Brev

Astrup, Nikolai til Meyer, Hans Jacob
1926-01-20

Transkripsjon:

Tor Martin Leknes

Oversettelse:

Francesca Nichols

Side

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Transkripsjon
Oversettelse

Brev

Astrup, Nikolai til Meyer, Hans Jacob
1926-01-20
Brevs.295-66548, Nasjonalbiblioteket

12 sider

Transkripsjon: Tor Martin Leknes

Oversettelse: Francesca Nichols

Transkripsjon

Kjære Hr. Meyer!

Tusend tak for Deres venlige brev

og for pengene! Ja, jeg veed ikke, hvad

jeg skal sige om Deres genereùsitet – 

Det var jo kùn min kones træsnit De

skùlde betale og saa sender De 150 kr

extra. "Maimaane" ("Vaarmaane" og "Vaarnat arbeide

i haven" – har jeg ogsaa kaldt det, – det er forresten mine

venner som i almindelighed har sat navn paa mine

ting ved ùdstillinger e.t.c.) – dette lille træsnit

var jo en foræring til Dem – ligesaa Alger-

billedet, som egentlig skùlde været sendt Dem

fra Alger. – "Sandalstrand" var jo ogsaa ment

som foræring, – dà jeg jo selv tilböd Dem det.

Jeg bùrde jo altsaa som ærlig mand egentlig

sende Dem de 150 Kr. tilbage, men da jeg stadig

lever i en evig krig med min gjæld, – saa har

man jo ùnder slige omstændigheder vanskeligt

2

for at lade fra sig igjen "krigsmaterialer", –

som saaledes falder i ens hænder.

Nù har jeg altsaa imidlertid snart antagelig

"opfyldt" Deres vægge med mine mer eller 

mindre gode prodùkter; – og at sende Dem

noget, som jeg paa forhaand ikke veed, om

De vilde like, – gaar jo heller ikke an; – (jeg

veed selv af erfaring, – hvor ærgerligt det er

at "maatte" spendere væggeplads paa en af sine

venners daarlige prodùkter, – bare fordi man

har faaet et billede; som man misliker – til

foræring. – Desùten har De jo, som De siger, –

ikke plads til mer, – det maatte altsaa helst

være smaa ting, – om jeg skulde sende Dem

noget, – og jeg har vistnok endnù nogle mindre

træsnit, som De ikke har seet – for exempl.:

"Plognatten" (af störrelse som "Vaarmaane"), den

blev desværre – mellem os sagt – aarsak til

en viss "misstemning" mellem de to venner

Dr. Kreyberg og Kramer: – Kreyberg havde bestilt

et sligt træsnit, og jeg sendte 5-6 tryk til

(P.S. Dette nærmer sig kanske – det man kalder "sladder")

                               3

Kramer og sa da samtidigt, at Kramer kùnde

vælge sig ùt et af trykkene til sin samling,

og han valgte straks ùt et og lod det indramme

og anbringe paa sin væg. – Da saa Kreyberg

kom for at vælge ùd et tryk, fik han se

Kramers tryk paa væggen – og vragede da

straks det tryk, han alt havde "taget ùd", og

som han fra först af var meget begeistret for; –

thi da han fik se Kramers tryk; fandt han

det at være saa meget bedre end alle de andre; –

ja det var et "digt" en dröm o.s.v. – Kramer

beklager bare at alle hans sùperlativer og fanta-

sifulde ord og poetiske udtryk ikke kùnde

blevet nedskrevne; thi han skapte paa staaende

fod selv et digt saa storartet, at det var langt

bedre end træsnittet, – sa Kramer. – Jeg tvivler

heller ikke paa, at det var saa; thi de poesi-

fyldte digt, som han af og til sender mig

er af den art, at jeg kùnde have lyst at sende

ham alt det lille, jeg eier af kunst; ja, bare jeg havde

raad til det, – forærede jeg ham gjerne alt det, jeg

kunde prodùcere. – Men han er en vanskelig

                                 4

mand – nærtagende og reserveret – ömfindtlig

og hensyns fuld til det yderste – og med alt 

dette meget sympathisk. – Saa ofte – har jeg

paa grùnd af min forbandede "opositionstrang"

"stödt" den virkelig "fine" mand, – (jeg kan ikke

hjælpe for det: der render ofte en djævel i

mig ved höitidelige anledninger, – som dengang

ved festmiddagen i anledning aabningen af

"Meyers samling": – alle de pene taler i anledning

dagen havde bragt mig i kamp hùmör, – og min

svartale til direktör Bögh bragte ved sin

barokhed og krasshed hele salen til at bröle

af latter paa Böhgs bekostning – professorerne

(Brögger og Schetelig samt dr. Hjalmar Christen-

sen klappet endog i hænderne, – det var stygt

gjort af mig overfor den gamle fine mand,

som bare havde sagt pene ord om mig.) –

Engang var jeg særlig "krass" overfor Kreyberg, –

det var næsten ufrivillig – han holdt en "bedre

middag i anledning en gebùrtsdag; – der var særlig

ùdsögte retter og vine, – og da vi havde spist

                              5

en særlig delikat sùppe, – spurgte han mig, om

jeg havde smagt en bedre sùppe (ja han sagde det

naturligvis paa en meget finere maade), – jeg svarede

at, jo, det havde jeg en eneste gang; – han vilde

vide, hvad det var slags sùppe, – jo, svarede jeg

det kan kanske interessere Dem som mediciner:

"den var kogt paa en bændelorm". Det gav

formelig et "sjokk" i Kreyberg, og han blev siden

taùs ùnder hele maaltidet, – enten han nù tabte

appetitten, eller han optok det som en fornærmelse.

"Bændelormssuppen" havde forresten sin rigtige

historie: Min bror Kristian og jeg fangede en

nat en örret paa 6½ kg., – den var saa tyk

over ryggen – som en liden grisùnge, og havde over

en halv tommes hvidt spæk ùnder skindet; det

skùlde blive en herlig rökelaks af den, sa vi, og

skyndte os hjem med den og gav os til at

stelle den efter alle kunstens regler: – blev lagt

i sterk saltlake, saa sterk at fisken den flöt næsten,

og efter 2 timers forlöb blev den taget op og spilet

ùd med træspiler og indgnedet med kognak og sit

eget blod (fra ryggaaren), – og saa hængte vi den

op til koldrokning med ener. Imidlertid var vi

i nattens löb blevne frygtelig sùltne; – lidt af

                                6

kognakken havde vi vel ogsaa smagt ùnder ar-

beidet med "indgnidningen" og det forögede nok ogsaa

appetitten. – Vi fandt da ùd, at nù vilde vi lave

os noget rigtigt godt at spise; – i den fattige præste-

gaard var vi jùst ikke "forvænnet" med god mat. –

Kristian gik i haven i fandt rædikker, græslök

og andre gröntsaker, og jeg satte fiskehodet i vand

paa ilden, og da Kristian kom tilbake med gröntsa-

kerne, opdagede han at örretten havde en ùsed-

vanlig stor lever, – noget som er sjælden hos örret; –

det var endnù mörkt – lysnede saavidt af dag, – og

i halvmörket saa han, at der hang en masse hvidt 

fedt i utallige bùgtninger langs leveren. Det maa

være ùdmærket at have med i suppen, sa han.

Det blev den bedste suppe, vi havde smagt, – og vi

spiste flere talerkener hver, – men imidlertid var

det bleven helt lyst; – "slig sùppe maa vi lave

oftere", sa Kristian – "jeg tror endog at dù har

spenderet makaroni paa sùppen"; – jeg skùlde

se efter, og ganske rigtig sùppen var fùld af smaa

flate makaronistykker, – og vi opdagede da, at

det var hùndredvis af bændelorms-"led", som var

gaaet fra hinanden ùnder kogningen, – og vi

                             7

forstod da, at det "hvide fedt" som fulgte med

leveren havde været en særlig stor bændelorm.

Der blev ikke spist mere af sùppen, – vi havde

forresten spist den omtrent op, – men naar min

bror og jeg nù senere træffes, taler vi altid om, at

bedre suppe har vi aldrig smagt.

Nei jeg forvilder mig paa vidderne i erindringer,

som saa ofte, naar jeg skal skrive til venner og

kjendinger. Det var altsaa Kreyberg og "plognatten".

Ja, Kramer tilböd Kreyberg sit tryk; – men det

vilde han ikke tage imod. – Kramer mente, at

jeg kunde skaffe ham maken til det; – "nei, et

sligt tryk ("digt") kùnde ikke gjentages", – og naar Kramer

havde "taget det ùd" skùlde han og have det, – basta.

Men noget andet tryk kùnde Kreyberg ikke have;

thi han vilde altid mindes det bedste. 

Nù har Kramer bedt mig forsöke at lave et

lignende nyt tryk, – men det er ùmùligt for mig

at erindre "hvilket var hvilket" af de 5-6 tryk.

Jeg har da tænkt at forsöke at tage en "copi"

eller rettere trykke en copi: – jeg tager platerne

                                8

med til Bergen, naar jeg i slutten af febr. eller

begyndelsen af martz tager en tùr til Bergen,

og saa faar jeg forsöke; – (og "laver" 5-6 stykker sig da

nogenlùndle gode, tùrde jeg kanske tilbyde Dem ogsaa

et tryk, – jeg har jo ogsaa andre smaa træsnit,

som De vistnok ikke har seet – eller har i Deres

samling, – ting, som jeg da ogsaa kanske turde 

tilbyde Dem som vederlag for pengene, som

De har sendt formeget). –

Jeg er nù "flyttet op" i mit nye atteliere – og har

et ypperligt arbeids lys, – jeg har jo hidtil arbeidet

i "mörke" næsten, – bare jeg nù ogsaa kunde gjöre

bedre kùnst – og mere – eller större prodùktion; – thi

det trænges, – gjælden vokser mig snart over hovedet,

og der skal meget til, naar man har 7 ùnger (og den

8de i vente); – jeg har endnù gjæld fra "Algerturen" –

vi var jo hele 9 maaneder paa reise dengang –

gjennem Tyskland, Østerrike – Italien – Tunis

Alger – Spanien Frankrike og tilbake over Tyskland,

og med kone og et lidet barn, blev det jo dyrt, da

man jo blev nödt at tage ind paa bedste og dyreste

hoteller; – da jeg kom hjem, havde jeg det förste aar

                             9

ikke engang raad at kjöbe farver, som jo var

det nödvendigste til en ny "start". Bygningen af

attelieret kostede jo ogsaa meget, og det er ikke

helt færdig indrettet, men jeg magtede ikke mere

forelöbig; – bygdens brandtaxt, – som aldrig er for

höi – har taxeret det til 7000, men banken her

vilde ikke laane mig mere end 2000 paa det, –

den synes vel, at jeg har laant nok, – jeg har

nemlig tidligere faaet laane 3000 paa gaard

og hùser i banken, – nogen anden pantegjæld

har jeg ikke paa min eiendom, men jeg skylder

desværre en hel del til arbeidere endnù, og det

piner mig, at jeg ikke kan klare at betale dem ud,

endnù. Under krigen var jeg bùden 8000 kr.

for gaard og hùser, – da var attelieret og tilhörende

hùs og kjældere endnù ikke bygget, – jeg bùrde

kanske solgt dengang – og bygget andensteds.

De skulde vel ikke hr. Meyer kjende nogen rik-

mand, som kùnde laane mig ca. 2000 kr. mod

sikkerhed i gaard og hùser – altsa 1ste prioritet næst

bankens 5000 kr. – ja gjerne 1ste prioritet i hvad

her maatte findes af malerier og andet indbo –

                            10

vi har jo for ca. 1200 i gamle tepper, – som naar-

somhelst kan sælges til den pris og mere, (vi har

solgt nogle ùden fortjeneste til Dr. Bydahl, – men det

gjör os mere ondt at skille os af med de gamle

tepper (aaklæder), end at skille sig med malerier).

Banken har intet med vort indbo at gjöre,

saa den del af vor eiendom blev da helt 1ste prio-

ritet. – De maa ùndskylde, at jeg plager

Dem med mine ökonomiske sorger og bekym-

ringer, – men jeg veed, at De kjender adskillige

rikfolk. – Kramer vil jeg nödig spörge om

sligt, da han lett opfatter det, som om jeg

vil faa ham til at kaùtionere, – og det vil

jeg ikke, da han har tapt paa Maleren Tùnold,

som han kaùtionerede for – ùden "sikkerhed"; –

desuten "taber" man saa lett en "ven", naar han

blir ens kaùtionist. – Nù kan det hænde, jeg

ikke behöver noget laan, – med tiden haaber jeg

at kùnne löse mine forpligtelser, – men mit

spörgsmaal gjaldt for det tilfælde, at en eller

anden af mine kreditorer skùlde blive saa utaal-

modig, at han forlangte mig "pantet", – det var 

da godt at vite, at man havde en "tilflùgt".

11

Ja jeg er skamfùld over mig selv, – at jeg har

kùnnet faa mig selv til at spörge Dem om sligt.

Haaber De ikke blir sint paa mig eller opfatter

mig slig, – som om jeg vilde faa Dem til at kaùtionere.

Som sagt – venner bör man ikke vælge til kaùtio-

nister, – men det kùnde jo hænde, at jeg henvend-

te mig til en ven, hvis jeg blev pantet for et

belöb paa 7-800 kr., som jeg i farten ikke kunde

skaffe, – og i et sligt tilfælde, kùnde jeg ogsaa

kanske komme til at henvende mig til Dem ogsaa,

og jeg vilde ikke blive det mindste fornærmet

eller like Dem mindre godt end för, om De sa

bent ud "nei". – Thi, – De har jo altid været 

den bedste og hensynsfùldeste af alle mine de

kjöbere, jeg har havt gjennem længere tidsrùm, – og

jeg har meget at takke Dem for, – og jeg har vist

ikke altid været "sjönsom", og har sikkert ofte

"stödt" Dem, – jeg opdager sligt oftest efterpaa – forsent.

Men De har altid været overbærende med mig. –

Saa vil jeg da önske Dem og familie "Et godt aar"!

Hils Deres sön hjærteligst og vær selv bedst hilset

fra Deres

N. Astrùp

Konvolutt, framside (delvis øydelagt):

Til

Hr. Capt. H. J. Meyer

<Vetrlids>almenning 27

Bergen

Oversettelse

Dear Mr. Meyer!

Many thanks for Your kind letter

and for the money! Well, I don’t know what

to say about Your generosity – 

It was only my wife’s woodcut that You 

should have paid for and then You send 150 kroner

extra. "The moon in May" ("Spring moon" and "Spring night working

in the garden" – I have also called it, – it is incidentally my 

friends who have generally given names to my

works when I have had exhibitions, etc.) – this little woodcut

was a gift to You – likewise the Algiers

picture, which actually should have been sent to You

from Algiers. – "Sandalstrand" was also intended

as a gift, – as it was I who offered it to You.

I should actually being an honest man

return the 150 kroner to You, but when I constantly

live in eternal combat with my debts, – then

under such circumstances one finds it difficult

2

to let go of the "ammunition", – 

which falls into one’s hands in this manner.

In the meantime I have now most likely

"completely filled" Your walls with my more or 

less good products; – and to send You

something, which I don’t know in advance, whether

You might like, – is also out of the question; – (I

know from experience, – how irritating it is

to "have to" offer wall space for a

friend’s inferior products, – just because one

has received a picture; which one dislikes – as 

a gift. – In addition You have, as You say, –

not room for more, – it would preferably have to

be small things, – if I should send You

something, – and I do still have some smaller

woodcuts, which You have not seen – for example:

"Night ploughing" (the size of "Spring moon"), it 

unfortunately – just between us – became the root of

a certain "ill-feeling" between the two friends

Dr. Kreyberg and Kramer: – Kreyberg had ordered

one such woodcut, and I sent 5-6 prints

(P.S. This perhaps verges on – what one calls "gossip") 

                               3

to Kramer at the same time saying, that Kramer could

choose one of the prints for his collection,

and he immediately chose one and had it framed

and placed on his wall. – When Kreyberg later

arrived to select a print, he saw 

Kramer’s print on the wall – and instantly 

discarded the print, he had already "picked out", and

that to begin with he was very enthused about; – 

until he saw Kramer’s print; he found

it to be so much better than all the others; –

it was no less than a "poem" a dream, etc. – Kramer

regretted that all of his superlatives and imagi-

native words and lyrical expressions had not

been written down; for he created on the spot

a poem so magnificent, that it was far

better than the woodcut, - Kramer said. – Nor do I 

doubt, that it was true; for the lyrical

poems, which he occasionally sends me

are of such an order, that I might be inclined to send

him the little, that I have of art; well, if only I could

afford to, – I would gladly present him with everything, I

could produce. – But he is a difficult

                                 4

man – touchy and reserved – sensitive 

and considerate to the extreme – and in all 

this very sympathetic. – Very often – I have

due to my cursed "rebellious urge"

"offended" the exceptionally "fine" man, – (I cannot

help it: I am often possessed by a demon

on solemn occasions, – like that time

during the banquet to celebrate the opening of

"the Meyer collection": – all of the speeches on the

occasion had brought me into a combative spirit, – and my

rejoinder speech to director Bögh with its

baroqueness and crassness caused the entire room to roar

with laughter at Böhg’s expense – the professors

(Brögger and Schetelig together with Dr. Hjalmar Christen-

sen even clapped their hands, – it was not nice

of me to do this to that fine old gentleman,

who had only said nice things about me.) –

I was once especially "crass" towards Kreyberg, –

it was almost involuntarily – he held a "fine" 

dinner to celebrate a birthday; – there were particularly

exquisite dishes and wines, – and when we had eaten

                              5

a particularly tasty soup, – he asked me, whether

I had tasted a better soup (well he said it 

of course in a much more refined manner), – I responded

that, yes, I had once; – he wished

to know, what kind of soup it was, – well, I responded

it might perhaps interest You as a man of medicine:

"it was made from a tapeworm". It gave

Kreyberg a veritable "shock", and he remained

silent throughout the rest of the meal, – whether through loss

of appetite, or because he took it as an insult.

"The tapeworm soup" incidentally had a true

history: One night my brother Kristian and I caught

a trout weighing 6½ kilos, – its back was

as thick – as a little piglet, and had more than

half an inch of white fat under its skin; it

would make a fantastic smoked salmon, we said, and

hurried home with it and began to 

prepare it according to all the rules of the game: – was put

in a strong brine, so strong that the fish practically floated,

and when 2 hours passed it was taken up and stretched

out with wooden chips and rubbed in cognac and its

own blood (from the dorsal vein), – and then we hung it 

up for cold smoking with juniper. However in the

course of the night we became terribly hungry; – we had most

                                6

likely also tasted a little of the cognac while work-

ing on "the rubbing" process and that had increased our

appetite. – We thus decided, that we would make

ourselves something really good to eat; – in the humble vicar-

age we were not exactly "pampered" with good food. –

Kristian went into the garden and found radishes, chives

and other vegetables, and I put the fish head in water

over the fire, and when Kristian returned with the vege-

tables, he discovered that the trout had an unu-

sually large liver, – which is rare in a trout; –

it was still dark out – the first light of day barely visible, – and 

in the semi-dark he saw, that there hung a lot of white 

fat in countless folds alongside the liver. It would

be perfect to include in the soup, he said.

It was the best soup, we had tasted, – and we

ate several servings each, – but in the meanwhile it

had become light out; – "we have to make this soup

more often", said Kristian – "I think you have even

added macaroni to the soup"; – I looked

closer, and sure enough the soup was full of small

flat pieces of macaroni, – and then we discovered, that

there were hundreds of tapeworm "links", that had 

separated during the cooking; – and we

                             7

understood then, that the "white fat" that came with

the liver had been an especially large tapeworm.

No one ate more of the soup, – we had

incidentally eaten most of it, – but when my

brother and I meet each other since then, we always talk about, how 

we have never tasted a better soup.

Well now I am getting lost in memories,

as I often do, when I write to friends and

acquaintances. We were talking about Kreyberg and "night ploughing".

Well, Kramer offered Kreyberg his print; - but he 

did not want to accept it. – Kramer thought, that

I might be able to obtain one exactly like it for him; – "no, such a

print ("poem") could never be repeated", – and since Kramer

had "picked it out" he should also have it, – basta.

But Kreyberg would not have any other print;

for he would always be reminded of the best one. 

Kramer has now asked me to attempt to make a

similar new print, – but it is impossible for me 

to remember "which was which" among the 5-6 prints. 

I have planned to try to make a "copy"

or rather print a copy: – I will bring the blocks

                                8

with me to Bergen, when at the end of February or

beginning of March I make a trip to Bergen,

and then I will make an attempt; – (and if 5-6 duplicates "turn out"

rather well, perhaps I will offer You

a print, – I also have other small woodcuts,

which You evidently have not seen – nor have in Your

collection, – things, which I might perhaps dare to 

offer You as compensation for the money, that 

You have sent in excess).

I have now "moved up" to my new studio – and have

excellent light to work in, – I have until now worked

almost in "the dark", – if only I can make

better art – and more – or a larger production; – for

it is necessary, – I will soon be up to my neck in debts,

and it takes a lot, when one has 7 children (and the 

8th on its way); – I still have debts from "the Algiers trip" –

we travelled for an entire 9 months then –

through Germany, Austria – Italy – Tunisia

Algeria – Spain France and back again through Germany,

and with a wife and infant, it was expensive, as

one was forced to stay in the best and most expensive

hotels; – when I returned home, I could not afford

                             9

to buy paints during the first year, which obviously was

the most essential thing for a new "start". Construction of

the studio has also been costly, and it is not

completely furnished, but I could not afford more

for the time being; – the building’s estimated fire insurance valuation, – which is never too

high – has been assessed at 7,000, but the bank here

would not lend me more than 2,000 on it, – 

they most likely feel, that I have borrowed enough, – I have

in fact previously borrowed 3,000 on the farm

and buildings from the bank; – I do not have any other mortgage

debts on my property, but I still owe

a great deal unfortunately to the workers, and it

pains me, that I cannot pay them in full, 

yet. During the war I was offered 8,000 kroner

for the farm and the buildings, – at the time the studio and the surrounding

buildings and cellars were not yet built, – I probably

should have sold it then – and built somewhere else.

Do you by any chance Mr. Meyer know any wealthy

person, who might lend me about 2,000 kroner with

collateral in the farm and buildings – that is 1st lien after

the bank’s 5,000 kroner – and gladly 1st lien on whatever

is found here of paintings and other household goods –

                            10

we have old woven carpets valued at about 1200, – which can be

sold anytime for that price or more, (we have

sold a few without profit to Dr. Bydahl, – but it

is more painful for us to part with the old 

carpets (aaklæder), than to part with paintings).

The bank has no claim on our household furnishings, 

so that part of our property is thus absolutely a 1st

lien – You must forgive me, for bothering

You with my financial woes and wor-

ries, – but I know, that You are acquainted with many

wealthy people. – Kramer I would loathe to ask about

such things, as he tends to think, that I

wish for him to provide collateral, – and that is 

not what I wish, as he suffered losses due to the Painter Tùnold,

who he guaranteed for – without "security"; –

and in addition one can easily "lose" a "friend", when he

becomes one’s guarantor. – Now it may be, that I

will not need a loan, – in time I hope

to be able to settle my obligations, – but my

request applies in case one or

another of my creditors might be so im-

patient, as to demand my "security", – it would 

be good to know, that one had an "escape route".

11

I am ashamed of myself, – that I can 

bring myself to ask You for such a thing.

Hope You do not become angry with me or

think, – that I wish for You to become a guarantor.

As mentioned – one should not choose friends as guaran-

tors, – but it is possible, that I might turn

to a friend, if I was required to settle a pledge for a 

sum of 7-800 kroner, which I could not obtain on the spur 

of the moment, – and in such a situation, I might

perhaps also consider approaching You as well,

and I would not be in the least insulted

or like You less well than before, if You said

 "no". – For, – You have always been 

the best and most considerate of all my the

collectors, I have had for a long time, – and

I have a lot to thank You for, – and I have probably

not always been "reasonable", and have surely often

"offended" You, – I often discover this afterwards – too late.

But You have always been lenient with me. –

Finally I wish You and Your family a "Happy New Year"!

Warmest greetings to Your son and to You best wishes

from Your

N. Astrùp

Envelope, front (partially destroyed):

To

Capt. H. J. Meyer

<Vetrlids>almenning 27

Bergen