1993 Peer Hultberg, Denmark: Byen og Verden

1993 Peer Hultberg, Danmark: Byen og Verden
Jutta Schwöbel

About the author

Peer Hultberg grew up in Horsens and also spent some of his teenage years in Viborg. He studied musicology and Slavic philology, etc., before making a career in the university world, later to graduate in analytical psychology from the C. G. Jung Institute in Zurich in the 1970s. He made his literary breakthrough with his extremely multi-polyphone and barrier-breaking novel Requiem in 1985. He spent the latter part of his life in Germany.

About the winning piece

Byen og verden is a novel consisting of 100 micro-novels about the citizens of the author’s hometown Viborg. The narrator is omniscient in the old-fashioned way, but keeps an ironic distance to people, and the stories are not connected. Literally, no “Vi-borg” (no “we”) is established in the portrayal of the town. It is up to the reader to make the mortar and build connections. But the picture then painted of the town is dark, characterised by cruelty and cramped small-town mentality. Feelings of guilt and shame dominate the story, and the formal fragmentation of the novel is an artistically adapt contrast to the human isolation and exposure of the town dwellers.

Byen og Verden

Published by: Lindhardt og Ringhof publishing company 

Publication year: 1994

This is what the Adjudicating Committee had to say

"Byen og Verden" is an uncompromising novel, rich and entertaining in its tension between material and form. The town of Viborg’s voice apparently tells us objectively about the residents in different social groups in a hundred micro-novels from birth to death. An intense feeling in every private fate with some meeting each other and others remaining alone.