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Nexø, Martin Andersen

Nexø, Martin Andersen mär´tēn än´dərsĕn nĕksö [key], 1869–1954, Danish novelist. Born one of 11 children in a Copenhagen slum, he spent his impoverished childhood largely on the island of Bornholm. Both locales appear centrally in his novels. His famous proletarian novels Pelle the Conqueror (4 vol., 1906–10 tr. 1930 and 1989) and Ditte, Daughter of Mankind (5 vol., 1917–21 tr., in 1 vol., 1931) relate the struggles of the poor, focusing attention on conditions of poverty in Denmark Pelle, a popular motion picture made in the late 1980s, was based on the first part of the novel. Though admittedly a propagandist for communism and social reform, he created a memorable group of tender human portraits. He also wrote about Russia, where he spent many of his later years. The first two volumes of his four-volume autobiography have been translated as Under the Open Sky (1938).

See F. Ingwersen and N. Ingwersen, Quests for a Promised Land (1984).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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