Rolf G. Fjelde

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Rolf G. Fjelde (March 15, 1926 – September 10, 2002) was an American playwright, educator and poet. Fjelde was the founding president of the Ibsen Society of America which is dedicated to the works of Henrik Ibsen.


Rolf G. Fjelde was born in Brooklyn, New York. His father was noted sculptor, Paul Fjelde. His grandfather was the Norwegian born sculptor Jacob Fjelde (1859–1896), who had immigrated to Minnesota in 1887. His great-aunt was Minnesota needlework artist and weaver, Pauline Fjelde. Rolf Fjelde grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut and graduated from Yale University. After receiving an M.F.A. from Columbia University, he received fellowships to study in Heidelberg and Copenhagen.[1]


In 1954, Fjelde joined his father, a Professor of Art, on the faculty of Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, accepting a position in the Humanities Department, where he was a Professor of Literature until his retirement in 1997. Rolf Fjelde won the Pratt Institute Distinguished Teacher Award for 1996.[2]

Rolf Fjelde published two volumes of poetry, in 1955 and 1962, and in 1965, published the first volume of his Ibsen translations. This began the translating career that culminated in Ibsen: The Complete Major Prose Plays (1978) and Peer Gynt (1980). In 1991, the King of Norway honored Rolf Fjelde for his translations by awarding him the St. Olav's Medal. Two years later, The American Academy of Arts and Letters presented Rolf Fjelde with its Award in Literature.[3]

During 1978, the Ibsen Sesquecentennial Symposium celebrating the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Ibsen's birth, took place on the Brooklyn campus of Pratt Institute. This was the beginning of the Ibsen Society of America of which Rolf Fjelde was elected as founding President. He held the office for fifteen years. Rolf Fjelde also founded the publication, Ibsen News and Comment, the newsletter and journal of The Ibsen Society of America, which has been published annually since 1980.[4]

Selected works[edit]

Plays Produced[edit]

  • One Simple Flower (1956)
  • Port Harmony (1957)
  • Switzerland (1967)
  • The Rope Walk (1968)
  • Rafferty One by One (1970)
  • The Bernini Look (1981)

Books Published[edit]

  • Washington (1955)
  • The Imaged Word (1963)
  • Ibsen: Four Major Plays (1965–70)
  • Ibsen: A Collection of Critical Essays (1965)
  • Ibsen: The Complete Major Prose Plays (1978)[5]


  1. ^ Rolf Fjelde, 76, a Translator And Champion of Ibsen Plays (The New York Times. September 13, 2002) [1]
  2. ^ The Pratt Institute Distinguished Teacher Award (Pratt Institute. Brooklyn, New York)[2]
  3. ^ Rolf Fjelde in Memoriam (The Ibsen Society of America. Department of English, Long Island University) [3]
  4. ^ Rolf Fjelde, 1926-2002 ( The Ibsen Society of America. by Joan Templeton, President) [4]
  5. ^ Rolf Fjelde Biography (Theatre, Film, and Television Biographies)

External links[edit]