1965
William Heinesen
1962
2012

1965 William Heinesen, The Faroe Islands: Det gode håb

About the author

Photo: Forlaget Oktober/ukendt fotograf

William Heinesen (1900 - 1991) - The Faroe Islands

William Heinesen started as a poet but reached the large audience as a novelist and short-story writer. He wrote in Danish – his mother was Danish – but the environments in his novels are Faroese, influenced by his upbringing in a trading house in Tórshavn. Many individuals march through his novels. They are eventful, and often a tinge of social-criticism runs through them.

About the winning piece

Det gode håb (The Good Hope)

Published by: Gyldendal publishing company
Publication year: 1964

The Good Hope is a historic novel taking place in the Faroe Islands in the 17th century. Its form is the epistolary novel. Letters written by the young Danish minister Peter Børresen to an older colleague depict urban life and power machinations in old Tórshavn. Despite the historical context, the story unfolds in a modern, multifaceted and reflective way. William Heinesen created a novel in the great European tradition of realism. It is instilled with humour and irony, in some instances reminiscent of writers like Charles Dickens and Thomas Mann.

This is what the Adjudicating Committee had to say

“The Good Hope”, a novel from the Faroe Islands in the 17th century, provides a lush and colourful picture of a period of crisis in Nordic history, and also a universal tale of the struggle between justice and oppression.

Excerpt

Det er nu, kære Jonas! over en måned siden jeg sidst opsøgte dig in spiritu. Dette betyder så vist ikke, at jeg intet har haft på hjerte; tværtimod! Magen en aften og nat har jeg brændt efter at betro mig til dig om hvad mig er vederfaret i den senere tid, men har dog ikke kunnet samle mig hertil før iaften.

Men før jeg nu giver mig i lag med denne min nye beretning, vil jeg forudskikke nogle betragtninger over min status, dig til almindelig vejledning og mig selv som en slags højt tiltrængt forsvar for de forilelser, jeg, som du snart skal erfare, til ny fortræd skulde komme til at gøre mig skyldig i.
Hvad jeg indtil nu har berettet, angår altsammen min ankomst til Færø og mine første erfaringer om tilstandene her, som jeg strax fandt meget slette og skændige. I den følgende til skulde jeg ikke blot få disse mine dårlige indtryk bekræftede, men tillige betragtelig forstærkede. Ja, jeg skulde komme til at sande, at der i dette ensomme øland ude i det vildene hav hersker en lovløshed, værre end jeg i begyndelsen havde anet.

(s. 76, Gyldendals Tranebøger, 2001)

See all nominated in 1965  

Denmark

  • H.C. Branner - Ariel

Faroe Islands

  • William Heinesen - Det gode Håb

Finland

  • Veijo Meri - Peiliin piirretty nainen
  • Christer Kihlman - Den blå modern

Iceland

  • Guðmundur Daníelsson - Húsid
  • Indriði G. Þorsteinsson - Land og synir

Norway

  • Johan Borgen - Blåtind
  • Finn Carling - Kometene

Sweden

  • Sara Lidman - Med fem diamanter
  • Olof Lagercrantz - Från helvetet till paradiset