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Reich, Ebbe Klfvedal 1940–

Reich, Ebbe Klφvedal 1940–

PERSONAL: Born March 7, 1940, in Odense, Denmark.

ADDRESSES: Office—c/o Forlaget Vindrose, Valbygardsvej 33, DK-2500, Valby, Denmark.

CAREER: Novelist, short story writer, essayist, playwright, and activist.

WRITINGS:

NOVELS

Holger Danske. Tolv fortællinger om en folkehelt, Rhodos (Copenhagen, Denmark), 1970.

Frederik. En folkebog om N.F.S. Grundtvigs tid og liv, Gyldendal (Copenhagen, Denmark), 1972.

Rejsen til Messias: tre bφger fra enevældens tid (title means "Journal of the New Messiah"), Gyldendal (Copenhagen, Denmark), 1974.

Fæ og frænde: syv en halv nats fortællinger om vejene til Rom og Danmark (title means "Kith and Kin"), Gyldendal (Copenhagen, Denmark), 1977.

Festen for Cæcilie: den hemmelige beretning om et kongemord (title means "The Feast for Cecilia"), Gyldendal (Copenhagen, Denmark), 1979.

De fφrste: 30 fortællinger om Danmarks fφdsel (title means "The First Ones"), Vindrose (Copenhagen, Denmark), 1981.

David, de fredl ses konge, Danske bibelselskab (Copenhagen, Denmark), 1982.

Kong Skildpadde, Vindrose (Copenhagen, Denmark), 1985.

Forræder, fæ og frænde, Dansklærerforeningen (Copenhagen, Denmark), 1987.

Bygningen af en bro: en samtidighedsroman (title means "The Building of a Bridge"), Vindrose (Copenhagen, Denmark), 1988.

En engels vinger: roman fra det gotiske Norden (title means "The Wings of an Angel"), Vindrose (Copenhagen, Denmark), 1990.

Kontrafej af den danske ånd: samt krφnike og rejsepostil til turen ud det europaeiske (title means "Portrait of the Danish Spirit"), Vindrose (Copenhagen, Denmark), 1991.

Morgendagens mand (title means "The Man of Tomorrow"), Vindrose (Copenhagen, Denmark), 1993.

Zenobias liv (title means "Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra"), Vindrose (Copenhagen, Denmark), 1998.

Himlene og Jorden: et hypatinsk rejseeventyr, Vinrose (Copenhagen, Denmark), 2003.

SHORT-STORY COLLECTIONS

(With Otto S. Svend) Nissen fra Nürnberg: seks fortællinger om Nissen fra Nürnberg og hans rejse fra Mille til Laurits til Hanne til S ren og tilbageigen (children's stories), Gyldendal (Copenhagen, Denmark), 1979.

Ploven og de to sværd: 30 fortællinger fra Danmarks unge dage, Vindrose (Copenhagen, Denmark), 1982.

POETRY

(With Vagn Sφndergaard) Til Vietnam, det Internationale Krigsforbrydelses Tribunals Kφbenhavnskontor og Vietnamindsamlingen, Eksp (Copenhagen, Denmark), 1967.

NONFICTION

(With Dollerup Preben) Vietnam krigen i perspektiv, Rhodos (Copenhagen, Denmark), 1965.

Billedalmanak fra en rejse i det europæiske, Gyldendal (Copenhagen, Denmark), 1967.

Kina—den ideologiske stormagt, Rhodos (Aalborg, Denmark), 1967.

(Editor) Viggo Lauritz Bentheim Härup, Retning til venstre. Artikler og taler, Gyldendal (Copenhagen, Denmark), 1968.

Svampens tid. Af en ürfaren kronkik års optegnelser (title means "The Age of the Mushroom"), Rhodos (Copenhagen, Denmark), 1969.

(With Sφren Krarup and Per Stig Müller) Utopi og virkelighed, Stig Vendelkaer (Copenhagen, Denmark), 1973.

Svampen og korset. Fortsatte optegnelser til en kr nike (sequel to Svampens tid), Rhodos (Copenhagen, Denmark), 1973.

Du danske svap: afaluttende optegnelser til en ti års krönike (sequel to Svampen og korset,), Rhodos (Copenhagen, Denmark), 1974.

Til forsvar for masselinien og den rette tro: tekster om politik, ideologi, kristendom og erotik, Gyldendal (Copenhagen, Denmark), 1976.

Henry George (biography), Tranehuse, 1976.

Svane glen: notater fra et eksperiment i tidsrummet 9/4-1976–17/2-1978, Gyldendal (Copenhagen, Denmark), 1978.

Mediesvampen: Lægprædiken og Krφnike 1978–80, Gyldendal (Copenhagen, Denmark), 1980.

Den fremmede fortryller: beretning om Knud Rasmussen og hans to folk (biography), Vindrose (Copenhagen, Denmark), 1980.

(With Ib Spang Olsen) Den bærende magt: 30 fortaellinger om Danmarks syv-otte yngste slægtled, Vindrose (Copenhagen, Denmark), 1983.

Snart dages det—; en billedbog om arbejderbevægelsens historie (Danish labor union history), [Copenhagen, Denmark], 1986.

Oppe og nede i Kφbenhavn, 1908–45, Gyldendal (Copenhagen, Denmark), 1987.

Rask op ad bakke: en kronike om Århus Kommunehospital (hospital history), Århus Kommunehospital (Århus, Denmark), 1993.

Drag in ad disse porte: 14 beretninger om kirkerne i den indre by (church history), Vindrose (Copenhagen, Denmark), 1996.

Demokrati—i Danmark, i Norden, i Europe: med en vision (title means "Democracy in Denmark, Scandinavia, and Europe"), Vindrose (Copenhagen, Denmark), 1997.

Kun et göstekammer, Landsforeningen af Menighedsrädsmedlemmer (Ärhus, Denmark), 1999.

PLAYS

(With Ejvind Larsen) Hejertets sφde morgendrφm, eller, til kamp mod dφdbideriet, Rosinante (Charlottenlund, Denmark), 1983.

(With Per Schultz) Konfirmationen, Teaterforlaget Drama (Grästen, Denmark), 1987.

OTHER

(With Eiler Krag and Hans Smith) EF-kværnen: stort og smät, alvor og spot fra Fællesmarkedets dagbog (political cartoons and caricatures), Det ny Notat (Allingäbro, Denmark), 1976.

(With others) Grundtvigsange: til kamp mod dφdbideriet: en burlesk (satirical songs), Vindrose (Copenhagen, Denmark), 1983.

(Author of ntroduction) 5 jule-psalmer, by N.F.S. Grundtvig Vendelkær (Copenhagen, Denmark), 1983.

Nornen fra Ygdrasil, Sommer & Sφrensen (Frederiksberg, Denmark), 1988.

Solskin og Lyn, Forlaget Vartov (Copenhagen, Denmark), 2000.

Billeder af Jesus: en beretning fra danmarkshistorien, Anis (Copenhagen, Denmark), 2001.

Also author, with Olrik Axel and Lorenz Frφlich, of Danske heltesag (Danish folklore), Gyldendal (Copenhagen, Denmark); and Album fra en ny og en gammel verden, Gyldendal. Contributor to EF-kværnen: stort og smät, alvor spot fra Fällesmarkedets dagbog (Danish wit and humor), Det my Notat (Allingäbro, Denmark), 1976.

SIDELIGHTS: Ebbe Klφvedal Reich is a well-known figure in his native Denmark. With a prolific body of literary works, he has also figured prominently in the social history of his country. He first dabbled in politics, then became the editor of a leftist magazine, and in the late 1960s became a spokesman for a generation of young people involved in the antinuclear, anti-Vietnam, and anti-imperialism movements. A number of the journalistic pieces and speeches he gave at rallies during this period have been collected in the volume Svampens tid.

Reich led a bohemian life during the late sixties and early seventies, adopting the middle name "Klφvedal" from a character in J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" books. According to Niels Ingwersen in the Encyclopedia of World Literature, Reich's outlook developed into "a synthesis of social radicalism, a sense of Christian solidarity with a strong antiauthoritarian or anarchistic bent."

Although Reich wrote in many genres, he is best known as an historical novelist, beginning with Holger Danske. Tolv fortællinger om en folkehelt, the story of a Danish hero who comes to the rescue of his nation. Reich often wrote about such heroes with the intent of drawing analogies between the past and the present. A recurrent theme is the impending loss of the Danish national character, and Reich's heroes seem to have, according to Ingwersen, "much in common with the free-spirited, antiauthoritarian ''68 generation.'"

Another historical novel, Frederik. En folkebog om N.F.S. Grundtvigs tid og liv, is the story of a prominent Danish pastor, poet, and teacher who is something of a legend in Danish history. After the success of this book, Reich produced Rejsen til Messias: tre bφger fra enevældens tid, which records the rise of a repressive absolute monarchy. Fæ og frænde: syv en halv nats fortællinger om vejene til Rom og Danmark starts in the Iron Age and contrasts the Roman empire with the rising democratic Denmark. In Festen for Cæcelie: den hemmelige beretning om et kongemord, Reich goes back to the Middle Ages to illustrate how powerful institutional forces such as the Catholic Church have affected Danish national policy. Reich used the same kinds of nationalistic themes in a series of short-story collections.

In the novel Bygningen af en bro: en samtidighedsroman Reich protests the proposed bridge between Denmark and the European continent, asserting that such a link would destroy the Danish national character. Two other novels, Kontrafej af den danske ånd: samt krφnike og rejsepostil til turen ud det europaeiske and Morgendagens mand, deal with the theme of modern political and social independence in the light of the glories of Denmark's past.

Reich sets his novel, En engels vinger: roman fra det gotiske Norden, in the late medieval period, when the legendary Queen Margrethe I unified the Nordic countries. With nostalgia for those times of Danish ascendance, Reich uses the story as a contrast to the modern-day growing influence of the European Economic Community, which he sees as a danger to Danish nationalism. The story concerns an artist, Hannes Jerk, who works with a famous fresco painter to produce beautiful decorations for Danish churches. As the story develops, Hannes is mistakenly charged with the murder of an archbishop but is ultimately declared innocent. According to Svend Birke Espegård in World Literature Today, this story has much in common with Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose, and is a "credible, realistic story about those in power as well as about common people."

Ingwersen concluded that most of Reich's novels show his "opposition to all attempts … to interfere with his ideal nation. Reich is a severe critic of his times, but one who always sees hope for the future. He is an energetic mythmaker, who sees myth as a tool for personal and national growth."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Encyclopedia of World Literature, 3rd edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1999, pp. 644-645.

PERIODICALS

World Literature Today, winter, 1992, Svend Birke Espegård, "Ebbe Klφvedal Reich. En engels vinger: roman fra det gotiske Norden," pp. 142-143.

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