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Rolvaag‘s Search for Soria Moria
    by Raychel A. Haugrud (Volume 26: Page 103)

Since 1925, when Ole Edvart Rølvaag became a literary hero with the publication of Giants in the Earth, critics have examined the themes of his books. Consistently they have agreed that all of his novels deal primarily with a single concept: the Norwegian-American dilemma. This interpretation evidently germinated in 1927, when Lincoln Colcord, Rølvaag’s close friend and cotranslator of the English version of Giants in the Earth, wrote that Rølvaag’s "only aim is to tell of the contributions of his people to American life." {1} Apparently picking up the same thought in 1932, Hanna Astrup Larsen, a Rølvaag critic, said that his theme was a treatment "of the entire problem of adjustment as it presents itself to all immigrant groups." {2} A year later Einar Haugen observed that Rølvaag conceived of everything between two poles—the past in Norway and the future of the Norwegians in America. {3}

In 1939, Rølvaag’s biographers, colleagues at St. Olaf College, elaborated on this theory, saying that his specific life task was "to show how his kinsmen settled on the prairie; to indicate the cultural needs peculiar to the American situation; to make clear that culture and religion properly go hand in hand in the maintenance of society; to impress upon coming generations that the early struggle cost much in terms of life and lost values." {4} Even the authors of doctoral dissertations on Rølvaag’s published works have seen the Norwegian-American dilemma as his most consistent subject. Robert L. Stevens, writing in 1955, believed that in his "first published novel, Rølvaag stated the theme that was to occupy his attention throughout all his novels: the relation of the immigrant to the two worlds—the new and the old." {5} Three years later, Paul Reigstad said that in each novel there "can be discovered a theme basic to his program of cultural conservatism: the need of the Norwegian immigrant to retain the language and traditions of the old world in order to adjust successfully to the new." {6} That same year Gerald Thorson wrote that Rølvaag’s purpose was "to help the immigrant to fulfill the promises expected of him in the building of the new nation." {7}

Historians, too, have seen the Norwegian-American dilemma as Rølvaag’s major concept. For example, in 1959, the well-known literary historian Robert E. Spiller wrote that Rølvaag showed the hard transition from the Old to the New World and taught that, to be a good American, one must be rooted in the old culture. {8} Theodore C. Blegen, Minnesota historian, reiterated in 1963 the idea that the theme of Rølvaag’s works was the interpretation of the immigrant’s transition from one culture to another. {9}

If indeed the Norwegian-American dilemma had been his major concern, Rølvaag’s novels should have been bought by the Norwegian immigrants, but not even his best-selling book, Giants in the Earth, sold because of its appeal to the Norwegians. {10} Other people bought and appreciated this novel because it touched on something deeper than a social dilemma, something that is of basic concern to everyone. In it, as in his other writings, he examined what every man in his own way, consciously or unconsciously, is primarily seeking: the source and nature of happiness.

The search might be thought of as a progression toward Soria Moria castle, in Norwegian folklore the symbol for perfect happiness. {11} According to legend, the path to the castle is not clearly marked, and the journey is solitary because all people are different and therefore cannot reach the goal in the same manner. Rølvaag, realizing this fact, created characters with differing temperaments who searched for individual happiness. At the same time, he showed that there was one fundamental requirement for all: knowledge of life. In 1923 or 1924 he said, "I sum up my entire philosophy in four words: be good to life." {12} And in a class lecture he explained, "Your success as a human being will not depend so much upon what you know or what you achieve, but rather upon your understanding of life, your antipathy against or your sympathy for it." {13}

To know and to be good to life, then, were basic to Rølvaag’s concept of happiness. Although the journey to Soria Mona was solitary, it was not isolated from human experience, but rather surrounded by it. Naturally, Rølvaag did not think that one could be good to life simply by observing it; the individual had to participate by attaining a self-made goal—a mission. As he said in one lecture one must recognize that there "shall be life; there shall be kinds within life; there shall be individuals within each kind. In terms of this fundamental law we measure our own functional value, our talents and our mission." {14} Having set a goal, each person can follow his own path to Soria Moria and find there what Askeladden, the hero of the folktale, found. The lad, who searched for and ultimately reached the castle, "saw his own potentialities, that’s what he saw! God’s deep intention with him. And the eventuality of his finally reaching the castle and winning the princess after incredible difficulties is merely the folk mind’s poetic way of expressing an ethical truth. Simply stated, it means that he gained his own soul, his own Self. That’s the most which any human being can win." {15}

Rølvaag himself had to struggle to discover and then to achieve his own life mission. As a child in Norway, he dreamed of being a poet making songs for people to sing. {16} The song within him pressed for utterance, but when he tried to sing there was no melody, only a sound like the hooting of an owl. By the time he was ten, he attempted to "sing his song" by writing a novel. Isolating himself in his bedroom one afternoon, he wrote diligently until as many as five pages were completed; however, when his older brother entered the room and wished to know what Ole was doing, he was ashamed and destroyed the manuscript. This ended his literary career for a while, and it looked as if he would become a fisherman as the other members of his family had been. At fifteen, Rølvaag joined a fishing crew. Soon, however, he became discontented with the life he was leading and, in January, 1893, when his ship was caught in a terrible storm, he decided that his happiness would never be found in the career of a fisherman. Years later, thinking about that experience, he reflected: "It struck me that my way of living was awfully futile. I couldn’t bear to think of myself drifting around, with life over before it had hardly begun. Something inside me struggled for release. What it was I didn’t exactly know, but it made me vastly unhappy... . I felt a resentment against Destiny. Why was my life to be snuffed out just as it was about to begin? Fear I had not; only a dull, aching resentment." {17}

Attempting to escape from his predicament, Rølvaag wrote to his uncle in South Dakota, asking for a ticket to America; it did not arrive until 1896. When he received it, he was anxious to go and informed his boss, the "sea king," that he would soon be leaving for America. His employer was not at all pleased with this decision and told him, "You are making a great mistake. If you send back that ticket to your uncle, I will buy this boat for you." {18} The boat referred to was one of the finest available. Naturally Rølvaag was shocked at such an offer. "Never in wildest fancies," he recalled, "had I dreamed of such a thing coming to me at this time. Here was success at the start, material success, along with the backing of the man I respected above all others. . . . What ought I to do? How could I refuse such a splendid offer? It was as if my little world had laid a plot against me, as if Satan were tempting me with a kingdom." {19}

Rølvaag wondered whether his heart would stop aching if he accepted the boat and became prosperous. He could not answer his own question because he was not sure why he felt as he did, except that he was not convinced that he was fulfilling himself. And so he climbed a hill looking over the ocean, pondered the hardest problem he had ever faced:

Should he remain in Norway as a fisherman and the owner of a fine vessel, or should he go to America where an unknown, and possibly satisfying, life awaited him? All afternoon he sat there trying to determine his future. Finally he made a decision. "I’m sorry, sir," he told the sea king, "but I cannot accept your offer. I have decided to go to America." {20} It was the only answer he could give, for, as L. W. Boe, president of St. Olaf College, said after Rølvaag’s death: "He loved Norway, the land of his birth, but America was for him the land of promise." {21}

Rølvaag left Norway in 1896 to go "out into the world to seek my fortune, my happiness. I will not find it. I do not think so.. . . Strange it is indeed how consuming this longing for a better existence can be. I hope that God in His great mercy will count me as one of His children for the sake of Jesus Christ. Then, yes, then I shall obtain the true happiness. Then too shall my yearning be satisfied." {22}

For the first two years in America, he worked on Sivert Eidem’s farm in South Dakota, but he never found satisfaction in agriculture. As early as August 20, 1897, he expressed his discontent: "But worst of all is not the hard work. . . . The worst is that I am dissatisfied in my present situation. I do not enjoy life. I go here stomping and mumbling to myself among cows and pigs, thinking of the broad shining waves that roll on the ocean." {23} His yearning for something better and different was expressed again the following year, when he wrote in his diary on March 14: "This gnawing restlessness within me is terrible. I truly believe that it will finally drive me crazy. The worst of it all is that I know where peace is to be found, but I am not able to seek it there. . . . I want something today; tomorrow something entirely different. I am like the ship drifting aimlessly without rudder on the great ocean following a raging storm. . . . I [am] completely at the mercy of my feelings. But this endless drifting on the sea of emotion, I cannot in the long run endure. The ship will finally spring a leak and sink." {24}

Six days later he once more recorded his restlessness: "Am I to continue the life I am now leading, or shall I make something of myself? . . . Mighty strange it will be if I am not some day permitted to do ‘something.’ I feel within me the surge of powers; whether they are to bring results, I do not know. .. . This much is certain that if I am to do something or amount to something in the future, it will have to be in another place than Union County, South Dakota." {25}

For a while Rølvaag considered enlisting in the United States Army for the Spanish-American War, but instead he decided to help with the fall harvest. Later he attempted to get work in Sioux City, but he found nothing and came back to Eidem’s farm. By this time, Bertha Helseth of Sioux City had come to the community, and Rølvaag had begun to take a romantic interest in her. In spite of this attachment, he could not continue as a farmhand. After a little more than two years, he gave up farming to go to school—a move that seemed to be the lesser evil.

In November, 1898, he entered Augustana Academy in Canton, South Dakota, and at last found what he had been looking for. "The moment I came in touch with books and study," he said, "it was as if a heavy curtain had been lifted. . . . I found that this was what I had always wanted." {26} He was now on the right track, for after finishing the preparatory school course, he graduated from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, and then went to Royal Frederick’s University in Oslo. The rest of his life he devoted to books and study, becoming a professor at St. Olaf and an outstanding novelist recognized in both Europe and the New World.

In America, Rølvaag’s search for happiness was to be successful. Here was the country that he loved, for in it he could "sing his song." Once later, when he had landed in New York on his return from Norway, he observed some horses that refused to pull a streetcar until the driver pushed them. He thought, "This was America—hurry and rush, clang, clang, over the top—if you can’t do it one way, try another! Such a thing as that would never have happened in a European street; such a thing as that would never have been done by a European motorman. And I liked it, I liked it. Tears came to my eyes. This was America, my country. I had come home." {27}

Obviously Rølvaag’s concept of the way to realize happiness developed from his own experiences. Since he had achieved it by finding a life mission, he advocated the same for others. Even as a student, he had formulated this idea, for he wrote in one of his papers, "I believe that each an [sic] everyone of us is created for a special purpose, for a special calling. . . . If you seek true happiness head [sic] that call!" {28} This he repeated throughout his life.

In one class lecture, he declared: "Only as far as the individual can realize himself and all his possibilities will a new society be possible." {29} In another he said, "The law of the fullest self-realization, a realization according to the eternal plans of God, not of the Ego, is the great law of human life." {30} Students often heard him use the words labor, calling, and life, while invariably adding "as his own conviction that a purposive creative life is the only existence that brings a lasting satisfaction. And even if it did not, he would have to urge it, nevertheless, because the hand of life, the living God, was upon him with the imperative must. ‘I must, I must, a voice in me is calling, deep in my soul, and I will follow it!'" {31}

In this way Rølvaag urged people to heed a life calling, keeping in mind, however, that happiness could not be reached in the same manner by everyone, as each has a distinct nature. This is clearly seen in his lecture "Life": "There shall be life; there shall be kinds within life; there shall be individuals within each kind." {32} He repeated the same thought in an article in the St. Olaf College newspaper, the Manitou Messenger: "There is no formula in life; you will have to make a new equation for every human being that comes along." {33} In writing his books, he remembered this fact and created idiosyncratic characters each of whom had to struggle within himself to understand life and to participate in it by finding a mission that would lead him to happiness, to the castle of Soria Moria.

This view pervades all of Rølvaag’s novels. His protagonists are restless men with great expectations and women with secret longings and hopes that men cannot comprehend. They are constantly in search of an unknown something that lies outside the self—something that is not the self, something that is not even necessarily human, something that will support and transform the self into its ultimate potential without at the same time being engulfed or stifled. In his early novels, Pure Gold (1920) and The Boat of Longing (1921), true happiness is often not found simply because those searching for it do not understand or have empathy for life. The characters of the first novel do not find it, for they refuse to participate in the life of others and instead isolate themselves from people in order to accumulate gold—a substitute that can never bring them lasting satisfaction. Thus they become sidetracked in their quest. As a young married couple, Lizzie and Louis Houglum, having the normal aspirations of people their age, think that their fulfillment would be best achieved by working hard, having adequate money, and rearing children. However, remaining childless and needing something to love before finding happiness, they choose gold, not realizing that it can never bring them true and lasting joy. They adore their money—every gold piece, every silver dollar, every bank note—and each supports and encourages the other’s love for it. As a result, they become more and more isolated and live in a self-created world.

Finally their mania becomes so pronounced that it can be labeled folie a deux, a term describing psychotic behavior shared by two people. Although they are neurotic, Lizzie and Louis think they are happy; they enjoy their world because it permits them to love something. But external influences begin to interfere with their lives, causing them great unhappiness when they lose some of their money. It is not until they sell their farm, their sole contact with life, that they realize they are not, and never have been, really happy. They have cut themselves off from life. They die lonely deaths separated even from one another. The money they have saved is as worthless as the cloud of smoke into which it disintegrates. In their journey to Soria Moria castle, Lizzie and Louis take the wrong road, a course separated from people and ending ultimately in futility.

Nor is the castle found in The Boat of Longing. Nils Vaag does enter the path leading to Soria Moria and comes closer to happiness than do the Houglums. Unfortunately, the hero decides to become an artist before he understands life. He sees life only as perfect and refuses to recognize its flaws. Without understanding it fully, he is never able to realize his goal. He, too, is on the wrong road to the castle.

Unlike Lizzie and Louis, who have earthy and concrete ambitions, Nils is a dreamer. He is an idealist whose goal is not that of the common man. Rather, it is a vague longing to fulfill his artistic ambitions in a world that is perfect. If he can accomplish this, he will be happy; he will find the inside of the castle of Soria Mona. Seeking an ideal setting, he travels to America, but there he finds that the perfection he had imagined does not exist. At first, he tries to escape from the dismal, harsh truths of the actual world, seeking solace in his self-created one. Finally, however, he realizes that only when he comes to know actual life can he find fulfillment. As an artist, he has to live among men; he has to be aware of human experience in the depths, where sorrow, despair, and evil lurk. {34} Yet he must keep the vision of a perfect world before him. When he begins to study people, he starts the long, solitary journey toward Soria Moria. How far he progresses, how close he comes to the castle, is not revealed, but at least he has found the right path. In these early books Rølvaag gave little or no encouragement that true happiness can ever be found.

Rølvaag’s later novels—Giants in the Earth (1924, 1925), Peder Victorious (1928), and Their Fathers’ God (1931)— are not that bleak, for even though no character in them attains perfect happiness, each does discover the way to Soria Moria. These stories are concerned not with the discovery of the road, but with finding the castle itself.

In Giants in the Earth, Per Hansa, a man aware of the joy of living, determines that his happiness lies in America, where he can find adventure through seeing new places and new people—and where he has a chance of becoming wealthy. So he journeys to South Dakota to create his kingdom. There he finds what he has been searching for—adventure and wealth. His view of happiness, however, is limited, for he is unaware that he cannot attain perfect happiness in this way. This goal for him could come not only from adventure and wealth but also from the relationship with a loving wife. But while he is struggling to achieve his objectives he ignores the temperament of his wife, thinking that whatever pleases him will also please her. Unfortunately the strain tells and she becomes insane. Per Hansa then loses his dearest companion. As his best friend is dying, depression drives him to a fatal decision—to succumb to fate. He goes out into the blizzard on the open prairie knowing he will never return.

When Per Hansa’s body is discovered, "his face was ashen and drawn. His eyes were set toward the west." {35} These two sentences summarize the type of fulfillment he finds: that life is hard and that there is no perfect happiness. He experiences a limited feeling of joy in adventure and material success, as he transforms a fairy tale into a living reality. Like Moses at the River Jordan, however, he is not allowed to take the final step. Unlike the fairy-tale hero, he cannot "live happily ever after," for no human being can find perfect happiness.

Like her husband, Beret also knows which road she should follow to find Soria Moria—to be really happy, she feels, she should have lived with Per Hansa in Norway. But her husband had left the old country to go to America, as she had done, too, knowing that she could never find contentment except with him. But Beret quickly realizes that she can never be happy living in America; her homeland is much too precious. In Giants in the Earth, Rølvaag portrays how her unhappiness increases to the point that she loses her sanity—and not until a minister reunites her with her homeland through religion does she recover.

After Per Hansa’s death, Beret has to determine for herself how best to reach Soria Moria. In Peder Victorious she finally decides to remain on the Dakota plain to fulfill her husband’s dreams of establishing a kingdom. She also resolves to maintain her religious and cultural ties with Norway, in this way combining two sources of strength, her husband and her homeland. How near she comes to the castle is revealed in Peder Victorious and Their Fathers’ God. She approaches very close, but she cannot enter, because she is too critical of her fellow men. Her basic flaws—that she observes old laws and customs too strictly, that she is too easily frightened, and that her religion is dogmatic—are seen in Giants in the Earth. These traits are not overpowering, however, because Beret is, at the same time, a kind-hearted woman.

In the following books Beret changes. In Peder Victorious she is dictatorial and possessive of her children to the point of being nasty, particularly after they marry. In Their Fathers’ God she becomes an even less sympathetic character. Her acts of kindness are extremely few; she is a dominating, inconsiderate mother-in-law who refuses to accept her son’s wife, an attitude understandable, but not excusable, in light of her strong allegiance to her homeland. She turns into a tiresome complainer. Earlier, especially in Giants in the Earth, she never found fault; her fears she generally kept to herself and her wishes were mostly displayed in her actions. But in Their Fathers’ God she complains often, even on her deathbed. She has become a whining, inconsiderate hag, and therefore she can never find complete happiness.

Peder Victorious, son of the adventurer and extrovert Per Hansa and the traditionalist and introvert Beret, reacts as might be expected of their child: he becomes both an adventurer and a traditionalist. Adventure is constantly important to him; throughout his growing years he realizes that he needs excitement, new experiences, and new ideas to keep him satisfied. But he does not always know that his Norwegian heritage is essential to his happiness; consequently, as he grows up, more and more he disregards the very things his mother holds sacred—the Norwegian religion, culture, and language. He wants to be an American, a desire which culminates when he marries Susie, an Irish Catholic girl.

After their marriage, he slowly comes to realize that—unlike the routes of his parents which led directly to the castle—his pursuit of happiness is to be a long, winding one. He sets himself the concrete goal of becoming a politician but his method is wrong; also, his heritage is extremely important for his self-fulfillment. He cannot be simply an "American" politician, but rather a "Norwegian American." After his mother’s death, he comes to understand this fact more clearly and eventually knows that the Irish and Norwegian cultures cannot be mixed. Because he cannot remake his wife into a Norwegian and the home atmosphere stifles him, he and Susie separate. He can now follow a more direct route to Soria Moria. So Their Fathers’ God ends with a victory for Peder. Although his marriage is ruined, he has saved his inner self, which he can cultivate and nourish in seeking a satisfying life. He has gradually come to know that his happiness can be found only by synthesizing the past with the present.

Just as Peder discovers that his happiness lies in being a Norwegian, his wife understands that hers lies in being an Irishwoman. In much the same manner as Peder, she comes to this realization: They seek happiness with one another but find that the path is too long and too winding. They can never find Soria Moria together, for they are of cultures that cannot be mixed. First, she thinks that she can abandon her heritage and find happiness with a husband of different background. But as she lives in a Norwegian household, she discovers how out of place she really is. Once more in her former home, she realizes deeply that she needs to preserve her own culture, that only in this way can she reach the castle. Thus, when Peder refuses to let her be an Irish Catholic in his house, she has to leave him permanently. Now she, like Peder, is free to discover and maintain her inner self—the only way she can find true happiness. Rølvaag in his trilogy shows that happiness is attainable only if people are good to life.

Beginning with a self-created, sometimes unconscious, view of the nature and source of happiness, each of Rølvaag’s protagonists moves through successive stages, modifying his idea about how to achieve perfect happiness to fit his life’s circumstances. For every character, fulfillment is found in a different way. Rølvaag shows that there is one requirement for true happiness—a knowledge of life, which includes understanding it and participating in it. Therefore, his characters search for an unknown something which will support and maintain the self without engulfing it. Some find happiness; others do not. In Rølvaag’s view total happiness is impossible.

Because Rølvaag’s major concern in his novels was to trace individual searches for the source and nature of happiness, they are of lasting merit. Just before his death, he commented, "Well, if there is anything deeply true in what I have said, it will some day prevail." {36} It has indeed, for his novels are full of the realities of life: he has probed the verities of the human heart; he has examined a universal truth; he has dealt with the problem that every man, throughout all ages, has had to examine for himself. Rølvaag was not merely a lecturer, a preacher, or a writer. Primarily he was an interpreter of life. As such he wrote to show man the way to discover happiness. When one is "good to life," he can find the road to fulfillment. Like the hero of the folktale, he, too, can reach Soria Mona, the place where

Askeladden has taken the land
Unto his governing,
He has wooed the Princess of Soria Moria
And wed her with a ring,
But of the array of that wedding day
No man of words may sing. {37}


<1> Lincoln Colcord, "Introduction," in Ole Edvart Rølvaag, Giants in the Earth, xxiii (New York, 1927).

<2> Hanna Astrup Larsen, "Ole Edvart Rølvaag," in American-Scandinavian Review, 20:9 (January, 1932).

<3> Einar Haugen, "O. E. Rølvaag: Norwegian American," in Norwegian-American Studies and Records, 7:53 (Northfield, Minnesota, 1933).

<4> Theodore Jorgenson and Nora O. Solum, Ole Edvart Rølvaag: A Biography, 236 (New York, 1939).

<5> Robert Lowell Stevens, "Ole Edvart Rølvaag: A Critical Study of His Norwegian-American Novels," an unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Illinois, 1955.

<6> Paul M. Reigstad, "The Art and Mind of O. E. Rølvaag," an unpublished doctoral dissertation University of New Mexico, 1958. This study has been published under the title Rølvaag: His Life and Art (Lincoln, Nebraska, 1972).

<7> Gerald Howard Thorson, "America Is Not Norway: The Story of the Norwegian-American Novel," an unpublished doctoral dissertation, Columbia University, 1957.

<8> Robert E. Spiller et al, Literary History of the United States, 689 (New York, 1959).

<9> Theodore C. Blegen, Minnesota: A History of the State, 514 (Minneapolis, 1963),

<10> Jorgenson and Solum, Ole Edvart Rølvaag, 386.

<11> According to legend, Askeladden, aware of the distant, hidden castle of Soria Moria, went in search of it. After traveling over rough land and encountering wild animals, he found the castle, gained entrance, destroyed the evil troll who had taken possession, and wed the princess, thus obtaining absolute happiness. This legend was written as a poem by Thomas Job, "The Ballad of Soria Moria," in Ole Edvart Rølvaag, The Boat of Longing, 138 (New York, 1933).

<12> Jorgenson and Solum, Ole Edvart Rølvaag, 264.

<13> Ole Edvart Rølvaag, "Life," quoted in Jorgenson and Solum, Ole Edvart Rølvaag, 267.

<14> Ibid.

<15> Rølvaag, The Boat of Longing, 146.

<16> This and the remaining information on Rølvaag’s life is found in the following works: Ole Edvart Rølvaag, "The Romance of a Life," in American Prefaces: Journal of Critical and Imaginative Writing, 1:99—101 (April, 1936), reprinted in Jorgenson and Solum, Ole Edvart Rølvaag, 1—11; Jorgenson and Solum, Ole Edvart Rølvaag, 11—53; Colcord, "Introduction," in Rølvaag, Giants in the Earth, xxili—xxxiv; Lincoln Colcord, "Rølvaag the Fisherman Shook His Fist at Fate," in American Magazine, 105:36—37, 188— 92 (March, 1928).

<17> Colcord, "Rølvaag the Fisherman," 37.

<18> Op. cit., 188.

<19> Op. cit., 188.

<20> Op. cit., 190.

<21> L. W. Boe, quoted in "Literary World Mourns Rølvaag," in Northfield (Minnesota) News, November 13, 1931.

<22> Ole Edvart Rølvaag, "Diary," quoted in Jorgenson and Solum, Ole Edvart Rølvaag, 26—28.

<23> Ole Edvart Rølvaag, Amerika breve, translated and quoted in Jorgenson and Solum, Ole Edvart Rølvaag, 39. Amerika breve has been translated by Ella Valborg Tweet and Solveig Zempel under the title The Third Life of Per Smevik (Minneapolis, 1971).

<24> Rølvaag, "Diary," quoted in Jorgenson and Solum, Ole Edvart Rølvaag, 41.

<25> Op. cit., 42.

<26> Colcord, "Rølvaag the Fisherman," 190.

<27> Op. cit., 192.

<28> Ole Edvart Rølvaag, "Inequality and Service," an unpublished paper read before a Luther League meeting in 1904 or 1905, in the Rølvaag Papers, archives of the Norwegian-American Historical Association, Northfield.

<29> Ole Edvart Rølvaag, "Lecture on Ibsen," quoted in Jorgenson and Solum, Ole Edvart Rølvaag, 276.

<30> Erling Dittmann, in "The Immigrant Mind: A Study in Rølvaag," in Christian Liberty, 1:44 (October, 1952).

<31> Jorgenson and Solum, Ole Edvart Rølvaag, 297. The quote is the opening lines of Ibsen’s play Catiline.

<32> Op. cit. 267.

<33> Ole Edvart Rølvaag, "Everyday Lives," an undated clipping from the Manitou Messenger (St. Olaf College, Northfield).

<34> Reigstad, "The Art and Mind of O. E. Rølvaag."

<35> Rølvaag, Giants in the Earth, 465.

<36> Theodore Jorgenson, "The Main Factors in Rølvaag’s Authorship," in Norwegian-American Studies and Records, 10:151 (Northfield, 1938).

<37> Job, "The Ballad of Soria Moria," in Rølvaag, The Boat of Longing, 138.

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