Johnny Kondrup

Johnny Kondrup


Primary fields of research

  • Danish literature from circa 1800 to 1960.
  • Biography as a genre and biographical methods. Autobiography and memoirs.
  • Textual Scholarship (textual criticism, variants, commentary, digital editing etc.).
  • The History of Editing.
  • Co-editor of Søren Kierkegaard’s Writings (Søren Kierkegaards Skrifter), see:
  • Co-editor of N.F.S. Grundtvig’s Works (N.F.S. Grundtvigs Værker), see: http://www.grundtvigsvæ

Current research

My current research runs along three lines:
One is the history of editing, i.e., the history of scholarly editions. Financially supported by the Velux Foundation, I manage the interdisciplinary research project The History of Editing in Denmark (Dansk Editionshistorie), which will map out Denmark’s contribution to the scholarly editing of Greek and Latin classics, Old Norse and Old Danish medieval literature and Danish literature after 1500. See: 

As a result of my previous research in textual scholarship, I have become increasingly interested in the most elementary questions, not only of this discipline, but of literary studies and many of the other humanities fields as well: What is a text? What makes a text (or a cluster of texts) into a work? Driven by a theoretical urge to understand the ontology of the concepts ‘text’ and ‘work’, which we all use, but seldom define, I explore different usages of these terms in literary theory and textual scholarship, and try to judge them critically by their merits.

A third line of research concerns the concepts of illusion and seduction in Scandinavian literature from Søren Kierkegaard to Karen Blixen. These concepts develop particularly rapidly after Romanticism, where poetry becomes subservient to the cosmic spirit and takes on a responsibility for describing the inner coherence of existence. From this point on, reality is no longer dogmatically restrained, and the seducer is no longer just a rogue, but a demonic figure, who threatens the order of the world. That creates fascinating literature.


  • Danish and Scandinavian literary history
  • Textual Scholarship and History of Editing
  • Thematic readings of selected oeuvres and works

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