Jensen’s unique travelogues from the globalised world of the 90’s, I Have Seen the World Begin and I Have Heard a Shooting Star received instant status as classics and have been published in a number of countries across the world. At their hearts stands a dramatic and deeply felt story that has lost nothing of its poignancy – a story of people and cultures from all over the world. A world in flux where people come together and grow apart and all have to find their own way in the future.
Books by Carsten Jensen
Out consists partly of reprinted travelogues over the past 32 years, partly of newly written introductions of the decades that the book covers, from the 1970's to the new millennium, both politically and personally. The result is a richly versatile chronicle of time from the birds of passage in the northern part of Denmark to the unemployed worker in Naples, from the Mujahideen in Afghanistan to a wall in Berlin, from the Soviet Union on the brink of dissolution to the Danish soldiers in the Helmand province. This is modern history seen from and experienced by an explorer who has sought the uttermost corners only to return home to share his experiences with his readers.
The year is 1893. The painter Carl Rasmussen is on his way to Greenland. He is in a deep artistic crisis and now he has set out to retrace the lost inspiration. But the voyage along the west coast of Greenland turns into a merciless confrontation with himself. He has lived in Marstal for a number of years and produced idealised portrayals of life in the seafaring village. He has remained in a spiritual centre in the town, but at the same time felt increasingly excluded.
This is the story of a man whose foundation of life crumbles under the pressure of a new time that tears everything away that he has believed in. Where does the last voyage lead?
Marstal: a small town on a modest Baltic island, part of a tiny nation. But in 1848, home to a new generation of men determined to conquer the high seas, and to sail as far away from Denmark as the winds will take them. Men forced into permanent war: with other nations, with the ocean, with one another, with the women they love, and most of all with their own dark impulses.
In 59 essays from 2001 to New Year’s Eve 2004, Jensen maps out the dramatic days after the fall of Twin Towers: not only the historic landslides, but also the small, unnoticeable twitches in a torn-up world where values are turned upside-down and civilisations seem to be on a path of confrontation. To Jensen it seems that fear is mixed with a militant sense of self-righteousness – a new and dangerous cocktail.
In 2003, Carsten Jensen and the photographer Tine Harden travelled to Niger in order to assist the ngo CARE. Their job was to describe and photograph one of the poorest countries in the world but instead, the trip flipped their image of Africa upside-down.
Jensens intense snapshots grab on to the everyday life of the journey, while Tine Harden’s beautiful pictures show us Niger in all of its variety.
Travels into the Burmese jungle to a people haunted by history – and stories.
On the day that the Twin Towers collapsed from the attacks of the to hijacked passenger aircrafts, not only the future dramatically changed. We were also given an entirely new past. In this book, containing 53 essays written from August 6 2000 to September 16 2001, Carsten Jensen documents this shift in our view of the world.
In this journal over the days and weeks of 1998 and 1999, Jensen depicts his time and the people and events that inhabit it: from the quiet Danish everyday life to world politics and its call for you to take a stand. At the centre stands his life with his daughter Laura and his descriptions of her growth and conquest of the world.
The Book of Negligence contains five long essays that all circle around the concepts of evil, death and fate in relation to reading and current events. With travelling as a theme in both literature and culture as the main object of analysis, the book points forward to Jensen’s later body of work.
A personal tale of literature and life and the indefinable nature of what separates them; of childhood and fear of the dark and the birth of a reader; of the impulse to write; of binding words, words that burn; of criticism and old-fashioned terms such as responsibility, morality and truth; of love, friendship and other experiences; of departures, new beginnings and the importance of being able to breathe.
The Earth in the Mouth is the tale of a young man’s first meeting with India: A journey he hopes will also take place within. But his meeting with a new world develops into a terribly different experience compared to what he was expecting.
Many years later, he once again ventures out on this journey, only this time in his mind. In the meeting between his younger and older self his story becomes one of irreconcilable inner conflict.
As a critic and commentator, Jensen has, all throughout the decade, taken the 80’s head on. Souvenirs from the 80’s represents a number of his comments to the phenomena of the time, long and short, from piercing jabs to laconic meditations.
From the cover of the book:
- And what should be the name of the novel? The love librarian asked me.
- The Supper of Cannibals, I said without hesitation. - Subtitle: a tasteless comedy of the unrecognised happiness of being eaten alive.
- I have a better suggestion. Why don't you call the novel The Tenth Circle?
- The tenth circle?
- Yes, she laughed. - That's the circle Dante never wrote about when he described Hell. The circle where male fantasy has forced women into existence.
A collection of imaginative, poetic and burning short prose of the plurality of the world and the monotony of stupidity.
Some people hold time at gunpoint, others face it head on. Jensen does both and realises that that is the seat of the soul. The eye. This realisation takes place through a series of short prose in which such different topics as international terrorism the smallest of events on Danish news pass by, are flipped in the air and dealt with with an enthusiasm only reserved for the truly dedicated.