Jacobsen, Jens Peter

   A Danish novelist, short story writer, and poet, Jacobsen is one of the most important writers of the Modern Breakthrough in Scandinavia. Most of his works are centered on the theme of dream versus reality and offer various examples of how this conflict can be adjudicated in the lives of individual human beings. Jacobsen's first published prose work was the novella Mogens (1872; tr. Mogens, and Other Stories, 1926, 1972, 1977, 1994), which is also the first naturalist work in Danish literature. At first the young Mogens acts like an animal; only later does he overcome his instinctual hedonism and find happiness in a lasting love relationship. He is able to make this transition once he has overcome his tendency to dream and has replaced fantasy with action.
   The novel Fru Marie Grubbe (1876; tr. Marie Grubbe, 1917) is likewise a story about love and the dream of its satisfaction. Marie, of noble birth, is unable to find erotic happiness with her two husbands and a lover with backgrounds similar to her own, but then she runs off with a servant with whom she finds the happiness she craves. She is clearly driven by her sexual instincts, for she violates the norms of her class and relinquishes the advantages of her birth. This is an example of naturalism with a vengeance, as the power of biological inheritance triumphs not only over free will, but also over the power of the social environment. But Marie is also motivated by her dream of something better than what she has, and she is lucky enough to find it.
   Jacobsen's most enigmatic novel is Niels Lyhne (1880; tr. 1919, 1990), which is set in the middle of the 1800s and discusses whether it is possible for people to completely overcome their inherited religious faith. Niels is an avowed atheist, and he repeatedly makes personal sacrifices for his nonfaith. He is repeatedly disappointed in love, however, and on her deathbed his own wife turns to God even though she knows that it hurts him deeply. Niels is perpetually unhappy, and at a moment when his atheism falters, leading him to pray, he gets no answer. He finally meets his death in the war between Denmark and Prussia in 1864.
   Jacobsen's short stories express the same kind of bleakness as that found in his novels. In "To Verdener" (1879; tr. "Two Worlds," 1994) a sick woman uses magic to transfer her illness to an innocent stranger. "Pesten i Bergamo" (1882; tr. "The Plague in Bergamo," 1994) shows how the social order, as well as accepted spiritual truths, come to nothing in a moment of extreme stress. "Et Skud i Taagen" (1875; "A Shot in the Fog," 1994) is a study in jealousy and murder. Jacobsen is also known in Danish literary history for several poems, but his poetic production was not published in book form until after his death.

Historical Dictionary of Scandinavian Literature and Theater. . 2006.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Jacobsen, Jens Peter — ▪ Danish author born April 7, 1847, Thisted, Jutland, Denmark died April 30, 1885, Thisted  Danish novelist and poet who inaugurated the Naturalist (naturalism) mode of fiction in Denmark and was himself its most famous representative.       The… …   Universalium

  • Jacobsen, Jens Peter — ► (1847 85) Escritor danés. Autor de las novelas Marie Grubbe y Niels Lyhne …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Jens Peter Jacobsen — (* 7. April 1847 in Thisted; † 30. April 1885 ebenda) war ein dänischer Schriftsteller. Inhaltsverzeichnis …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Jens Peter Jacobsen — Foto de Jens Peter Jacobsen Nacimiento 7 de abril de 1847 Thisted …   Wikipedia Español

  • Jens Peter Jacobsen — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Jacobsen. Jens Peter Jacobsen Activités écrivain, poète, botaniste N …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Jens Peter Jacobsen — (7 April 1847 ndash; 30 April 1885) was a Danish novelist, poet, and scientist, in Denmark often just written as J. P. Jacobsen and pronounced I. P. Jacobsen . He began the naturalist movement in Danish literature and was a part of the Modern… …   Wikipedia

  • Jacobsen — Jacobsen, Jens Peter Jacobsen, Robert …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Jacobsen — Jacobsen, Jens Peter, dän. Novellist, geb. 7. April 1847 zu Thisted (Jütland), gest. 30. April 1885 in Kopenhagen; Hauptführer der realistischen Schule in Dänemark, schrieb den Roman »Fru Marie Grubbe« (1876), »Mogens og andre Noveller« (1882),… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Jacobsen — ist ein patronymisch gebildeter dänischer Familienname mit der Bedeutung „Sohn des Jacob“,[1] der auch im Norwegischen vorkommt. Namensträger Aase Schiøtt Jacobsen (* um 1925), dänische Badmintonspielerin Adolf Jacobsen (1852–nach 1902),… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • JACOBSEN (J. P.) — Dans les pays nordiques, le Danois Jens Peter Jacobsen s’imposa immédiatement comme rénovateur de l’art de la prose, surtout avec son chef d’œuvre: Marie Grubbe. Mais, pour l’Europe, grâce, entre autres, à Rainer Maria Rilke, il devint le chantre …   Encyclopédie Universelle

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