Review: The Copenhagen Trilogy By Tove Ditlevsen

Tove Ditlevsen, a Danish author, recounts her life in three volumes. Seix Barral has combined them into one volume, which is called Childhood, Youth, and Dependence. The first volume tells the story of Ditlevsen’s childhood in Copenhagen’s Vesterbro, a working-class area. It also includes her friends and family, as well as her determination to leave behind childhood and become a writer. The second volume focuses on Ditlevsen’s adolescence, youth and struggles to establish himself in the literary landscape of his country. He also intersperses precarious jobs and, finally, his third volume is marked by his marriages, and, as his title Well suggests, his dependence on drugs. These books are simply amazing.

As most Spanish-speaking readers would, I didn’t know about the existence of this Danish writer nor her memoirs. The Seix Barral publishing company has saved it from oblivion this year, as they had not published them in Spanish until now. Now, I am overwhelmed by what I just read and write this review. These memories have brought back many fond memories of Elena Ferrante. She is one of my favourite writers, and she was certain that she would not disappoint me. Tove Ditlevsen writes beautifully. He is direct and blunt, yet he has a remarkable ability to focus the most important events in his life in just a few pages. Even though many events are difficult to understand, they are beautiful. This book took me longer than usual to finish. I believe it was because I thought it was a reading that required me to take it slowly and give it time. However, I am still thinking of Tove, a woman I felt so close to, who opened the channel in such brave ways that I can’t help but call her Tove), in her life. I don’t know how I missed this writer.

We are currently looking at memoirs. I feel it is appropriate to not reveal any details about the plot as readers will likely not be able to learn much about the author’s personal life. I prefer that they, like me, have the chance to explore it for themselves. It is important to mention that these memoirs cover topics such as motherhood and addiction, writing and the need to dedicate oneself to literature, family, relationships, poverty, sex and dependency, among other things. I couldn’t believe the honesty of this story, that they exhume his thoughts, and the subject matter he addresses so openly. Tove addressed issues that are still relevant to many women today. I can imagine that it would have been difficult for her to write these memoirs in the 1960s. Each chapter of this trilogy was a treasure trove. I can’t even begin to describe how much I loved them.

Copenhagen Trilogy is on my list of 2021’s best readings. I am reaffirming my love for it as I read it. You will not regret it. The strength, presence, and life of this author are remarkable.

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Hi, my name is Julie.

I am a certified bookworm and have been buried in stories ever since I learned to read at a fairly early age of 3 years old.

Reading is my passion and I find that writing a review about a book I have read to be a great hobby.

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