioneering voice, revealing new orientations within Greenlandic literature and its position within the Nordic literary field.