Affairs to Remember
Posted on January 22, 2014
My snow globe rests upon
Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson´s Gate in Lillehammer, Norway.
(Gate means street in Norwegian.)
Some of you are thinking huh?
And to you my response is, `If I can pronounce it, you can. And no, Norway is not the capital of Sweden´.
My more astute readers will be interested to know Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson is considered one of the Four Great Norwegian Writers.
The others being Henrik Ibsen, Jonas Lie, and Alexander Kielland.
Bjørnson´s daughter actually married Ibsen´s son, but that´s another story.
Bjørnson was the 1903 Nobel Prize laureate in Literature, and Norwegians celebrate him for writing the lyrics to their National Anthem.
He wrote poetry, plays, short stories, and novels.
He was still alive when our home was built in 1892, and I like to imagine him strolling down the quiet picturesque street that shares his name.
I´m sure it happened. He didn´t live too far from here, and his home which is now a museum is worth a visit.
He was a character, as most writer´s are.
Socially and politically active, well traveled, had multiple residences, and loved women.
Evidently lots of women.
So many that other authors have compiled his dirty laundry in their own literary works.
(The Family Secret by Margit Sandemos and Bjørnson´s Women by Audun Thorsen )
In his early fifties, Bjørnson had an affair with 17-year-old Guri Andersdotter, which resulted in the birth of a son, Anders Underdal.
The affair was kept a secret, until the child was old enough to boast. Ironically out of the clear blue, and completely unexplainable, Anders stopped talking about the topic.
The wife, Karoline Bjørnson, a Norwegian actress, created MUCH drama at home about Bjørnson´s affairs.
One of her most famous stunts was when she supposedly threatened to jump from the balcony.
There are several different stories as to why, so IF someone can set me straight, I would really appreciate it!
Curious minds want to know!
Then, please explain Bjørnstjerne´s response, `Jump Karoline! Jump!´
Oh I can picture the scene.
I fantasize about visiting her on an evening the husband was traveling.
One bottle of wine and I´d have blog material that would make Mommy´s Gotta Potty Mouth seem as innocent as the Sunday Comics.
Shortly after moving into our Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson address, I stumbled across a complete collection of his works.
These works are now displayed proudly on our living room mantle shelf.
I have have read the first one, and LOVED it!
The Complete Works of Bjørnestjerne Bjørnson
- Synnøve Solbakken, a peasant story, 1857
- Mellem Slagene, (Between the Battles) saga drama, 1857
- Arne, 1859
- En glad Gut, (A Happy Boy) 1860
- Halte-Hulda, (Lame Hulda) 1858
- Kong Sverre, (King Sverre) 1861
- Sigurd Slembe, (Sigurd the Bad) 1862
- Maria Stuart i Skotland, (Mary Stuart in Scotland) 1863
- De Nygifte, (The Newly Married) 1865
- Fiskerjenten, 1868
- Arnljot Gelline, epic cycle 1870
- Digte og Sange, (Poems and Songs) 1880
- Brudeslåtten, peasant story, 1872
- Sigurd Jorsalafar, saga drama, 1872
- En fallit, (The Bankrupt) drama, 1875
- Redaktøren, (The Editor) drama, 1875
- Kaptejn Mansana, (Captain Mansana) novel, 1875
- Kongen, (The King) 1877
- Magnhild, 1877
- Det ny system, (The New System) 1879
- Leonarda, 1879
- En hanske (A Gauntlet), 1883
- Støv, 1882
- Over ævne, første stykke, (Beyond Human Power – I) 1883
- Det flager i byen og på havnen, (translated as “The Heritage of the Kurts”) 1884
- På guds veje, (In God’s Way) 1889
- Fred, oratorium, 1891
- Over oevne, annet stykke, (Beyond Human Power – II) 1895
- Paul Lange og Tora Parsberg, 1898
- Daglannet, 1904
- Når den ny vin blomstrer, (When the New Wine Blooms) 1909
- Norges Vel, kantat, 1909