If you followed the Sochi Olympics you probably know that Norway was overrepresented in so far as winning medals go. They came in third place with 26 medals, 11 gold. Not bad for a country with a population of a little over 5 million people.
But the Norwegians need not only be proud of their athletes but also of their Nobel Laureates for Literature. Three in all. One woman: Sigrid Undset.
Born the same year as Virginia Woolf and James Joyce (1882) Sigrid Undset, at the age of 25, made her literary debut with a short, realistic novel on adultery. It created a stir, and she found herself ranked as a promising young author in Norway. Its English translation is out this month (March 2014).
“I have been unfaithful to my husband” is the novel’s opening sentence. Written in diary form the novel documents the inner life of a young woman disappointed by the conventions of marriage and longing for passion.
It was, however, her masterpieces – epic medieval trilogy Kristin Lavransdatter, published between 1920 and 1922, and the four-volume Olav Audunssøn, published between 1925 and 1927 which won her the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1928.
Photo by Alvilde Torp of Sigrid Undset at her desk writing Kristin Lavransdatter.
Here’s a country that truly honors its writers
While driving in my car I recently picked up an interview on the possibility of Norway hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics. One of the interviewees was against this because of its costs. He stated that it was better to spend that kind of money on hospitals and education. Another interviewee (also from Norway) said that Norway has been a guest at many Olympics and sometimes you have to be the host.
Do you think Norway should host the 2022 Olympics?