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Hamlet, Prinz af Dannemark. Tragoedie. Oversat af Engelsk (af Johs. Boye). (Hamlet. Prince of Denmark. Tragedy. Translated from the English [by Johs. Boye]).
Kiöbenhavn (Copenhagen), Hallager, 1777. 8vo. Contemporary half calf with gilt title-label to spine. Binding worn. Internally very nice, clean, and fresh, with only very minor and light occassional browning. Old owner's name finely removed from title-page. Printed on nice, heavy paper.. Very rare first edition of the highly interesting first Danish translation of "Hamlet", being the first translation of any of Shakespeare's works into any Scandinavian language.One of the most interesting translations of any work by Shakespeare must that of "Hamlet" into Danish, the legend of Prince Hamlet being Danish and the work taking place in Helsinore in Denmark. "In 1777 "Hamlet" was translated into Danish by Johannes Boye. As the plot is based on the Danish legend preserved by Saxo, it is fitting that "Hamlet" was the first Shakespeare to appear in Danish." (Nancy S. Reinhardt, Danish Literature. An exhibition at the Houghton Library. The Harvard College Library, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1986, nr. 61).The present publication marks the beginning of the Shakespearian entry into Scandinavia, constituting as it does the very first translation of any of Shakespeare's works into any Scandinavian language. "We shall probably never know when Shakespeare first came to Denmark. That his name was known to scores of young Danish scholars who visited England and studied at her universities in the early years of the eighteenth century is all but certain. Holberg's silence cannot be construed into proof of complete ignorance, and Toger Reenberg, in some significant lines, celebrates Shakespeare as one of the great poets of the world... This was in 1703, long before the first mention of Shakespeare's name in Germany. Not much, however, can be deduced from it, and we shall find ourselves on rather shaky ground until we reach the first Shakespearean translation, Johannes Boye's Hamlet, published in 1777. Boye's translation is in decent, fluent prose, reasonably correct and eminently readable." (M. B. Ruud, pp. 191-92).In Lowndes the only Scandinavian translation of "Hamlet" mentioned is Oehlenschläger's "Hamlet" from 1846 (Lowndes IV: 2364), which is not an actual translation. "Hamlet" appeared in Swedish in 1820 and the first Swedish translation of a work by Shakespeare is "Macbeth" in Geijer's translation from 1812 or 1813, though the earliest that Lowndes mentions is "King Lear" from 1818. The first attempt to translate Shakespeare's works into Danish is by Niels Rosenfeldt and it appeared in 1790-92. The first Danish translation of the tragic works appeared 1807-16 (Foersom) and continued 1818-25 (Wulff). The first separate work to appear in Danish after "Hamlet" is "King Lear" from 1794 (Bibl. Dan., IV:379).Nancy S. Reinhardt: "Danish Literature. An exhibition at the Houghton Library". The Harvard College Library, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1986, nr. 61.Martin B. Ruud: "SHAKESPEARE IN DENMARK: Summary of a Monograph". In: Scandinavian Studies and Notes, Vol. 5, No. 6 (MAY, 1919), pp. 191-196
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Last Found On: 2013-05-29           Check availability:      Antikvariat    

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