It is currently Sun Apr 22, 2018 2:20 pm

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 21 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Gunnar's Daughter
PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 3:19 am 
Offline
Best friends forever
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:33 pm
Posts: 11961
Location: Over there.
Gunnar's Daughter is by Sigrid Undset, the author of Kristin Lavransdattir.

I have read The Axe, also by Undset, and have long wanted to read her other books. They haven't all been translated into English, even in this day and age!

However, they are very hard to find and I finally checked out ABE Books, the greatest book site of all, and, lo and behold I found Gunnar's Daughter and 2 others.

Wonderful reading. I am just entranced, but they are not "nice" stories any more than Kristin Lavransdattir was. Just fantastic. The foreword to Gunnar's Daughter tells me much more about Undset than I ever learned anywhere else and that has given me a new insight into her thinking and respect for her.

I also wonder if anyone here has ever read anything by Par Laagerkvist?

_________________
Dig deeper.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 4:24 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2005 5:02 am
Posts: 3607
No, I haven't. What kind of books are they? What kind of stories?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 5:35 am 
Offline
Living in hope
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:43 am
Posts: 38984
Location: Sailing the luminiferous aether
OO, oo, tell me more, vison!

Medieval Norway, Griffy, at least Kristin and The Axe.

(As I've said elsewhere, I was named for Kristin Lavransdatter; and I read from it at my grandmother's burial, from the very end when Kristin dies, with her reflections on her wedding-ring and her stormy life with her husband, whom she loved in spite of his failures and hers; and I think it's grim and brilliant and heart-wrenching.)

_________________
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 5:53 am 
Offline
Reads while walking
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 11:05 pm
Posts: 4635
the logs! the pile of logs!

(I was given KL to read when I had the flu as a child: great!)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 6:30 am 
Offline
Living in hope
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:43 am
Posts: 38984
Location: Sailing the luminiferous aether
Agh! I'd forgotten the pile of logs. . . . :cry:

_________________
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 2:19 pm 
Offline
Best friends forever
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:33 pm
Posts: 11961
Location: Over there.
Vigdis, the protagonist of Gunnar's Daughter, gets raped. And then off we go.

It's written beautifully, in that "saga" form that Undset did so well. She was a very remarkable woman, which I sort of didn't really know before.

To be honest, I thought she probably won the Nobel Prize because the Norwegians just wanted a Norwegian winner, but I was very wrong.

What kind of stories are they? Well, Kristin and Gunnar's Daughter are about strong women who aren't strong enough to stop giving in to their passions and I don't mean "sex" exactly. Pride and arrogance as much as anything. They are very interesting women.

These Norse are kin of mine and, believe me, I can see myself and half my family in the people Undset created. You read them and you say, "Don't do that! How can you be so stupid!!" and yet you know you'd be doing the same thing if you were there.

_________________
Dig deeper.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 3:04 pm 
Offline
Lali Beag Bídeach
User avatar

Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2005 4:42 pm
Posts: 13399
Location: Rivendell
I've only ever seen the movie; I really do need to read the book (Kristin Lavransdattir, that is).

_________________
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 4:14 pm 
Offline
Living in hope
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:43 am
Posts: 38984
Location: Sailing the luminiferous aether
There are two translations, Lali. I grew up reading the old one, which is written in an epic, rather archaic style that's like the "high" passages of LotR, though it goes a bit further than that. There is also a newer translation in more contemporary language, which I understand is more true to Undset's style in Norwegian; the book was remarkable when it first came out because of the sharp psychological insight she had into the characters and because it was written in a contemporary style, not an archaic one. So the newer translation is probably more true. (It also uncensors a few things the old one, which came out early last century, skipped or lightened.)

Like a birdie, though, I'm imprinted on the old translation my mother and grandmother also loved. Faithful or not, it is gorgeously done.

_________________
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 4:55 pm 
Offline
Lali Beag Bídeach
User avatar

Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2005 4:42 pm
Posts: 13399
Location: Rivendell
Hmmm, now I have to decide which translation? This is going to be difficult!

_________________
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 3:32 am 
Offline
Best friends forever
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:33 pm
Posts: 11961
Location: Over there.
I've read both. They are enough different to seem like 2 books.

But both good.

_________________
Dig deeper.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 4:53 am 
Offline
Living in hope
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:43 am
Posts: 38984
Location: Sailing the luminiferous aether
I have the first of the three volumes in the new translation. I dipped into it and it seemed flat to me; I was busy and didn't persist. Maybe I'll persist. Two Kristin Lavransdatters can only be better than one.

When she's bitterly holding out for Erlend, and her father is bitterly resisting, and then the spring night comes when it starts raining, and he comes and gets her out of bed in the middle of the night and takes her out to hear and smell the rain as he used to when she was little, and she realizes at that moment that she's won, she's broken him down—she'll have her way—and suddenly she wishes she wouldn't. . . .

Heartbreaking, brilliant stuff. No, she earned her Nobel.

_________________
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 12:07 pm 
Offline
Pleasantly Twisted
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 6:35 pm
Posts: 8996
Location: Black Creek Bottoms
Mmm. Yeah, pulling that off would be impressive. I'm adding it to my "when I get my life back" reading list.

_________________

Resentment is no excuse for baldface stupidity.
-- Garrison Keillor

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 1:42 pm 
Offline
Living in hope
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:43 am
Posts: 38984
Location: Sailing the luminiferous aether
It's one of the most unromantic books I've ever read, and one of the truest.

_________________
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 2:15 pm 
Offline
Best friends forever
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:33 pm
Posts: 11961
Location: Over there.
Kristin's relationship with her father was one of the most wonderful things I've ever read. It reminded me - the first time I read it - of Laura Ingalls' relationship with her father.

_________________
Dig deeper.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 1:52 am 
Offline
Lali Beag Bídeach
User avatar

Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2005 4:42 pm
Posts: 13399
Location: Rivendell
I've put it on order from my library. :)

_________________
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 4:49 am 
Offline
Living in hope
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:43 am
Posts: 38984
Location: Sailing the luminiferous aether
:love:

_________________
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 2:29 pm 
Offline
Best friends forever
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:33 pm
Posts: 11961
Location: Over there.
I'm into "The Snake Pit" right now, it's the 2nd book in The Master of Hestviken series. It's very good. The character of Olav Audunson is amazing.

I splurged on a lot of books at ABE books. I will not be complaining about "having nothing to read". :D

_________________
Dig deeper.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 10:22 am 
Offline
Elvendork
User avatar

Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2005 12:46 pm
Posts: 1744
Location: The Shire
Hey! :)

The other week I thought it was time I spent the book token my Irish brother had sent me for Christmas. So off I went to Waterstones, in Piccadilly, where I purchased the hardback edition of Tales from the Perilous Realm illustrated by Alan Lee. :love:

Then I noticed a big, fat Penguin paperback called Kristin Lavransdattir by Sigrid Undset, all three books in one volume.

A memory stirred in my brain. I took out my iPhone, pressed on Hall of Fire in my 'Favourites' cache, checked out this thread, and hey presto! I knew I had recognised the title and the name of the author!

I didn't buy the three-book volume because it was a bit damaged. But next to it was the first volume, The Wreath, a slender paperback in good condition and with a very lovely cover. So I bought that. :)

There are copies of Gunnar's Daughter available on Amazon UK ...

Many thanks for this thread, Vison. I love novels about the medieval period and I just adore Norway (sadly, I have only been to that incredibly beautiful country just the once, back in 1988 ... it is Middle-earth incarnate!) Undset clearly was an exceptional writer. I know I am going to love immersing herself in her books.

P.S. Also, so cool that Prim was named after the fictional Kristin! :)

_________________
"Frodo undertook his quest out of love - to save the world he knew from disaster at his own expense, if he could ... "
Letter no. 246, The Collected Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
Avatar by goldlighticons on Live Journal


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:27 pm 
Offline
Elvendork
User avatar

Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2005 12:46 pm
Posts: 1744
Location: The Shire
Did I kill the thread? ;)

Anyway, just wanted to say that I've now read Gunnar's Daughter, having ordered it from Amazon, and I LOVED it. :):):)

What a wonderful writer!! I was right there, in 11th century Norway and Iceland. Right there.

I loved the saga-like style of the writing: terse, spare and yet so incredibly vivid - that, coupled with the incisive psychological portrayal of the characters, makes a story that is really powerful and timeless. Vigdis is an amazing character and I liked the men just as much.

It's a hard, bleak, sad tale - with the odd peaceful, happy interlude - but oh, so very human. And despite the ancient setting, so skilfully executed, it somehow seems extraordinarily contemporary. But then themes like love, hate, revenge and the ties that bind or break us truly are timeless.

P.S. Those Vikings, honestly ... Forever harrying Scotland, England and Holland! :blackeye: *wonders if I have any Viking ancestry* :D

_________________
"Frodo undertook his quest out of love - to save the world he knew from disaster at his own expense, if he could ... "
Letter no. 246, The Collected Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
Avatar by goldlighticons on Live Journal


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:24 pm 
Offline
Best friends forever
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:33 pm
Posts: 11961
Location: Over there.
I bet you do. :D

_________________
Dig deeper.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 21 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group