Jørgen-Frantz Jacobsen

Faroese/Danish writer

1900   -   1938

country of citizenship: Faroe Islands, Denmark
occupation: writer, journalist

Jørgen-Frantz Jacobsen (November 29, 1900 – March 24, 1938) was a Faroese writer. He has a distinct place in Scandinavian literature, as he is the only Faroese writer to achieve international best-seller status. This status derives from his sole novel, Barbara: Roman (1939; translated, 1948 and 1993), which has the added cachet of being one of the few Scandinavian novels to be translated twice into English within the space of fifty years. The novel was translated into five other languages shortly after the first edition in the Danish language. It was also adapted as a motion picture directed by Nils Malmros in 1997 (see Barbara). These facts, together with Jacobsen's essays, a study of the Faroe Islands published in the guise of a travel guide, and a volume of his letters, are sufficient to suggest that had he lived longer, he would have been one of the outstanding literary figures in Scandinavia in the twentieth century. He was one of five Faroese writers, all born between 1900 and 1903, who represented a remarkable blossoming of literature in a country which had no tradition of literature in a modern sense. Jacobsen, together with William Heinesen, Christian Matras, Heðin Brú, and Martin Joensen, created modern Faroese literature, whether writing in Danish, as did Jacobsen and Heinesen, or the Faroese language, as did the others.
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