Scandinavia, Estonia and Iceland 2018 travel blog

Day 3 in Oclo (labor day)

woke up at 0700; to breakfast and went to the palace park to get 2 caches.

Norwegian Literature

The presentor works in a library; studied literature

Literature goes way back……we will be starting back to Snorre Sturlasson (1200s)

Known for the history of the kings (back to premedivial times). This man was Icelandic; not Norwegian

King Olaf the holy; made Norway Catholic. Interested in old mythology.

Also Thor like writing.


The Younger Edda

Mid 1300’s; not much produced due to the black death. In Norway in 1349. Only the priests and monks knew how to read/write. Much of the population was wiped out. One area of Norway had 1 survivor.

One valley of Norway was very afraid of the plaque; put out gods to prevent the plague. Found one girl alive; she was sleeping inside the mattress. As a result she had feathers all over her.

Dans came in in 1536; became a Danish puppet state; protestents

Many changes; developed Norway

Post plaque era; tales were sung or told.


Recovered; has an infrastructure. 2 main poets; Petter Dass and Dorothe Engelbretsdatter

She was the most popular poet in her day; had 9 children and 7 died. “Song sacrifice of the soul.”

Listened to an old sond by Petter Dass.

Ludvig Holberg; the enlightenment era

Born In Norway and later moved to danmark; a bachelor

Most famous for his comedies; Key works: Jeppe on the hill and the transformed peasant (drunk of the village; drunk in a ditch; cleaned him up and put him in the bed of the count. Man started acting like a tyrant)

Erasmus Montanus latin version of a commoner name; parady of students

At the university of Copenhagen Norwegian students got together to write, sing and make plans for the future. There were no universities in Norway. This was the first manifestation of a Norwegian cultural gathering. About 1770

1814 independent from Denmark

Henrik Wergeland; father wrote the constitution; a poet; very impulsive; very political; total patriot; loved Norway and wanted it to be better. Things in the constitution he did not agree with (example: Jews should not be allowed in Norway). He fought these issues. Died young. Eventually the laws regarding jews was changed.

Camilla Collett; Sister of Henrik; in love with Johan! Was a feminist; wrote and signed her novels; about novels. Married for convenience.

Johan Welhaven; went to school with Weregeland; a poet; they did not like each other. Formal poetry.

Married one of Colletts best friends.

Painting of a pond; about a Norwegian creature. Beautiful woman who coaxes you into swim

1893; a math student who took photos with a pocket camera.

Ibsen; had a square beard; distinctive style

Used to check his watch to make sure the university clock was correct. Liked to go to the café and have coffee (and sit by himself). Grew up in a higher class family; father lost all money. Born near oslo; when he went to the university he did not have any shoes! Given a scholarship and went to Italy; wrote Norwegian plays while in Italy. Adult has was his most famous play. Jane fonda was in this movie.

The movie caused a scandle; women did not leave their husbands. In Germany, they made him change the ending. Female with 3 young children; husband did something to her; it was not true; she cannot respect him; she walks out on him on Christmas eve.

Ibson is relevant still today; another play “public enemy”; man discovered something the villagers needed to hear;

Died in 1906;

He dramatized difficult decisions people need to make.

New movie, The earthquake in Oslo; sort of like an Ibson movie

Knut Hamsun; key works: hunger (young student feeling alienated; no money; desperate), the growth of the soil (idealized view of the Norwegian farmer; showed the challenges of being a farmer), Victoria (tender love story) and mysteries (avant guard; symbolist work). Went to America and worked in Chicago on the trains. Lectured in Norway. Gave a lecture about Ibson and Ibson was there! Received Noble prize in literature. Ushered in the modern novel. Contrarian. Sided with occupied Germany; was under house arrest when 90. Wrote a memoir when 90. Married a young woman who was a popular children’s author.

Every library should have all of Hamsun’s works.

Arnuli Overland wrote a poem “you must not sleep”. Written before the war broke out. Calls out hitler in the poem. Don’t you dare ignore or forget. Very famous poem. Also relevant for today.

Sigrid Undset; nobel prize winner. Key work Kristin Lavransdatter (medival historical fiction novel; has 3 parts? A women’s story). Books were banned in Germany. Wanted to be a writer. Marriage fell apart; disabled child;

Thor Heyerdah; non fiction; adventure; kon tiki

Helge Ingstad became a trapper in Canada; 2008 a mountain was named for him in Alaska. Champion of the inuits in Alaska/Canada

1960’s antiwar, feminist, famous trials, freedom



2000s knausgaard (famous author)


The lecturer works in a library;

Norwegians love to read; on average 17 books a year. Invest in their libraries; very interesting librairies.

New library being built (next to the opera).

Tronsmo bokhandel one of the best bookstores in Norway

Norll Universityetsgaten

The history of bees; popular novel by Maja Lunde; bees and consequences of our actions

The sixteen trees of the somme; about wood; Norwegian fiction; rural setting; live according to nature;

172 hours on the moon; science fiction; best young adult novel written in Norway;

Two sisters; non fiction; Author also wrote other popular novels. By Asne Seierstad.

Naïve. Super. 90s Norwegian comedy. Young man and what he thinks

The Snowman; Jo Nesbo; writes exciting thrillers; later books embrace Oslo.

The Hunting Dogs; crime writer; Jorn Lier Horst; was a policeman/detective before becoming a wrter

The bird tribunal by agnes ravatn; young disgraces woman; goes to an island.

The unseen by Roy Jacobsen; nominated for an award (but did not win).

Got on the bus and went to the museums; the folksmuseum, the viking museum and the kintiki museum/maritime museum. After the folks museum, we took a very short bus ride to the viking museum and then walked to the restrauant. It was a buffet lunch. Then got on a walk on ferry for a very short ride to the kon tiki museum. Saw a film in the maritime museum and then went to the kontiki museum. Bought a book and then off on the ferry to city hall. Walked home taking photos. Rested awhile and then off to an italian restrauant for supper.

Tomorrow we are on a bus ride to sweden!

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