The Waving Rye

The Waving Rye

The Waving Rye

The Waving Rye

Excerpt

Johannes v. Jensen was one of the greatest Danish writers -- I think the greatest -- of the first half of the twentieth century. He was born in 1873 and died in 1950. His work, for which he received the Nobel Prize in 1944, consists in poems, novels and essays. Some of his novels have been translated into English, notably the sequence called The Long Journey, which deals with six successive stages of the evolution of mankind, and The Fall of the King, the scene of which is Denmark and Sweden during the wars of the early 16th century. Some of his poems have been translated into English by R. P. Keigwin.

But his best and most characteristic work has hitherto remained practically inaccessible to the English-speaking public. This consists in what he called "myths", a prose form in which he aimed at giving, in his own words, "those short glimpses of the essence of things that illuminate man and time".

Some of his "myths" would nowadays be regarded as short stories; others are attempts to catch the atmosphere and mood of landscapes or remembered in-

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