The Blind Man (I blinda), pubished in Norway in 1919 and in America in 1931, deals with Anders. In each generation there is a capable man and a ne’er-do-well. Anders has many of the Juvikings’ best qualities, together with a strong dose of obstinacy. Petter is a spiteful sneak, with just too... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
The Blind Man (I blinda), pubished in Norway in 1919 and in America in 1931, deals with Anders. In each generation there is a capable man and a ne’er-do-well. Anders has many of the Juvikings’ best qualities, together with a strong dose of obstinacy. Petter is a spiteful sneak, with just too little backbone to be a thoroughly bad man. He tries his elder brother sorely, and Anders is very patient with him. Anders is in love with Massi Liness, but when she marries his friend Ola Engdal, he takes as his wife, Solvi, a girl of Lapp blood and a former sweetheart of Petter. To marry a Lapp is a disgrace in itself, but worse than this is to come. Misfortunes fall on Engdal and on others in the parish, while Haaberg is suspiciously lucky. The neighbors put this down to Lapp sorcery, and Anders has sufficient belief in this to turn Solvi out of his house and pack her and their child off to her father’s cabin. Petter starts a rock-slide which falls on Solvi’s boat, drowning her and the child. Anders does not know how to take this: he wished the rocks to fall and has a certain sense of guilt. But he succeeds in putting it out of his mind; the farm prospers; after Engdal’s early death Anders marries Massi and they have a large family. In middle age Anders’s sight begins to fail; he tries a remedy of his own — hot tar — and becomes totally blind. Per, the hope of the family, dies young; Jens, the second son, shows the roving tendency of his namesake of two generations back and goes to America. The youngest, Ola, is something of a scholar and of little use in practical life; he becomes parish clerk. One daughter, Gjartru, marries an ex-sergeant named Arnesen and they keep a store at Segelsund, down on the fjord. The other daughter, Aasel, marries a man from the South, and it is left for her to carry on the family and the farm of Haaberg.
“It was a summer evening and fine weather, the meadows lay close-shorn of aftergrass, the birch forest was wrapped in deepest sabbath stillness, the shadows were lengthening, and the guests of the Haaberg funeral ale said goodbye and went their ways.”
“Anders was silent as he strode on, only his nostrils widened and drew in the air, and his eyes wandered wide-awake over field and meadow; he was silent as the mountain-tops, as they awoke to the sunshine and let the dreams roll off them, showing their grey rocks and patches of bog and all that they were made of. — The corncrake, he stood a moment and listened to her: yes, what she said was true. And deep within himself went the same persistent song, the day and he talked together and were of one mind.”
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