Brev

Astrup, Nikolai til Kinck, Hans E.
1918-03

Transkripsjon:

Tor Martin Leknes

Side

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Transkripsjon
Oversettelse

Brev

Astrup, Nikolai til Kinck, Hans E.
1918-03
Brevs.189-66495, Nasjonalbiblioteket

10 sider

Transkripsjon: Tor Martin Leknes

Transkripsjon

Kjære Kinck!

Tak for dit kort – dú gjör mig saa

glad; – hver gang jeg faar nogen ord fra

dig faar jeg ligesom mere lúft i lún-

gerne – selv naar jeg gisper únder

kvælningsanfaldene. – I sövnlöse

nætter leter jeg ofte frem dine breve

og tager mig en styrketaar af dem –

Dú synes vel, det er en profanering af

dine ord at brúge dem som medicin –

de búrde jo kún ofres paa friske, sterke

mennesker; – ja naar jeg saa har be-

rúset mig i dine ord – kommer ogsaa

ofte uværdigheds-fölelsen efterpaa – men

jeg gjör mig fræk og siger: "tag bare imod,

livet er kort." – Det maa være med

lignende fölelser mange af disse skinhel-

lige skúrkene her "gaar til alters", og 

snyder sig til syndsforladelsen og de styr-

                        II

kende saker. Men kanske det dog er bedre

at modtage aandelige værdier som "uværdig"

end at lægge dem tilside til senere – i haab

om at kúnne gjöre sig værdig til dem;

thi det at bedre sig – aandelig og legemlig –

er ikke lett, og det tager tid; – og det

kan da lett gaa en, som det gikk en

gammel kjærring her, som gik flittig

til alters, men döde efterladende sig

en hel liden beholdning forkröblede

oblater – det var levningerne af "det

hellige legeme", som hún havde lúret

ud af múnden, hver gang hún gik til alters.

Formodentlig har hún ikke fölt sig vær-

dig nok og vilde hjemme sakerne til

hún fik bedre tid at bedre sig, – eller kan-

ske de skulde tjene som medicin, naar

det röinede, – og saa döde hún altsaa

uden at faa nyde helligdommen – og

skaffede atpaa prest og klokker svare

hovedbrúd med hvad de skúlde gjöre med

dette hellige stof (at brænde det op eller

grave det ned var en dödssynd – og om

III

helligdommen end var besudlet, – saa blev 

det dog til, at den blev lúret ind paa andre

altersgjæster, – som var saa heldige at leve

saa længe eller dö saa langsomt, at de

fik tid til at gjöre "sognebúd".)

Men for ikke at plage dig med snakk vil

jeg straks gaa lös paa rabarbraen, som dú

spörger om, – jeg har som dú kanske veed

en svaghed for at experimentere med alle

múlige og úmúlige planter, som kan vokse

her i fjeldbygden – ja ogsaa de som ikke

kan vokse her – de fleste af mine forsök

havner tilslut i denne sidste række, efter-

at jeg har kastet bort megen tid og meget

arbeide, som kúnde være bedre anvendt. 

Men naar man har en last som man

er forfalden til saa er det ikke saa let

at slútte – om jeg end i de sidste aar har

döivet mine tilböieligheder noget. At forsöke

og atter forsöke sig frem med planter – særlig

af nye slags – at lave krydsninger (ofte únyttige)

af blomster og andre planter – det er altsaa

min last. Jeg har derfor blant andet

over 10 arter af rabarbra – flere er jo tem-

IV og V

melig like hinanden; – flere har jo ogsaa

allerede kasseret som únyttige eller lidet

passende for stedet; – men naar jeg har

talt med dig om rabarbra, – antager jeg

det maa være i forbindelse med vin – og

til det brúg har jeg en aldeles údmærket art,

den passer i allefald údmærket for stedet her,

– dens stilker kan ofte opnaa en dimension

som tykkelsen af en mands haandled og

vel det, – men det mærkelige er, at jeg har

givet bort over húndre exemplarer til

andre folk her i bygden, men ingen af

planterne har paa de nye steder opnaa-

et den störrelse, som her paa gaarden – 

jeg forstaar ikke hvoraf det kommer, – den

er sterkt tilböielig til at variere <vegetation>.

Jeg havde en fröplante – saadt af victoria-

arten – denne fröplante blev i modsætning

til Viktoria – udpræget "grön", – den var

haardför, vokste godt, satte tykke men meget

korte og faa stilke – og taalte ikke megen

beskatning, og jeg har nú omtrent kasseret den,

men jeg fik krydset den med "Monark", der

ogsaa hörer til de "grönne" arter, – og en af

disse krydsningsplanter er nú denne min om-

VI

talte "grönne" vinrabarbra, som jeg kan skaffe

dig – nærsagt saa mange af som dú bare vil

spandere jord paa, – men den har en vold-

som rod i regelen (veier ofte op i mod 10 kg) –

saa den er besværlig at transportere hel – jeg

brúger i almindelighed at dele eller beskjære

den ved <omplantningen> – den blir da kraftigst,

men bör da ikke beskattes det förste aar efter

plantningen.

Det gik nok an at faa sendt sendt nogle

planter straks, – jeg maatte da rive alle blade

af og lade planterne staa en úges tid og tvinge

dem til vinterdvalen, – men tiden er ikke

heldig – det er for varmt, – de vilde spire

únderveis – törke – og stagnere i lang tid efter-

paa, – og stagnation er for rabarbra det 

samme som degeneration.

Men kunde det ikke lade sig gjöre paa fölgende

maade: jeg reiser antagelig til Kristiania

i höst og tager da med mig en kasse med

rödder – de taaler godt frost, og kan da

gjerne "staa úde" hos dig i Kristiania – til dú

har særlig god tid en dag, – og da kunde vi

kanske i fællesskab reise op til din eiendom; –

VII

grev og spade finder vel der, – og saa plante

hvor det syntes dig beleiligst. Men din tid

er for kostbar til det; – men naar jeg fik

nærmere anvisning, maatte jeg kúnne klare det

alene eller sammen med din kone, som dú 

nævner. Hvad tid kommer sneen hos dig?

Det var vel ikke rabarbra til mad – dú mente.

Jeg gik her altsaa úd fra, at det var vin-

rabarbra dú vilde have – mad-rabarbra kan

jeg nok ogsaa skaffe dig – men hos mig vil

disse (særlig de "röde" arter) slaa aldeles feil, trods

bedste stell – jeg tror derfor, at dú vil kúnne

skaffe dig bedre madrabarbra fra trakterne

om Kristiania; – spörg efter (halvröd) "Paragon" – de fleste

planteskoler har den – her trives den ikke, men

skal passe bedst af alle for indlandsklima. 

Jeg har paa dette omraade mere lagt an paa

at faa smaa tidlige, halvröde arter end

de store – og vi har ofte havt mad af ra-

barbra i april ja endog i martz, medens

sneen har ligget rúndt planterne, og 

bladerne har bestaaet af bare stilk, da blad-

pladen ofte var væk frosset; – men disse arter

blir gjerne daarlige ud paa sommeren – medens

de er rigtig fin-fine i snelösningen.

VIII

Vinlagring har dú selvfölgelig bedre greie paa

end jeg, og det er derfor taabeligt af mig at give

raad. – Det er jo igrunden mærkeligt at rabar-

bra skal komme drúen nærmest af al

nordisk frugt; – naar det gjælder vin, – den er

jo selv ingen frugt. De gamle Ægyptere dyr-

kede den, – om det var til vin er vel úsikkert –

men ikke úmúligt. – Jeg har forsögt vin af

nærsagt alt, som vokser her, men intet kan

maale sig med rabarbra, – den kan variere fra

<rinskvin> til lys tör cherry – alt efter súkker-

mængde og gjærsort, – og saa skaffer den jo

mest avling paa mindst jordareal og plages

ikke af "stikkelsbærdræper" og andre sygdomme

og vinen úndgaar næsten altid den "hjemmelavede"

"<esune>" súrsödme; – men i denne súkkerrati-

oneringens tid er den jo vanskelig at lave, –

da den kræver adskillig súkker, som den kan

omdanne helt til tör vin – kúnde man faa

tag i andre söde frügter at tilsætte saa som

dadler, figen, bananer, rosiner og lignende

vilde man sikkert faa en enestaaende vin, –

kanske det var paa den maade Ægypterne lovede

den, thi sukker kjendte man vel ikke i de dage.

Saa koster det jo ogsaa adskillig arbeide

IX

at faa saften úd af rabarbraen – jeg har forsögt

mange methoder, – men har endnú ikke fún-

det nogen rigtig god, – det simpleste blir kanske

det bedste, – nemlig en træmorter – (en úd-

húlet stabbe) – og en langskaftet túng "domp" –

og saa bare "dompe" lidt stilk ad gangen, –

saa maa man da ogsaa have et godt kar

at blöde den ud i sammen med vand, súkker

og gjær – thi efter min erfaring bör den

knúste masse húrtigst múligt tilsættes

disse ting förend man forsöger nogen udpres-

ning eller údvridning – dækker man da karret

godt til og rörer i massen daglig med en stok,

kan den gjerne staa i flere uger förend den op-

vrides, – og da er den gjerne ogsaa saa blöd-

gjort at vridningen eller presningen ikke

koster stort arbeide. Vandet som tilsættes

massen (jeg har til dels brugt birkesaft) bör kokes,

hvis det ikke tages direkte fra et "opkomme", men

det kogte vand maa selvfölgelig afkjöles til 30-40

grader förend det tilsættes den knúste masse og 

gjæren – ellers dræbes baade gjæren og enzymerne

i saften. Enkelte koker saften af forsigtigheds-

hensyn – for at dræbe múlige edikke bakterier –

men man tænker ikke da paa at man ogsaa

X

dræber enzymerne og ödelegger fermenterne, som

skal skaffe vinen smag og befordre gjærsoppens ar-

beide, – egentlig er det vel ogsaa disse, som i for-

bindelse med frúgtsyren gjör almindeligt súkker

om til invert súkker – frúgtsukker – drúesúkker –

og först af dette igjen kan gjærsoppen gjöre

alkohol. Naar næsten alle nordiske bærsorter

giver en daarlig vin, – saa maa det være fordi

de antagelig mangler de kraftige enzymer

og fermenter og syrer, som rabarbraen har, –

disse er saa kraftige, at man únder gjæringen

kan tilsætte súkker gang paa gang úden at

standse gjæringen – alkoholprosenten stiger,

uden at vinen blir söd – (stikkelsbærvin standser

straks gjæringen, hvis súkker tilsættes) man kan

natúrligvis standse gjæringen i rabarbravin ved stor

sukker tilsætning – men ikke förend procenten er

kommen op i 18-19 (hvis sukkeret tilsættes i smaa

portioner paa slútten skal vinen kúnne naa over 20 %).

Men om alt det, veed dú bedre besked end jeg, men

skúlde der alligevel være noget som jeg kúnde give

dig et raad om, vil det være mig den störste glæde. 

Nú har jeg plaget dig længe nok med dette, – jeg

skriver snart til dig for at plage dig med mine kúnst-

neriske bekymringer og faa söge raad hos dig.

Hils din familie! Min kone beder mig hilse dig hjærteligst

Haaber jeg maa faa lavet dig nogen gode træsnit – med de

hjærteligste hilsener og tak er jeg din hengivne N. Astrup

Konvolutt, framside:

       Til

       Forfatteren

Hr. Hans E. Kinck

Bestum

Pr. Kristiania

Oversettelse

                Dear Kinck!

Thank you for your postcard – you make me so 

happy; – every time I receive a word from

you it is as though I get more air in my

lungs – even while gasping during

attacks of suffocation. – On sleepless

nights I often fetch your letters

and take an invigorating sip of them –

You may think it is a profaning of

your words to use them as medicine –

they should only be spent on healthy, strong

people; – well when I have become in-

toxicated with your words – a feeling of

unworthiness often follows – but

I summon the cheekiness to say: "just accept it,

for life is short." – It must be with 

similar feelings many of these sancti-

monious villains here "go to the altar", and 

fake their way to absolution and the restora-

                           II

tive remedies. But perhaps it is better

to receive spiritual benefits as an "undeserving" [person]

than to put them aside for later – in the hope

of making oneself deserving of them; 

for improving oneself – both spiritually and physically –

is not easy, and it takes time; – and what

can easily happen, as it did to an

old woman here, who went diligently

to the altar, is that she died leaving behind

a whole little reserve of deformed

wafers – they were the remains of "the

Body of Christ" which she had slipped

out of her mouth every time she had gone to the altar.

Apparently she had not felt deserv-

ing enough and wished to hide the things until

she had more time to improve herself, – or per-

haps they were meant to serve as medicine in

times of adversity, – but then she died

without having benefited from the sacred wafers – and

in addition caused the priest and the sexton the great

aggravation of having to ponder what they should do with

the sacred stuff (to burn it up or

bury it was a mortal sin – and if

                               III

the sacred wafers were not defiled, – then it 

was customary to foist it on other

altar guests, – who were so fortunate as to live

long enough, or to die so slowly enough, that they

had time to receive "the Viaticum".)

But in order not to plague you with chatter I 

will immediately switch the subject to rhubarb, which you

enquire about, – I have, as you perhaps know,

a weakness for experimenting with all

sorts of possible and impossible plants, that can grow

here in the mountain village – well also those that can-

not grow here – the majority of my experiments

end up in this last category, after

I have wasted a great amount of time and 

work, which could have been better spent otherwise. 

But when one has an addiction that one 

has lapsed into, it is not so easy

to stop – although I have in recent years

moderated my inclinations somewhat. To experiment

over and over again with cultivating plants – in particular

new species – to crossbreed (often inedible)

flowering plants with other plants – that is my

addiction. That is why I have, among other things

more than 10 species of rhubarb – several of them are

                                      IV and V

quite similar to each other; – several of them I have

already disposed of as inedible or poorly 

suited to the location; – but if I have

spoken to you about rhubarb, – I assume that

it must be in connection with wine - and

for that use I have an exceptional species,

it is perfectly suited to the location here,

– its stalks can reach the dimensions

of a man’s wrist and

far beyond, – but the strange thing is, I have

given away more than a hundred such plants to

other people here in the village, but none of

the plants in the new locations have achiev-

ed the size of those here on the farm – 

I do not understand the reason for this, – it

is highly adaptable to varied <vegetation>.

I had a seedling – sown from the victoria

species – this seedling became – in contrast 

to Victoria – distinctly "green", – it was

hardy, flourished, and developed thick yet very

short and few stalks – but did not tolerate much

propagation, so I have now nearly discarded it.

but I managed to cross it with the "Monarch", which

also belongs to the "green" species, – and one of

these crossbred plants constitutes what is referred to

                                VI

as my "green" wine rhubarb, which I can provide

you with – virtually as many as you wish to

devote soil to, – but it has an enor-

mous root (often weighing up to 10 kg) –

so it is difficult to transport whole – I

normally divide it or cut

it when <transplanting> – that way it becomes strongest,

but then it should not be propagated the first year after

planting.

It would be possible to send a few 

plants right away, – I would have to tear off all the leaves

and let the plants stand a week’s time forcing

them into winter hibernation, – but the timing is not

good – it is too warm now, – they would begin

sprout – dry out – and stagnate for a long time

afterwards, – and stagnation for rhubarb is the  

same as deterioration.

But it might be doable in the following

way: I will most likely travel to Kristiania [Oslo]

this autumn and can bring along a case of

roots – they tolerate frost well, – and they can then

very well "remain outside" your home in Kristiania – until you

have an abundance of leisure time one day, – And then we could

perhaps travel up to your estate together; –

                               VII

there are certainly a pick and shovel there, – and plant

wherever you find it most convenient. But your time

is too precious for that; – but if I were given

closer directions, I should be able to manage it

alone or together with your wife, as you 

mention. When does the snow arrive over there?

Was it rhubarb for consumption – you meant [?].

I assumed that it was wine

rhubarb you wished to have – I can also provide you 

with rhubarb for consumption – over here these

will (especially the "red" species) do terribly, despite 

the best of care – I therefore think that you would

be able to get better rhubarb for consumption from the area

surrounding Kristiania [Oslo]; – ask for (semi-red) "Paragon" – most

plant nurseries have it – it does not do well here, but

is supposed to be the best suited for inland climates. 

In this area I have had the habit of 

using the small early, semi-red species rather than

the large ones – and we have often had rhubarb for

consumption in April and even in March, while

the snow still lies around the plants, and the 

leaves have consisted merely of stalks, as the leaves

were often frozen off; – but these species

often do poorly in the summer – while

they are quite magnificent in the melting snow.

                            VIII

You have better knowledge of winemaking than I

of course, and it is therefore foolish of me to give

advice. – It is actually strange that rhu-

barb is what comes closest to grapes among all

the Nordic fruits; – when it comes to wine, – it is

not a fruit obviously. The ancient Egyptians cul-

tivated it, – whether it was used to make wine is uncertain –

but not impossible. – I have attempted to make wine from

nearly everything that grows here, but nothing can

compare to rhubarb, – it can vary from

<Rhine wine> to dry sherry – all depending on the sugar

content and type of yeast, – and in addition it produces the

largest crop on the smallest area of land and is not plagued

by "gooseberry blight" or other diseases

and the wine almost always avoids that "homemade"

"<esune>" sour-sweet aftertaste; – but in these times

of sugar rationing it is difficult to make, – 

as it requires a considerable amount of sugar, which it can

totally transform into dry wine – had one been able to

get hold of other kinds of sweet fruit to add to it such as

dates, figs, bananas, raisins and the like,

one would certainly make an outstanding wine, – 

perhaps it was in that way the Egyptians made

it, for one did not have sugar in those days.

And it also requires a lot of work

                              IX

to get the juice out of the rhubarb – I have tried

many methods, – but have yet to fi-

nd a really good one, – the simplest is probably

the best, – that is, a wooden mortar – (a hollowed

out section of a tree stump) – and a long-handled heavy "club" –

and then just "beat" a few stalks at a time, –

then you also have to have a good-sized basin

to soak it in together with water, sugar

and yeast – for in my experience the crushed

pulp should be combined as quickly as possible

with these ingredients before any attempts at pres-

sing or squeezing it – if you cover the pot

tightly and stir the pulp daily with a stick,

it can remain there for several weeks before you 

squeeze, – and then it is often so soft-

ened that squeezing or pressing it does not

require a lot of effort. The water that is added to

the pulp (I have sometimes used birch syrup) should be boiled,

if it is not taken directly from a "spring", but

the boiled water must of course be cooled to 30-40

degrees [Celsius] before adding it to the crushed pulp and 

yeast – or else both the yeast and the enzymes in the syrup

will be killed. Some people boil the syrup for precautionary

reasons – to kill any possible vinegar bacteria – 

but one forgets that in doing so one also

                              X

kills the enzymes and ruins the fermenters, which are meant

to give the wine flavour and facilitate the yeast’s 

task, – actually it is also these, in combi-

nation with the acid from the fruit, that transform ordinary sugar

into inverted sugar – fructose – dextrose –

and it is only from this that the yeast can make

alcohol. When almost all Nordic berries

make poor wine, – it must be because

they probably lack the strong enzymes

and fermenters and acids that rhubarb has, –

these are so strong that during fermentation

one can add sugar over and over again without

stopping the fermentation process – the alcohol percentage increases,

without the wine becoming sweet – (if sugar is added to

gooseberry wine the fermentation stops immediately) one can

naturally stop the fermentation process in rhubarb wine by

adding great amounts of sugar – but not until the percentage has

reached up to 18-19 (if the sugar is added in small

portions at the end, the wine could reach over 20%).

Well you know more about all this than I, but if

there is nevertheless anything that I can give

you advice about, it would give me the greatest pleasure. 

Now I have bored you long enough with this, – I will

write to you soon to bother you with my artis-

tic concerns and seek your advice.

Say hello to your family! My wife asks me to send you her warmest greetings

I hope I will be able to make you some good woodcuts – with the 

most heartfelt greetings and gratitude, I remain your devoted N. Astrup

Envelope, front:

       To 

       The Author 

Mr. Hans E. Kinck

                       Bestum

              Kristiania [Oslo]