Archive for the ‘Norway’ Category

“Sigrid Undset: Greatest Catholic Novelist of the Twentieth Century?” A lecture by Michael Foley

Michael Foley

Michael Foley

“Sigrid Undset: Greatest Catholic Novelist of the Twentieth Century?” A lecture by Michael Foley.

“There are poisons that blind you, and poisons that open your eyes”: August Strindberg

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“There are poisons that blind you, and poisons that open your eyes.”: August Strindberg.

Michael Meyer was born on this day in history: 11 June, 1921

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Michael Leverson Meyer, English translator, biographer, journalist and dramatist, was born on this day in history, 11 June, 1921:

Meyer was born in London into a timber merchant family of Jewish origin, and studied English at Christ Church College, Oxford. His first translation of a Swedish book was the novel The Long Ships by Frans G. Bengtsson, published by Collins in 1954. He is best known for his translations of the works of two Scandinavian playwrights, Henrik Ibsen and August Strindberg. Braham Murray wrote of Meyer in his obituary published by The Guardian that Meyer was “the greatest translator of Ibsen and Strindberg into English there has ever been” even superior to William Archer, but Inga-Stina Ewbank and especially Jan Myrdal has criticizes the mistranslations, where Myrdal tries to prove that they are made deliberately. Myrdal also strongly criticizes Meyer’s biography of Strindberg.

Meyer’s journalism appeared in the New York Review of Books.. He also wrote acclaimed biographies of both these playwrights; the three volume work on Ibsen (1967-71) won the 1971 Whitbread Award for Biography and the work on Strindberg appeared in 1985. His autobiography Not Prince Hamlet was published in 1989.

Sigrid Undset, Norwegian novelist, died on this day in history: 10 June, 1949

Sigrid Undset
Sigrid Undset

Sigrid Undset, Norwegian novelist who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1928, died on this day in history, 10 June, 1949:

Undset was born in Kalundborg, Denmark, but her family moved to Norway when she was two years old. In 1924, she converted to Roman Catholicism. She fled Norway for the United States in 1940 because of her opposition to Nazi Germany and the German occupation, but returned after World War II ended in 1945.

Her best-known work is Kristin Lavransdatter, a trilogy about life in Scandinavia in the Middle Ages, portrayed through the experiences of a woman from birth until death. Its three volumes were published between 1920 and 1922. Undset’s Nobel Prize was awarded partly for this work, and partly for her four-volume work The Master of Hestviken, published between 1925 and 1927 and dealing with similar themes.

Henrik Ibsen stated: “It is the very mark of the spirit of rebellion to crave for happiness in this life”

Henrik Ibsen by Gustav Borgen

Henrik Ibsen by Gustav Borgen

Writing in GhostsHenrik Ibsen, the 19th-century Norwegian playwright, theatre director, and poet who died on this day in history, 23 May, 1906, stated:

“It is the very mark of the spirit of rebellion to crave for happiness in this life.”