Jensen, Johannes Vilhelm

Jensen, Johannes Vilhelm yōhänˈəs vĭlˈhĕlm yĕnˈsən [key], 1873–1950, Danish writer. As a young man he studied medicine; his interest in biology and anthropology is obvious throughout his works. Jensen created a distinctive literary form in his “myths,” brief prose tales with an element of the essay. Selections have been translated as The Waving Rye (1958, tr. 1958). His works, numbering more than 60 volumes, include essays, travel books, and lyrical poems. His epic novel cycle The Long Journey (6 vol., 1908–22; tr., 3 vol., 1923–24), a fantasy based on Darwinian theory, traces the story of humans from primitive times to the age of Columbus. Jensen was awarded the 1944 Nobel Prize in Literature.

See biography by S. Rossel (1984).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Scandinavian Literature: Biographies