Bjarni Thorarensen

Sveinn Yngvi Egilsson (University of Iceland)
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Regarded by most as Iceland’s “first Romantic”, Bjarni Thorarensen has often been compared unfavourably with his great successor, Jónas Hallgrímsson. In comparison with Jónas’s smooth and modern diction, Bjarni’s poetic language seems uneven and archaic. His ideas can also seem old-fashioned and orthodox (e.g. his adherence to the traditional division of mind and body), antihumanitarian even, whereas Jónas is egalitarian and sympathetic towards all things great and small. Although this may all be true, there is much to be said about Bjarni as a poet, and in some respects his achievement outdoes that of Jónas.

Born in Brautarholt near Reykjavík, Bjarni grew up at Hlíðarendi in Fljótshlíð (a farm in south Iceland, best known for being the home of a hero of the medieval

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Citation: Yngvi Egilsson, Sveinn. "Bjarni Thorarensen". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 02 September 2022 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=14819, accessed 03 March 2024.]

14819 Bjarni Thorarensen 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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