Tuesday, 26 May 2009


The spring issue of Norway's Vinduet magazine is out, and with it come questions: What is a poet? And is Shakespeare easier to read in Nynorsk?

1 comment:

Eric Dickens said...

I'm thinking of subscribing to Vinduet, to acquaint myself with Norwegian literature. While I have lived six years in Sweden and four in Finland, and have made a couple of week-long round-trips of Denmark, I have only been the total of about three days in Norway. I feel I have been neglecting this country for about thirty years, and now is the time to dig deeper and find out what makes it different from the other three countries.

I gravitate towards nynorsk really, but don't like the look of Syn og Segn. It is too agit-prop political for me. I much prefer the more balanced general weekly Dag og Tid. This latter publication also has a lot of book reviews.

Whether Shakespeare is easier to read in nynorsk is presumably contrasting the bokmål translation. Probably, either would be easier than the original English, given the 500 years and the numerous words and expressions in Shakespeare that have become obscure nowadays. There are many people in Britain who swear by Shakespeare, but this is only made possible by copious notes.

One other question is "What makes a good essay?". This is worth asking, as many critics and reviewers retell the story, instead of analysing the book.

One final thing I see in that issue of Vinduet is the Treholt affair resurfacing. Soviet-watchers should be interested in this. The Cold War in fiction. I'm curious.