Letter

Astrup, Nikolai to Høst, Isabella
1914-11

Transcription:

Tor Martin Leknes

Translation:

Francesca Nichols

Page

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

Letter

Astrup, Nikolai to Høst, Isabella
1914-11
Brevs.531-66445, Nasjonalbiblioteket

4 Pages

Transcription: Tor Martin Leknes

Translation: Francesca Nichols

Transcription

Kjære frù Höst

Tak for Deres venlige brev – det har været en tra-

vel og vanskelig tid, saa jeg har ikke faaet besvare det

för nù. Det glæder mig at I likte træsnittene. –

De nævner, at De og Höst var ùenige om, hvilket

af "Martzstemningerne", I skulde vælge; – kan I

ikke beholde dem begge, saa skal jeg trykke et nyt

til frk. Inger og et nyt til salg, hvis nogen skulde

ville kjöbe noget i disse vanskelige tider; – vi har været

pengelöse i snart en maaned, – det er i sandhed vanskelige

tider, vi har ikke kunnet faa noget paa kredit siden för

augùst maaned, – vi har maattet laane os frem fra

dag til dag for at skaffe os margarin, parafin og kaffe –

det er disse tre poster, som det kniber haardest om – de

300 kr. som jeg fik fra Billedgalleriet gik for störstedelen

til at stikke i de haardeste kreditorer – lidt hist og

her saa man fik fred en stund, – men ny gjæld sanker

sig ubönhörlig paa en selv om man ikke faar kredit hos

landhandlerne. Jeg begyndte at male noget nù i höst

men maatte slùtte af mangel paa farver. Nordby

har faaet penge (8 kr.) til et par tùber kraplak men jeg 

har ingen faaet (det er to maaneder siden). Her har været

temmelig koldt med rim paa marken hele dagen

og flere kuldegrader – jeg har arbeidet med minering,

snart med krùdt og snart med dynamit – jeg har været

taalelig frisk – og skùlde opföre et nyt fjös – jeg har en

del gamle materialer – og tænkte at faa det op til

vinteren men der skal adskilligt andet til af nyt

materiale, penge og penge, og arbeidsfolk lidt ogsaa

II

saa det blir næppe til, at jeg faar det færdigt

i vinter – nù er her ogsaa kommet et frygteligt

regnveir, som omtrent hindrer alt arbeide.

Tùngt er her ogsaa at arbeide i de bratte bak-

ker, – det durer af elver og vandet siler og ren-

der alle vegne, – jeg har arbeidet og gravet nogle

dype gröfter (over 3 alen dybe) men det forslaar

saa lidet for al denne væde, som ogsaa for en

stor del flyder ovenpaa jorden og tager med

sig det bedste af jord og gjödsel; – naar jeg engang

i tiden faa bygget op jordvolde og lavet terasser

blir det kanske bedre, men det tager tid og arbeide

– arbeide som aldrig synes at monne noget –

men jeg har dog lært mig enkelte praktiske knep

saaledes, da jeg nù skulde grave ud i en bakke, forat

faa en flade til fjöstomt, – da fandt jeg paa at tage

dynamitten i brug i stendenfor spaden, – der var en

ùendelig mængde jord og grùs i den jordryg, som

skulde udgraves – saa borede jeg nogle hùller saa

dybt som jernstaùr kunde gaa og lagde dynamit

i og störste delen af jorden blev kastet til side, og

det som ikke blev kastet ùd laa dog rystet löst som aske,

saa det kostede lidet arbeide at spade det væk,

og store stene var sprængt op, og en sten, som sad

ùrokkeligt fast i grùnden, fik jeg en par patroner

ind ùnder paa den ene side, og den slyngedes langt

af vei. Til at "bryde jord" med maa dynamit være

storartet – jeg har aldrig prövet den för til det brùg. Nu

er jeg forresten læns paa dynamit og bruker krùdt

                                   III

som foresten er bedst til sten, da den klöver

den pent, saa jeg kan faa brùge den til mùring,

men det er et tùngt arbeide at "slaa paa boren". 

Nei nù plager jeg Dem med jordbrùger snak. 

En udstilling i Kjöbenhavn har jeg nok længe havt

lyst paa – tak for at De talte med den danske

kùnsthandler om mig – kunde han kanske have

eller skaffe plads? Tiden er dog kanske ikke hel-

dig – jeg befinder mig jo paa et stadium, da jeg ikke

er saa sikker paa mig selv og mine nyere ting – har

De seet mit sidste billede som Meyer kjöbte ifjor höst:

"Helg"? – Hvad synes De om det? Det og "Kjærringa

med staven" er fra min sidste periode – men jeg staar

ikke fast paa det stadiùm – det er bare en overgang.

Naar jeg nù ved jordbruget har styrket mine nerver og

(hvis det er mùligt) forbedret min helbred ellers, saa faar

jeg forsöge videre, – bare man var fri disse elendige

ökonomiske sorger og al denne fattigdom – dog faar

jeg være fornöiet, bare vi kunde klare os for dagen.

Det er vel ùmùligt at faa noget hos de folk, som

kjöbte eller rettere bestilte förend træsnittene blev udstilt?

Eller kanske de 60 kr. hos Thesen? Börnene har været

friske – Arnold dog noget forkjölet – men alt kunde

være noksaa bra, naar man hadde lidt mynt og farver.

Jeg tör ikke tænke paa fremtiden – panting og exequition

staar snart for dören. Angaaende udstilling af træsnit

har jeg tænkt at trykke en skematisk fremstilling af

methoden först. Haaber I level vel. Engel beder hilse Eder

og frk. Inger. Den bedste hilsen til Dem og Höst fra Eders hengivne

Astrup

Konvolutt, framside:

Til

   Frù Lolly Höst

   Adr. Overlærer S. Höst

Hop St.

Pr. Bergen

Translation

Dear Mrs. Höst

Thank you for Your kind letter – it has been a bu-

sy and difficult time, so I have not been able to respond to it

until now. It pleases me that You liked the woodcuts. –

You mention, that You and Höst disagreed on which

of the "March atmospheres" You should choose; – can’t You

keep them both, then I will print a new one

for Miss Inger and another for sale, if anyone would

want to buy something in these difficult times; – we have been

penniless for nearly a month, – these are truly difficult

times, we have not been able to get anything on credit since before

the month of August, – we have had to borrow our way from 

day to day to get hold of margarine, kerosene and coffee –

it is these three items, that are most scarce, – the

300 kr. that I received from Billedgalleriet ended for the most part

in the hands of the toughest creditors – a little here and

there so one could have some peace for a while, – but new debts inevitably

accumulate over one’s head even when one doesn’t get credit from

the general stores. I began to paint something this past autumn 

but had to stop for lack of paint. Nordby

has received money (8 kr.) for a couple of tubes of madder lake whereas I 

haven’t received any (since two months ago). Here the weather

has been quite cold with frost on the fields throughout the day

and several degrees below freezing – I have been doing some mining

now with gunpowder, now with dynamite – I have been

tolerably well – and was going to erect a new cowshed – I have

some old lumber – and planned to have it up by

winter but quite a lot of other new building

materials are required, money and more money, and a few workers too

II

so it is very unlikely, that I will get it finished

this winter – we have also been struck by a terrible 

rainfall here, which more or less prevents any work.

It is also difficult to work on the steep slopes

here, – one can hear the rivers rumbling and the water trickles and

runs in every direction, – I have laboured and dug a few

deep trenches (over 3 alen deep) but it does not

suffice for all this water, which also 

mostly flows over the surface of the fields and takes with

it the most valuable soil and fertilizer; – when I some

day will construct earth embankments and create terraces 

it will perhaps be better, but it requires time and work

– work that never seems to suffice for anything –

but I have nevertheless learned certain practical tricks

in that respect, when I recently was going to dig out a hill, to 

create a level surface for the cowshed plot, – I thought of using

dynamite instead of a shovel, – there was an

endless amount of earth and gravel in the stony ridge, that

needed to be dug out – so I made some holes as

deep as the iron stake would go and placed dynamite

in them and most of the earth was cast aside, and

whatever was not thrown out was shaken loose as ashes,

so it cost a minimum of effort to remove it with a shovel,

and large stones were broken up by the explosion, and one stone, which was

as unshakable as bedrock, I managed to put a few cartridges 

under, and it was thrown far

away. Dynamite must be perfect for 

"tilling the soil" – I have never tried it for that purpose before. Now

I am out of dynamite and use gunpowder

                                   III

which is best for stone incidentally, as it cleaves

it so nicely, so that I can use it for building walls,

but driving a stake in the ground with a sledgehammer is heavy work. 

But now I am bothering You with farmer’s talk.

An exhibition in Copenhagen is something I have long

hoped for – I thank You for having spoken to the Danish

art dealer about me – might he perhaps have

or find space? The timing is perhaps not for-

tuitous – for I find myself in a stage, where I am not

so sure of myself and my newer things – have

You seen my latest picture which Meyer bought last autumn:

"Weekend"? – What do You think of it? This one and "Kjærringa

med staven" are from my latest period – but I will not remain

stuck in that stage – it is merely a transition.

Now that I have strengthened my nerves with farmwork and

(if it is possible) improved my health otherwise, I will

continue my attempts, – if only one were free of these horrible

financial worries and all this poverty – though 

I would be satisfied, if we could only get by today. 

Is it unlikely to get anything from those people, who

purchased or rather ordered before the woodcuts were exhibited?

Or perhaps the 60 kroner from Thesen? The children have been

healthy – though Arnold has a little cold – but everything might

be quite good, if one had a few coins and some paint.

I dare not think of the future – pawning and mortgaging

will soon be at our doorstep. Regarding the exhibition of woodcuts

I have thought of printing a graphic presentation of the 

method first. Hoping You are well. Engel sends her greetings to You 

and Miss Inger. The best of wishes to You and Höst from Your devoted

Astrup

Envelope, front:

To

   Mrs. Lolly Höst

   Adr. Headmaster S. Höst

Hop St.

Pr. Bergen