b. Apr 7 1847 in Thisted, north Jutland
d. Apr. 30. 1885
Jacobsen was the son of a wealthy buyer in Thisted. At 16 he moved to Copenhagen
, in order to take the advanced examination at the university and from 1867 studied botany
. It never passed the exam, but in 1873 won a university prize with an work on the green algae
. In addition, he translated two important works of Charles Darwin
("Origin of Species
" and "The Descent of Man
") into Danish and thereby promoted the popularity of Darwinian thought Northern Europe.
His close friendship with George
and Edvard Brandes
, the founders of the modern break-through in Scandinavian
literature, stimulated his literary ambitions. His first novel "Mogens"
(1872) posited nature as the ground into which humans must insert themselves, and in one sense heralded the modern break-through in literature because of impressionistic
language. The same applies to second novel, Fru Marie Grubb
which he published after a journey to France and Italy 1880 This work justified his fame as a forerunner of the symbolists
and neo-romanticism of the Fin-de-Siècle-Epoch
. Because of this work he gained more popularity in German-speaking countries than in his homeland. However, he was already beleagered with a drawn-out illness, which prevented him from writing further works except some narrations. His Gurrelieder
songs, set to music by Arnold Schoenberg
, were published postumously.