Ole Wivel

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Ole Wivel (born September 29, 1921 in Copenhagen , † May 30, 2004 in Hillerød ) was a Danish author, editor and publishing director.

life and work

Ole Wivel studied literature at Copenhagen University and worked for the Red Cross during the German occupation . His dissertation was titled Stefan George and his position in German intellectual life . Wivel was said to have sympathy for the National Socialists . But he was protected by authors, including Klaus Rifbjerg ; his two daughters also defended him.

Wivel became a community college teacher and, together with Martin A. Hansen, was the editor of the magazine Heretica . From 1945 he headed the Wivel Verlag and from 1954 to 1963 and from 1971 to 1980 he was co-director of Gyldendal , the largest Danish publisher. From 1964 to 2004 he was a member of the Danish Academy .

His breakthrough as a poet reached Wivel with his volume of poetry in the sign of Pisces ( I Fiskens tegn , 1948), which is marked by a spirit of optimism, of changes towards the unknown.

In 1952 the confessional written in the form of letters to a pastor, The Hidden God (Den skjulte Gud) appeared . The protagonist has withdrawn into nature in order to get into conversation with God. He accuses the church of erecting too many barriers so that God's voice can no longer be heard. This topic also appeared in his collection of poems, Der Mond (Maanen) .

The collection of essays Poesi og eksistens , in which he explained his world of ideas, formed a settlement with his critics . Wivel was shaped by authors such as TS Eliot , Hölderlin and Rilke ; his poetry is considered haunting and form-assured; he was "a cool and intellectual poet who sought warmth and existence". Wivel was friends with Karen Blixen , about whom he published a biography in 1987. In addition to other biographies, he published numerous essays on art and art criticism and received numerous awards, including the Holberg Medal in 1994 .


Det tomme verdens rum / bli'r paany fortættet! / Jeg gaar over skinnende narrow, / skyldfri og lettet.
The empty space will receive / new abundance! / I'm walking across bright meadows / guilt free without fear. "

- Ole Wivel

Publications (selection)


  • 1948: I fiskens tegn
  • 1952: Maanen
  • 1961: Templet for Cybele
  • 1985: Til de fattige præster
  • 1998: Kroketkuglen
  • 2003: Himlen mellem husene

Biographies about

Other prose

  • 1952: Den skjulte Gud
  • 1953: Poetry and eksistens
  • 1965: Kunsten og krigen
  • 1977: Rejsen til Skagen
  • 1994: Sandhedens udtryk i kirke og kunst


  • Artur Bethke, Horst Bien u. a .: Northern European literatures . VEB Bibliographisches Institut Leipzig, 1980
  • Mogens Brøndsted: Ole Sarvig . In: Nordic literary history . Volume II. Fink, Munich 1984, ISBN 3-7705-2105-6
  • Anita Brask Rasmussen: Hands over Ole . Informations Forlag, Copenhagen 2008, ISBN 978-87-7514-196-8
  • Wivel, Ole . 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. ^ Dorrit Wivel & Anne Wivel: Ole Wivel var ikke nazist . In: information.dk of October 11, 2007. [1]
  2. Lexicon of World Literature LZ . Munich 1997
  3. From the moon trilogy (Maanetrilogi) , translated by Mogens Brøndsted, here quoted from Nordic literary history . Vol. II, p. 570