Martin A. Hansen

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Martin A. Hansen

Martin A. Hansen (born August 20, 1909 in Strøby , † June 27, 1955 in Copenhagen ) was a Danish writer. He has written novels, travelogues and essays. His best-known and most widely discussed work is the novel Løgneren , published in 1950 , which was also made into a film and translated into German ( The Liar ).


Martin A. Hansen (actually Alfred Martin Jens Hansen) came from a cottager family and initially worked in agriculture. After completing his teacher training, he taught at Copenhagen elementary schools from 1931. The subject of his first two novels Nu opgiver han (Now he gives up, 1935) and Colonies (The Colony, 1937) was the conversion of agriculture from individual to collective farms or the conflict between peasant tradition and modern intellectualism . During the Second World War he worked for the illegal magazine Folk og Frihet . From 1949 to 1951 he worked in the Heretica magazine editorial team .

With the novel Der Lügner , Hansen's “enigmatic narrative art reached a climax”. The novel is written as the diary of a village coaster and school teacher to a fictional reader by the name of Nathanael. The protagonist has withdrawn to a small island out of disappointed love and feels guilty. This not easily accessible psychological novel reached a circulation of 400,000 copies in Denmark and was made into a film in 1970 under the direction of Knud Leif Thomsen. The first version was a radio play on behalf of Danmarks Radio ; then the text appeared in the newspaper Berlingske Aftenavis as a serial novel with illustrations by Ib Spang Olsen.

After the war, Hansen became "the spiritual leader of religious existentialism and contributed significantly to the rediscovery of Kierkegaard in Denmark". He dealt intensively with religious, cultural and historical topics. As a result, he wrote the cultural and religious history work Orm og Tyr (Lindworm and Bull) in 1952 , a kind of journey of discovery through Denmark, in which he describes nature and the landscape. It takes the reader to places that were important in the pre-Christian era, such as dolmens and sacred trees , and tells of myths and legends. The title refers to the bull who killed the dragon in the folk tale .

Hansen was awarded the Holberg Medal in 1952 . He was married and had two children; his son Hans Ole Hansen was director of the Historical-Archaeological Land of Legends . Martin A. Hansen died of chronic kidney inflammation at the age of 45.


Danish original editions

  • Nu opgiver han . Novel (1935)
  • Colonies . Novel (1937)
  • Jonathans rejse . Novel (1941)
  • Lykkelige Kristoffer . Novel (1945)
  • Tornebusken . Stories (1946)
  • Agerhønen . Narrative (1947)
  • Åsynet . Stories (1949)
  • Saint Hans aften . Stories (1949)
  • Løgneren . Novel (1950)
  • Orm and Thyr (1952)
  • Paradisæblerne . Stories (1953)
  • Concylia . Stories (1955)

German-language editions

  • The liar . Roman.Translation: Heinrich Fauteck. Bertelsmann, Gütersloh 1952. (last: translation: AO Schwede. Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart 1978, ISBN 3-421-01854-5 )
  • The daffodil . Narrative. Translation: Heinrich Fauteck. Bertelsmann, Gütersloh 1953.
  • September fog . Stories. Translation: AO Swede. Hinstorff, Rostock 1975.


  • Thorkild Borup Jensen: Martin A. Hansen. En canon forfatter . Portraits of forfatteren and forfatterskabet. Dansklærerforeningen, Frederiksberg 2009, ISBN 978-87-7996-367-2 .
  • Bjarne Nielsen Brovst: Martin A. Hansen. Krigen and arts . Hovedland, Højbjerg 2009, ISBN 978-87-7070-169-3 .
  • Ole Juul: Fortællingen om Martin A. Hansen and Heretica . Anis, Copenhagen 2009, ISBN 978-87-7457-496-5 .
  • Mogens Brøndsted: Martin A. Hansen . In: Nordic literary history . Volume II. Fink, Munich 1984, ISBN 3-7705-2105-6 .
  • Hansen, Martin Alfred . In: Gero von Wilpert (ed.): Lexicon of world literature LZ . Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, Munich 1997, ISBN 3-423-59050-5 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. For example: Henrik Ljungberg: Den falske dagbog om Martin A. Hansen's sidste novel "Løgneren" .Gyldendal. Copenhagen 1994, ISBN 87-00-20058-1 .
  2. Lexicon of World Literature LZ. Munich 1997, p. 614.
  3. ^ Mogens Brøndsted: Martin A. Hansen . Munich 1984, p. 558.
  4. Erika Kosmalla In: Northern European literatures . VEB Bibliographisches Institut, Leipzig 1980, p. 160.