Pelle the Conqueror

Martin Andersen Nex, Author, Martin Anderson Nexo, Author Fjord Press $9.95 (2p) ISBN 978-0-940242-48-7
Originally published in 1907, the second part of Nexo's vigorous four-volume Danish classic advances its social message championing the proletariat as it maps the daily life of Pelle, the average fellow as hero. Leaving his rural home at the age of 15 to reside pk in town, Pelle faces the trials imposed by adolescence, poverty and new independence. Apprenticed to a shoemaker for room and board (clothing--not included--is a persistent problem), Pelle is caught in the archaic artisan system, which is more effective at exploiting its young workers than training them. But this is just part of a larger pattern in which the poor are cheated by the wealthy and undermined by their own kind. The most dramatic example is ``the Power,'' a proud, gifted stonecutter and strong giant of a man who tries to improve his lot but is repeatedly beaten back down to ``the station he was born to,'' as when an engineer steals his plans for construction in the town's harbor. And although Pelle doesn't know what a socialist is and wonders what the word ``strike'' means, it is clear that he soon will learn. (July)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
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