The aim of this article is to contribute to a deeper understanding of Danish minimalism by performing a genre analysis of Solvej Balle’s four short prose books (brief fictional prose) — “&”, “Or”, “If ” and “Then” — written over a 23-year period, between 1990 and 2013. The four texts are connected by a commonality of motifs and thematic elements, identical form and linguistic structure and therefore they comprise a rather unusual tetralogy. Balle’s texts are viewed in the context of the development of Danish literature of that period with an emphasis on minimalist aesthetics and their origins. Balle belongs to a generation of writers associated with the flourishing of minimalism in Danish literature at the end of the 20th century. The characteristic features of her few works are their intellectual elitism and elaborate, sophisticated form. All of her works are experimental, but the four texts of the “tetralogy” are the quintessence of a genre
experiment in search of a new minimal aesthetic. The article deals with the characteristic features of the formal organisation of the four books, including their linguistic structure that indicate the cross-genre nature of Balle’s texts and allow to identify them as a hybrid of a pointillist novel and a prose poem.

pdf_iconOrlova G. “&” — “OR” — “IF” — “THEN” (“&” — “ELLER” — “HVIS” — “SÅ”) BY SOLVEJ BALLE: IDENTIFYING GENRE