Letter

Astrup, Nikolai to Høst, Isabella
1914 (høst)

Transcription:

Tor Martin Leknes

Translation:

Francesca Nichols

Page

  • 1,
  • 2,
  • 3,
  • 4
Transcription
Translation

Letter

Astrup, Nikolai to Høst, Isabella
1914 (høst)
Brevs.531-66443, Nasjonalbiblioteket

4 Pages

Transcription: Tor Martin Leknes

Translation: Francesca Nichols

Transcription

Kjære frù Höst!

Tak for Deres to sidste hilsener – brev og brevkort, –

som jeg desværre ikke har faaet besvaret för.

Deres storartede datter har været her – men modtagelsen

blev jùst ikke storartet – det maatte være, som naar

en prindsesse kommer til en hùsmandsplads, – hùn

kom straks för lördagsrengjöringen, og det hindrede

os lidt fra udflùgter omkring til de vakre dele af

Jölster – men vi gjorde jo regning paa, at hun

blev mindst 14 dage, og jeg lagde op planer

og arangements for denne ùge – lördag reg-

nede det, saa vi ikke kunde komme nogen steder

og söndag ligesaa og da bestemte hùn sig plùdselig

paa at reise – og en time senere var hùn alt

i farten, trods Engels og mine bönner, – hùn likte

sig vist ikke her desværre. Wigdelh, Laùreng og Frost

gik det ogsaa saa med, at de ikke likte sig her

de förste dage og vilde reise straks igjen, men de

vare ikke saa energiske til at komme sig afsted

som Deres datter og da de havde været her i 14

dage, blev de saa begeistrede over stedet, at de

endog blev her i lang tid – Wigdel i to aar og Frost

i 1½ aar. Bygden er jo fra vandet og turistveien

rent kjedelig, först ind i afdalene finder man det

vakre. Kaland viste jeg omkring her og han blev 

ogsaa meget begeistret over stedet – Han maatte

dog reise efter 3 ùgers forlöb ikke fordi han ikke likte

II

stedet, men fordi han havde paataget sig en bestil-

ling paa en altertavle, som han maatte ùdföre

nù straks – Han malte et meget godt billede af

mig – der var noget af St. Hans-nætternes mystik

over det. Jeg har arbeidet lidt paa St. Hans billedet

til Rasmùs Meyer, men var syg i den tiden – kanske

jeg dog kan faa det færdigt senere. De beder mig sende

opgave over, hvad jeg har faaet for de træsnit, som

De har været saa elskværdig at sælge for mig og som

jeg ikke kan takke Dem nok for. Her er kommet:

Sandal Postaabneriets protokol viser fölgende breve fra Bergen til mig:

     Fra Thesen (?) den 27de mai 150 kr. (antagelig fra Thesen eller Væfring???)

     " {…} den 30te jùni 225 kr.

     " Didr. Andersen 9de juli 64,80 kr.                    

Noget andet belöb end de 150 Kr. er ikke kommet fra Thesen

siden för Jùl ifjor, hvad postaabneriets böger ogsaa vil

vise. De har nù to gange spùrgt mig, og jeg har ikke turdet   

bestemt nægte för nù, da jeg fik ùndersögt paa postaab-

neriet, – jeg troede nok at være sikker, men jeg tör ikke

ikke altid være tryg paa mig selv. {... ... ...}

Jeg har forresten kommet mig meget, siden jeg fik

medicinen fra Dem, – hvor meget skylder jeg Dem nù

baade for den og andet? Pengene maatte jeg efterhvert

stikke i de værste hùller, – saa jeg er lige blank som

för, men saa har jeg da faaet fred en stùnd, nù er det

saa smaat begyndt igjen, – men vi lider jo ingen

egentlig nöd for öieblikket – værst er det med

mel – vi har til denne tid kjöbt i smaa portioner

III

paa kilogram – i haab om mùligens at faa

noget fra Meyer, men – det blir jo dyrt i længden

og 5 kilogr. varer jo ikke mere end til höiden 2

grödgryder og nù er det ogsaa slùt med at

faa noget i smaaportioner; thi en panisk skræk for

hungersnöd har grebet hele befolkningen i anled-

ning mobliseringen; – i dag fòr der den ene hest

efter den anden op fra Förde belastede med mel-

sækker, og dampbaaden var rent synkefærdig af 

melsækker ligesaa motorbaaden – alle landhand-

lere i bygden blev stormede allerede i gaar, saa nù

kan vi ikke engang faa mel i kilo-vis. Krigen

tusler rùnd i grænderne om natten som et spökelse –

folk er vættskræmte – i gaar gik en mand ùd af sengen

om morgenen og bandt sin skorem i haglgeværets

aftrækker og skjöd hele hjærnen ùdpaa sig. Han

havde vel ikke kontanter til at skaffe sig mel for

i öieblikket – og saa den visse hùngersdöd for sig og sine, –

jeg kjendte manden godt og det var uhyggeligt at

höre det. Krigen skulde jo ikke influere noget

videre paa enkelte melsorter som: Hvedemel og havre –

men kanske det blir ùmùligt at faa noget af det

ogsaa nù. Tror De at det var mùligt at faa noget

fra Rasmùs Meyer – han kùnde jo faa alle de træsnit,

som han ikke allerede har af mig baade de gamle og

de nye: Martzstemninger, Regnbùen, Job, Vaarmaane og et

par til, tror jeg ikke han har – alt dette og et par nye, som

er ùnder arbeide kan han faa, hvis jeg kan faa 4 sækker

mel hos ham – ligegyldigt hvad – helst hvetemel og havre

                                   IIII

eller helst: 2 sækker hvetemel, 1 sæk havre og 1 sæk

grynmel (eller "spidset byg".).

Han kan jo ogsaa trække af paa St. Hansbilledet, naar

det blir færdigt engang eller nogen andre af mine

billeder, – han har jo alligevel ret til at se dem först, –

alle de billeder, jeg maler, og jeg skylder ham nù ikke

mere end 250 kr. – værdien af det mel, jeg har nævnt

ovenfor overstiger ikke 90 kr. efter almindelig pris, men

kanske alt mel nù stiger til det doble og mere.

Jeg gjör Dem vel formegen uleilighed med at bede

Dem tale med ham for mig i telefonen eller sende

ham en liden lap med et par ord?

I tilfælde det skulde være mùligt at faa noget hos

Rasmùs Meyer, tùrde jeg da bede Dem sende mig et

telegram samtidig med afsendelsen, saa jeg kunde vide,

hvad dag, det kom til Förde; saa kunde jeg afhente det

straks – ellers blir det vel stjaalet i disse vanskelige tider,

eller rotterne spiser det op. Det er jo en rent ùmùlig 

expedition vi har i Förde – vi faar den aldrig anderledes

trods hùndredevis af klager. 

Jeg skal snarest mùligt sende Dem de 4 tryk, som De

nævner; – jeg reiser ind til athlieret og trykker i dag og imor-

gen og kanske 2 dage til saa maa jeg vel klare det.

Hils Frk. Inger hjærteligst fra os og sig, at vi haaber

at hùn snart kommer igjen. Hùn fik jo intet seet af

Jölster og intet af mine sidste ting – hvad der forresten intet

tab var ved – jeg tænkte, hvis hun havde likt noget af

det, kunde hùn taget det med sig. Hils Deres mand, og min

hjærteligste gratulation i anledning Universitetets pris. Engel hilser meget.

Deres hengivne Astrùp

Translation

Dear Mrs. Höst!

Thank you for Your two latest greetings – letter and postcard, –

which I have regrettably not answered sooner.

Your splendid daughter has been here – though her reception

was not exactly splendid – it should have been, as when

a princess arrives at a cotter’s farm, – she

arrived just before Saturday cleaning, and that prevented

us somewhat from [making] excursions around to the beautiful parts of

Jölster – but we counted on her

staying at least 14 days, and I made plans 

and arrangements for this week – Saturday it

rained, so that we could not go anywhere

and Sunday likewise and then she decided abruptly

to leave – and one hour later she was already

on her way, despite Engel’s and my pleas, – it seems she did

not like it here unfortunately. Wigdelh, Laùreng and Frost

had the same experience, they did not like being here

the first few days and wished to leave immediately, but they

were not as energetic in getting away

as Your daughter and when they had been here for 14

days, they became so enthralled by the place, that they

even remained for a lengthy period – Wigdel for two years and Frost

for 1½ years. For the village seen from the lake and the tourist road is

positively boring, it is in the remote valleys that you find the

beauty. I showed Kaland around here and he too became 

very enthused about the place – He was forced nevertheless 

to leave after 3 weeks duration not because he didn’t like

II

the place, but because he had taken on a com-

mission to do an altarpiece, which he had to execute

straightaway – He painted a very good picture of 

me – there was something of the Midsummer night’s mystique

about it. I have worked a little on the Midsummer picture

for Rasmùs Meyer, but was ill at the time – but perhaps

I can complete it later. You ask me to send

information about what I have received for the woodcuts, which

You have been so gracious as to sell for me and for which

I cannot thank You enough. The following has come in:

The Sandal Postal station’s register shows the following letters from Bergen to me:

  From Thesen (?) the 27th of May 150 kr. (perhaps from Thesen or Væfring???)

   " {…} the 30th of June 225 kr.

   " Didr. Andersen the 9th of July 64,80 kr.                    

No amount beyond the 150 Kr. has arrived from Thesen

since before Christmas last year, which the postal station’s books will also

show. You have asked me twice now, and I did not dare 

confirm it with certainty until now, that I have investigated it at the postal

station, – I thought I could be certain, but I dare not

always trust myself. {… … …}

Incidentally I have improved greatly, since I received 

the medicine from You, – how much do I owe You now

both for this and the other? The money I had to eventually

stuff into the most pressing gaps, – so I am just as broke as

before, but then I have had some peace for a while, now it has

just barely begun again, – but we are not experiencing any

real hardship at the moment – what is worst is the

flour – we have until recently purchased in small portions

III

by the kilogram – in the hope of possibly getting

something from Meyer, but – it is expensive in the long run

and 5 kilos does not suffice for more than 2 pots of 

porridge at most and now it is no longer possible to

purchase anything in small portions; because a frantic fear of

famine has taken hold of the entire population on ac-

count of the mobilisation; – today one horse 

after the other was dashing up from Förde loaded with flour

sacks, and the steamboat was almost sink-ready from all the

flour sacks likewise the motorboat – all the general

stores in the village were overun already yesterday, so now

we cannot get flour by the kilo even. The war

lurks around the hamlets at night like a ghost –

people are terrified – yesterday a man got out of bed

in the morning and fastened his shoe buckle to the trigger of

his shotgun and shot his brains out. He

probably didn’t have any cash to buy flour with

at the moment – and imagined the imminent starvation facing himself and his family, –

I knew the man well and it was terrible to 

hear it. The war was not supposed to have any particular

influence on certain types of flour such as: Wheat and oatmeal – 

but perhaps it will be impossible to get hold of them

now too. Do You think it might be possible to have something

from Rasmùs Meyer – he could have all the woodcuts,

that he doesn’t already have by me both the old and

the new: Martzstemninger, Regnbùen, Job, Vaarmaane and a

few more, I don’t think he has – all this and a couple of new ones, that

are in progress he can have, if I can have 4 sacks

flour from him – it doesn’t matter what – preferably wheat flour and oatmeal

                                   IIII

or preferably: 2 sacks wheat flour, 1 sack oatmeal and 1 sack

barley flour (or "groats".).

He can also deduct from the Midsummer picture, when

it is finished one day or some other pictures 

of mine, – he has in any case the right to see them first, –

all the pictures that I paint, and at present I don’t owe him 

more than 250 kr. – the value of the flour that I have mentioned

above does not exceed 90 kr. based on an average price, but

perhaps all flour types will now rise to the double or more.

I am undoubtedly inconveniencing You greatly by asking

You to speak to him for me by telephone or by sending

him a little note with a few words?

In the event that it is possible to get something from

Rasmùs Meyer, dare I ask You to send me a 

telegram together with the dispatch, so that I might know,

what day it arrived in Förde; so that I might fetch it

immediately – otherwise it might be stolen during these difficult times,

or the rats will devour it. The transport service we have in Förde

is absolutely impossible – we can do nothing to change it 

despite hundreds of complaints. 

I will send You the 4 prints, that You refer to, as swiftly 

as possible; – I will go to my studio and print today and to-

morrow and 2 more days perhaps and then I should manage it.

Give Miss Inger our warmest greetings and tell her, that we hope

that she will return soon. She did not get to see anything of 

Jölster or anything of my latest things – which incidentally was no

loss – I thought, if she had liked something amongst

them, she could take it with her. My greetings to Your husband, and my

most heartfelt congratulations regarding the University award. Engel sends sincerest greetings.

Your devoted Astrùp