Author Topic: Kristin Lavransdatter  (Read 40692 times)

bellamarie

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Re: Kristin Lavransdatter
« Reply #480 on: June 16, 2015, 09:31:30 AM »
I think the final quarrel is about Kristin fearing her sons may grow up to be reckless like Erlend.  She is so exhausted with his behavior, and this betrayal she learns of where Erlend used Simon's brother sort of sets her over the top.  She has had to deal with so much, being outcasted because people do not trust Erlend, his affair with Sunniva, finding out he has a son by her who will inherit nobleness and her sons won't, he refuses to help around the farm, he is taking the sons out to hang out with him, rather than they do their responsibilities on the farm, and now she fears she's losing her sons who have been her whole life.  The only stable thing she has is the memory of her father, how he was a responsible, faith living father, and Erlend can not live up to him.  She sees changes coming all around her, and she so desperately wants the security of her familiar past.

I think Erlend has felt trapped in this marriage since day one.  He has resisted being a responsible husband and father since her learned she was pregnant the first time.  Each time she got pregnant he hurt her by not being happy about it.  I think Erlend thought having Kristin meant they would live in this fantasy, reckless world, and he never imagined it would be this.  He has never felt Lavrans fully accepted him and he has also had to live in the shadow or Simon, so what Kristin said to him about him sitting in Lavrans seat, and is not the man he was, surely hit a blow to him.

They both are clearly frustrated and fed up with their lives.  Erlend fleeing to Haugen seems fitting.  It is a place he can feel free, he owns it himself, and does not need anyone to deal with.  He can come and go as he pleases.  He can live without any order or responsibility, which is what he has always done.  Erlend is a free spirit, and his love for Kristin hampered him.  As long as she was being as reckless as he was, resisting her parents, her sneaking around, and even allowing him to lure her to the brothel, this was exciting for Erlend.  He thought their lives could be this exciting rebellious life forever, while Kristin was seeing they would in time settle down and be a family as she grew up in.  These two were never meant to be.  They gave up everything to be together, and yet once they were together they just could not find happiness.

It's kind of like, be careful what you wish for.  Anytime you have to give up, and go against everything you have lived for, for another person, it is likely it will never bring you lifelong happiness.   
“What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?...Was ever anything so civil?”
__Anthony Trollope, The Warden

PatH

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Re: Kristin Lavransdatter
« Reply #481 on: June 16, 2015, 09:47:25 AM »
That's a good analysis.  They also both have some characteristics I think of as being rather Norwegian.  They take offense at remarks easily, but then stop there, don't try to make it right, but just glower about it.  They're both stubborn, Kristin especially, and Kristin never forgets a wound, no matter big or little.

I have to work very hard to get inside their heads, their approach is so very different from mine.

PatH

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Re: Kristin Lavransdatter
« Reply #482 on: June 16, 2015, 11:44:21 AM »
Simon has reconciled with his brother, but he's wounded on his way home, and it turns septic.

For years Simon has fantasized that on his deathbed he will tell Kristin at last how much he has loved her all these years; the thought is a big comfort to him.  He gets his chance.  Kristin is there, and he's postponed the Priest's visit so he can do this before he confesses.  But he doesn't do it.  Instead, he makes Kristin swear to visit Erlend, and bring him Simon's apology for the quarrel, with an admission of being at fault.  And he tells Kristin at great length how much her family needs the couple to reconcile and live together again.

Why does he do this?  He seems surprised himself at what he has done.

bellamarie

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Re: Kristin Lavransdatter
« Reply #483 on: June 16, 2015, 02:55:52 PM »
I think Simon chose to tell Kristin to promise she will go to Erlend and reconcile, because he truly loves her, and wants her to be happy.  Simon has done many things throughout his life for her happiness, in spite of his own loss and others.  He cares about her sons, he really does want this family to have a chance for happiness.  He also knows Erlend will never make the first move. 

It is difficult to get inside Kristin and Erlend's head.  They want each other, but they do not want the life each other seems to want.  I said it early on, and I'll say it again, I just don't see a happily ever after for Kristin and Erlend.  He has hurt her in so many ways, for so many years.  I think she could forgive him, but I don't think she can ever forget, and so it just resurfaces when he hurts her again. This does seem to fall in line with the Norse way. Her sons are her world, if she feels Erlend is separating her from her sons, I think they will never be able to reconcile.  She will fight to end for her sons. 

It was so very tender the conversations between Simon and Kristin, but I had a sadness for Ramborg, even to his death, he put Kristin first. Simon reminded me of Lavrans, trying to explain how his love for Ramborg was in spite of his feelings for Kristin, much like Lavrans tried in the end to reassure Ragnfrid he loved her as much as he knew how.  Bittersweet.  What a way for Simon to die.
“What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?...Was ever anything so civil?”
__Anthony Trollope, The Warden

PatH

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Re: Kristin Lavransdatter
« Reply #484 on: June 16, 2015, 03:09:00 PM »
Yes, Kristin too recognizes that Erlend doesn't make first moves.

PatH

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Re: Kristin Lavransdatter
« Reply #485 on: June 16, 2015, 05:55:51 PM »
Bellamarie, are you finishing Debtors yet?  Just let me know when you're ready to talk about the rest.

bellamarie

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Re: Kristin Lavransdatter
« Reply #486 on: June 16, 2015, 10:16:07 PM »
Oh my heavens!  I just finished Debtors.  Undset sure is wrapping things up quickly in this book.  It did not surprise me Erlend is living as dirty and uncaring in Haugen, as he did at Husaby.  Kristin and Erlend seem to catch one last attempt at their youthful, carefree love, these days she decides to stay with him.

He surely is determined not to return to "her" manor.  How can he expect her to leave the children to care for Jorundgaard, and bring the two youngest sons here to live with him?  He is as selfish now, as he was in the first days he expected her to sneak away and join him in a brothel, to spend time with him. 

So much happened in these chapters, where to begin?
“What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?...Was ever anything so civil?”
__Anthony Trollope, The Warden

PatH

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Re: Kristin Lavransdatter
« Reply #487 on: June 17, 2015, 10:56:32 AM »
Yes, tightly packed chapters, and it's hard to know where to start.

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How can he expect her to leave the children to care for Jorundgaard, and bring the two youngest sons here to live with him?

He can't reasonably.  You said it all when you said neither is willing to live the life the other is willing to live.  Somewhere in here Kristin remarks about her nurturing style of loving that that wasn't the kind of loving that Erlend wanted, but it was what she had.  And each of them keeps working against his/her own interests.  Whenever one makes a concession or a conciliatory gesture, the first response of the other is to make a bitter, hurtful remark about one of their grudges.  The conciliator then pulls back, and they both start sulking again.  Even at the end, when Erlend comes back to defend Kristin, she greets him stonily--not surprising.  But as soon as he is wounded, she is tender again.

Erlend seems to have come to his senses a bit at the end.  When his son Lavrans comes to fetch him home, and describes her grief, he says "May God help me, I've been a foolish man."  And when he sees Kristin, he says "Kristin, my dearest love.  Oh, Kristin, I know I've come to you much too late."  Who knows if that would have lasted if he hadn't been killed.

bellamarie

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Re: Kristin Lavransdatter
« Reply #488 on: June 17, 2015, 03:42:38 PM »
Erlend,
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"Kristin, my dearest love.  Oh, Kristin, I know I've come to you much too late."
I was very frustrated at these words Erlend spoke, a little too late indeed.  I don't believe for a minute it would have lasted, had he not died.  Kristin and Erlend always seem to come through for each other in the time of a crisis, but when it comes to living life, simple and day to day, that is where they part ways. 

These last chapters truly upset me.  Kristin learns she is pregnant, yet decides to keep it a secret.  She refuses to even approach Erlend to let him know the baby dies, even though he hears of it, he does nothing to come and comfort her.  It seems out of character for him to come to defend Kristin's honor of being accused of adultery with Ulf, since he never could find it in himself to come help her in any other matter. 

Erlend lived a prideful, stubborn life.  He could never seem to give Kristin what she needed most, her love for him kept her in constant turmoil with her family, friends and faith.  He didn't mind living off on his own, refusing to help her on the farm, and raising their sons.  Him riding into town like some gallant knight to save his wife's honor was a bit much.  Then when he does arrive the two of them spar.  Erlend then spars with the men, when they are trying to help, he is asked,
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"Understand you not, Kristin, that tis time the master stayed at home on the farm?  You at least ought to understand it,"  he said to Erlend.  But Erlend struck the other over the hand, and drove the stallion on so that the old man reeled.  A couple of men sprang forward.  Erlend shouted:  "Away with you!  Naught have you to do with my affairs and my wife's__and I am no master of a farm; never will I be bound to any stead like a steer in its stall.  If I own not the manor here, at least the manor owns not me__!"  Kristin turned full round upon the man and shrieked: ""Ay, ride!  Ride, ride to the devil, whither you have driven me and flung all you have ever owned or laid your hands on__ 

Erlend is more concerned of with being rebellious, and defending his own position of never being a master to any manor, than he is caring what his words will do to Kristin. 

This author showed the stark differences between Simon and Erlend, and their feelings for Kristin, right up to their last breaths they took.

Simon on his death bed wanted only to say whatever he could to help Kristing find peace and happiness, his death was honorable, loving and compassionate.  He wanted to have forgiveness and make all his sins right with God, and those he had ever offended. 

Erlend's death was dishonorable, til the end he was a selfish man/husband. Even on his death bed he could not give Kristin what she wanted to bring her peace and happiness, in allowing the priest to give him his last rites:  pg. 904 
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"Yes," said Erlend, vehemently.  "If so be God will be gracious to me__for the last office I will not take from this priest that spread lying tales of you__"  "Erlend," she begged, softly.  "For Jesus' sake__let us fetch Sira Solmund to you.  God is God, whatever priest may bear him to us__"  "No!"   "Erlend, Erlend__think of your soul!"

It was okay for Erlend to shame her, dishonor her, be unfaithful to her, strike her, and abandon her, but he refuses last rites because a priest told lies of Kristin, when only because of Erlend's behavior, were these lies possible to be considered as truth at all. 

So where does Kristin go from here?  She is without both men who she loved, and who has been important in her life.

“What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?...Was ever anything so civil?”
__Anthony Trollope, The Warden

bellamarie

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Re: Kristin Lavransdatter
« Reply #489 on: June 18, 2015, 12:38:30 PM »
PatH., Are we ready to go on to final part The Cross?  It is about 135 pages long.  What do you think, separate it, or go all the way to the end?  Makes me no difference since I will have some down time tonight and tomorrow. 

So what do you think will happen with Kristin, before we begin the last pages. 

I see her staying on at the manor, and turning closer to her faith, now that she no longer has any distractions, and the church and townsfolk will see she did not commit adultery with Ulf.  By her wanting Erlend to let Sira Solmund to give him the last rites, she shows she is not going to hold ill feelings with the priest, or the church.  Kristin has asked many times for forgiveness, so she of all people would be willing to forgive those who were involved in the lies.  She knows her actions, and Erlend's gave enough suspicion for people to come to the conclusion of the affair.
“What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?...Was ever anything so civil?”
__Anthony Trollope, The Warden

PatH

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Re: Kristin Lavransdatter
« Reply #490 on: June 18, 2015, 02:00:47 PM »
Sure, let's go on.  I'd say read the whole, thing, but you can pick.  I can't speculate about what will happen to Kristin because I know.  Don't forget I've already read the book.

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By her wanting Erlend to let Sira Solmund to give him the last rites, she shows she is not going to hold ill feelings with the priest, or the church.
It's Sira Solmund who has harbored ill feelings.  It started when he first became the parish priest, and Lavrans' testimony was against him in a dispute over land records.  As a result, he neglected his duty to tell Kristin what people were saying about her; the bishop scolded him for it.  Kristin probably doesn't care for him, but she has the sense not to confuse the man with the holy office, and she doesn't want Erlend to die unconfessed.

bellamarie

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Re: Kristin Lavransdatter
« Reply #491 on: June 18, 2015, 04:12:51 PM »
Oh PatH.,  I forgot you have already read the ending.  You sure did good not letting anything out, I'd never be able to.  I think that is how we lose people in our discussions, they read ahead and then drop out because they are afraid of commenting and letting out spoilers.  I suppose it's hard to not form opinions after knowing what really happens, and then try to post chapters back.  This did prove to be a very lengthy trilogy. Okay I will finish up and be back tomorrow.

Yes, Sira Solmund seemed to harbor ill feelings, and so it made it easy for him to fall in with the gossip.
“What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?...Was ever anything so civil?”
__Anthony Trollope, The Warden

bellamarie

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Re: Kristin Lavransdatter
« Reply #492 on: June 19, 2015, 04:09:06 PM »
Okay, I finished the book and tried to keep track of the whereabouts of everyone at the ending of the story:

This final part, The Cross, begins 4 years after Erlend died, and it proceeds to Kristin's death, which is just a few years later by my estimation.  In no particular order I tried to give a glimpse of where all the sons ended up:


1.   Gaute remained the farmer of Jorundgaard, he takes Jofrid Helgesdatter from her father.  She and Gaute come to the manor to live, Kristin welcomes her warmly and even prepares a bridal bed for her even though they are not married.  Jofrid is pregnant, gives birth to a son they name Erlend. They wed, Kritin gives the keys to the manor over to Gaute, who then gives them to Jofrid.  Gaute gave Helge Duk, Jofrid's father sixteen marks in gold in amends for Jofrid’s honour, and for carrying her off strong-hand.  Kristin and Jofrid got along well until after the wedding, then Jofrid began putting Kristin in her place, after Kristin let Jofrid know they never turned away beggars.  Jofrid became jealous of Kristin and Gaute’s closeness. Gaute is a cheiftan and has gained all honor and rules the whole parish and somewhat beyond and Jofrid rules Gaute.
2.   Lavrans  in Iceland at the end of the story.
3.   Naakkve becomes a monk, with his brother Bjorgulf, since he promised he would never leave Bjorgulf.  
4.   Munan died the year after Erlend from a sickness
5.   Ivar (twin)married Signe Gamalsdatter an old widow.  
6.   Bjorgulf eye sight worsened entered the convent.
7.   Skule (twin)  went with Sir Munan and Inge Fluga to serve Brynhild Fluga’s son. He later became Bjarne Erlingsson’s  man,  among those who did not do anything to help Erlend when in prison. He went in Sir Bjarne’s train to Sweden, and to the war in Russia.  He liked to travel and got to meet friends Erlend had spoken of.  The most like his father.
8.   Orm died young, Naakkve asks Kristin for the cross that was Orm's, since he will become a monk.
9.   Erlend the baby died.

Ulf Haldorsson got married to Jardtrud and went back to Trondheim country.  He was with Kristin when she died.  Pg. 1042  
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“I’m thinking, Sira Eiliv __I will give some land to the church here__and a beaker of Lavrans Bjorgulfsson’s that she gave me__to found a mass for her__and my foster-sons__and for him, Erlend, my kinsman__”

Kristin decides to leave the manor and go to the convent in Nidaros, and wants to become a nun. She travels to the same convent Naakkva and Bjorguf are at and gets to see them.  Kristin hears of a plot to sacrifice a young boy, and decides to get the sisters to help her save his life. After she and Ulf find the dead mother and gives her a Christian burial, Kristin gets  the black death illness and dies.
 
Pg. 1039  
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“The cross,” she whispered, and painfully drew forth her father’s gilded cross.  It had come to her mind that yesterday she had promised to make a gift for the soul’s weal of that poor Steinunn. She had not remembered then that she had no possessions on earth any more.  She owned naught that she could give, saving the cross she had had of her father__and then her bridal ring.  She wore that on her finger still.  She drew it off and gazed at it.  It lay heavy in her hand; 'twas pure gold, set with great red stones.  Erlend__she thought__and it came upon her now 'twere like she should give this away__her eyes in pain and held it out to Ulf:  "To whom would you give this?"  he asked, low, and as she did not answer:  "Mean you I should give it to Skule__?"  Kristin shook her head, her eyes tight closed.  "Steinunn__I__promised__masses for her__"  She opened her eyes, and sought with them the ring where it lay in the smith's dusky palm.  And her tears burst forth in s swift stream, for it seemed to her that never before had she understood to the full what it betokened.  The life the ring had wed her to, that she had complained against, had murmured at, had raged at and defied__none the less she had loved it so, joyed in it so, both in good days and in evil, that not one day had there been when 'twould not have seemed hard to give it back to God, nor one grief that she could have forgone without regret__

The semblance the mark of "M"  the first letter of Mary Virgin's holy name, on her finger where the imprint was, seemed to bring Kristin much comfort as she lay dying.

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And the last clear thought that formed in her brain was that she should die ere this mark had time to vanish__and she was glad.  It seemed to her to be a mystery that she could not fathom, but which she knew most surely none the less, that God had held her fast in a covenant made for her without her knowledge by a love poured out upon her richly__and in despite of her self-will, in despite of her heavy, earthbound spirit, somewhat of this love had become part of her, had wrought in her like sunlight in the earth, had brought forth increase which not even the hottest flames of fleshly love nor its wildest bursts of wrath could lay waste wholly.  A handmaiden of God had she been__a wayward, unruly servant, oftenest an eye-servant in her prayers and faithless in her heart, slothful and neglectful, impatient under correction, but little constant in her deeds__yet had he held her fast in his service, and under the glittering golden ring a mark had been set secretly upon her, showing that she was His handmaid, owned by the Lord and King who was now coming, borne by the priest's anointed hands, to give her freedom and salvation__

Kristin finally has the peace, tranquility, forgiveness and love she has always lamented for.  She realizes, God had never abandoned her, even though there were times she felt she had abandoned Him.  Her faith and love in God, sustained her through her life.

God knew Kristin's heart all along.  God would always be with her, and welcome her with open arms.  God is a forgiving God, always ready and waiting for us to turn to Him.  We must learn by our mistakes, good or bad choices, we will reap the consequences of our actions.  God gives us the freewill to make choices, with the clear knowledge our actions will always affect ourself and others around us.  We may choose to turn from our faith and family, but ultimately, they will always be there in the end to receive us when we come back.

As I said in the beginning and will end with....this book was about human nature, imperfections, the Seven Deadly Sins (Pride, Gluttony, Envy, Lust, Anger, Greed and Sloth, these transgressions which are fatal to spiritual progress.) and it's also about all the emotions God places in us as humans, and about forgiveness. 

  
“What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?...Was ever anything so civil?”
__Anthony Trollope, The Warden

PatH

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Re: Kristin Lavransdatter
« Reply #493 on: June 19, 2015, 05:35:01 PM »
Yes, Kristin has found her peace at last, and the whole book is a journey, moving from the physical to the spiritual.  It will come as no surprise that two years after she finished the book, Undset became a Catholic.  Surely we are seeing a bit of Undset's own struggles in the book.

With the last of her strength before she falls ill, Kristin performs two acts of mercy, saving the boy and carrying the body of his mother back for burial.  As she is dying, she remembers that she had promised money for masses.  She looks at the only two things of value she has left, the cross and her wedding ring.  She looks at them both, and chooses to donate the ring.  What does this mean?  Then she dies, pleased that the ring's imprint won't fade before she's gone.

I've got more to say in a bit.

bellamarie

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Re: Kristin Lavransdatter
« Reply #494 on: June 19, 2015, 09:22:58 PM »
I have always seen this book as Kristin's spiritual journey.  She faced many trials and tribulations, yet she never let go of always wanting her relationship with God.  As long as Erlend was alive, I believe she would have never been able to choose to fully let him go, even though it was fatal to her spiritual progress, just like the seven deadly sins.

I thought about the fact she decided to give the wedding ring, and keep The Cross, which is the name of the final book.  The Cross symbolizes not only the faith of her father, but also her faith in God the Father.  The wedding ring symbolizes her marriage to Erlend.  

Is it possible her final choice in life, was finally putting her faith, and love of God, before her love for Erlend?  

After she gave the ring to Ulf, she sees the "M" mark on her finger, and realizes God had chosen her as His handmaiden.  

I think it is irony.  Erlend's wedding ring, left the imprint of God's love.  The acts of mercy, that Kristin performed in her last hours before dying, is what I believe, earned her a place into sainthood.  This could be why there is a statue of her in Norway.  Since she is a fictional character, who committed merciful acts, what better way to honor her, since she could not be canonized a saint in real life.

“What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?...Was ever anything so civil?”
__Anthony Trollope, The Warden

bellamarie

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Re: Kristin Lavransdatter
« Reply #495 on: June 20, 2015, 10:47:18 AM »
I was reading some remarks from a discussion I found last night online and those who have read Kristin Lavransdatter recommend reading: Hamsun's "Growth of the Soil" and Rolvaag's "Giants in the Earth."

For me personally I have to say I found this trilogy a bit too long, very depressing and dark.  I seriously can't recall one light and funny spot in the entire three books.  Kristin's constant lamenting about her sins seemed a bit excessive.  The one character I liked the most was Lavrans.  He was respected and liked by all, a gentle caring man, a wonderful father, a man who held his faith most high (although learning he thrashed himself in private was a bit much) and a hard working man who cared for those with less.  Even though he was not able to love Ragnfrid with passion, there was no denying he loved her as best as he was capable.  When Lavrans knew he was dying I felt such compassion and love from Lavrans and Ragnfrid's words to each other. I felt he and Ragnfrid truly came together as husband and wife, heart and soul.  But as everything in this book went.... a little too late.

Just a side note *  When I read on pg. 715 
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But when he was setting in order his father-in-law's private chests, at the bottom of the book-chest he had found a long, narrow, little wooden box, and it lay such a scourge as in the cloisters they call a "discipline"; the plaited leather thongs were darkly flecked: it might be with blood.  Simon had burned it__with a kind of sorrowful awe: he felt he had come upon something in the other's life which Lavrans had not meant that living soul should know of.

This reminded me.......I have a sister in law who was in a convent back in the 50's, she was to take her final vows to become a nun and decided to not follow through.  She has lived with torment and lamentation since her days in the convent, and shared with me they beat parts of their own body, to absolve them of their sexual desires and sins. 

Undset did extensive research throughout her entire writing of this book, covering accurately the history of the times, politics, behaviours and religion.  Also reading I found the Norse women were pretty much outspoken, was at this time allowed to own property, and were very much in control of their families, holding true to the personalities of Kristin, Ragnfrid, Lady Aashild, Eline, Sunniva, and even Jofrid. 


“What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?...Was ever anything so civil?”
__Anthony Trollope, The Warden

PatH

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Re: Kristin Lavransdatter
« Reply #496 on: June 20, 2015, 03:33:48 PM »
I had to read Giants in the Earth in high school, and it made a big impression on me.  Many rears later I reread it with pleasure.  It's definitely got similarities to Kristin in tone and mood, though it's a very different story--Norwegian fishermen becoming pioneer settlers in North Dakota.  One of the characters is plagued with the same sort of guilt about the start of her marriage as Kristin, though it wasn't as big a deal.  I've meant to try Hamsun, but haven't gotten around to it.

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Kristin's constant lamenting about her sins seemed a bit excessive.
That's how I felt too.  I had to cheer inside when one of the characters reminded her it's a sin to keep on brooding over sins when you've confessed them and done penance.

PatH

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Re: Kristin Lavransdatter
« Reply #497 on: June 20, 2015, 03:41:32 PM »
There are all sorts of interesting details about how people lived then.  There certainly wasn't much privacy; people slept in the same room with others, and often just went into a corner to undress.  Men carried their table knives in sheaths on their belts, along with weapons.  But it never says what women did about table knives.  They drank a lot (even children drank ale), and were pretty rowdy when drunk.  There was a separate house just for women's use.  And on and on.

bellamarie

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Re: Kristin Lavransdatter
« Reply #498 on: June 21, 2015, 01:45:15 AM »
PatH.,  How did you like the ending of this story?  Did you get the impression Ulf had loved Kristin, by his remarks in the end? 

For me, I would never have guessed Kristin would leave her family, or the manor, and go to live in the convent.  That was an unexpected surprise.  I would have expected her to live out her years enjoying her grandchildren.  But then, since Erlend was gone, and her children no longer needed her, she was finally free to live a religious life, she could be happy with.
“What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?...Was ever anything so civil?”
__Anthony Trollope, The Warden

PatH

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Re: Kristin Lavransdatter
« Reply #499 on: June 21, 2015, 10:23:57 AM »
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Did you get the impression Ulf had loved Kristin, by his remarks in the end?
Yes I did.  He's another who loves Kristin knowing he can't have her, and works hard to make her life easier.

Some loose ends: How many of Kristin's sons do we think survived the plague?  We know that Naakve and Bjorgulf died of it, and Skule will probably not get it, since all of his crew has died already and he remains well.  We don't know about the others.  I sort of remember a hint that things weren't as bad in the countryside, but I can't find it now.  Anyone who lasted out the first wave was probably OK, as there weren't recurring waves in Norway, as there were in most of Europe.

bellamarie

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Re: Kristin Lavransdatter
« Reply #500 on: June 21, 2015, 07:06:20 PM »
Since I read it did not get to Iceland, that would mean Lavrans was probably not affected.  I am thinking since Undset did not mention any other sons but Naakkve and Bjorgulf dieing of it, the others survived, even though an article I read said that it "Swept away around 60% of Europe's population.

The data is sufficiently widespread and numerous to make it likely that the Black Death swept away around 60 per cent of Europe’s population. It is  generally assumed that the size of Europe’s population at the time was around 80 million. This implies that that around 50 million people died in the Black Death. This is a truly mind-boggling statistic. It overshadows the horrors of the Second World War, and is twice the number murdered by Stalin’s regime in the Soviet Union. As a proportion of the population that lost their lives, the Black Death caused unrivalled mortality.

This dramatic fall in Europe’s  population became a lasting and characteristic feature of late medieval society, as subsequent plague epidemics swept away all tendencies of population growth. Inevitably it had an enormous impact on European society and greatly affected the dynamics of change and development from the medieval to Early Modern period. A historical turning point, as well as a vast human tragedy, the Black Death of 1346-53 is unparalleled in human history.

- See more at: http://www.historytoday.com/ole-j-benedictow/black-death-greatest-catastrophe-ever#sthash.YhrWji48.dpuf

 
“What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?...Was ever anything so civil?”
__Anthony Trollope, The Warden

bellamarie

  • Posts: 3102
Re: Kristin Lavransdatter
« Reply #501 on: June 22, 2015, 07:42:11 PM »
I returned my book to the library today.  I think we just about covered everything possible from the Vikings, Norse Saga, religion, family, traditions, betrayal, lust, love, faith, loyalty, unspoken love, death, witchcraft, war, women's rights and attitudes, and even fairies and elfs.  And I am sure I missed many other topics we managed to throw in.  I enjoyed discussing this story with all of you. It was a lengthy trilogy, and I can understand why many dropped out, I grew tired of it as well at times.

PatH., I want to thank you for being our moderator for Kristin Lavransdatter, and thank you for agreeing to continue with the trilogy, and for seeing it through with me, when it only became the two of us.  It was a bit dark for me, but I am glad I was able to finish the trilogy.  I always enjoy your words of wisdom, in all our discussions.  I'll check back in the event you may have any other comments, but if you are ready to close the discussion, I too have no more to add.
“What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?...Was ever anything so civil?”
__Anthony Trollope, The Warden

PatH

  • BooksDL
  • Posts: 9623
Re: Kristin Lavransdatter
« Reply #502 on: June 23, 2015, 01:22:26 PM »
Thank you too, Bellamarie, for sticking with it to the end even though you found it dark.  Your participation always adds a lot.  Just you and me, and our silent partner, Halcyon at the end.  I found it a rewarding discussion, and there certainly was a lot to find in the book.

I did have one more thing to say about Erlend, but I'm busy packing for a visit to grandchildren, and we're about to get a massive thunderstorm, so I might not have either the time or the  internet capability.

bellamarie

  • Posts: 3102
Re: Kristin Lavransdatter
« Reply #503 on: June 23, 2015, 06:19:53 PM »
If you find the time, please post, I am always anxious to hear more views on Erlend.  I could not find it in me to like him.  By any era, or any standard he just did not measure up to a man I could respect.  I just can't give him a pass on his childhood, because his mother spoiled him and he knew it.  He grew up feeling entitled, and for me once a man strikes a woman, and abandons her, I refuse to excuse him.  Kristin deserved so much more, yet he warned her in the beginning.  But in the end, she realizes it was more harder, than she ever could have imagined.

Safe travels PatH.,  your grandchildren are very blessed to have you.  I spent the day with my 4 & 7 yr old grandchildren at the movie theater.  Went to see Inside Out.  A movie about feelings, as Zak told me.
“What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?...Was ever anything so civil?”
__Anthony Trollope, The Warden

ginny

  • Administrator
  • Posts: 56309
Re: Kristin Lavransdatter
« Reply #504 on: June 25, 2015, 01:38:16 PM »



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