Garborg, Arne 1851-1924

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GARBORG, Arne 1851-1924

PERSONAL: Born 1851, in Jaeren, Norway; died 1924; married Hulda Bergerson, December 3, 1887.

CAREER: Novelist, poet, playwright, and essayist. Worked as a teacher.


Henrik Ibsen's "Keiser og Galiliaeer," En kritisk studie af G, Aschehoug (Kristiania, Norway), 1873.

Den ny-norsk sprog, og nationalitetsbevaegelse, Cammermeyer (Kristiania, Norway), 1877.

Ein fritenkjar forteljing, Cammermeyer (Kristiania, Norway), 1881.

Forteljingar og sogur, O. Huseby & O. Olsen (Kristiania, Norway), 1884.

Bondestudentar. forteljing, Huseby & Co. (Kristiania, Norway), 1885.

Mannfolk: forteljing, Nygaards (Bergen, Norway), 1886.

Fri skilsmisse: indlaeg i diskussionen om kjaerlighed, M. Litleré (Bergen, Norway), 1888.

Norsk eller Dansk-norsk? Svar til Bjørnson, Mons Litleré (Bergen, Norway), 1888.

Fri forhandling. Ymse stykkje (på norsk og dansk) um tru tanke, Mons Litleré (Bergen, Norway), 1889.

Hjaa ho more, M. Litleré (Bergen, Norway), 1890.

Kolbrotnev og andre skildringar, Mons Litleré (Bergen, Norway), 1890.

Trætte mænd, Aschehoug (Kristiania, Norway), 1891.

Fred: forteljing, Mons Litleré (Bergen, Norway), 1892.

Jonas Lie: en udviklingshistorie, Aschehoug (Kristiania, Norway), 1893.

Fra det mørke fastland: reiseindtryk frå Stavanger og Jœderen, Olaf Norli (Kristiania, Norway), 1893.

Norges selvestændighedskamp fra 1814 til nu: en oversigt, J. Sørensen (Kristiania, Norway), 1894.

Mødre: drama i tre akter, Feilberg & Landmark (Kristiania, Norway), 1895.

Haugtusse: forteljing, Aschehoug (Kristiania, Norway), 1895.

Laeraren: eit spél i fem vendingar, Aschehoug (Kristiania, Norway), 1896.

Vor sprogudvikling: en redegjørelse, Maalkassa (Oslo, Norway), 1897.

Maalteater: eit fyredrag, Maalkassa (Oslo, Norway), 1898.

Den burtkomme faderen, Aschehoug (Kristiania, Norway), 1899.

Framlegg til skrivereglar for landsmaale i skularne, A. W. Brøggers (Kristiania, Norway), 1899.

Skriftir i samling, Aschehoug (Kristiania, Norway), 1900.

Fjell-luft og andre smaastykke, Aschehoug (Kristiania, Norway), 1903.

Knudahei-brev, Aschehoug (Kristiania, Norway), 1904.

Jesus Messias, Aschehoug (Kristiania, Norway), 1906.

Norske embættsmenner, Johanson & Nielsen (Oslo, Norway), 1906.

Den Burtkomne Messias: innlegg i ordskrifte um trui: (med eit tillegg um antikrist), Aschehoug (Kristiania, Norway), 1907.

Heinkomin son, Aschehoug (Kristiania, Norway), 1908.

På skuggesida: forteljingar, Norske samlaget (Oslo, Norway), 1908.

Ivar Aasen, Norigs Ungdomslag og Student-Maallaget (Oslo, Norway), 1909.

Kolbotn-brev, Aschehoug (Kristiania, Norway), 1911.

Vaknande spursmaal, Aschehoug (Kristiania, Norway), 1915.

Politik: blad-innlegg frå 1870-aari til riksretten, Aschehoug (Kristiania, Norway), 1919.

Odyssevskvædet, Aschehoug (Kristiania, Norway), 1919.

Straumdrag, literaere utgreidingar frå åtti-og nittiaari, [Kristiania, Norway], 1920.

The Lost Father, Stratford Co. (Boston, MA), 1920.

Eventyr, [Oslo, Norway], 1921.

(With Hulda Garborg) Dagbok 1905-1923, Aschehoug (Kristiania, Norway), 1927.

Peace, Norton (New York, NY), 1929.

Tankar og utsyn: artiklar, Aschehoug (Kristiania, Norway), 1950.

Arne Garborg, 25/1/1851-25/1/1951, edited by Hans E. Hognestad, Jærprent (Bryne, Norway), 1951.

ADAPTATIONS: Garborg's long poem cycle about peasant life, Haugtussa, was set to music by composer Edvard Grieg.

SIDELIGHTS: Arne Garborg was the first Norwegian author to write using landsmaal or Norsk, the spoken language of ordinary Norwegians. He advocated social and linguistic reform, and was a noted leader in the movement to promote the use of Nynorsk, or "New Norse," as the new Norwegian literary language. In his later work, particularly Fred and Den burtkomme federen, Garborg is more obviously influenced by the Russian writer Leo Tolstoy, who was noted for his social and spiritual concerns.

Haugtussa, a collection of seventy poems later set to music by composer Edvard Grieg, is "one of a very small number of song cycles in Scandinavian art song literature," according to James Massengale in Scandinavian Studies. It is also the only Norwegian song cycle that continues to be consistently performed for modern audiences, despite the fact that it is written in Nynorsk. It is not often performed outside Scandinavia since, as Massengale pointed out, its translations have not received favorable critical attention.

The story of Haugtussa emphasizes the theme of the struggle between the individual's baser instincts, and higher forces, and focuses on a young girl who is a visionary. Garborg weaves together threads of mysticism, romance, sentimentality, and realism.

Garborg was pleased with Grieg's musical adaptation of the cycle; according to Massengale, he told Grieg that the composer had effectively conveyed that "subterranean music that I in my own way tried to sing into my words and verses, but that you (Grieg) have captured." Massengale summarized this quality as "a delicate balance between a folklike simplicity and an advanced harmonic sensibility."

It is perhaps surprising that Haugtussa was so well received, because Garborg wrote little poetry, and for the ten years before writing Haugtussa wrote no poetry at all. Massengale commented, "It is an anomaly both for its sheer size and poetic virtuosity and for its mastery of moods and attitudes." Reviewing the work, Lanae H. Isaacson wrote in Scandinavica that instead of relying on isolated sense impressions, Garborg creates "a unique medley of feelings, impressions, and connotations" by using his own experiences, dreams, daydreams, and memories to create an imaginary world and convey it to the reader. Isaacson noted that Garborg doesn't force his impressions on the reader, but instead "open[s] the door to a world of interwoven sights, sounds, and sensations . . . which the reader interprets, varies, and participates in at will."



Crystal, David, editor, The Cambridge Biographical Encyclopedia, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1998.

Ingwersen, Faith, and Mary Kay Norsang, editors, Fin(s) de Siècle in Scandinavian Perspective, Camden House (Columbia, SC), 1993.

Murphy, Bruce, editor, Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia, 4th edition, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1996.

Smith, Horatio, editor, Columbia Dictionary of Modern European Literature, Columbia University Press (New York, NY), 1980.

Zuck, Virpi, editor, Dictionary of Scandinavian Literature, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 1990.


Edda, 1978, Jan Sjåvik, "Intension og genre i Arne Garborgs Bondenstudenter," pp. 333-339; Volume 1, 1982, Jan Sjåvik, "Arne Garborg," pp. 1-22; 1984, pp. 145-156; 1985, pp. 49-61; Volume 1, 1994, Gunnar Foss, "Fra Time til Itaka," pp. 27-41; Volume 3, 1996, Anne Amadou, "Arme Jorgen: Arne Garbog som oversetter av Molière," pp. 220-222.

Graphis, March-April, 1999, Chelsey Johnson, review of Fred, p. 15.

Scandinavica, May, 1984, Lanae H. Isaacson, "'Son et Lumière' in Arne Garborg's Poetry and Prose," pp. 39-50.

Scandinavian Studies, spring, 1981, James Massengale, "Hugtussa: From Garborg to Grieg," pp. 131-153; Volume 55, number 2, 1983, pp. 134-148; spring, 2000, Jan Sjavik, "Reading Arne Garborg's Irony," p. 63.

Selecta, Volume 1, 1980, Jan Sjåvik, "Form and Theme in Garborg's Mannfolk and Hjaa ho Mor," pp. 87-90.*