The Main Factors in Rølvaag's Authorship
By Theodore Jorgenson (Volume X: Page 135)
When Ole Edvart Rølvaag left his native island, Dønna, in northern Norway toward the end of July, 1896, he carried in his pocket a little diary which, during subsequent years, became a mute friend in whose presence he might think aloud. By good fortune the book has been preserved. It is now one of our main sources for the author's early years, and it may also be regarded as his first literary work of any consequence, for it contains very little of factual information but all the more of moods and aspirations and personal problems.
He was twenty years and three months old when he emigrated. By stature he was rather smaller than the average Scandinavian. His shoulders were the most highly developed part of his frame, yet his hands were small and sensitive like the hands of an artist. In the rather full face a stubby nose was lifted up in defiance and pride. But the sensitive and ardent mouth gave him a boyish charm. His eyes were wide in surprise and wonder. Upon the high brow fell shocks of unruly but soft and silky hair. It was a face strongly animated and deeply aglow with spirit.
Psychology will tell us that a young man of twenty years has already passed through the most important formative stages in his life. It was extremely significant to Rølvaag's later development that he had reached maturity before he departed from Nordland. Even at ten the unconscious and semiconscious factors are important; at fifteen the social and environmental elements have begun to integrate; at twenty the personality is growing firm. It has related itself
to home, to community, and to the sky and the soil of the region in which it has lived. It has formed attachments that will retain a firm grip upon the heart.
Rølvaag's parents were humble and modest but interesting people. Per, the father, was a great reader and not without skill both as a thinker and in the expression of his thoughts. He was, however, narrowly engrossed in the Bible and in a dogmatic religion. He assisted in the work of a local church, being known there for his piety. In the home he was somewhat stubborn, arbitrary, and inflexible. He made his influence felt, yet the people around him thought his hand a little heavy upon them. The children did not always find the understanding they looked for unless they went to their mother. She was a simple woman, without learning and logic, but strong in the emotions of a warm heart; infinitely patient in her work, possessed of great charm, and completely devoted to her children. One of the first lines in Rølvaag's diary reads, "If I had known how hard it would be to leave Mother, I probably should not have taken this step."
Some of us have read a book entitled A Genius in the Family. There was a budding genius in the Rølvaag home, but his name was not Ole. The elder brother, John, had read as much literature and understood as fully the principles of literary technique as many professionals. He dreamed of becoming a poet. He possessed the pride and the confidence of an artist, but poverty and tuberculosis forced him into an unequal battle in which they struck him down in early years. The younger brother who emigrated had a profound respect for this genius, and John in turn exercised no small influence upon Ole Edvart's literary aspirations.
It is not possible to find any very marked psychological complexes in Rølvaag's early life. He was a bit wild, reckless, and unmanageable from school days onward, but the attachments he formed left no decisive marks upon him
either of found or of lost hope. He recovered quickly from disappointments, yet it cannot be said that he lacked seriousness. The young man we find in the diary is extremely sensitive, given to brooding uncertainty about himself and his final destiny, restless, and somewhat unpoised, but also in possession of a tenacious will and high personal pride.
In some of the chambers of his personality his home province Nordland ruled throughout his life supreme. The years on the ocean raised up before him the spectre of frustration but they also revealed to him a never failing source of godlike romance. Shortly before he died he said, "Now I do not want to write realistic novels any more. I want to write about my great Nordland dream country." Death cut him off when he had finished about forty pages of that manuscript.
There was an element of tension in Ole Edvart's soul when he left his home on Dønna Island. In the course of his childhood, a very definite religious pattern had been formed in his mind. He was brimming with religious arguments, doctrines, and principles, but he had in a measure revolted against the undue strictness of his home, had frequented dances, and had heard his father's strong reproach on various occasions. He had also made up his mind to emigrate in spite of the advice he had been given to the contrary. He probably felt a little rebellious, a little misjudged, and especially sad that his departure should be such a pain to his mother. All of these things, both good and bad, kept his mind full of thoughts that, like the wings of the sea gull, went beating through his heart.
Something has been written about literary influences upon Rølvaag during his early years. With the exception of John, his brother, I think they are apt to be overestimated. It is true that he read not a little, but he never measured up to John in that respect. He may from time to time have mentioned that he wanted to be a poet, but this, too, came
naturally from John who, everyone knew, had marked literary talents. His people knew Ole as a boy of restless emotions, high pride, and stubborn will, but they were far from thinking that in him they fostered a potential artist.
On one of the last days in August, 1896, the newcomer who had set out from Nordland arrived in Elk Point, South Dakota. He spent the greater part of the next five years on the banks of Brule Creek where he became a cog in the wheel of an ordinary farm community. If Nordland is the first great factor in his authorship, we have now come to the second, for in Rølvaag's mind the settlement near Elk Point became the entire American Northwest in miniature. The names Clarkfield, Green Prairie, and Greenfield, familiar to all readers of his early works, are pseudonyms for the community in which he spent his newcomer years.
The full significance of the Brule Creek period is to be found not so much in the vicissitudes of a stranger in a strange land as in the part they played in creating the peculiar duality that characterizes Rølvaag's life and labor. On the acres west of Brule Creek his longing for the Nordland home and for the ocean waves grew so intense that he used to sit on the eastern hills, looking across the endless prairies as if spying sail on the distant horizon. "To ride the wave on the Lofoten Sea, ah, it was Paradise to me," he exclaims in his Letters from America. He wrote to his brother John that no one who has not experienced it can imagine what agonies he then went through.
But even as the land of memories and of dreams rose in ever-increasing beauty before him, so did also the broad acres of the Northwest impress their image upon his mind. He was often skeptical and critical of the people he found there. He realized that few kingly profiles might be seen among them, but the grandeur of the conquest in the New World impressed him deeply. He felt the clay in the hands of the gods; it was being made into a new nation. He began to
have also a consciousness of his own destiny. He was urged on by a craving to put his hand on the rudder of this new ship, even as he had done on the Lofoten Sea. The new and the old rose in a peculiar contrast within his mind. In that contrast we find Rølvaag's artistic perspective; but the same feeling of duality, of belonging to an old and to a new world, aroused in him a strong desire to bring them into a salutary harmony in which his soul might find peace.
The diary indicates that the first two years at Elk Point marked an increasing tension within Rølvaag's soul. A great restlessness followed him and would not leave him alone. At times he got up during the night hours to write something or to contemplate his situation. The need of intellectual growth became poignant in him. At the age of twenty-two, he realized that he approached a crossroads. He moved as in the shadow of coming disaster; he felt that he would be meaninglessly adrift in the world unless he could get into another sphere, and unless he could find an adequate life goal, in the striving toward which his character might integrate. We who knew the firmness of Rølvaag's will in later years may be surprised to read the melancholy sentences he addressed to himself. He laments his drifting like a rudderless ship on the sea, being buffeted by every storm. The truth seems to be that Rølvaag's firmness of character was not something he had come by easily. He had inherited pride and tenacity and stubbornness, but as Søren Kierkegaard danced nimbly with the ever-present shadow of death, so Rølvaag had a persistent visitor named Melancholy. He was not infrequently swept by emotional storms, especially during his early years. At such times it naturally seemed to him that he lacked both energy and will power.
Rølvaag worked uninterruptedly for two years after he had arrived in Elk Point. Many biographical sketches put this period at three years, but actually it was from August 1896 to November 1898. The crisis of the period coincided
with the outbreak of the Spanish-American War. That summer he was first on the point of joining the navy; then he thought of going to work in Sioux City; finally he went to Augustana College at Canton, South Dakota, at the opening of the second fall term of school. This decision was made contrary to the advice of his father.
The summer of 1898 was a decisive time in the life of the twenty-two-year-old immigrant. Those who worked with him on the farm say that he had reached a point at which something had either to make or to break him. In school he recognized almost at once the true direction of his life, and the stay at Augustana had a marvelously integrating effect upon his character. At the end of the three years he spent at Canton, he delivered a commencement oration in which he enunciated for the first time a cultural program he never essentially changed during the rest of his life. He used the title, "Cultural Development on a National Basis." By "national" he really meant "native," for he contended then, as later, that the Northwest has no cultural future except insofar as it is true to the pattern of its ethnic origin.
It is impossible to discuss the main factors in Rølvaag's life and authorship without giving a prominent place to his religion. It is true that the Lutheranism of his childhood home was of a strict and unbendingly Puritan type. It is also true that during his last years in Nordland and his first years in America he disregarded much of what he had been taught at home. The restlessness and the growing tension we observe in him as a newcomer may be traced to a lack of a definite central aim, but the whole struggle to find himself is reflected in his religious experience. It is also clear that a few rather disappointing love affairs disturbed him and made him yearn for peace and harmony.
His decision to go to school proved determining for life. It had an amazing power to integrate his personality. Shortly afterward he met a young woman of noble
spirituality, strength, and poise, whose friendship calmed a turbulent sea. He tells us that she guided him into a harbor of perfect religious adjustment and peace. It is significant that she reminded him of his mother, and that he said he had not felt such a childlike trust since he lay in his mother's arms. From 1899 on he was an earnestly confessing Christian student who seriously began to think of entering the ministry of the Lutheran church. When he spoke of the native basis of the people of the Northwest, he included both the strictly religious and the cultural foundations.
Rølvaag's school days at Augustana and at St. Olaf College began late in the fall of 1898 and lasted until the spring of 1905, when he received his college degree. He was graduated as a mature man of twenty-nine years; the texture of his mind was firm; he was beginning to know himself and to sense his true powers.
In any discussion of his literary career it is necessary to emphasize that he had, during all these years, a very small opportunity to develop his style. He read in a more or less cursory manner the classic Norse authors. He studied their methods especially, under the guidance of Professor Eikeland, but he did not have the benefit of any important cultural milieu comparable at all to the literary centers of Europe. Moreover, he worked in a language that had its creative basis far away. It is not at all strange that his progress, under the circumstances, was slow.
It seems indicative of his changing situation, however, that he ceased to write in the diary when he finished his years at Canton. Without hope of finding an opportunity of expression in any other way, he had used this silent companion as his literary audience. It provided a measure of psychological relief in his darkest moods, and it enabled him to ply his artistic craft in a small way.
When he entered St. Olaf College there was open to him an opportunity to reach a living audience. Several of his
sketches, short stories, and poems found their way into the school paper and into the annual published by his class. More and more he gave up the thought of entering the ministry and began to look toward a future of teaching and writing. In that direction he was guided well by Professor Eikeland.
The first definite plan for the writing of a novel was formed by Rølvaag during his junior year in college, and he executed the plan in the course of the following eighteen months. It was a loosely constructed book about a northwestern farm community. Inasmuch as he built especially upon his experience as a parochial schoolteacher, it naturally deals with young people and Christian education, native cultural values, religious considerations, and, not to forget, a central love story. The title of the book is "Nils and Astri." The scene is laid in the familiar Greenfield community.
Rølvaag entertained the ambitious hope of seeing this novel published before he graduated from college. He entertained also the still more fantastic hope that its publication would bring him money enough to go to Europe for graduate study. How bitterly he was disappointed, and how thoroughly he had to learn that whatever authorship here in the Northwest may mean, it is usually not a paying enterprise! Back to Norway to study he nevertheless went; but it was the president of the college, John Nathan Kildahl, not the book, that enabled him to go. He pushed his hopes forward to include the thought that "Nils and Astri" might appear in Oslo. In this matter, too, he was bitterly disappointed. Almost twenty years of hard struggle had to run before the Aschehoug publishers in the Norwegian capital acknowledged his literary power.
It is now time to speak of Rølvaag's illness as a leading factor in all his work. It colored his moods; it served to intensify his inner life; it gave to his days a rhythmic wave motion, much as if he even in his soul rode the turbulent Lofoten Sea.
With the routine of work he established at Oslo university during the winter of 1905-06, he could not hope to endure very long. He got up at seven or eight o'clock in the morning and continued working until about two o'clock the following morning. Sleep was limited to a maximum of five or six hours each night. At Christmas he was taken ill with a disease the medical men said was diphtheria, but which proved of an elusive nature. He suffered periodic nerve attacks which can have been nothing else than the beginning of the heart ailment that finally took his life. During 1906 he thought he had but a short time to reckon with, and that consciousness remained in a less intense form even after he returned to America. He improved gradually, but in 1911 he suffered a mild attack of pleurisy. In 1915 his eyes gave him great worry. In the spring of 1918 he underwent an operation for appendicitis, and in 1924 the heart attacks grew increasingly severe. From then onward he gradually came to realize that he would not live to be an old man.
Rølvaag began teaching at St. Olaf College in the fall of 1906. He had, for the time being, given up all thought of a literary career. The fate of his book "Nils and Astri" made him doubt his artistic talents, and the subsequent months of intense labor, performed between intermittent nervous pain, left in abeyance the entire question of his own future. In one of his letters he writes, "I only hope that I may live long enough to pay my debts." The years from 1906 to 1910 are, therefore, the least productive in his entire career. But, as he let the pen rest, he prepared himself all the more thoroughly for the teaching profession. He was not always popular on the campus, for if he possessed a genial humor and a warm sympathy, he was a fighter who delivered telling blows. In an argument he was insistent and relentless. Even during his years as a parochial schoolteacher he adopted the strategy of a crushing attack to be followed by a gentle and conciliatory peace conference. When he was preceptor in
the dormitory at St. Olaf he would bear down on the offenders in dictator fashion, but he would turn about as soon as he had broken the opposition and would speak all the kindest words he could draw from his own generous heart.
It should be said in this connection that Rølvaag's teaching methods were artistic rather than scientific. This does not mean that he was either lenient or lax; but he was, first and foremost, an artist. As a fine reader on the stage, he often read poetry in class. His mind was keenly analytic, but he was enough of a psychologist and a propagandist to know that logic often waits at the door where beauty and sentiment walk in to sit by the hearth. Idealist as he was, especially during his earlier years, he painted colorful pictures and made heroes pass across the stage. He taught not as the scribes and pharisees but as one who had authority --- a living authority within his own soul. Scientist he was, to be sure, but even more than that he was a prophet, and, above all, he was a man of art.
Rølvaag often said that he was a novelist by choice and a teacher by necessity. Nevertheless his duties as a college professor kept him on the main highway of his literary interest. It is extremely doubtful that he ever would have reached beyond the apprentice stage as a writer had he chosen any other profession than the teaching of Norse literature. In the older countries it might have been a drawback, but in the immigrant Northwest it was a salvation.
What did he read in the course of all these preparatory years? Lincoln Colcord directed that question toward him with reference to his childhood in Nordland. Rølvaag then enumerated some popular authors: namely, Ingemann, Topelius, Heyse, Dumas, Rider Haggard, Jules Verne, and others. Especially did he emphasize Jonas Lie and Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson. It was thoroughly natural that Jonas Lie should rule a favorite, for in him he had a man of his native region, a man of the sea, a dreamer, and an idealist fundamentally
related to Ole Edvart himself. At St. Olaf College, Professor Eikeland was an almost extravagant admirer of Lie, and the younger student and colleague found his own sentiments made firm. Bjørnson was a much more dangerous man in those days. Rølvaag thought his works lacked the charm he found in Lie, but it is well to remember that from the point of view of literary style the situation is quite reversed. It is safe to say that no other writer had as great ,an influence upon Rø1vaag's artistic form as Bjørnson, who was a regenerating spirit in the field of Norwegian letters throughout the second half of the nineteenth century.
It is not recorded that Ole Edvart read Ibsen until his first winter at Elk Point. He tells in one of his class lectures that he was very lonely that first year. The prairies were very beautiful, but distant from the sea. The far-off Nebraska bluffs possessed an element of grandeur, but they were not like the mountains of Nordland. He had to have something to read. And thus it came about that he obtained a copy of Brand from the Skandinaven bookstore in Chicago. He says that he was greatly stirred by the drama. Yet he continued for some time to regard Ibsen as rather distant, abstract, and only for the few.
But if Lie dominated his early years, and if Bjørnson had great influence on his style, Ibsen was Rølvaag's almost daily companion during the last decade of his life. When he reduced his teaching to part time, he retained as his own the course in Henrik Ibsen and the course in Norwegian immigration.
Naturally Rølvaag was not a stranger to other literatures than the Norwegian, but their influence upon his authorship was slight. Inasmuch as he wrote all his novels in the Norwegian language and cultivated with assiduous care this medium of expression, he was, from the strictly technical point of view, even to his last day as Norwegian as either Bjørnson or Henrik Ibsen.
How suggestive it is that Rølvaag kept the two courses, Ibsen's drama and Norwegian immigration! They suggest once more the perspective of his art. Ibsen's drama was to him a high creative achievement, a major conquest and expansion in the world of the spirit. This conquest lay open to the people of the Northwest. They must occupy it even as they had occupied the soil of a new land.
Rølvaag was married in 1908. In 1912 he built his home on Manitou Street, in Northfield. Although events of this nature may not prove directly influential as far as a literary career is concerned, it seems certain that home life aroused all his latent ambitions once more. We may, in fact, divide his creative career into three main periods. From the beginning of his diary in 1896 to the rejection of his novel "Nils and Astri" in the fall of 1905, we have a decade of more or less hesitant and sporadic attempts which, in his own judgment, ended in failure. The years from 1906 to 1910 constitute an interlude. The second period begins in 1910 with Letters from America, published in 1912, and comes to a close sometime toward the end of the great European war. It did not issue in failure, yet the termination of it marks a psychological state which may be indicated by the word frustration. The third period begins with Two Fools in 1920 and lasts until his death. It may be called the period of artistic maturity and triumph.
During the very first period, from 1896 to 1906, the essential frame of Rølvaag's thought and his attitude toward life were formed. First appeared a duality inherent in his experiences as an immigrant. The Nordland world lay in the background. It grew more bright and more romantically beautiful as the years passed. In the foreground stood the American Northwest, a realm to conquer and to settle, a society to be given institutional forms, a culture to be preserved and creatively augmented. In this duality lay his artistic perspective, and in the fusion of these worlds, both
within himself and in the Northwest at large, he saw his great social and ethical task.
From another point of view Rølvaag also belonged to a dual world. He was profoundly interested in culture in general, and, especially, in the literary art. But he was equally concerned with church affairs and the religious development of his people. Here too he aimed at a fusion very definitely to be seen in his literary efforts during the second period we have indicated. In Letters from America he made his new start after an interlude. He discarded the romantic scene and the intrigue of "Nils and Astri." He began to build on the more solid foundation of his own experiences. In view of the fact that his next book is strongly influenced by Kierkegaard and Ibsen, it seems likely that he had learned from them the need of personal reality in art. Letters from America must be regarded as a preliminary work. The two worlds are seen clearly enough both in contrast and in a harmony to be desired, but the religious motif is not very prominent. In On Forgotten Paths he moved forward to complete the unity by including the religious factor. He attempted to fuse a Brand motif with a Per Hansa motif. He thought on the one hand in terms of the two immigrant worlds; on the other he contemplated religion and culture as one harmonious unit.
Although On Forgotten Paths is not without significance in the literary development of the author, it is in large measure a failure, which he later fully recognized. By making the Brand motif religious instead of ethical, as Ibsen had done, a supernatural element entered into consideration and broke the psychological continuity of the book. By making the cultural problem appear on a line parallel to the religious, he also marred the unity of the volume. He was learning the art, but he had not yet achieved mastery.
During the war years, Rølvaag tried once more to move forward along the religious line. He planned and partly
executed a novel that may be called "The Pioneer Pastor." The scene of it is laid in Greenfield, which is, in reality, his own newcomer community at Elk Point. Evidently this work as planned would have possessed a strong central idea and graphic power. Some of the parts were later published separately. I am thinking especially of "Smørkrigen i Greenfield," which appeared in Jul i Vesterheimen for 1928. But he was never able to complete the novel. I think the war did its share. The bigotry of those years made little room for a man of Rølvaag's type. But aside from that, his duties as head of the department of Norwegian, and the work he and Professor Eikeland were obliged to put on textbooks and readers for the students in their classes limited the time that he could use for creative efforts of another kind. Rølvaag completed no novel between the years 1914 and 1920, but he compiled three textbooks and wrote many poems, sketches, and short stories in the course of those years.
People have asked, "How do you explain Rølvaag's great spurt of creative activity from 1920 onward?" There are many contributing factors. Only the most evident can be cited here. In the first place, the war was over and the cultural organizations that had merely existed during the stampede now began to show vigorous life anew. Obviously the author sensed that a better day was coming. His letters of the period are full of power and creative vision. In the second place, it is necessary to remember that by 1920 Rølvaag had become accustomed to his administrative duties. His textbook program was, for the time being, completed. It was quite natural for him to swing back into the realm of the novel where he loved to be. Nor must we forget that these years were enormously creative in the letters of his homeland. Sigrid Undset wrote Kristin Lavransdatter; Olav Duun, The Juvik People; Johan Bojer, The Great Hunger and The Last of the Vikings, the former in 1916 and the latter in 1920. I remember distinctly that when Dyrendal
appeared in 1919, Rølvaag said, "If I only had the time I should do a book as good as this one myself." Hamsun's Growth of the Soil was also within this range of years. How could he fail to be stimulated by such an intense activity!
It has been said that the tragic death of his favorite little boy, Paul Gunnar, in the spring of 1920, shook him out of his lethargy and drove him into the sphere of creative art. Rølvaag probably felt some such connection himself. The immediate consequence of this great sorrow, however, may easily be overestimated. He had been very active along cultural lines in 1919, and the tragic death is not clearly to be observed as a motif in his novels from the early twenties. The death of Paul Gunnar had a very far-reaching effect upon Rølvaag's philosophy of life and general religious attitude. But this was a long-time effect which is most clearly seen operative in his great pioneer series. More significant in the strictly literary sense is the fact that Rølvaag by 1920 had barely attained to artistic maturity. He was forty-four years old, to be sure, but he had been busy about many things and had had neither time nor opportunity to concentrate on his art. He had done an apprentice's and a journeyman's work in three completed novels and some fragments. He had felt his growing strength, but he had also seen his mistakes very clearly. He knew that he had tried to work too many things into his novels and that in consequence they lacked dynamic unity and power. His style was personal and graphic, but his structural forms were not generally adequate.
The novel Two Fools is a truly important landmark in Rølvaag's authorship. He achieved in it three definite results. First of all, he exhibited in the book a high degree of artistic concentration. The action runs along one strait and narrow path to its ultimate conclusion. Secondly, he gave up the idea of religious sermonizing. The religious interest was still there, but it was made secondary to the main
aim of portraying life. In this manner his cultural and religious problems were made into one, and he could direct all his attention toward the main duality in his being: the relation of the world of his fathers, and of his own childhood, to the world in process of making on the great American prairie. He achieved also an intensification of style; all of this prepared him for greater efforts.
When Rølvaag had completed the novel Two Fools, later reconstructed somewhat and issued under the title Pure Gold, he swung back to the Lofoten Sea and the islands of the Scandinavian North, his own fairyland. It is extremely characteristic of his nature that he could never keep this world out of his mind for any length of time. He was probably yet under the pressure of the war mood. In Two Fools the purely material dollar rules supreme, hypnotizes the people, drives them into insanity. In The Boat of Longing a sensitively fine nature comes from the land of magic days and mystic nights to live in the cities and in the camps of the Northwest. The tragedy is almost as great as that of Hedvig in Ibsen's The Wild Duck. The world into which he comes has no understanding of his soul. He finds no kinship warmth, nothing to lean upon, no stimulus to growth within the field of his peculiar talents. The truth seems to be that a new and unmellowed society had provided no place for the sensitive but impractical beauty in the soul of Nils Vaag.
The novel series upon which Rølvaag's claim to literary immortality chiefly rests must be regarded as a conclusion based upon an earlier argument or a result finally achieved through a long series of efforts. When he began to write Giants in the Earth he was a mature artist. He exercised an effective control over a rich and flexible language. He had learned how to draw the lines of character and to make the finer shadings of life appear. Experience had taught him the secret of concentration; and he knew from his study of Ibsen
what it means to fix an idea high above and far back of the work, so that the ideal meaning is clearly discerned, yet does not interfere with the spontaneous action of the novel.
Giants in the Earth is the story of an old kingdom in the New World, and, therefore, equally the story of a new kingdom. Per Hansa is Per Smevik, Chris Larsen, Lars Houglum, and, most of all, Rølvaag himself, projected into the pioneer community. Beret Holm is Rølvaag's mother, Mrs. Chris Larsen, Nils Vaag, and many similar spirits who bring with them the sensitively fine from an older culture. There is a high sky above this book, an inner grandeur in Per Hansa's struggle; but we must not forget that the whole series ends on a note of warning and in a mood of gloom. The physical pioneering must of necessity be followed by social integration. Rølvaag finds in Their Father's God that on the physical side there is indeed a measure of integration. But on the moral and cultural side, he finds, rather, disintegration. Perhaps we may leave the thought in a paradox: integration in the material world but disintegration in the world of the spirit.
Rølvaag himself was not at all certain about the future. Shortly before he died he said, "Well, if there is anything deeply true in what I have said, it will some day prevail." We may now agree that his works are deeply genuine and full of the realities of life, and we are perhaps more confident than he himself was that his spirit will be a vital force in the Northwest of more mature years.