Dr. Erik A. Nielsen, member of the Holberg Committee, explains why the Medal has been awarded to Professor Mortensen.
“The 2007 Holberg Medal has been awarded to professor and editor Klaus Peter Mortensen in recognition of his unique diligence, narrative joy and humor in his treatment of Danish literature. The recipient has produced a considerable body of work with books on Herman Bang, Henrik Pontoppidan, Thomasine Gyllembourg, and Hans Christian Andersen. Recently he completed editing the new edition of Hans Christian Andersen’s Collected Works and is also near completing the editing of an extensive work, The History of Danish Literature. His highly praised book about Hans Christian Andersen, The Poetry of Coincidence, demonstrates how he can combine academic precision with the fine art of popular enlightenment.”
The Medal is accompanied by a cash prize of Danish kroner 30,000 (about USD 6,000), financed by the Literature Committee of the Danish Arts Council.
The Holberg Medal is awarded annually on December 3rd, the birthday of Ludvig Holberg (1684-1754). It was established in 1934 to honor a Danish writer “in recognition of a literary or academic work or for the whole body of work of the author in question (…) with regard to a certain connection to the spirit of Holberg.”