1 Social Order and Identity, The Department of Culture and Identity, Roskilde University2 The Department of Culture and Identity, Roskilde University
Hammersheimb, Schrøter and Lyngbye - mapping the dynamics of social ambience, institutional infrastructure and cultural practice around the publication of “Færøiske Qvæder om Sigurd Fafnersbane” in 1822
This paper deals with three clerics of the early 19th Century, and their roles in regards to, the creation of Faroese language and literature. The main argument - and theoretical outline of this paper - is on the construction of a 19th Century cultural saint in the Faroese priest Hammersheimb, that large networks of early philologists and clergymen are overlooked by Faroese memory politics –following the master narrative of the Faroese nationbuilding, starting with 1846, when Hammersheimb ‘created’ the Faroese written language. But we need to put on another frame of perspectives to explain and map the dynamics of the rediscovery of Faroese letters and language brought about by early networks of cultural nationalists, most of them clerics. Here I will go back to the case of the 1822 publication of the “The Sigurd Ballads”, because as we know with the Kalevala epic from Finland and the Icelandic sagas, that these became a political force in this time. The creation of Finishness was also connected to the publication of oral epic by first Swedish scholars – later the Swedish-speaking romantics were sidelined in Finnish memory. My argument is that this is also the case of the early networks of cultural nationalists, many of these Danish clerics created the institutional infrastructure and social ambience that gave birth to Faroese letters in Copenhagen. But Hammersheimb is still the one commemorated on banknotes, monuments, stamps and in official commemorative events as a true cultural saint, by leading poets like J.H.O. Djurhuus while still alive. But he had help from prior network of mainly clerics that paved the way.