An Appreciation of the Magnificent Sigrid Undset

via Books Inq.  An Appreciation of Sigrid Undset

Not enough good can be said.  And now that there is a one-volume updated and modern translation of Kristin Lavaransdatter, there's no excuse not to be in the know.  (The older translation is passable, but tedious and unfortunately, I suspect that much of the readership of Sigrid Undset has been disoriented by some of the odd choices made in that previous translation.  Beautiful, evocative prose.  I suspect my relative coolness toward Hilary Mantel's book is in part a result of my affection for the rich (and necessary) detail and profound sense of place that Sigrid Undset offers in all of her work.  (Mantel's book is great, but it doesn't "remake the historical novel" as so many have claimed for it. So, spend a little time in Medieval Norway and get to know what another great historical novel is all about.


  1. Steven,

    Do you know who is the translator of the one volume edition?

    I've never read anything by her, although I've heard much about her--both good and bad. The extreme comments I've heard suggest she is one of those writers one loves or hates--no middle ground here.

  2. Dear Fred,

    I sometimes wonder whether the controversy wasn't over the translation rather than over Undset herself. But given the amount of anti-Catholic feeling out there, I wouldn't be surprised to find it a mixture of both.



  3. Steven,

    I wasn't aware that she was a Catholic, but I can see that might have been a problem.

    I still remember being shocked by hearing some faculty and fellow grad students in the English dept. saying that they would never read Dante because it was full of that Catholic _ _ _ _.


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