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Identity and Memory in Eastern and Central Europe
Images of 19th century Sweden and Norway in the works Gösta Berling's saga by Selma Lagerlöf
Clashing cultural nationalisms the 19th-century Danish-German intellectual debate, the Schleswig wars
The problem of the application of the term second serfdom in the history of Central Eastern Europe
Steinar Lone and the magic of translation
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I

MAGES OF 19TH CENTURY SWEDEN AND NORWAY IN THE WORKS GÖSTA BERLING’S SAGA BY SELMA LAGERLÖF AND CHILDREN OF THE AGE BY KNUT HAMSUN

 

 

Crina Leon

Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, Email: crina_laurentiu@yahoo.no

 

Acknowledgements

This paper was presented at the Sixth international conference on Baltic and Nordic Studies in Romania Historical memory, the politics of memory and cultural identity: Romania, Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea Region in comparison, hosted by the Romanian Association for Baltic and Nordic Studies and Ovidius University of Constan?a, May 22-23, 2015. Supported by EEA Grants, contract no 4/22.07.2014.

 

 

Abstract:

The present paper tries to depict how Sweden and Norway were represented in the novels Gösta Berling’s  Saga (1891) and Children of the Age (1913) written by the two Scandinavian Nobel Prize laureates, Selma Lagerlöf and Knut Hamsun, respectively. We will especially focus on the regions Värmland (in west central Sweden) and Nordland (in northern Norway). These two counties represent in fact the areas where Lagerlöf and Hamsun grew up and which they knew very well. Lagerlöf’s story renders an area of mansion houses and ironworks from 1820, while Hamsun’s novel dealing with the Segelfoss estate at a moment around 1870 depicts a society in change from old practices to modern times. Despite some supernatural elements in Gösta Berling’s Saga, the two novels contribute to a geographical, social and economic identification with the regions under consideration. We thus find ourselves in front of two concentrated areas which resemble the real ones although the writing style of the authors is quite different, namely a neo-romantic way of writing with Lagerlöf versus Norwegian new realism with Hamsun.

 

 

 

 

Rezumat:

Lucrarea de față încearcă să descrie modul în care au fost reprezentate Suedia și Norvegia în romanele Povestea lui Gösta Berling (1891) și Copii ai timpului lor (1913), romane ce aparțin celor doi laureați scandinavi ai Premiului Nobel, Selma Lagerlöf și respectiv Knut Hamsun. Ne vom concentra în special pe regiunile Värmland (în partea central vestică a Suediei) și Nordland (în nordul Norvegiei). Aceste două provincii reprezintă, de fapt, zonele în care au crescut Lagerlöf și Hamsun și pe care aceștia le cunoșteau foarte bine. Povestea lui Lagerlöf redă o zonă de conace și de prelucrare a fierului de la 1820, în timp ce romanul lui Hamsun despre proprietatea Segelfoss în jurul anului 1870 descrie o societate în schimbare de la practicile vechi la timpurile moderne. În ciuda unor elemente supranaturale din Povestea lui Gösta Berling, cele două romane contribuie la o identificare geografică, economică și socială cu regiunile în discuție. Ne aflăm astfel în fața a două zone concentrate care se aseamănă cu cele reale, deși stilul de scriere al autorilor este destul de diferit, și anume o manieră neo-romantică de scriere la Lagerlöf față de noul realism norvegian la Hamsun.

 

Keywords: 19th century, Scandinavian literature, Selma Lagerlöf, Knut Hamsun, identity


06. Leon.pdf

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