Jonas Hallgrimsson (November 16, 1807 - May 26, 1845)
Born: 16th November, 1807
Died: 26th May, 1845
Nationality: Icelandic poet
Region: Iceland, Copenhagen, Denmark
Notable works: Romanticism

Jonas Hallgrimsson Facts

Biography

Jonas Hallgrimsson, (born November 16, 1807, Hraun, Oxnadalur, Iceland--died May 26, 1845, Copenhagen, Denmark), one of the most popular of Iceland's Romantic poets.

Descended from a family of poets, Hallgrimsson lost his father, a chaplain, at age nine. Entering the University of Copenhagen in 1829, Hallgrimsson studied law, science, and literature. In 1835, with other Icelandic students in Copenhagen, he founded the periodical Fjolnir (1835-47; "The Many-Sided"), in which he published much of his poetry (including his popular patriotic poem "Island" ["Iceland"]) and later his groundbreaking short stories. Fjolnir was important to the future of Icelandic national sentiments and to the future distinction of Iceland's language and literature, which, in part because of this periodical, remained based on the country's old Norse-influenced language and culture. He returned to Iceland in 1837 and engaged in scientific research and exploration for the Danish government until 1842, when he returned to Copenhagen.

He is chiefly remembered for his lyrical poems describing Icelandic scenery. An admirer of the European Romantic poets, especially Heinrich Heine, he adapted and translated much foreign poetry into Icelandic. He was critical of the rimur, narrative poems in traditional, artificial form, composed in stereotyped metres and phrases, which had long been popular in Iceland, and he strove, as William Wordsworth did in England, to purify the language of poetry.

The first modern Icelandic short-story writer, Hallgrimsson also was a great admirer of Hans Christian Andersen, whose tales and poems he both translated and emulated.

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