Danish / Denmark

Skolen
(School)

Wung-Sung, Jesper (text)
København: Høst & Søn, 2013. – 138 p.
ISBN 978-87-638-3162-8

Epidemic | Confinement | Decay | Survival | Dystopia

Jesper Wung-Sung’s ≫Skolen≪ places a statue of J. P. Jacobsen (1847-1885) in the story’s fi ctional schoolyard, drawing one of a series of intertextual associations with Jacobsen’s novel ≫Pesten i Bergamo≪ (The plague of  Bergamo). William Golding’s ≫Lord of the Flies≪ is also strongly intertextually referenced. Like Jacobsen, Wung-Sung describes a devastating plague and like Golding, he shows the brutality of the struggle for survival in an isolated,  cramped space. The school is closed off from the outside world when a  mysterious illness breaks out there. Those attempting to escape are shot. After the teachers all die, the surviving students quickly form two rival camps. The one camp embraces a leader cult, might makes right and brutal drives, while the other camp strives to uphold humane values despite the existential threat.

Wung-Sung combines the  story’s parable element with a personal narrative voice to highlight the topic’s timeliness. (Age: 12+)