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A Doll's House on the Praire: The First Ibsen Controversy in America {1}
By Arthur C. Paulson and Kenneth Bjørk (Volume XI: Page 1)

The first Ibsen controversy in America took place, not in the eastern metropolitan press, as one might expect, but in the columns of a Norwegian newspaper of the West. {2} We refer to a battle over a Doll's House fought through the columns of Norden, a Chicago immigrant newspaper, in 1880. This controversy, which preceded the first one in English by nine years, {3} not only attests to a vigorous intellectual life rarely associated with the frontier, but also brings to focus several of the factors shaping the cultural life of the transplanted Norwegian.

For the greater number of Norwegian immigrants in the West in 1880, contact with the world of literature was established through the ministers, the lay critics, the newspaper press, {4} and the book dealers. These four elements will be seen to figure in the controversy presented by this study.

The controversy over a Doll's House began with an attack by P. P. Iverslie against the moral and social implications of Nora's words. The author of the article belonged to a group of colorful lay scholars and critics that is rapidly disappearing from the Norwegian-American scene. A voracious reader, a prolific writer, incisive in style, and independent in his views, Iverslie was a product of ministerial training, and was, like the theologians, usually incapable of viewing literature except from a moral or ethical point of view. {5} Holding no official position and living alone, he devoted his abundant energies to historical research, writing, teaching, and farming. Eager to do battle with great and small alike, he was unable to understand any point of view but his own. Furthermore, he was innocent of the slightest sense of humor and regarded himself and his work with deadly seriousness. {6} Nevertheless, the intellectual life of the Northwest was enriched by his contributions and those of others of his class.

A brief recital of the salient facts in Iverslie's life should be given. He was born July 18, 1844, at Auggedalen, in Gudbrandsdalen, Norway. He came with his parents to the Rock River settlement, Wisconsin, in 1847. From 1862-64 he attended Luther College, where he was considered a model student. During the years 1864-1901, he was a farmer in Waupaca County, Wisconsin, and Chippewa County, Minnesota. During the winter months he usually taught in English schools; during spare moments the year around he poured out articles for the Norwegian and English newspapers and worked at the manuscripts of several ambitious studies. He published four books: Events Leading to the Separation of Norway and Denmark, 1898; Nogle af verdens-historiens vigtigste begivenheder i den hellige skrifts belysning (Some of the Most Important Events in World History Illuminated by Holy Scripture), 1902; a translation of Holberg's Pawned Peasant Boy, 1910; and a critical analysis, Gustav Storms studier over Vinlandsreisene (Gustav Storm's Studies concerning the Vinland Voyages), 1912. Iverslie was a student of the Kensington rune stone, the authenticity of which he vigorously defended. At the request of the Minnesota Historical Society, Iverslie translated some controversial articles in Norwegian bearing on the Kensington stone. Apparently he was also engaged in a larger study of Norwegian history at the time of his death in 1921. {7}

If to Iverslie a Doll's House was merely an instrument through which Ibsen --- hiding behind Nora's skirts --- uttered shockingly revolutionary ideas, to Herm. Wang the drama was a picture of life among the cultivated classes of the Norwegian capital. The product of a different educational and social milieu, Wang, unlike Iverslie, could view Ibsen's work from a non-theological point of view. His interpretation of a Doll's House is refreshingly fair and considerably in advance of his time.

Herm. Wang is a pen name for O. S. Hervin, one of a remarkable group of editors who served the Norwegian population in America. Measured by most standards, he stands in sharp contrast to P. P. Iverslie, but one thing he had in common with his protagonist --- a sharp, even sarcastic pen. Born in 1852 at Stange, Hedemarken, he attended a military school in the homeland and in 1873 became a sergeant in the Norwegian army. During the late seventies Hervin was also a regular writer in the important Christiania newspaper Verdens gang, over the name Herm. Wang. His articles were critical of the military, political, and social institutions of Norway, but his otherwise sharp attacks were tempered by a strain of humor that remained with him throughout his life. In 1880 Hervin emigrated to America.

In the American West Hervin served many immigrant newspapers, both as contributor and as editor. His connections were numerous; they included Nordvesten (St. Paul), Skandinaven (Chicago), Budstikken (Minneapolis), which he edited during the summer and fall of 1881, and National-tidende (St. Paul), which he edited 1895-96. In 1901, Hervin began a little monthly periodical, Smuler (Crumbs) in St. Paul; Smuler appeared regularly until 1912, after which time the magazine came out only occasionally. In addition to his many critical and humorous articles in the Norwegian and American press, his writings include an interesting poem, "Ved hovedkirken" (In the Cathedral). With his death in 1923 the Norwegian element in America lost another of its alert and versatile leaders from the educated classes in Norway. {8}

The third person to figure in the controversy over a Doll's House was the Reverend Hallvard Hande, editor of Norden. Occasionally a member of the Norwegian Synod became editor of a secular newspaper and in that position gave considerable attention to matters of broad cultural significance. Hande typifies this kind of pioneer intellectual leader found among the early ministers.

Hallvard Hande was born in 1846 at Valdres, Norway. He attended the Gjertsen Latin School, 1863-66, after which he studied theology and philosophy at the university in Christiania from 1866-68. Ill health forced him to leave the university for two years, during which time he acted as a tutor at Lillesand. He returned to the university in 1872, and in the same year left for America. For a short time, from 1873-74, he served the congregation at Estherville, Iowa, and near-by communities. It is not improbable that the long trips necessitated by his work as pastor undermined his already poor health. Hande was ready to return to Norway when he was offered the editorship of Norden in 1874. In his new position he served until his death in 1887, with the exception of the years 1882-84, when he sought to recover his health in Texas. Hande's ill health was perhaps responsible for the polemical tendency and bitterness of many of his articles. His gifts as editor were generally recognized, and his literary ability is demonstrated by a little comedy written in landsmaal, Ei hugvending (A Change of Mind), which enjoyed great popularity in Norway. {9}

Norden, the newspaper in whose columns the controversy over a Doll's House took place, was published in Chicago as a four-page weekly by I. T. Relling and Co. (I. T. Relling and Vice-Consul Peter Svanøe). It was the most "literary" of all the immigrant newspapers in 1880, partly because of the interests of its editor, Hande, but more particularly because of an ingenious scheme employed by its publishers.

I. T. Relling had been operating a bookstore (boghandel) in Chicago since 1870. His stock consisted of more than two thousand volumes, among which were the works of the best Norwegian authors. He used efficient methods of advertising and created a real demand for secular works that before 1870 had not been extensively read. When in 1874 Relling began to publish Norden, he continued his bookstore as part of the new enterprise --- a precedent which Skandinaven and Budstikken were quick to follow. The combination of bookstore and newspaper was a happy one, for the paper, through its literary columns, created a demand for certain books, which was quickly supplied by the bookstore. Relling's was a shrewd business move, but at the same time it was a great factor in furthering more extensive reading among the people. {10}

In addition to running a regular literary column and long advertisements from Relling's bookstore, Norden, like the other newspapers, also regularly published some novel or tale as a serial; the weekly installment was printed in such a way that it could be cut out and, with other installments, bound into book form. Besides, it published bits of poetry, reprints of literary articles from Danish and Norwegian papers, letters from correspondents abroad which contained chatty accounts of authors' activities, their publications, and the reception of their works in the homeland. Finally, the columns were open to controversial articles dealing with literary as well as social or political matters. Readers found in Norden a fair anthology of Norwegian literature; some were urged to buy books from its bookstore; and many who had never seen the works of an author in book form were nevertheless familiar with his writings and the events in his daily life.

The articles embracing the controversy over a Doll's House are printed in English translation in the order of their appearance in Norden. Like most controversies among the Norwegians in America this one departs from the subject under consideration, but even so it reveals in an interesting fashion something of the intellectual life among the immigrants of the West in 1880.

I
P. P. IVERSLIE TO "NORDEN," August 25, 1880
"Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools." {11}

When I read Magnhild and Leonarda, I was reminded of the bright hope of Norway's future that Kristofer Brun in his Folkelige grundtanker found in Norway's poets. It seemed to me that these two works by Bjørnson gave evidence of a backward step instead of a step into the future. Instead of testifying to a growing moral strength, they seemed to me to give sad witness of moral degeneration. Now I have just read Ibsen's a Doll's House and I must say the same of that work. It is depressing and sad to observe the empty, godless life that it portrays. The characters move about completely in the dark --- and they can do nothing else so long as they refuse to see the light. Nora in the third act says to her husband that now --- after living together for eight years --- they have spoken their first serious words together. That is only natural. Where religion has no influence there is indeed no seriousness. When one considers the book's spiritual content it doesn't matter at all that this, like Ibsen's other works, is a masterpiece. The title a Doll's House is absolutely appropriate. Nora is in truth a doll and acts like one; and she talks like a doll, that is to say, like a being without a brain, or in any case a very insignificant one. Take for example the following remarks on pages 64 and 65:

KROGSTAD: The law takes no account of motives.

NORA: Then it must be a very bad law.

KROGSTAD: Bad or not, if I produce this document in court, you will be condemned according to law.

NORA: I don't believe that. Do you mean to tell me that a daughter has no right to spare her dying father trouble and anxiety? --- that a wife has no right to save her husband's life? I don't know much about the law, but I'm sure you'll find, somewhere, or another, that that is allowed. {12}

(Namely, to save her husband's life by any means, even with the help of a forged signature.

Ah life! ah life! Why art thou then
So passing sweet to mortal men? {13}

Ibsen has said in another place.)

On page 172 Nora says: "I hear, too, that the laws are different from what I thought, but I can't believe that they can be right. It appears that a woman has no right to spare her dying father, or to save her husband's life! I don't believe that." {14} One is reminded of Holberg's words to a woman spinner when she cut into his conversation: "I believe that the rokkehoved {15} is speaking!" In Magnhild and Leonarda we have had enough of childish nonsense from Mr. Bjørnson. If it is Ibsen's purpose to express his own opinions through Nora in the statements quoted, then one must truly say that Norway's greatest poets are entering their second childhood.

-- P. P. I.

II
HERM. WANG TO "NORDEN," September 1, 1880
Two foolish questions to two different persons

Motto: A fool can ask more questions than two wise men can answer.

1. To Norden's editor: How old is the contributor who in the last issue of your paper enlightened us with the information that Norway's greatest poets are entering their second childhood? Judging by his valiant style and his determined expressions I am not inclined to believe that he is much over ninety, but when I delve into a bit of psychological study it is necessary for me to get precise information.

2. To the above-mentioned contributor: You inform us that an esteemed poet has sent "childish nonsense" out into the world and immediately before that you speak of a "rokkehoved" who could talk (perhaps it could also write). You have explained who the poet is. But who is the rokkehoved?

Yours thirsting for enlightenment,

-- HERM. WANG

Answer to question no. 1: We do not know the age of the contributor referred to, but judging by his intellectual maturity surely he must be older than the questioner.

Ed..

III
P. P. IVERSLIE TO "NORDEN," September 15, 1880
To Mr. Herm. Wang

I could answer your question in the same tone that you adopted and say, for example, the following: If you cannot see from Nora's quoted remarks who the rokkehoved is, you can apply rokkehoved to whomever you will, for example, to anyone who in dumb adoration kowtows to "an esteemed poet" and accepts as good everything that pops into his head or whatever he stoops to write. But I do not consider it worth the trouble to quibble. The sole purpose of your question is to call me a rokkehoved (Why? Because I consider "an esteemed poet's wisdom" as foolishness), and that pleasure you can have. Since you are fully aware who it is you label rokkehoved, I do not need to answer your question. But I shall say a few words more about the original subject.

That a Doll's House advances a moral that is quite different from the Christian all are agreed. It is therefore futile to point out to unbelievers the play's shortcomings from a Christian point of view. But I found that a Doll's House contains absurdities quite apart from the Christian point of view. I suggested one of them in my article. I maintained that the contention that laws should accommodate themselves to the principle that "the end justifies the means" must be too much even for an unbeliever to swallow. Perhaps I am mistaken. But in any case we have one more example of what skepticism leads to.

Christianity teaches that no one is perfect, that consequently we must put up with one another, that therefore one party to the marriage contract must exercise forbearance with the other. By contrast, the moral of a Doll's House evidently is based on the view that people are self-sufficient, that therefore it is not necessary for one of a married couple to endure the other, but that he can go his way as soon as he or she discovers that the other does not meet his or her fancy. It is futile to point out the error in this opinion to those who have renounced Christianity. One thing, however, they should take into consideration, namely that the opinion under consideration eventually must lead to the dissolution of every bond of relationship. A brother can say to his sister: You are thus and so; I no longer regard you as my sister, or a sister can say the same to her brother. A father can say to his son: Your ideas are different from mine, therefore away with you; or the son can say to his father: You are so and so; I will not take care of you in your old age. The justification that Nora gave to her husband is ultimately explained to be that she no longer loves him; but what kind of relationship is there in which the conduct of the one is so nearly perfect that it may not wreck the affection of the other? But --- to use Ibsen's own words:

The need of willing ends not
When the power of willing dies! {16}

-- P. P .I.

IV
HERM. WANG 'TO "NORDEN," September 29, 1880
To P. P. I.

I received such a courteous answer to my question that perhaps I ought to remain silent. But when you take for granted that I subscribe to the morals of a Doll's House, I feel it my duty to protest. I am as far from agreeing with such morals as you are, and when I entered into this discussion it was certainly with no thought of defending the author's point of view. That "the end justifies the means" is an unchristian principle, is demonstrated once more in your "example of what skepticism leads to."

I have never, in either dumb or voiced adoration, kowtowed to an author, a critic, or any other human being, however infallible he may seem; and I think you are justified in criticizing the morals of a Doll's House. But to criticize is one thing; it is another to call our mother country's greatest poets "fools" because their attitude toward the problems of life differs from ours. And when anyone who can spell, brushes such attitudes aside as the "childish nonsense" of poets who "are entering their second childhood," then such a critic must bear a striking resemblance to Holberg's rokkehoved.

Next permit me to ask a favor of you. If we are to oppose each other in a newspaper controversy, would it not be best to limit ourselves to the question at hand and let the other's belief or unbelief rest in peace? You know very well that there is only One who can search the hearts of men, and since "Christianity" teaches that no one is "perfect," is it not possible that you are mistaken in your judgment concerning my religion? Do not be offended, but to me your article actually seems to be a trap. There seems to be a desire on your part that I should answer with something resembling an attack on Christianity, so that henceforth I would be denied the right to have any opinions on moral and religious problems. "The end justifies the means." Perhaps I am mistaken, but at the moment it struck me in this way. It therefore follows that I accept your word as complete assurance that you had no such intentions.

One thing more before I close. You state in your article, "A father can say to his son: Your ideas are different from mine, therefore away with you." Such things have often been said by relatives who under no circumstances could be called unbelievers. I know from experience that belief and tolerance often go hand in hand, but I know also that they are not always in agreement. That which creates the greatest number of freethinkers is, and has always been, the intolerance and the censure which stamp one's fellow men as fools and unbelievers the moment they depart from the narrow pathways of authoritative opinion.

Respectfully yours,
HERM. WANG

V
P. P. IVERSLIE TO "NORDEN," October 20, 1880
"Festina lente!" {17}

You are stepping a little too fast, Herm. Wang! In the first place I did not say I "took it for granted" that you subscribed to the morals of a Doll's House. You will find nothing in my article that says anything of the kind. To me it was "an open question" what morals you paid homage to. I have not judged your religion, belief, or unbelief. This you might have seen for yourself had you paid more attention to my words. The main contention in what I said with reference to "unbelievers," was that in a Doll's House I pointed out an "absurdity" which would be too much "even for an unbeliever to swallow," for it would be futile to point out the shortcomings of the play from a Christian point of view to those who do not accept the principles of Christianity. When I pointed out the above "absurdity" and when I took the attitude I did with reference to "unbelievers," I did not even know your name, and consequently could not possibly accuse you of unbelief. Even if you did "answer with something resembling an attack on Christianity," people would scarcely deny you the right to have opinions on moral and religious problems, because in our day it is usually the opponents of Christianity who have the most to say about morals and religion.

You say further: "But to criticize is one thing; it is another to call our mother country's greatest poets 'fools' because their attitude toward the problems of life differs from ours. And when anyone who can spell, brushes such attitudes aside as the 'childish nonsense' of poets who ' are entering their second childhood,' then such a critic must bear a striking resemblance to Holberg's rokkehoved."

"Anyone who can spell!" So you know all about me --- my talents and knowledge --- don't you? Where did you get your information? For all you know I can't even spell. The editor of Norden can correct my spelling, as he must do for so many others. On the other hand, perhaps I know a few more things than mere spelling!

We know, for example, of B. Bjørnson's "scientific investigation" concerning one of life's problems, and that has to do with the greatest problem of life, namely the origin and content of the books of the Bible. I can tell you that there are books of science which have gone deeper into the study of the origin and content of the Bible than have those with which B. B. is familiar, and furthermore that there are people sufficiently enlightened and eager for truth both to read them and understand them. One can also on his own initiative understand the Holy Scriptures sufficiently well to be astonished at the superficial and --- to use the word which nettles you --- " foolish " assertions which this great poet makes with respect to some of them.

I have said that you are in too much of a hurry, and this is true too when you say that I have called my "mother country's greatest poets 'fools.'" I have not done this, but I do say without hesitation that when our" greatest poets" profess themselves to be most wise, they are most foolish. The man who used the words I have quoted {18} likewise included in his judgment the greatest poets of his fatherland, or more correctly, of Greece and Rome, and without doubt he judged them thus because they had "a different attitude toward the problems of life" from his. Our great poets' attitude toward the problems of life has not yet approached the abominations which the author of the "Epistle to the Romans" takes almost an entire chapter to enumerate --- it will be some time before the influence which Christianity exerts will permit this to happen --- but personally I have no doubt that their attitude will take them finally to the same destination. *

* Compare, for example, the following from Taine, "Our inborn human shortcomings are as natural as the deformities of petals on a plant; what we accept as a deformity is typical; what may seem like the overthrowing of a law is the fulfillment of a law." A "valiant style" and a "determined expression!" In another place he calls people "dupes" who deny themselves the pleasures and the irregularities which others permit themselves; and among other small irregularities he mentions the seducing of one's neighbor's wife, debauchery, etc. [lverslie's footnote.]

I agree with you that we must confine ourselves to the question at hand. This question was whether or no we could find foolishness in the later works of our greatest poets. I declared that we could, in a Doll's House, among others, and pointed out a few of Nora's speeches as proof, saying that they reminded me of Holberg's rokkehoved. To say that the supposed foolishness is wisdom would be "to confine ourselves to the subject at hand," but it does not follow that one must cry out, "No, you yourself are a rokkehoved!" Therefore, who is it who has not stuck to the question?

With respect to what you have said concerning "authoritative opinion," I shall inform you that I have published a great deal that shows conclusively that I have not bowed to any human authority, either on the one side or the other.

With respect to the example I mentioned, you say, "Such things have often been said by relatives who under no circumstances could be called unbelievers." Yes, perhaps they were not unbelievers (vantro) but merely nominal believers (vanetroende). One must guard against blaming Christianity because some of its adherents do not understand and others do not follow its principles. I was scarcely five years old before I noticed that the greater part of the people I lived with did not live according to their creed. But just as little as it occurred to me then to call Christianity the religion of the ungodly and the evil-minded because its followers used profane and obscene language, just so little does it now occur to me to call it the religion of intolerance and slavery because its followers look upon it as excellent for "discipline."

I hope that what I have said has convinced both you and others that the judgment of those who dare to doubt the great "authority" of our mother country's greatest poets is not very easily swept aside by boyish sportiveness (a sportiveness which you showed in your first contribution and continue in your next article against me). When a person gives proof of his assertions, it takes reason and not a "box on the ear" to disprove it.

Respectfully,
P. P. I.

VI
HERM. WANG TO "NORDEN," November 3, 1880
"Docendo discimus" {19}

I have the impression, Mr. P. P. I., that the editor of Norden and our readers have had enough of our newspaper controversy, however interesting it may be for us, and therefore I shall not spend very much time on your last "fast ride." This I can do more easily since your last contribution is merely a happy solution of the problem which proved so difficult for one of Henrik Ibsen's heroes --- to go around "the great Boyg." {20} In the end you not only deny that you have stamped me as an unbeliever, but also that you have called the poets "fools." I wish to thank you for this retraction and request that you apply your own logic to my expression "anyone who can spell." Were I to use the same methods you have used, you would discover that I have never accused you of being unable to spell any more than you have accused me of being an unbeliever. With reference to what you have elucidated, the one as well as the other is an "open question.''

I must thank you also for the deference you have shown my character. From "unbeliever" I have been promoted to a "mischievous boy" and a "fast stepper." Since there are several advantages (not counting the schoolteacher's ruler) connected with being a boy, and since as a" fast stepper" I come into closer relationship with Balaam's ass, who without doubt could talk as easily as the rokkehoveder who now have "the most to say," then I have every reason to be thankful.

You interchange the words unbelievers (vantroende) and nominal believers (vanetroende) as though there were no difference between them except the small e. There is, however, the same distinction as between honor and hypocrisy, nothing more nor less. To use an example from the matter at hand: Nora was, in so far as I can understand a Doll's House, vanetroende when she committed forgery, and vantroende when she left her husband after his --- with your permission --- uncharitable treatment of her. And if I should be required to choose between these two acts, there would be no doubt in my mind which I would choose. For the sake of prudence I must add that I am not guilty of either. But just the same it is not fair to take a couple of speeches out of their context and on that basis make rokkehoved of the whole thing. I look upon the play as a description of the life of the "cultivated classes" and not as a lesson in morality. Therefore, I consider myself under no obligation to prove that foolishness is wisdom. You yourself should prove that there is foolishness before you shout rokkehoved, or else the echoes of your own voice will come back to you --- and that is exactly what has happened this time. What would you say if someone declared that the Bible fostered incest because it contains the story of Lot's daughters? Even though I scarcely know you, I believe that you would protest, and I should agree with you, even though I were an unbeliever.

You say that one cannot blame Christianity because its followers are not what they should be. I agree with you and go a step further in the same direction. I maintain that one cannot blame unbelief for the sins committed by an individual freethinker. What entitles us to judge our adversaries more severely than we judge ourselves? See Matt. 5:44 and 7:1, 2, and 12.

You think that you have convinced me that your criticism is perfect. Had you at the same time learned that others also can have convictions and even have reasons for them, you would have been doubly rewarded. Docendo discimus. I understand now how you can make the "box on the ear" --- with which you, in real schoolteacher fashion, close your argument --- fit me, since I overlooked the rokkehoved which you yourself introduced in place of argument. If a description is to mean anything it must be couched in such strong terms as "childish nonsense," "enter his second childhood," "fools," "foolishness," "unbelievers," "boyish sportiveness," "fast stepper," and so on. I personally believe that I have convinced you of nothing, because you are evidently too "intellectually mature" to learn anything from my boyishness. But, thanking you for what you have taught me, I lay my pen aside with respect to a Doll's House. Good luck another time with a new question, if you so desire.
Respectfully,
HERM. WANG

Notes

<1> The first English discussion of Ibsen in the American press did not appear until 1882. Annette Andersen, "Ibsen in America," in Scandinavian Studies and Notes, vol. 14, no. 5, p. 67 (February, 1937).

<2> It is interesting to note that the first English performance of a Doll's House in America likewise occurred in the West. On June 2 and 3, 1882, an" emasculated adaptation agreeable to the demands of current taste" was presented in the Grand Opera House at Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Einar Haugen, "Ibsen in America: A Forgotten Performance and an Unpublished Letter," in Journal of English and Germanic Philology, 33:396-420 (July, 1934). The next performance took place at Louisville, Kentucky, on December 7, 1883. Robert Herndon Fife and Ansten Anstensen, "Henrik Ibsen on the American Stage," in American-Scandinavian Review, 16:218-228 (April, 1928).

<3> See Miriam Alice Franc, Ibsen in England, 24-56 (Boston, 1919), and Halvdan Koht, Life of Ibsen, 2:267 (New York, 1931).

<4> The influence of the Norwegian newspaper may be deduced from Skandinaven's estimate, March 3, 1874, that the five leading newspapers had a circulation of at least twenty-five thousand. Estimating five readers to a paper, the total number of readers was one hundred and twenty-five thousand, or sixty out of every hundred Norwegians in America.

<5> In this respect Iverslie and the Norwegian ministers in America were no different from the critics in Norway. Ibsen complained of the Norwegian critics in a letter to George Brandes on January 3, 1882, "That enfeeblement of the judgment which . . . is an inevitable consequence of protracted occupation with theological studies, betrays itself more especially in the judging of human character, human actions, and human motives." See the Letters of Henrik Ibsen, translated by John Nilsen Laurvik and Mary Morison, 349 (New York, 1908).

<6> Peer Strømme says of Iverslie that he was "a man of great learning, but altogether too solemn and serious and chemically free of all sense of humor." Erindringer, 176 (Minneapolis,

<7> For an account of Iverslie's life see Reform (Eau Claire, Wisconsin), May 10, 1921; the list of contributors to Jul i vesterheimen, 1917; and Gudbrandsdalslagets aarbog, no. 9-10, p. 166.

<8> Johannes B. Wist, ed., Norsk-amerikanernes festskrift 1914, 62, 97, 100, 171, 302 (Decorah, Iowa, 1914); Normanden (Grand Forks, North Dakota), August 31, 1923; Sønner af Norge, 20:275 (September, 1923).

<9> Who's Who among Pastors in All the Norwegian Lutheran Synods of America, 1843-1927, 213 (Minneapolis, 1928); and Norsk-amerikanernes festskrift 1914, 85-89.

<10> For an account of Norden see Norsk-amerikanernes festskrift 1914, 84-89.

<11> Romans, 1:22

<12> Collected Works of Henrik lbsen, 7:53 (New York, 1928).

<13> Works of Henrik Ibsen, 3: 26 (Viking edition -- New York, 1911). The original reads:

Livet, liver; det er svært,
hvor liver er de godtfolk kært!

From Didrik Arup Seip, Henrik Ibsen, samlede digterverker, 2: 129 (Christiania, 1922).

<14> Collected Works of Henrik Ibsen, 7:149.

<15> Literally, distaff; employed derisively of people with weak intellect. We will use the Norwegian word throughout because no English word quite conveys the same meaning.

<16> Works of Henrik Ibsen, 3:288. The original reads,

"Viljens pligter
ender ej, hvor evnen svigter!"

Seip, Henrik Ibsen, samlede digterverker, 2:278.

<17> "Make haste slowly!"

<18> Saint Paul.

<19> " By teaching we learn."

<20> Peer Gynt.

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