Jakobsson, Jokull

(1933-1978)
   An Icelandic playwright, novelist, and short story writer, Jakobsson is the brother of the more successful and better known Svava Jakobsdottir. Jakobsson had his literary debut with the novel Tæmdur bikar (1951; Emptied Cup), which was generally thought to be an immature piece of work; it was published when the author was only 17 years old. But his next three novels, published in 1956, 1958, and 1960, did not fare much better, and Jakobsson turned his attention to drama. His first play, Potok (Potok), was produced in 1961 and was well received by the public, albeit not by the critics. The play, which is very critical of modern society, was one of very few Icelandic plays written at the time. Jakobsson had a difficult time financially, however, so he tried to earn money writing short stories, a volume of which were published under the title Næturheimsokn (1962; Night Visit).
   Throughout the years Jacobsson worked in a variety of jobs while writing plays on the side. His most popular play was Hart i bak (1965; Hard to Port), which premiered in 1962 and ran 205 times. Sjoleidin til Bagdad (performed 1965; tr. The Sea Route to Baghdad, 1973), in which the female protagonist has to choose between her drunken husband and her teenage love, was considerably less well received than Hart i bak.
   Jakobsson continued to write plays for the stage as well as for radio and television, which at that time was a new medium in Iceland. He wrote several travel books to support himself but was largely unsuccessful. He had some success with the novel Feilnota i fimmtu sinfoniunni (1975; Wrong Note in the Fifth Symphony), the story of a middle-aged woman who discovers that being a wife and mother is not sufficiently fulfilling for her. A character from this novel reappears in the posthumously published Skilabod til Soändru (1981; A Message to Sandra).
   See also Theater.

Historical Dictionary of Scandinavian Literature and Theater. . 2006.

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