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Claussen, Sophus (1865–1931) By R. Fauth, Søren

DOI: 10.4324/9781135000356-REM640-1
Published: 09/05/2016
Retrieved: 25 August 2019, from
https://www.rem.routledge.com/articles/claussen-sophus-1865-1931

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Sophus Claussen is considered one of the foremost Danish poets of the period spanning the 19th and 20th centuries. As a regular contributor to the Symbolist journal Taarnet (1893–1894), published by Claussen’s fellow writer and friend Johannes Jørgensen (1866–1956), he became representative of a current which—apart from its Symbolist predicate—might aptly be described in terms of spiritual modernity. Sophus Claussen’s models were Charles Baudelaire, Paul Verlaine and Stéphane Mallarmé. In keeping with the so-called “Modern Breakthrough” spearheaded by Danish critic and scholar Georg Brandes, Claussen confronted the Church and traditional Christianity. It was a conflict that led Claussen not to enlightenment, realism and naturalism, but to a continued quest for a spiritual dimension, in direct opposition to the more profane modernism espoused by Brandes. Like the French Symbolists, Claussen perceived the manifestations of the world as representations of an underlying, all-encompassing divine truth with which the poet in his art was compelled to seek affinity. This neo-Romantic yearning towards a higher form of spiritual reality transcending visible (phenomenal) manifestations is accompanied in Claussen’s work by an apprehensive, sceptical consciousness whose only certain knowledge is that of its own ignorance.

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09/05/2016

Article DOI

10.4324/9781135000356-REM640-1

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Citing this article:

Fauth, Søren R. "Claussen, Sophus (1865–1931)." The Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism. : Taylor and Francis, 2016. Date Accessed 25 Aug. 2019 https://www.rem.routledge.com/articles/claussen-sophus-1865-1931. doi:10.4324/9781135000356-REM640-1

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