Birte Kont

Birte Kont er født i København 1948.

Blev cand. phil. i litteraturvidenskab i 2001, Københavns Universitet Amager

Speciale: Franz Kafka.

Har bl.a. deltaget med foredrag i The Kafka’s Matliary Festival i Slovakiet i 2008 og i Kafka-Marathon i LiteraturHaus i København i 2008 og 2009.

Tidligere ansvarshavende redaktør af Jødisk Orientering.

Medlem af den Skønlitterære styrelse og kontaktperson for Kvindelige Forfattere i Dansk Forfatterforening.

Medarrangør af Copenhagen Jewish Film Festival i Cinemateket.

Debuterede i 1994 som børnebogsforfatter med Den, der hvisker, Lyver – en løgnehistorie fra dengang, der kørte sporvogne.

I 2002 udkom Skyldidentiteten hos Franz Kafka – en moderne jødisk tvivlers livtag med Loven.

Debuterede som skønlitterær forfatter i 2011 med romanen, En by i Rusland.

Modtog i 2000 og 2003 Litteraturrådets arbejdslegat til kulturessayistik.

2012: Arbejdslegat Statens Kunstfond

BIRTE KONT:

Mit syn på litteratur og sprog er farvet af den russiske litterat og kulturforsker Mikhail Bakhtin (1895-1975). Bakhtin definerer sproget som en ”begivenhed”, der inddrager sproglige, kulturelle og sociale elementer fra omverdenen. Her spilles værdierne i menneskelivet og samfundslivet ud mod hinanden inden for et særligt historisk rum. Sprog er verdenssyn.

Mit syn på sproget og verden – og kønnet – er inspireret af feministen og forfatteren Virginia Woolf (1882-1941). Woolf ser sproget som udtryk for et mandligt verdenssyn, hvori den kvindelige forfatter kan komme til orde som en sproglig og kulturel konstruktion i brændpunktet af en mængde forskellige synsvinkler.

Jeg er optaget af det felt, hvor litteraturteori og psykoanalyse lapper ind over hinanden: På trods af at den gode litteratur etablerer sin egen virkelighed, bliver litteraturen fortsat til gennem sprog, der skrives af mennesker i verden.

Mit mangeårige og nyskabende arbejde med Franz Kafka (1883-1924) er et område for sig, men hænger sammen med mine øvrige temaer.

Kafkas sociale blik på individet og den moderne, bureaukratiske, sekulære verden peger mod forfatterens baggrund i den tysktalende, assimilerede jødiske minoritet i det antisemitiske Prag i de første årtier af 1900-tallet.

Kafkas tre søstre døde i kz-lejr.

Arbejdet med Kafkas forfatterskab har fra minoritetens synspunkt givet mig et særligt blik for at finde nye og skæve perspektiver på det kendte – og omvendt.

Portrætfoto: Morten Holtum

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR    

Birte Kont was born in 1948 in Copenhagen.

She attained her Master’s degree in Comparative Literature Studies in 2001 from Copenhagen University.

She wrote her Master’s thesis on Franz Kafka.

She has participated in, among other things, The Kafka’s Matliary Festival in 2008 in Slovakia in which she gave lectures and in the Kafka Marathon in Literaturhaus in Copenhagen in 2008 and 2009.

She is the Former editor-in-chief for the Danish-Jewish journal Jødisk Orientering.

She is a member of the board for Fiction Writers and the contact person for Female Writers in the Danish Writers guild.

She is the Co-organizer for the Jewish Film Festival at Cinemateket (The Danish Film Institute) in Copenhagen.

She debuted in 1994 as a children’s author with ”Whoever Whispers Lies: A Tall Tale from the Days When There Were Still Trolleys.”

Kafka’s Guilt Identity: a Modern Jewish Skeptic Wrestles with the Law was published in 2002.

She debuted as a fiction writer in 2011 with the novel A Place Nowhere.

She received a work grant in 2000 and in 2003 from the Danish Arts Council (in Literature) for cultural essay writing.

She received a work grant in 2012 from the Danish Arts Council for fictional writing.

BIRTE KONT:

My view on literature and language is colored by the views of the Russian man of letters and cultural analyst Mikhail Bakhtin (1895-1975). Bakhtin defines language as an ”event” that incorporates linguistic, cultural and social elements from the outside world. Here, the values of human life play out against those of society within a specific historic framework. Hence, language is a world view.

My view of language and the world, and gender, is inspired by the author and feminist Virginia Woolf (1882-1941). Woolf sees language as an expression of a male world view in which a female author can be heard and experienced as a linguistic and cultural construction, a construction that is also the main focus of a number of various viewpoints.

I am interested in the area of study in which literary theory and psychoanalysis overlap. Despite the fact that good literature tends to lay the foundation for its own reality, it nevertheless continues to emerge through a language written by individuals who inhabit the world.

Though my long-standing and innovative work with Franz Kafka (1884-1924) is an area of itself, it is still very much connected to the other themes I have dealt with.

Kafka’s social view on the individual and the modern, bureaucratic secular world points to the author’s background in the German-speaking assimilated Jewish minority of the antisemitic Prague in the first decades of the 1900′s.

Kafka’s three sisters died in concentration camps.

Working with Kafka’s authorship has, specifically when seen from the point of view of the minority, given me a certain insight in terms of finding new and more skewed perspectives upon that which is otherwise considered familiar and vice versa.