The Penguinisation of Ibsen

  • Tore Rem UiT - HSL-fakultetet.


This article investigates the current generation of Penguin Ibsen editions, translated by Una Ellis-Fermor and Peter Watts and dating back to the 1950s and ‘60s. It sketches the development of Penguin’s publishing profile, and goes on to consider the role played by Penguin Classics in maintaining Ibsen as a central writer in the Western canon, and, with time, in world literature. By examining paratexts, materiality and translation strategies, the main part of the article considers how these editions construct their particular Ibsens. It looks, among other things, at the organisational principles and the scholarly apparatus. The article concludes by briefly noting some possible ambitions for, as well as challenges facing, a new generation of Penguin Ibsen editions.


Tore Rem, UiT - HSL-fakultetet.

Tore Rem (D.Phil., Oxon) is professor of British literature at the Department of Literature, Area Studies and European Languages, University of Oslo. He has published extensively on British and Scandinavian nineteenth-century literature and is the author of a two-volume biography of Jens Bjørneboe (2009 and 2010). He has published Henry Gibson/Henrik Ibsen: Den provinsielle verdensdikter (2006) and is general editor of the new Penguin edition of Ibsen. During the spring of 2013, he was Christensen Visiting Fellow at St Catherine’s College, Oxford. He is currently engaged in the research project “The Scandinavian Moment in World Literature”


Hvordan referere
Rem, Tore. 2015. «The Penguinisation of Ibsen». Nordlit, nr. 34 (februar):497–504.