Published in 2012, ‘The Prophets of Eternal Fjord’ (Danish: Profeterne i Evighedsfjorden) is a novel by Danish-Norwegian author Kim Leine that won the ‘Nordic Council Literature Prize‘ in 2013. Leine was born in Norway, moved to Denmark when he was 17, and then has lived and worked in Greenland for 15 years. He returned to Denmark in 2004 and made his debut with his memoir novel ’Kalak’ (2007). In 2009 he published ’Tunu’, in which he returns to Greenland, this time as the framework for the story of a young Danish male nurse’s meeting with the Greenlandic society and village culture. ’Profeterne i Evighedsfjorden’ is Kim Leine’s fourth novel, a great epic: the story of the Danish priest Morten Falck who travels to Greenland at the end of the 1700s. It depicts the Danish colonisation as a completely crazy and meaningless project: the Danish officials try to keep hold of power and customs but are plagued by homesickness and resignation. Grief and anger smoulders amongst the Greenlanders, and some of them seize Christianity and the European ideas of freedom as an inspiration for rebellion against colonial power. As well as being a critical, historical novel that reminds us of Denmark’s problematic past as a colonial power, the book is also a depiction of dirt as mankind’s basic element. According to the Adjudicating Committee, it is a riveting epic about suppression and rebellion, an anti-colonial, wildly sprawling work that fantasises over man as body and mind.
Books, Culture, Denmark, Greenland, Literature, Society