Jens peter jacobsen niels lyhne pdf

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jens peter jacobsen niels lyhne pdf

Mogens and Other Stories by Jens Peter Jacobsen

Rainer Maria Rilke, the poet, said of this author’s works: of all my books only the Bible and those of Jacobsen are indispensable.


I had this short book on my TBR pile for years and finally read it a few years ago after that blurb caught my eye. A few weeks ago I happened to be reading Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet and I saw that his detailed comments about Jacobsen were even more enthusiastic:

“Do avail yourself of the small book Six Stories by J. P. Jacobsen [the one I am reviewing] and his novel Niels Lyhne, and begin with the first story in the first set, called “Mogens.” A whole world will envelop you…Live awhile within these books. Learn of them…but above all, love them. For this love you will be requited a thousand and a thousand times over…If I were obliged to tell you who taught me to experience something of the essence of creativity, the depth of it and its enduring quality, there are only two names that I can name: that of Jacobsen, the very greatest of writers, and Auguste Rodin, the sculptor. No one among all artists living today compares with them.

And, if you were an author, how would you like to have these other folks writing blurbs for you? Sigmund Freud: …Jacobsen has made a profound impression on my heart. Hermann Hesse: …powerful imagination…huge talent. Thomas Mann: Jacobsen had the greatest influence on my style…

So, having liked it the first time, I read it again.

Jacobsen was a Danish author (1847-1885) who sometimes took a month to write a couple of paragraphs. He insisted that the whole nature of the title story, “Mogens,” would change if the three opening words were switched to the usual “It was summer” instead of “Summer it was…”

Jacobsen was by training a naturalist and that background shows in the introduction to almost every story with a startlingly precise and wonderful naturalist description. He doesn’t like gardens, preferring nature with a capital N: “There was no style in nature: our Lord has assuredly made nature natural, nothing but natural…the natural state was a pearl, a veritable pearl.”

The stories are startling too. The title story, Mogens, is a long short story [is that an oxymoron?] almost a novella. A groom loses his beloved in a tragedy. It has such an impact on him that it reshapes his personality and his life. He becomes “…obsessed with the idea that he has been personally insulted by life.”

In the story, A Shot in the Fog, a spurned man secretly kills his lover’s intended husband and eventually gets even more revenge; “Why should life be so bright and easy for her, when she had plundered every trace of light from him?”

In Two Worlds, a woman makes a charm to transfer her illness to another woman through a curse. It works. It turns out that isn’t good news.

In the Plague in Bergamo, lascivious townspeople, having lost all moral compass while awaiting their deaths, take on a roving band of flagellants who espouse an interesting twist on Christianity.

In the last story, Fru Fonss, a widow gets remarried to her childhood sweetheart. Her children, a twentyish-girl and –boy, cut off all contact with her. The story ends with a letter the woman writes to those children on her death bed. The Afterword tells us Jacobsen wept while he wrote the ending.

Two passages I particularly liked:

One character, an uneducated man, talks of his upper class girlfriend’s acquaintances: “There’s not a thing between heaven and earth that they can’t finish off with a wave of the hand: this is base and that is noble; this is the stupidest thing since the creation of the world, and that is the cleverest; one thing is so ugly…They all know the same things and talk the same way, they all have the same words and the same opinions.”

“The Salzach is not a cheerful river, and there is a little village on its eastern bank that is quite dismal, quite poor and singularly silent. Like a wretched flock of stunted beggars who have been stopped by the water and have nothing to offer as ferry toll, the houses perch along the very edge of the bank with their palsied shoulders hunched against each other…”

Great writing, indeed.

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Published 19.06.2019

Fantasien & Livet - om J.P. Jacobsens ’Niels Lyhne’ (Klassikere på Greve Bibliotek)

Niels Lyhne. by: Jacobsen, J. P. (Jens Peter), ; Larsen, Hanna Astrup, tr. Publication date: Publisher: New York, The.
Jens Peter Jacobsen

Jens Peter Jacobsen

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Jens Peter Jacobsen — is one of the most important and influential authors in Danish literary history. At the turn of the century, he was celebrated throughout Europe. But his influence was not greater on anyone more than on Rainer Maria Rilke, who visited Copenhagen because it was the city of Jacobsen, and who claimed that he never traveled anywhere without the Bible and the works of Jacobsen. Today, Jacobsen seems to have been forgotten outside Denmark. Jacobsen is, however, still embraced and read in his native Denmark. He is not read because he is a naturalist and one of the most important authors in the Modern Breakthrough; rather, readers pick up his books because of their [End Page ] literary originality. It gives a well-written, captivating, and generally excellent overview of Jacobsen and his work.

Ebook `Niels Lyhne`: ebooks list of J. P. (Jens Peter) Jacobsen.
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I would highly recommend it. Jens Peter Jacobsen , Danish writer. His historical romance Marie Grubbe , tr. Jacobsen's other works include Nels Lyhne , tr. His nation's first naturalist novelist, Jacobsen created a curt prose that had great influence on naturalistic style, both in Denmark and abroad. Tiina Nunnally is an award-winning translator of Norwegian, Danish, and Swedish.


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