Tom Kristensen’s modern classic “Hærværk” in a translation by Carl Malberg. Copenhagen, 1930. There is a ring at the door of Ole Jastrau’s fifth floor apartment that will ignite a spark of restlessness within his soul, leading him into darkened velvet portiere-entranced bars and brightly glittering night clubs, from the mundane grind of literary criticism to the nocturnal otherworld of alcoholism and prostitution.
Will Jastrau re-emerge into polite society, or sink to a place from where he will never resurface? Originally deemed a cynical, pessimistic – and, above all, overly revealing – portrayal of life as a newspaperman upon its release in interwar Denmark, Havoc has since gone on to become a much loved modern classic in its home country, with its ‘longed for shipwrecks’ verse becoming one of the most oft quoted in the Danish language.
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