Letter

Astrup, Nikolai to Høst, Isabella
1919-02-20

Transcription:

Turid Hagelsteen

Translation:

Francesca Nichols

Page

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

Letter

Astrup, Nikolai to Høst, Isabella
1919-02-20
Brevs.531-66484, Nasjonalbiblioteket

4 Pages

Transcription: Turid Hagelsteen

Translation: Francesca Nichols

Transcription

Sandal 20/2 1919

Kjære frù Höst!

   Tùsend tak for Deres venlige brev som 

jeg skùlde besvaret for længe siden – men 

det har været en slig trist tid med sygdom

og ængstelse (for Engel) at her var intet

andet end elendighed at skrive om. – Mine

kvælningsanfald i forbindelse med "spanske syke"

var slemt nok – men det var værre for

Engel som "ventede sig" og samtidig led af

"spanske syken" – denne sygdom artede sig

værst her i fjeldbygderne – fordi man fik

den saa sent paa aaret at "jordbùnden" 

var godt forberedt ved forkjölelser og raat 

veir som vi har havt saa rigelig af her

i vinter. Og da Engel, "gik tiden ùd" og en 

maaned efter beregning ùden at der blev noget

resùltat saa troede vi sikkert at noget galt

var paafærde, – jordmoren var her to gange

forgjæves – igaar var doktoren her (væsentlig for

at se til mine syke tjenestefolk ("lùm-

bago" og lùngebetændelse efter "den spanske")

han mente der ikke var nogen grùnd til

ængstelse endnù og om kvelden efter at

han var reist blev Engel alvorlig syk – 

her rasede en frygtelig snestorm hele 

natten; – min hvide hest var död af "span-

skesyken" – og langt til nærmeste mand 

som havde hest – min dreng var endnù

ikke bra efter lùngebetændelsen, men var 

dog villig til at faa tag i hest en fjerdings-

vei herfra og reise efter jordmor 1½ mil

herfra;– men snestormen lagde store skavler

over veiene, saa her var lidet haab om

at faa hentet jordmor i tide, – tjenestepiken

kunde ikke röre sig for "lumbago" – jeg

maatte da være alene med Engel, – da hun

ikke vilde slippe mig afsted efter jordmor i

snestormen. Heldigvis havde drengen gaaet

indom en söster af Engel, og hun kom da

i rette tid kl. 5 om morgen ; thi da födte

Engel et par minutter efter et stort gùtte-

barn – alt gik efter omstændighederne vel

og jordmoren kom först et par timer senere.

De kan tro vi var glade over at det var

overstaaet – denne mare som har ligget

over hele hùset – vi blev jo alle liggende

i "spanskesyken" paa en gang og her var

vanskeligt om folkehjælp – da der var saa 

megen "spanskesyke" i nabolaget ogsaa – og

de som var friske tùrde ikke komme af

frygt for at blive smittede – vi maatte

faa folk – "snart herfra og snart derfra" – 

værst var det for kreatùren som stadig 

maatte have sit stel – og saa maatte snart 

den ene snart den anden af os staa op

for at hjælpe de andre – (vi bor i 2 hùs ca.

20-30 meter fra tjenernes hùs) og dette voldte 

stadig forkjölings-eftersygdomme – börnene

var også rent som vilde og ùmulige at holde

inde – Kari har faaet bronkit og Arnold fik

en forùroligende næse blödning hver eneste dag

ofte flere gange paa dagen – dette varede i ca.

2 maaneder og saa samtidig Engels tilstand –, saa 

det kan forstaaes, vi er glade – jeg er mere end al-

mindelig træt efter nattevaakingen og spændingen

men syntes jeg maatte give min glæde et ùdslag

og hùskede saa straks paa Dem som havde

bedt mig skrive naar alt var overstaaet med

Engel – derfor satte jeg mig til at skrive dette

ùsammenhængende brev som De maa ùndskyl-

de. Det var saa meget jeg kùnde havt lyst

at skrive og tale med Dem om – baade om

det eventùelle portræt af Höst og om min

reise for stipendiet – om kùnstretninger og meget

andet – jeg maa komme mig ùd af denne kùnst-

neriske vægelsindethed som har behersket mig

saa længe. Jean Heiberg skal til Paris saasnart

forholdene tillader det, og jeg tænker paa at slaa 

fölge hvis han vil have mig med – jeg har faa-

et et meget venligt brev fra ham og frk.

Kamstrùp, som begge syntes at jeg bùrde

være med paa "Vestlandsmalernes" ùdstilling nù

til vaaren – jeg tror jeg bare jeg vilde skjæmme

ùd deres udstilling om jeg tog mine senere tids

"exprimenter" med; Jeg maa ogsaa nù komme

mig afsted til udlandet snarest mùligt. –

Jeg har arbeidet med nogle træsnit i store dimen-

sioner – blir der noget af dem skal jeg sende Dem 

et tryk af hvert. Hils Höst hjærteligst velkommen 

hjem – hils Inger og frembær vor hjærteligste

gratùlation i anledning forlovelsen – gid hùn

maa blive rigtig lykkelig. Med bedste hilsen Deres

hengivne Nikolai Astrup

Translation

Sandal 20/2 1919

Dear Mrs. Höst!

   Many thanks for Your friendly letter which

I should have answered long ago – but

it has been such a depressing time with illness

and apprehension (for Engel) that there was nothing

but misery to write about. – My

choking fits in connection with the "Spanish flu"

were bad enough – but it was worse for

Engel who "was expecting" and at the same time was ill with

the "Spanish flu" – this illness was most

severe here in the mountain villages – because one came down with

it so late in the year that "the soil" 

was well prepared with the cold and damp 

weather that we have had so abundantly here

this winter. And when Engel was "past her due date" and a 

month after the calculated date without any

result we were sure that something had

gone wrong, – the midwife was here twice

to no avail – yesterday the doctor was here (basically to

see to my sick hired workers ("lum-

bago" and pneumonia after "the Spanish flu")

he didn’t think there was any reason to

worry yet and in the evening after 

he had left Engel became seriously ill – 

a terrible snowstorm raged the entire 

night; – my white horse was dead from "the Span-

ish flu" – and it was far to the closest man 

with a horse – my farmhand was still

not well after pneumonia, but was

nevertheless willing to get hold of a horse 2½ km

from here and go to fetch the midwife 15 km

from here,– but the snowstorm formed large snowdrifts

across the roads, so there was little hope

of fetching the midwife in time,– the housemaid

could not move due to "lumbago" – I was

therefore forced to be alone with Engel, – as she

would not allow me go to fetch the midwife in

the snowstorm. Fortunately the farmhand had gone

to see one of Engel’s sisters, and she arrived

in the nick of time at 5 a.m.; for

Engel gave birth a couple of minutes later to a large male

infant – everything went well given the circumstances

and the midwife didn’t arrive until a few hours later. 

You can believe we were glad to have it

over with – this nightmare that has hovered

over the entire household – we had all been bedridden

with "the Spanish flue" at the same time and it was

difficult to get domestic help – as the 

"Spanish flu" was widespread in the neighbourhood as well – and

those who were healthy didn’t dare to come for

fear of being infected – we were forced to

find people – "a little here and a little there" – 

it was worst for the little one who needed 

regular care – and then first 

one and then another of us had to get up

to help the others – (we live in 2 buildings approximately

20-30 metres from the farmhands’ cabin) and this caused 

continual secondary illnesses after a cold – the children

were positively wild and impossible to keep

indoors – Kari has come down with bronchitis and Arnold had

an alarming nosebleed every single day

often several times a day – this lasted for approx.

2 months and then at the same time as Engel’s condition –, so 

it is understandable, that we are happy – I am more than nor-

mally tired after night watches and the tension

but felt I had to give some outlet to my joy

and immediately thought of You who had

asked me to write when Engel’s situation was

surpassed – that is why I sat down to write this

incoherent letter which You must for-

give. There is much that I would have liked

to write and speak with You about – about

the possible portrait of Höst and my

travels for the grant – about art movements and much

more – I must find my way out of this ar-

tistic indecisiveness that has dominated me

for so long. Jean Heiberg is going to Paris as soon as

circumstances allow it, and I am thinking of 

joining him if he wishes to have me along – I have re-

ceived a very friendly letter from him and Miss

Kamstrùp, who both think I should

participate in the "Painters of Western Norway" exhibition 

this spring – I feel I would only spoil

their exhibition if I included my most recent

"experiments"; I must also organize my departure

abroad as soon as possible. –

I have worked on some woodcuts in large dimen-

tions – if something comes of them I will send You 

one print of each. Say hello to Höst wish him a warm welcome 

home – Greetings to Inger and convey our warmest

congratulations on her engagement – may she

be truly happy. With best wishes Your

devoted Nikolai Astrup