A can’t-miss feature in the Spring 2012 issue of Iowa Review is "Five Square Stories" by Danish author Louis Jensen, translated by Lise Kildegaard. Something like poems and something like very short short stories, these five fairy tale-esque works, typeset in neat square blocks, are merely a taste of the hundreds of square stories (firkantede historier) that Jensen has written. Each of the stories, collected in seven volumes at last count, begins with a play on "once upon a time" to mark its number (e.g., "A one hundred and thirty-second time" or "A three hundred and fourteenth time"), with Jensen’s aim being to write 1,001 in total. The tone of Jensen’s square stories ranges from macabre to whimsical, but every one of them is simple, surreal and entertaining. An example, translated by Kildegaard:
Louis Jensen, originally an architect, has been writing children’s, young adult, and adult literature since the 1980s. His books of square stories currently range from Hundrede historier (One Hundred Stories) to Hallo! flere hundrede historier (Hello! Hundreds of Stories). Lise Kildegaard, an English professor at Luther College, has translated many of Jensen's square stories and will hopefully be translating many more.