Pelle the Conqueror: Apprenticeship (Fjord Modern Classics, No 4)

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9780940242487: Pelle the Conqueror: Apprenticeship (Fjord Modern Classics, No 4)

Book by Martin Anderson Nexo

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From Publishers Weekly:

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.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

In Volume 2 of Nexo's "Bildungsroman" (see LJ 7/89 for a review of the first volume), Pelle begins the journey the European proletariat undertook when the modern capitalistic society was formed; he goes from rural misery and poverty to the same or worse in an urban setting. As a shoemaker's apprentice in the nearest town, he retains some ties with the past but grows into adolescence in a milieu of different values and new people, establishing solidarity with the poorest. A few people give him support: the consumptive Master Andres, the generous widow Marie, and the kind shoemaker Sort. Two other characters are harbingers of socialism: the itinerant master craftsman Garibaldi, and the Power, a genius of mythical proportions destroyed by small-town bigotry and feudalism. All instinct and action, Pelle is only dimly aware of the role these men play in his development. With his faults and virtues, endurance and optimism, Pelle is one of literature's most charming heroes. Recommended.
- Ulla Sweedler, Univ. of California at San Diego Lib.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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