Last walk through Copenhagen

2022: Dan’s birthday falls on the 19 March; see Vangede Vandring (event; FB)

Last updated: 31 July 2018; turns out DT also wrote a poem on the everyday, Hyldest til hverdagen, nice, and here’s a Dan Xmas walk

Ooh, Copenhagen hipster Dan Turèll wrote a poem called Gennem byen en sidste gang, translated by Thomas E Kennedy as Last walk through the city – see the multimedia presentation, lacking only the thing på dansk.

Written in 1977, a version with composer Halfdan E was recorded shortly before Turèll’s death in 1993. Googling reveals that the poem is a school standard, a sort of Stop all the clocks for Denmark.

Re the translation, perhaps it’s because I know Danish and Copenhagen, but translating place names really grates. West Bridge? What? Only the fourth most hip neighourhood in the world (this week). And what is a serving house? Is it an American thing? I’d expected the Danish to be bodega, but it turns out it’s værtshus. What’s wrong with ‘pub’?

Update, 31 July: turns out that TEK translated the placenames as it took him four years to get his head round them. I have a certain sympathy with this as it was several years before I linked Vestamager metro station with Amager – I though it was Vesta-mager. Apparently American readers like the translations, although Danes find them hilarious.

Here’s Dan’s reading with shots of CPH before it got tidied up:

More Dan:

  • Wikipedia | Turèll Samlingen | Facebook  | CPH Post
  • in 2013 UCL’s Nordic Noir Book Club held a meeting launching a translation of Dan Turèll’s Murder in the dark (see video; I particularly enjoyed the comment re deeply disturbed Danish protagonists), followed in no short order by an article in Berlingske looks at Dan’s increasing popularity på engelsk
  • had a thing about Vesterbro, writing a series of crime novels from 1981-89, set in an alternative crime ridden version of the area – see article Fra Vangede til Vesterbro: i Dan Turèlls fodspor (2012) and a literary walk and festival taking place on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of his death (15 October) in his home town of Vangede (Gentofte)
  • see Kenn André Stilling’s Alfabet TURÈLL (2011), commemorating Dan Turèll (1946-93), a play in rusted steel in the form of letters and punctuation marks surrounded by a 47m long bench, one meter for each year of Turèll’s life, in his birthplace of Vangede

I’ve been intrigued enough to move a collection of Dan’s writing about CPH (often in the I byen column in Politiken) owned by my partner to my drifts bookshelf, where it has stayed.

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