Brev

Astrup, Nikolai til Høst, Isabella
1923-11-21

Transkripsjon:

Tor Martin Leknes

Oversettelse:

Francesca Nichols

Side

  • 1,
  • 2,
  • 3,
  • 5,
  • 6,
  • 7,
  • 8,
  • 9,
  • 10,
  • 12,
  • 13,
  • 14,
  • 15
Transkripsjon
Oversettelse

Brev

Astrup, Nikolai til Høst, Isabella
1923-11-21
Brevs.531-66487, Nasjonalbiblioteket

13 sider

Transkripsjon: Tor Martin Leknes

Oversettelse: Francesca Nichols

Transkripsjon

Kjære Frù Höst!

Ja jeg bùrde begynde med tùsend ùndskyldninger

– jeg föler mig som en stor forbryder, – men vi har

ogsaa havt det ùsedvanligt ondt denne sommer og

höst; – det er det eneste jeg kan anföre til min og min

kones ùndskyldning for vor taùshed. Det begyndte

straks vi satte foden i land i Söndfjord, – ja for

Engels vedkommende rent bogstavelig, – idet hùn

vrikkede foden, i detsamme hùn steg op paa bryggen,

saa hùn ikke kùnde gaa paa den; – heldigvis fik jeg leiet

en af touristbilerne, saa hùn fik kjöre like hjem til vor

gaard, – men hùn taalte ikke anstrengelsene for

at komme op bakkerne og besvimede, da hùn skùl-

de gaa fra den ene stuen til den anden, – og var

bevidstlös et kvarters tid, og saa rent ùd som et lik. –

Et par dage efter fik hùn gigtfeber og blev

liggende i 4 maaneder; – hùn er först nylig oppe,

men er daarlig endnù. Vor tjenestepike blev ogsaa

syk straks vi kom hid og maatte reise hjem, – og det

var midt i den travle vaaronne og rent ùmùligt næsten

2

at faa leiet ternehjælp – (her er altid vanskeligt

om tjenestepiker – og værst i sommerhalvaaret). –

Vi fik dog leiet hjælp i dyre domme, – snart her

snart der, – vi maatte ogsaa leie sykepleierske til

Engel, og doktoren var hos hende hver ùke, – han

ordinerede, at hùn skulde have fersk fisk til stadighed,

og det var ikke lett at faa altid, – lidt fik vi fra

Förde og lidt fra Bergen, – men vi var pengelöse

allerede ved vor ankomst til hjemmet; – familien

havde levet paa kredit ùnder hele vort ùdenlandsophold,

saa vi skyldte en masse til alle 3 handelsmænd paa

stedet, og kreditten begyndte at sige stopp, – – jeg laa

ùde paa vandet alle nætter for at skaffe lidt fisk,

men den elendige kolde sommer gjorde, at fisken bed

daarligt. Og imidlertid raaede malariafeberen i mine

aarer, – den var kanske ogsaa indirekte aarsak i Engels

gigtfeber. Det var ikke saa let at skaffe at skaffe

penge til gjælden – og til ùnderhold af kone og 6 börn

tjenestedreng og leiefolk og en syk gammel svigermor, som

bor hos os. Det værste var, at jeg manglede farver.

Jeg var indom konsùl Mohr i Bergen, – jeg tænkte –

3

mellem os sagt – paa at bede ham og et laan paa 2-3

hùndrede kroner, saa jeg fik en del farver, – men det förste

han fortalte mig, da jeg kom ind paa hans kontor var, – at

maleren Sohlberg boede hos ham og skulde male et stort

billede over en kamin, – det var en bestilling som

frù Mohr havde gjort hos mig, – og jeg havde regnet

saa sikkert med dette arbeide – som en start, naar

jeg kom hjem – vi havde samtalt meget om motivet, –

konsùlen skùlde intet vide om det, da det skùlde

være en overraskelse til ham fra frùen. – Jeg ùndte

saa inderlig vel Sohlberg det arbeidet, – men jeg blev

alligevel saa perplex, at jeg ùndlod at spörge ham (Mohr)

om laanet og ùndlod ligeledes at besöke dem paa

Fjösanger, som konsùlen bad mig om Mohr har siden sendt Kr 50 til "Afrikaneren".

Som sagt – jeg manglede farver, – og saa gjorde jeg en dùmhed,

som jeg har angret meget paa: – jeg paatok mig noget

tegnearbeide, – det kostede jo lidet i materialer, – jeg kùnde

klare mig ùden farver, men saa kostede det til gjen-

gjæld saa meget mere i arbeid tid og stræv, – jeg

arbeidede nat og dag, – naar jeg ikke fiskede, og jeg overanstreng-

mig aldeles, – og betalingen forslog knapt til mediciner

for mig og Engel, – börnene skrantet ogsaa af og til, særlig

Side 4 mangler.

5

ikke oftere maatte sende Dem tryk af de gamle

træsnit – bare nye. – Nù har jeg næsten ikke skaaret

træsnit siden hin gang –; et stort digert træsnit,

som kostet mig meget stræv baade med skjæringen

og næsten endnù mere med trykningen, – det betok mig

næsten lysten til at arbeide mere med træsnit – plader-

ne har nemlig delvis ùdvidet sig og delvis "krympet", – saa

jeg stadig maa lade trykken törre – for videre arbeide, – og

saa maa samme plade flyttes lidt hist og her for at

passe, – og saa, naar jeg ser paa resultatet, finder jeg,

det ikke paa langt nær værd hele strævet.

Saa har jeg lavet et træsnit i "sort og hvidt" eller rettere

i sorte og graa toner, – det er nærmest et expriment med

nùancer i varmgraat og koldgraat, – det er jeg selv glad i, –

kanske mest for motivets skyld, eller fordi jeg tilbragte

nogen herlige dage deroppe paa en sæter ùnder Jostedals-

bræen med hele famielien: – næsten bare graa stener og

morænehaùger og graa sel (sæterhytter), som stod slik,

at jeg fölte mig som hjemme i et vestlandstùn for 2000 aar

siden. Börnene og jeg badet i bræelvene og fölte os som

vilddyr for en stakket tid, – og det gjorde intet, at en

hest ödlagde – "tygget op" – mit bedste arbeide deroppe, efter

at den först havde danset halling paa det – hùmöret stod höit

6

dengang; (vi skùlde reist did i sommer, om ikke Engel var

bleven syk). Det er imidlertid ikke noget tryk træsnit,

som folk vil like; – (det er noget större ogsaa end mine

tidligere træsnit, men ikke saa stort som det förnævnte

"digre".) – Jeg trykte i sommer et tryk af denne

sæteren, som jeg tænkte at sende Dem, om De skulde

bryde Dem om det, – jeg har imidlertid ikke för nù

kùnnet opdrive stor nok og passende "karton" – (det er

noksaa vanskeligt om karton for tiden). Nù skal jeg sende 

dette tryk en af de förste dage. Imidlertid har jeg trods

farvemangel faaet istand et tryk af det "digre" træsnit,

(med meget stræv) – det maatte ogsaa "beklippes" lidt, da

jeg ikke kùnde opdrive hverken japansk- eller Wattmann-

papir, som var bredt nok, – jeg veed ikke, om jeg

skal sende dette tryk, – det er som fölge af omstændigheder-

ne ikke saa godt, som jeg kunde lavet det, om jeg havde

havt materialer der til; – nù har jeg faaet lidt farver og vil

trykke et bedre tryk (haaber jeg) til Dem, saa snart jeg faar

större papir. Denne færdige tryk var det altsaa, jeg vilde spörge

Dem, om jeg skulde sende – til salg – Engel siger, at hùn

omtalte dette træsnit for Dem, og at De troede, at Masch-

mann kanske kjöbte et tryk af det. Det er imidlertid

ùmùligt for mig at skaffe karton til det, – jeg har bare

trykt en tryk af det för, og en ven i Bergen, som jeg forærede

det til, lavede sig selv karton til det af "krydsfiner", som

7

han tonede graa; – det tok sig godt ùd –. Nerlien A/S i

Kristiania har rammet ind for mig og kan kanske

skaffe stor nok karton, – der forstaar man ogsaa naar det forlanges, at et

træsnit kùn skal klæbes fast i den överste kant – helst

bare paa midtten, – noget som det næsten er ùmùligt

at gjöre andre rammemakere begribeligt.

Da vi var i Alger, tegnede jeg en kultegning fra vor

balkon: "Nat i Alger"; – jeg var tænkt at sende den til

Dem, om De bröd Dem om den; – det var imidlertid saa

saa mange vanskeligheder med at sende noget derfra (– jeg

har endnù ikke faaet nogen stùdier og et araberteppe, som jeg

sendte derfra, – det blev standset i Belgien, og er nù kommet

tilbake til Africa). – Kùltegningen blev derfor ikke

sendt, og da jeg var i Kristiania, hùskede jeg ikke paa

den, – jeg skal nù sende den samtidig med træsnittene,

og hvis De ikke bryder Dem om den, kan De jo sende mig den

tilbake. Den store tryk tænkte jeg at tage Kr. 500 for –

det er kanske meget – men jeg holder kùn en ùssel daglön

paa det – (en veiarbeider tjener betydelig mere). Vil De saa

sende mig en liste over, hvad De har af mine træsnit, det

kùnde da hænde, at jeg havde nyere ting, som De ikke har i Deres

samling, – det vilde da være mig en glæde at kompletere sam-

lingen; – af det store træsnit skal jeg ogsaa pröve paa at faa

lovet en god tryk til Dem som afdrag paa min gjæld til Dem.

Idet jeg haaber at De ikke er altfor sint paa mig for min daarlige

opförsel sender Engel og jeg vore bedste hilsener til Dem og Höst

Deres Nikolai Astrùp

P.S.

Ja dette brev er nok bleven liggende en tid,

det gaar slik med breve til alle mine venner

for tiden. Mange breve begynder jeg paa, og de blir

liggende – og blir kasserede. – Jeg er saa usikker

paa mig selv om jeg skriver normalt eller

ikke – jeg fornærmer mine bedste venner, ùden

selv at vide af det; – skulde der være

fornærmelige ord i dette brev saa maa De ùnd-

skylde det, – og betragte det som ùbehjælpelighed af

II

mig. – Tak for de tilsendte træsnit-tryk. De

kùnde godt bare brændt dem; – jeg har ladt

mine börn faa dem til leketöi, – saa kan de jo

gjöre lidt gavn. Det var jo nærmest exprimenter.

Jeg har ogsaa tilintetgjort mange billeder i den

senere tid, men jeg har et par-tre stykker, som jeg

holder paa – bl. a. et gammelt fra præstegaards-

haven – fra den tid jeg begyndte at smake paa expression-

ismen, – men endnù prövede at forbinde denne med

mit gamle, – altsaa förend jeg begyndte at exprimentere

Saa har jeg et endnù ældre billede – et meget stort – (större

end "Skyggesiden") med mange figùrer; – det var alle vi söskende

og Engel samlede i præstegaardshaven under den storbladede lind

III

samlede for sidste gang förend vi spredtes for alle vinde.

Vi havde siddet der saa ofte om kveldene ved stenbordet og

"holdt leven", – kogt kaffe med lidt "ulovligt" i (avec) eller med

en flaske af min sterke blaabærvin eller rabarbravin, – – præstegaar-

den laa bred og hvid og lav like ved; – kveldshimlen speiled

og glimted gùlt som fra et ondt öie i et vindù, – hvorfra der

ofte blev banket advarende til os ùnge nede i haven. Det

har aldrig lykkes mig helt at blive fornöiet med dette

billedeRavensberg var jo begeistret over det, – men der

mangler noget. – Saa har jeg et billede fra nabogaarden

til præstegaarden, – sommernat ved et havegjærde, – to unge

i samtale – en ùdenfor – en indenfor gjærdet ùnder et stort træ –

et hvidt hùs med "natlys" over – en irrgrön aaker bak havens

mörke trær – et lysende gult hùs i mod baggrunden – tùng rödlig maane.

Der er lidt mystik i dette billede – ellers er det igrùnden vel

litherært – vel megen lyrik, – det er ogsaa noksaa skissemæssigt.

Det er ogsaa fra den tid jeg "tangerte" expressionismen. –

Side 11 mangler.

V

De likte det. Et forsök paa at male Höst efter erindrin-

gen kan være morsomt som komposition, – men er ikke

noget portrait – saaledes som jeg synes, det bör være.

Nei – jeg gjör desværre intet – som det bör være for tiden. –

Jeg er ogsaa forbandet ùheldig, – som nù med denne "Meyers

samling" – hvor jeg iallefald havde et godt billede: "Helg",

som nù sammen med flere andre er plùkket ud af

samlingen, – dette billede staar endog i gavefortegnelsen, som

den Meyerske familie naadigst har gaaet med paa, – billedet

maa altsaa være forsvùndet (solgt af en af familien?), – og jeg har ikke engang faaet

ùdstillet billedet. Paa "vestlandsùdstillingen" ifjor fik jeg

se igjen et par andre billeder (i privateie i Bergen), de var

bedre end jeg havde troet, – men Grieg's store St. Hansbaal

blev jeg skùffet over, og det hjalp lidet, at Revold var meget

VI

begeistret over det. Krantz stod stadig foran det og rakkede

det ned, – men det gjör han jo snart sagt med alle –

maleres billeder. Han havde forresten et vakkert billede med

et hvidt skab paa Vestlandsùdstillingen – ellers hadde

han en hel del kubistiske ting, som lignede paa en prik, hvad

man har seet af de andre kùbister – lige fra deres knækkede

servietter og "bordùker" i geometriske folder – til landskaberne

med triangel haùger og broer, – ja endog de samme chablon-

kjör og hester; – han havde "slùgt kùbismen raa", som Hjördis

Landmark sa om ham, – men han kommer nok videre og

igjennem det hele, naar han faar skiftet ham et par gange; 

thi han er virkelig en begavelse – bare skade, at han gjör 

mig til ùvens med alle med sin ondskabsfùldhed.

Jeg har ogsaa klusset med kubisme og lignende ting og expri-

menteret med "Systemerne", – men jeg brænder og gjemmer væk

og betragter det bare som exprimenter eller höist sagt – stùdier.

VII VII

Ja Engel vilde nok gjerne skrevet nogen

ord og takket Dem for brevet, – men hùn er saa

ubehjælpelig efter gigtfeberen, og saa har hùn saa

meget stræv i hùset og med alle ùngerne, – vi har

nemlig ingen tjenestepike for tiden. – Kari er fuldvoksen

(enda hùn bare er 12 aar) og steller i fjöset og melker og

vasker gùlver – og klarer næsten en tjenestepikes rolle

ved siden af sine lekser, – og om natten gaar hùn

gjerne paa "dans" til den lyse morgen. Hùn har selv-

fölgelig ikke godt af det, men hvad skal man gjöre med börn,

som blir fortidligt voksne. Arnold fölger i hendes fodspor, hvad

dansen angaar. Jo saa maa De ùndskylde mit slùrvede brev

og sende mig et brevkort om jeg skal sende det store træsnit

Med bedste hilsen til Dem og Höst fra

Deres hengivne Engel og Nikolai Astrup

Konvolutt, framside:

Recomanderet

Til

Frù Isabella Höst

Meltzers gt. 7

Kristiania

Oversettelse

Dear Mrs. Höst!

Well I should begin with a thousand apologies

– I feel like a great scoundrel, – but then we have

suffered unusually this summer and 

autumn; – that is the only thing I can plead in my and my

wife’s excuse for our silence. It began

the instant we set foot on land in Söndfjord, – and in

Engel’s case quite literally, – in that she

twisted her foot, as she climbed onto the pier,

so that she could not walk on it; – I was fortunate enough to hire

one of the tourist vehicles, so that she was driven all the way home to our

farm, – but the effort it took to climb up the slopes

was too much for her and she fainted, as she was about to 

walk from one cabin to the next, – and was

unconscious for about a quarter of an hour, and literally resembled a corpse. –

A few days later she came down with rheumatic fever and remained

bedridden for 4 months; – she has only recently been up and about,

but is still ailing. Our housemaid also became

ill as soon as we arrived here and had to return home, – and it

was in the middle of the busy spring farmwork and nearly impossible

2

to hire a housekeeper – (here it is always difficult

to find housemaids – and worst of all during the summer months). –

We were able to hire help for an exorbitant fee however, – first here 

then there, – we also had to hire a nurse for

Engel, and the doctor visited her every week, – he

recommended that she should have fresh fish continuously,

and it was not always easy to get hold of, – some we got from

Förde and some from Bergen, – but we were penniless

even when we arrived home; – the family

had been living on credit during the entire trip abroad,

so we owed quite a lot to all 3 of the suppliers in

the area, and the credit began to run out, – – I went

out on the lake every night to catch some fish, 

but the terribly cold summer hindered the fish from

biting. And in the meantime the malaria fever raged in my 

veins, – it may also have indirectly been the cause of Engel’s

rheumatic fever. It was not at all easy to obtain to obtain

money for the debts – and for maintaining a wife and 6 children

a farmhand and hired workers and a sick elderly mother-in-law, who

lives with us. What was worse, I did not have enough paints.

I visited consul Mohr in Bergen, – between you and –

3

me I thought – of asking him for a loan of 2-3

hundred kroner, so that I could get hold of some paints, – but the first

thing he told me, when I entered his office was, – that

the painter Sohlberg was living in his home and was going to paint a large

picture over a fireplace, – it was a commission that

Mrs. Mohr had given me, – and I had counted on

this work with such certainty – as a beginning, when

I returned home – we had spoken at length about the motif, –

the consul was not to know about it, as it was going

to be a surprise for him from his wife. – I am 

sincerely happy for Sohlberg’s sake, – but I became

so perplexed nevertheless, that I failed to ask him (Mohr)

about the loan and failed likewise to visit them at

Fjösanger, as the consul asked me to Mohr has since sent Kr 50 for "the African".

As mentioned – I lacked paints, – and so I did something stupid,

which I have greatly regretted: – I took on some

drawing work, – the cost of the materials was minor, – I could

manage without paints, but in exchange it cost me 

so much more in work time and effort, – I 

worked night and day, – when I was not fishing, and I overstrained

myself completely, – and the pay barely sufficed for medications 

for me and Engel, – the children were indisposed now and then as well, especially

Page 4 is missing.

5

must no longer send You prints of the old

woodcuts – only new. – Now I have hardly carved

woodcuts since that time –; a large huge woodcut,

that cost me great effort both in the carving

and even more in the printing, – it nearly robbed

me of the desire to work any more with woodcuts – the blocks

have partially swelled and partially "shrunk" you see, – so

I must constantly allow the print to dry – before continuing to work, – and

then the same block has to be shifted a little back and forth in order to

fit, – and then, when I look at the result, I find,

that it is not nearly worth all the toil.

I have made a woodcut in "black and white" or rather

in black and grey tones, – it is more an experiment with

nuances in warm grey and cold grey, – which I am fond of, – 

perhaps mostly for the sake of the motif, or because I spent

a few glorious day up there on a mountain dairy farm under the Jostedal

glacier with the whole family: – mostly only grey rocks and

mounds of moraine and grey cabins (mountain dairy cabins), that appeared in such a way,

that I felt as though I were at home in a West Norway courtyard 2000 years

ago. The children and I bathed in the glacial rivers and felt like

wild animals for a fleeting moment, – and it mattered not a bit, that a

horse destroyed – "chewed up" – my best work up there, after

having danced a jig on it first – my spirits were high

6

at the time; (we would have gone there this summer, had Engel not

become ill). It is however not a print woodcut,

that people will like; – (it is also somewhat larger than my

earlier woodcuts, but not as large as the aforementioned 

"huge" one.) – This summer I made a print of this

mountain dairy farm, which I thought of sending to You, if You

were interested in it, – However I have not until now

been able to get hold of large enough and suitable "board" – (it is

rather difficult to get hold of board at present). I shall send 

this print one day soon. In the meantime I have despite

the lack of paints been able to make a print of the "huge" woodcut,

(with great difficulty) – it had to be "cropped" a little, as 

I could not get hold of either Japanese or Wattmann

paper, that was wide enough, – I don’t know, whether I 

will send this print, – due to the circumstances it is

not as good, as I could have made it, had I

had the proper materials; – now I have gotten hold of some paints and will

make a better print (I hope) for You, as soon as I obtain

larger paper. It was this finished print, that I wished to ask

You, whether I should send – for sale – Engel says, that she

mentioned this woodcut to You, and that You thought, that Masch-

mann might have purchased a print of it. It is however

impossible for me to get hold of board for it, – I have only

made one print of it before, and a friend in Bergen, to whom I bestowed 

it, made his own board for it out of "plywood", which

7

he painted a grey tone, – it looked good –. Nerlien A/S in

Kristiania [Oslo] has done some framing for me and might perhaps

obtain large enough board, – there they also understand when it is requested, that a

woodcut should be attached along the upper edge only – preferably

only in the middle, – something that is almost impossible

to make other framers comprehend.

When we were in Algiers, I made a charcoal drawing from our

balcony: "Night in Algiers"; – I have thought of sending it to

You, if You are interested in it; – meanwhile there were so

many difficulties in sending anything from there (– I 

I have not yet received some studies and a Oriental carpet, that I

sent from there, – the shipment was stopped in Belgium, and has now been

returned to Africa). – The charcoal drawing was thus not

sent, and when I was in Kristiania, I did not remember

it, – I shall now send it together with the woodcuts,

and if You are not interested in it, You can always return it

to me. The large print I thought of asking Kr. 500 for –

that is perhaps a lot – but I only ask for a miserly day’s wage

for it – (a road construction worker earns considerably more). Would You 

send me a list of what You have of my woodcuts, it

is possible, that I have newer things, which You do not have in Your

collection, – it would be a pleasure for me to supplement the col-

lection; – among the large woodcuts I will also make an effort to 

make a good print for You as an instalment on my debt to You.

In the hope that You are not terribly angry at me for my poor 

behaviour Engel and I send our best wishes to You and Höst

Your Nikolai Astrùp

P.S.

Well this letter has been lying here for a while,

that seems to happen to letters to all my friends

of late. I begin many letters, and they remain

lying there – and are discarded. – I am so unsure

of myself [and] whether I write normally or

not – I offend my best friends, without

realising it myself; – if there are 

offensive words in this letter You must for-

give me, – and view it as feebleness on

II

my part. – Thank you for the expedited woodcut prints. You

could have just burned them; – I have given them to

my children to play with, – so they can

serve some purpose. They were more like experiments.

I have also destroyed many pictures 

lately, but I have two or three, that I am

holding onto – including an old one from the vicarage

garden – from the time I began to try out expression-

ism, – yet still attempted to combine this with

my old [style], – i.e. before I began to experiment

And then I have an even older picture – a very large one – (larger

than "The Shady Side") with many figures; – All of us siblings

and Engel were gathered in the vicarage garden under the broad-leafed linden tree 

III

together for the last time before we were scattered to the four winds.

We used to sit there often in the evenings at the stone table making

"mischief", – brewed coffee with a little "contraband" (spirits) or with

a bottle of my strong blueberry wine or rhubarb wine, – – the vicar-

age garden lay spread out and white below us; – the evening reflected

a yellow glow like that of an evil eye in a window, – from whence 

someone banged admonishingly to us youth down in the garden. I

have never succeeded in being totally satisfied with this

paintingRavensberg was enthusiastic about it, – but

something is missing. – I also have a picture from the farm

next to the vicarage, – summer night by a garden fence, – two youths

in conversation – one outside – one inside the fence under a large tree –

a white house with the "nocturnal light" above – a chartreuse green field behind the

dark trees of the garden – bright yellow house against the background – heavy ruddy moon.

There is something mystical about this picture – or it is basically rather

literary – rather very lyrical, – it is also quite sketchy.

It is from the time I "had a brush with" expressionism. –

Page 11 is missing.

V

You liked it. An attempt at painting Höst by memo-

ry can be fun as a composition, – but is not

a portrait – as I feel it should be.

No – regrettably I don’t do anything – as it should be of late. –

I am also damned unlucky, – as now with this "Meyers

collection" – where I at least had one good picture: "Weekend"

which now together with several others has been removed from

the collection, – this picture even remains on the gift inventory, which

 the Meyer family has reluctantly agree to, – the picture

must have therefore disappeared (sold by someone in the family?), – and I have not even

exhibited the picture. At the "West Norway exhibition" last year I was able

to see again a couple of other pictures (privately owned in Bergen), they were

better than I had thought, – but Grieg’s large Midsummer Eve Bonfire

I was disappointed in, and it didn't help that Revold was very

VI

enthusiastic about it. Krantz stood in front of it the whole time and

disparaged it, – but he does that virtually with every –

painter’s pictures. Incidentally he had a beautiful picture with

a white cupboard in the West Norway Exhibition – otherwise he

had a whole bunch of cubist things, that resembled precisely, what

one has seen by the other Cubists – everything from their napkins 

and "tablecloths" broken up into geometrical folds – to the landscapes

with triangular gardens and bridges, – and even the same stencil of

cows and horses; – he had "swallowed Cubism whole", as Hjördis

Landmark said of him, – but he will carry on and get 

through it all, when he has shed his skin a few times; 

for he is really gifted, – it only hurts, that he has 

become enemies with everyone with his mean-spiritedness.

I have also dabbled in Cubism and similar things and experi-

mented with "the Systemics", – but I burn and hide [them] away

and regard it only as an experiment or at best – studies.

VII VII

Well Engel would have liked to write a few

words and thanked You for Your letter, – but she is so

feeble after the rheumatic fever, and in addition she has so 

much to do in the house and with all the children, – for we

have no housemaid at the moment. – Kari is full-grown

(though she is only 12 years old) and does the chores in the barn and milks and

washes the floors – and nearly manages the role of a housemaid

aside from doing her homework, – and at night she gladly

goes to "a dance" until the early morning. It is of

course not good for her, but what shall one do with children,

who grow up prematurely. Arnold is following in her footsteps, when

it comes to dancing. And now You must forgive my sloppy letter

and send me a postcard about whether I should send the large woodcut

With best wishes to You and Höst from

Your devoted Engel and Nikolai Astrup

Envelope, front:

Certified mail

To

Mrs. Isabella Höst

Meltzers gt. 7

Kristiania [Oslo]