Cheryl Christensen – paper 2015

Presented at the Grieg Conference in Bergen May 30, 2015

Cheryl Christensen, USA
Phd, Independent Scholar

Grieg in the “World of Unborn Music:”
Edvard Grieg’s Creative Journey Through Language in Haugtussa, Op. 67

When Ivar Aasen (1813-1896) published his landsmål dictionary of “new” Norwegian in 1853, it enlivened the imagination of poets and artists including Arne Garborg (1851-1924). His landsmål verse novel, Haugtussa, kindled, in turn, the fire of imagination in Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) who was deeply touched by the novel and, particularly, by the language of it. He felt that the poems themselves were infused with music. A few years after he had first read Garborg’s novel, Grieg wrote a letter to Garborg’s wife Hulda. Of Haugtussa, he said: “what a plumbing of the depths of the soul of the language—and what a world of unborn music!”

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