Bang, Herman (1857–1912)


EB calls this author “[o]ne of Denmark’s most important representatives of literary Impressionism.”

That intrigued me because I had no idea that Impressionist ideas could be transferred from painting to literature.

Here are some characteristics of Impressionism from Wikipedia (“Impressionism”):

  • an emphasis on accurate depiction of light in its changing qualities (often accentuating the effects of the passage of time)
  • ordinary subject matter and
  • inclusion of movement as a crucial element of human perception and experience

It’s hard for me to see how this would translate into novels.  If the common element is “ordinary subject matter,” then I would call Bang’s work Realism, not Impressionism.

However, what an interesting thought experiment!  How would one translate Impressionism into a literary form?

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