Mogens, and Other Stories

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Books for Libraries Press, 1921 - Fiction - 150 pages
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User Review  - pauliensijbers - LibraryThing

A collection of four exquisite stories. Read full review

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About the author (1921)

Jens Peter Jacobsen, Denmark's foremost novelist of naturalism, expressed in his small body of work his rejection of religion and his enthusiasm for the new doctrine of evolution. In his autobiographical novel Niels Lyhne (1880), sometimes called by contemporaries "the bible of atheism," he wrote that "there is no God and man is his prophet." During his troubled life, cut short by tuberculosis, he translated into Danish nearly all the writings of Charles Darwin. His own work---two novels, a book of short stories, and a few poems---strove to "bring into the realm of literature the eternal laws of nature" and to free the concept of nature from the distorted concept of romanticism. The novella Mogens (1972) was Jacobsen's first publication; it became famous as an example of the new naturalistic current in literature. In it, life is seen as perceptions of the instant, and people are motivated by natural laws and drives. In Marie Grubbe (1876), externally a seventeenth-century historical romance, the life of Marie is determined by her erotic needs; although born into nobility, she finally finds happiness in life as the wife of a coarse stableman. Jacobsen's concern with anxiety and inner torment brings to mind the great nineteenth-century Russian novelists, while his naturalism and interest in psychology are reminiscent of Gustave Flaubert. Jacobsen's influence on major European writers who followed him, such as Rainer Maria Rilke, is well documented.

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