Lagerlof was a Swedish novelist, who in 1909 became the first woman writer to win the Nobel Prize for literature. Her work is deeply rooted in Nordic legends and history. She turned away from the dominating realistic movement and wrote in a romantic and imaginative manner about the peasant life and landscape of Northern Sweden.
Bjornstjerne Bjornson was a Norwegian writer, editor, and theater director, known with Henrik Ibsen, Alexander Kielland and Jonas Lie as one of the "four great ones" of 19th-century Norwegian literature. Bjornson campaigned widely for liberal and national ideals, and became an extremely popular national figure. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1903.
This collection contains four of this remarkable duo's most widely anthologized stories.
Stories included are, "A Christmas Guest" and "The Outlaws" by Lagerlof and "The Father" and "Railroad and Churchyard" by Bjornson.
©1980 Jimcin Recordings
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"Transports one to The North"
I've recently started reading/listening to anything I come across regarding Scandinavia after falling in love with the Nordic countries on recent trips. This collection of short stories is among the best "true" Scandinavian ones yet.
A lot of you may not like the slow moving, seemingly uninteresting characters. But the characters in all 4 stories are very much like real Scandinavians that I know. It takes a lot of time & patience getting a feel for them and then *BANG!* the real personalities come out and blossom in a wide array of colors.
My favorite story is "Railroad & Churchyard" which at first seems like a droning, pointless account of two life long pals (one of which, Knute, is a true "man of few words"). Suddenly even the more talkative of the two buddies is shocked when his friend that he's know for decades suddenly opens up and radically changes everyone's life in their small far north village.
Knute's sudden over-eagerness eventually nearly destroys himself and the town. The moral of it being (at least the way I interpret things), "don't get too cocky." A valuable lesson we should all take away from the Nordic peoples.
"What a great listen!"
I am from the US and I am touring Scandinavia. I wanted to learn more about the culture so I bought this audiobook to listen to in the car. We really enjoyed this. "The railroad" was especially good.
"Interesting perspective into a different culture"
Though not overly entertaining. I recently traveled to Norway for two weeks for the first time. I listened to a couple of these tales before going and the rest after. I can vaguely associate them, their subjects, tone, and lessons with the culture I experienced, but only barely. Lessons or morals were hard for me to decipher from the tales, but maybe to be simpler to understand, they'd have to be shallower lessons.
I respect the folk tales, but wouldn't recommend them for entertainment. I've enjoyed tales of the Norse gods, Vikings and "The Real Heroes of Telemark" (about WWII) much more.
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