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Andersen, Hans Christian

1805-75


Danish writer and storyteller, born in Odense, Denmark.

He wrote a literary satire in the form of a humorous story, and published two collections of poems, but Hans Christian Andersen is best remembered as a writer of children's fairy-tales, such as
'The Tin Soldier', 'The Tinderbox', and 'The Ugly Duckling'.

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Hamsun, Knut

1859-1952




Novelist, born in Lom, Norway. Raised on the remote Lofoten Islands with little education, he worked at various odd jobs, and twice visited the USA, where he worked as a streetcar attendant in Chicago and a farmhand in North Dakota.

He became famous with his novel 'Sult' (Hunger) - the story of a starving writer in Norway. His irrationalism and spontaneous, impressionistic style influenced writers like Maxim Gorki, and Thomas Mann.

His masterpiece is considered 'Markens grode' (Growth of the Soil) where he expresses in a fierce individualism a back-to-nature philosophy. He lost popularity during World War 2 for his Nazi sympathies, but his reputation has been largely rehabilitated.

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Ibsen, Henrik Johan

1828-1906



Norwegian poet and dramatist. He studied at Christiania (now Oslo) and worked as a dramatic producer there.

He spent some times in Italy and Germany, where he wrote his great social dramas including 'Pillars of Society', 'Ghosts', and 'Hedda Gabler'. After his return to Norway in 1891, he wrote 'The Master Builder' and several more plays.

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Strindberg, August

1849-1912



Swedish dramatist and novelist, born in Stockholm.

His lowly origins and insecure childhood are described in his autobiography 'The Son of a Servant'. The conflict between the sexes surfaces in his dramas 'The Father' and 'Miss Julie'.

He wrote works in various forms - historical dramas 'Gustavus Adolphus', satirical comedies 'Bengt's Wife', and self-revealing documents like 'Inferno'.

His symbolic dramas 'A Dream Play' and 'The Ghost Sonata' prepared the way for the German Expressionist theatre.

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Biography