Herman Bang and Politiken

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He came like a star, acted like a duke and was treated like a number.

That's how briefly the story of Herman Bang and the daily newspaper Politiken can be told.

It's a classic story: A young journalist who has been successful at a magazine that gave him free rein, gets hired at another magazine where he thinks he can get away with anything.

The new magazine, which has stars in droves, responds by treating the new employee like anyone else. His articles are pickled or printed anonymously. At the same time, they bind him with high wages and generous advances, so that he is not tempted by offers from competitors.

But it usually only lasts for a while. Then the talent will seek to become master of his own house.

This is how it went with Herman Bang and Politiken.

Herman Bang wrote more than 600 articles for Politiken in the periods 14.5.1885-20.12.1890 and 3.4.1900-26.1.1902. Peter Nansen was his friend at the magazine. Edvard Brandes and Henrik Cavling were his dangerous competitors.

John Chr. Jørgensen tells the story with all its colorful facets.

♥♥♥♥ Politics
"John Chr. Jørgensen tells knowingly and vividly about the star journalist Herman Bang's anything but easy going at Dagbladet Politiken... Why did Politiken never boast that the newspaper had hired Herman Bang as a journalist? In part, Politiken almost consistently printed his articles anonymously, in part his articles were pickled. It is the tireless researcher in Danish cultural criticism and cultural journalism, John Chr. Jørgensen, who asks and tells at the same time in his new book about 'Herman Bang and Politiken', and it is both fun and exciting reading. John Chr. Jørgensen, with the latest Herman Bang research in hand, can correct a few old truths and come up with a few good revelations."

★★★★★ Jutland Posten
"Enthralling study of power and journalism. If the educated reader thinks that the literati and press researcher John Chr. Jørgensen has committed a geeky study about the author Herman Bang and his relationship with the daily newspaper Politiken way back, they are wrong. The at once dense and easy-flowing book is an uncovering of how power is managed in the world of the press. Once - and indeed probably still. Brutality and power usually go together (...) that history has not been thoroughly written until now thanks to the diligent, thorough and well-written Jørgensen, who has been in the archives (…) And you have to say that Jørgensen has control over his various sources, so we get one outrageous quote after another that shows how lowly beacons of press history like Edvard Brandes and Henrik Cavling were when it came to Bang . (…) Herman Bang and Politiken is an exciting uncovering of a piece of the current past. Highly recommended."

Read more about the book in John Chr. Jørgensen's personal biographical note Outside number