Across the West and Toward the North compares how photographers in Norway and the United States represented the environment in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when once-remote wildernesses were first surveyed, developed, and photographed. Making images while traversing almost inaccessible terrain—often on foot and for months at a time—photographers created a compelling visual language that came to symbolize each nation.
In this edited volume, Norwegian and American scholars offer the first study of the striking parallels in the production, distribution, and reception of these modern expressions of landscape and nationhood. In recognizing how landscape photographs were made meaningful to international audiences—such as tourists, visitors to world’s fairs, scientists, politicians, and immigrants—the authors challenge notions of American exceptionalism and singularly nationalistic histories.
The book includes stunning photographs of mountainous landscapes, glaciers, and forests, punctuated by signs of human development and engineering, with more than one hundred rarely seen plates by photographers Knud Knudsen, Anders Beer Wilse, Timothy O’Sullivan, Charles R. Savage, and others.
All groups tell stories about their beginnings. Such tales are oft-repeated, finely wrought, and usually much beloved. Among those institutions most in need of an impressive creation account is the state: it’s one of the primary ways states attempt to legitimate themselves. But such founding narratives invite revisionist retellings that modify details of the story in ways that undercut, ironize, and even ridicule the state’s ideal self-representation. Medieval accounts of how Norway was unified by its first king provide a lively, revealing, and wonderfully entertaining example of this process.
Taking the story of how Harald Fairhair unified Norway in the ninth century as its central example, Bruce Lincoln illuminates the way a state’s foundation story blurs the distinction between history and myth and how variant tellings of origin stories provide opportunities for dissidence and subversion as subtle—or not so subtle—modifications are introduced through details of character, incident, and plot structure. Lincoln reveals a pattern whereby texts written in Iceland were more critical and infinitely more subtle than those produced in Norway, reflecting the fact that the former had a dual audience: not just the Norwegian court, but also Icelanders of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, whose ancestors had fled from Harald and founded the only non-monarchic, indeed anti-monarchic, state in medieval Europe.
Between History and Myth will appeal not only to specialists in Scandinavian literature and history but also to anyone interested in memory and narrative.
In 1997 Eugenics and the Welfare State caused an uproar with international repercussions. This edition contains a new introduction by Broberg and Roll-Hansen, addressing events that occurred following the original publication. The four essays in this book stand as a chilling indictment of mass sterilization practices, not only in Scandinavia but in other European countries and the United States--eugenics practices that remained largely hidden from the public view until recently. Eugenics and the Welfare State also provides an in-depth, critical examination of the history, politics, science, and economics that led to mass sterilization programs in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland; programs put in place for the "betterment of society" and based largely on the "junk science" of eugenics that was popular before the rise of Nazism in Germany. When the results of Broberg's and Roll-Hansen's book were widely publicized in August 1997, the London Observer reported, "Yesterday Margot Wallstrom, the Swedish Minister for Social Policy, issued a belated reaction to the revelations. She said: 'What went on is barbaric and a national disgrace.' She pledged to create a law ensuring that involuntary sterilisation would never again be used in Sweden, and promised compensation to victims." Ultimately, the Swedish government not only apologized to the many thousands who had been sterilized without their knowledge or against their will, but also put in place a program for the payment of reparations to these unfortunate victims.
Fiddling for Norway is an engrossing portrait of a fiddle-based folk revival in Norway, one that in many ways parallels contemporary folk institutions and festivals throughout the world, including American fiddling. It is a detailed case study in the politics of culture, the causes and purposes of folk revivals, and the cultivation of music to define identity.
The book begins with an investigation of the people and events important to Norwegian folk fiddling, tracing the history of Norwegian folk music and the growth and diversification of the folk music revival. The narrative takes us to fiddle clubs, concerts and competitions on the local, regional, and national levels, and shows how conflicting emphases—local vs. national identity, tradition vs. aesthetic qualities—continue to transform Norwegian folk music. Goertzen utilizes a large anthology of meticulously transcribed tunes to illustrate personal and regional repertoires, aspects of performance practice, melodic gesture and form, and tune relationships. Ethnomusicologists and readers who fiddle will enjoy both the music and the stories it tells.
Armed with jokes, puns, and cartoons, Norwegians tried to keep their spirits high and foster the Resistance by poking fun at the occupying Germans during World War II. Despite a 1942 ordinance mandating death for the ridicule of Nazi soldiers, Norwegians attacked the occupying Nazis and their Norwegian collaborators by means of anecdotes, quips, insinuating personal ads, children’s stories, Christmas cards, mock postage stamps, and symbolic clothing.
In relating this dramatic story, Kathleen Stokker draws upon her many interviews with survivors of the Occupation and upon the archives of the Norwegian Resistance Museum and the University of Oslo. Central to the book are four “joke notebooks” kept by women ranging in age from eleven to thirty, who found sufficient meaning in this humor to risk recording and preserving it. Stokker also cites details from wartime diaries of three other women from East, West, and North Norway. Placing the joking in historical, cultural, and psychological context, Stokker demonstrates how this seemingly frivolous humor in fact contributed to the development of a resistance mentality among an initially confused, paralyzed, and dispirited population, stunned by the German invasion of their neutral country.
For this paperback edition, Stokker has added a new preface offering a comparative view of resistance through humor in neighboring Denmark.
Folktales of Norway
Edited by Reidar Christiansen University of Chicago Press, 1964 Library of Congress GR221.C5
Often lacking the clear episodic structure of folktales about talking animals and magic objects, legends grow from retellings of personal experiences. Christiansen isolated some seventy-seven legend types, and many of these are represented here in absorbing stories of St. Olaf, hidden treasures, witches, and spirits of the air, water, and earth. The ugly, massively strong, but slow-witted trolls are familiar to English-speaking readers. Less well-known, but the subject of an enormous number of legends, are the more manlike yet sinister "huldre-folk" who live in houses and try to woo human girls. These tales reflect the wildness of Norway, its mountains, forests, lakes, and sea, and the stalwart character of its sparse population.
"The translation is excellent, retaining the traditional Norwegian style . . . the tales themselves will also appeal to the interested layman."—Library Journal
Fredrik Barth, editor of the influential Ethnic Groups and Boundaries, is one of the towering figures of twentieth-century anthropology. In this accessible but penetrating intellectual biography, Thomas Hylland Eriksen explores Barth’s six-decade career, following Barth from his early ecological studies in Pakistan to political studies in Iran, to groundbreaking fieldwork in Norway, New Guinea, Bali, and Bhutan. Along the way, Eriksen raises many of the questions that emerge from Barth’s own work: questions of unity and diversity, of culture and relativism, and of art and science. This will surely be the definitive biography of Barth for many years to come.
Hannah Ryggen (1894–1970) was a Swedish-Norwegian modern artist who began her career as a painter before switching to creating political art in the form of monumental tapestries. Combining the decorative and the political, Ryggen was ahead of her time with her turn to “political weaving.” She was also a feminist with strong communist sympathies involved in the international workers’ movement. Her dramatic, beautiful tapestries were shown at both the Paris and Brussels World’s Fairs, but she was largely forgotten by the international art world in the decades after her death. In recent years, however, as interest in both fiber arts and pioneering women artists has grown, Ryggen’s work has returned to the public eye, with major international exhibitions and fresh attention from curators, collectors, and critics.
A widely recognized authority on Ryggen, Marit Paasche brings this important Scandinavian artist to the foreground in this biography, the first published on Ryggen in English. Paasche looks at Ryggen within the social, political, and cultural contexts of her time and explores how these issues informed her work, from her anti-fascist tapestry that depicted a spear piercing Mussolini’s head to one protesting the war in Vietnam. Published to correspond with a major retrospective in Frankfurt, of which Paasche is one of the curators, Hannah Ryggen is a foundational book that will provide a crucial introduction of this artist to a broader audience.
In the golden age of polar exploration (from the mid-1800s to the early 1900s), many an expedition set out to answer the big question—was the Arctic a continent, an open ocean beyond a barrier of ice, or an ocean covered with ice? No one knew, for the ice had kept its secret well; ships trying to penetrate it all failed, often catastrophically. Norway’s charismatic scientist-explorer Fridtjof Nansen, convinced that it was a frozen ocean, intended to prove it in a novel if risky way: by building a ship capable of withstanding the ice, joining others on an expedition, then drifting wherever it took them, on a relentless one-way journey into discovery and fame . . . or oblivion. Ice Ship is the story of that extraordinary ship, the Fram, from conception to construction, through twenty years of three epic expeditions, to its final resting place as a museum. It is also the story of the extraordinary men who steered the Fram over the course of 84,000 miles: on a three-year, ice-bound drift, finding out what the Arctic really was; in a remarkable four-year exploration of unmapped lands in the vast Canadian Arctic; and on a two–year voyage to Antarctica, where another famous Norwegian explorer, Roald Amundsen, claimed the South Pole. Ice Ship will appeal to all those fascinated with polar exploration, maritime adventure, and wooden ships, and will captivate readers of such books as The Endurance, In the Heart of the Sea, and The Last Place on Earth. With more than 100 original photographs, the book brings the Fram to life and light.
Despite centuries of colonization, many Indigenous peoples’ cultures remain distinct in their ancestral territories, even in today’s globalized world. Yet they exist often within countries that hardly recognize their existence. Struggles for political recognition and cultural respect have occurred historically and continue to challenge Native American nations in Montana and Sámi people of northern Scandinavia in their efforts to remain and thrive as who they are as Indigenous peoples. In some ways the Indigenous struggles on the two continents have been different, but in many other ways, they are similar.
Mapping Indigenous Presence presents a set of comparative Indigenous studies essays with contemporary perspectives, attesting to the importance of the roles Indigenous people have played as overseers of their own lands and resources, as creators of their own cultural richness, and as political entities capable of governing themselves. This interdisciplinary collection explores the Indigenous experience of Sámi peoples of Norway and Native Americans of Montana in their respective contexts—yet they are in many ways distinctly different within the body politic of their respective countries. Although they share similarities as Indigenous peoples within nation-states and inhabit somewhat similar geographies, their cultures and histories differ significantly.
Sámi people speak several languages, while Indigenous Montana is made up of twelve different tribes with at least ten distinctly different languages; both peoples struggle to keep their Indigenous languages vital. The political relationship between Sámi people and the mainstream Norwegian government and culture has historically been less contentious that that of the Indigenous peoples of Montana with the United States and with the state of Montana, yet the Sámi and the Natives of Montana have struggled against both the ideology and the subsequent assimilation policy of the savagery-versus-civilization model. The authors attempt to increase understanding of how these two sets of Indigenous peoples share important ontological roots and postcolonial legacies, and how research may be used for their own self-determination and future directions.
Scandinavia's most famous painter, the Norwegian Edvard Munch (1863-1944), is probably best known for his painting The Scream, a universally recognized icon of terror and despair. (A version was stolen from the Munch Museum in Oslo, Norway, in August 2004, and has not yet been recovered.) But Munch considered himself a writer as well as a painter. Munch began painting as a teenager and, in his young adulthood, studied and worked in Paris and Berlin, where he evolved a highly personal style in paintings and works on paper. And in diaries that he kept for decades, he also experimented with reminiscence, fiction, prose portraits, philosophical speculations, and surrealism. Known as an artist who captured both the ecstasies and the hellish depths of the human condition, Munch conveys these emotions in his diaries but also reveals other facets of his personality in remarks and stories that are alternately droll, compassionate, romantic, and cerebral.
This English translation of Edvard Munch's private diaries, the most extensive edition to appear in any language, captures the eloquent lyricism of the original Norwegian text. The journal entries in this volume span the period from the 1880s, when Munch was in his twenties, until the 1930s, reflecting the changes in his life and his work. The book is illustrated with fifteen of Munch's drawings, many of them rarely seen before. While these diaries have been excerpted before, no translation has captured the real passion and poetry of Munch's voice. This is a translation that lets Munch speak for himself and evokes the primal passion of his diaries. J. Gill Holland's exceptional work adds a whole new level to our understanding of the artist and the depth of his scream.
“Slow TV” refers to a form of broadcasting long events for their entire duration, preferably in real time. Popularized by the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK), the form became a phenomenon in 2009 after NRK’s broadcast of a seven-hour train ride between Bergen and Oslo. Since then, slow TV programming has gained traction outside of Norway on television stations around the world and via streaming services like Netflix.
In this academic study, Roel Puijk combines quantitative and qualitative research methods to explore different aspects of the Norwegian slow TV phenomenon, from the programming’s production and development to its viewing and ultimate reception. Puijk relates slow TV to media events and media tourism, discussing its effects on cultural and economic developments and its evolving relationship to local and national identity. The result is an illuminating interdisciplinary study of media innovation and its effects on contemporary culture.
H. Arnold Barton investigates Norwegian political and cultural influences in Sweden during the period of the Swedish-Norwegian dynastic union from 1814 to 1905.
Although closely related in origins, indigenous culture, language, and religion, Sweden and Norway had very different histories, resulting in strongly contrasting societies and forms of government before 1814. After a proud medieval past, Norway had come under the Danish crown in the fourteenth century and had been reduced to virtually a Danish province by the sixteenth.
In 1814, as a spin-off of the Napoleonic Wars, Denmark relinquished Norway, which became a separate kingdom, dynastically united with Sweden with its own government under a constitution independently framed that year. Disputes during the next ninety-one years caused Norway unilaterally to dissolve the tie.
Seeing the union a failure, most historians have concentrated on its conflicts. Barton, however, examines the impact of the union on internal developments, particularly in Sweden. Prior to 1814, Norway, unlike Sweden, had no constitution and only the rudiments of higher culture, yet paradoxically, Norway exerted a greater direct influence on Sweden than vice versa.
Reflecting a society lacking a native nobility, Norway’s 1814 constitution was—with the exception of that of the United States—the most democratic in the world. It became the guiding star of Swedish liberals and radicals striving to reform the antiquated system of representation in their parliament. Norway’s cultural void was filled with a stellar array of artists, writers, and musicians, led by Bjørnsjerne Børnson, Henrik Ibsen, and Edvard Grieg. From the 1850s through the late 1880s, this wave of Norwegian creativity had an immense impact on literature, art, and music in Sweden. By the 1880s, however, August Strindberg led a revolt against an exaggerated “Norvegomania” in Sweden. Barton sees this reaction as a fundamental inspiration to Sweden’s intense search for its own cultural character in the highly creative Swedish National Romanticism of the 1890s and early twentieth century.
Thirty-three illustrations of art and architecture enhance Sweden and Visions of Norway.
Utilizing experience and information gained in more than ten years in Norway, the author presents an extensive body of empirical evidence on the difficulties of maintaining both price stability and free collective bargaining in a full employment economy. The first part of the book is devoted to an exploration of the course of wage policy and collective bargaining over wages, and the role these decisions played in determining the actual development of money wage levels. The second half consists of a detailed analysis of the relation between wage developments and the price level, the share of labor in national issues, the rate of capital formation, and the allocation of manpower within the economy.
Johnny is from New Jersey, and Kari is from Oslo. They meet in New York in the late 1950s and soon fall in love, get married, and move to Asbury Park, where their life unfolds like a dream: Kari gives birth to two beautiful daughters, and Johnny is a wildly successful entrepreneur. Everything begins to unravel, though, when Johnny’s business partner commits suicide and their company plunges into bankruptcy. Then a deadly accident claims their daughters. Reeling from the tragedy and seeking a new beginning, Johnny and Kari move to Norway. But they can’t escape their trauma as it continues to take a toll on their marriage, especially as Johnny struggles to find his place in a foreign country. The Weather Changed, Summer Came and So On is a haunting novel about love, loss, and identity that focuses on the survival of trauma. Translated beautifully from its original Norwegian by Diane Oatley, it constructs and inhabits a liminal world as the protagonists seek to stay afloat amid grief and estrangement. This is a gripping, heartbreaking story that will move readers with its timelessness and universal relevance.