Brev

Astrup, Nikolai til Høst, Isabella
1917-10/11

Transkripsjon:

Tor Martin Leknes

Oversettelse:

Francesca Nichols

Side

  • 1,
  • 2,
  • 3,
  • 4,
  • 5,
  • 6,
  • 7,
  • 8
Transkripsjon
Oversettelse

Brev

Astrup, Nikolai til Høst, Isabella
1917-10/11
Brevs.531-67515, Nasjonalbiblioteket

8 sider

Transkripsjon: Tor Martin Leknes

Oversettelse: Francesca Nichols

Transkripsjon

Opp ned tekst øverst: 

Undskyld skrift og stil i det daarlige lys.

           Kjære frú Höst!

Undskyld, at jeg denne gang ikke

straks kviterede for pengene

Kr. 420, som jeg modtog for 4

dage siden. – Tusend tak! Jeg blev

meget glædelig overrasket, da jeg

ikke troede, De havde noget salg-

bart for mig, – de kom sandelig

som en opmùntring i disse mörke

tider – for os er det ogsaa i bog-

stavelig forstand en mörk tid, – da vi

kùn blir tildelt en liter parafin

om maaneden. – Vi har maattet lete

frem en liden længst kaseret lampe,

som brænder et minimùm af olje,

og vi lever da i halvmörke hele den

lange mörke kveld; – thi mörkere

dage mindes jeg ingen höst at have

oplevet – det kommer vel af det stadige

regn, – her har nù regnet næsten i et kjör

siden midtten af aùgùst, – saa her

maatte ske skade; – i midten af

september eller lidt senere begyndte

det at "sne lige ned", – det havde

da længe sneet i fjeldene, – saa kom

der lidt mildveir med endnù værre

regn end för, – der randt bække, hvor

der aldrig havde været bække för – all

sneen i fjeldene smeltet i en hast,

og alle bække blev til elver og jord

og sten rasede ùd mange steder i bygden.

Jölstervandet steg paa en dag saa höit,

som det aldrig har været i mands

minde, og samtidig kom en sterk

vestenstorm, saa landeveiene langs

jölstervandet – særlig paa vor side –

(sydsiden) blev aldeles bortskyllede

af det sterkt oprörte vand, – baadnöst

og favnved, – som folk havde hugget op

til vinteren – flöd overalt, – vi misted

vor baad og en del ved, samt en vævstol

og jeg var svært ængstelig for mit

lille atteliere, som stod ùde i 

bölgerne medens vandet dùndrede

op ùnder gùlvet i hvert öieblik.

Jeg turde ikke andet end at bære

ùd alt, som fandtes i hùset og

blev selvfölgelig dygtig vaad og for-

kjölet – og siden har vi lige til

nù været næsten uden forbindelse

med udenverdenen, – da veiene var

ufremkommelige; – mange steder

kunde man ikke med bestemthed

sige, hvor veien tidligere havde gaaet.

Vi blev ùdkommanderet alle mand

her paa sydsiden, og jeg maatte ogsaa

arbeide som veieslusk i 3 dage og

forkjölelsen blev selvfölgelig ikke

bedre, – og som jeg kunde vente

mig, fik jeg ogsaa frygtelige kvæl-

ningsanfald, som plager mig hver

nat nù – det langvarige raa veir

er vel ogsaa for en del aarsag deri,

og nù kan jeg ikke, naar anfaldene

kommer, tænde lys, – för lod jeg gjerne

lyset brænde hele natten, saa jeg kùn-

de finde mediciner i en fart – nù 

er det dobbelt trist, naar jeg skal

ligge og famle i mörket og kjæmpe

for hver haandfuld lùft, medens

mörket og onde tanker faar

magt over mig – onde mennesker

dukker op og forsvinder for at give

plads for andre onde mennesker.

Hidtil har jeg da staaet mig bra

med folk i bygden – nù begyn-

der ogsaa de: – en liden forsöm-

melse i den travle vaartid – jeg meldte

min dreng ind 9-10 dage forsent i den

forbandede hùmbùgindretning, som kal-

des sykekassen og nù har man, for

at "statuere et ex.pel" paa grùnd af de

mange lignende forsömmelser i bygden,

ilagt mig en mùlkt paa Kr. 100; – jeg

protesterer og det blir nù sak derom.

Slige og lignende ting dùkker op

og det er selvfölgelig mörkets skyld.

II

Alle smaating blir store – nogen

saùer har brudt sig ind paa mine

kaalsenge og spist op all min kaal

(som var mit personlige forrad af

mad til vinteren) – medens vore egne

saùer ligger borte i sneen paa fjelde-

ne, saa vi faar dem neppe igjen, –

det blir forresten et ganske stort tab

i disse onde tider – og Engel taler ikke

om andet hele dagen. – Saa er det

udrasningerne paa gaarden som fölge

af den frygtelige regnflom; – det ligger

alt ùrört, – jeg giver mig over og

lader "vor herre" rase ùd.

Værst er det at Engel er daarlig af

plevritten – jeg maa pröve at skrape

ihop mynt til en reise ind til

Bergen til doktor med hende – jeg

veed ingen anden rad end at gjöre

noget som jeg aldrig för har gjort

iallefald ikke med vilje: – at lave

daarlige billeder og holde en ùdstilling

men jeg kvier meg for det ogsaa – jeg

tör iallefald ikke gjöre det i Bergen

– har tænkt paa Haugesùnd – det er 

jo fortiden alle daarlige maleres eldo-

rado. Jeg tör vel ikke spörge om Deres

raad til et sligt uhæderligt foretagende

– det blir forresten neppe noget af.

Jeg forsöger forelöbig at gjöre mit

bedste med malingen – med de faa

farver som endnù staar til min raa-

dighed – jeg slider – og saa faar jeg

forespörgsel fra denne og hin "ùnge"

maler: om jeg ikke har farver liggende

– "jeg maler jo ikke længer" og saa kan jeg

ligegodt sælge dem mine farver som

at de ligger og blir ödelagt o.s.v. – ja

der er nok farvemangel for andre

ogsaa skjönner jeg – mange farver

kan jo ikke faaes – men havde jeg

enda rigelig af alle de farver som

endnù forefindes i handelen skulde jeg

være glad for det og komme lidt

længer paa vei end jeg nù gjör. –

Her kom en dag en dame og fortal-

te at hùn havde reist hid op bare

for at faa kjöbe billeder af mig – hùn

havde forgjæves forsögt gjennem

kùnsthandlerne at faa noget af mig

Hùn lagde straks sin elsk paa 3

af mine billeder som hùn endelig

maatte faa for 500 Kr. – hùn havde

havt saa mange besværligheder for

at træffe mig – (hùn havde været

her et par dage för men maatte da

reise ned igjen til Vasendens hotel med

ùforrettet sag da jeg ikke var hjemme

den dag) – hùn syntes derfor at

jeg maatte lade hende faa de 3 billeder

for den billige pris og jeg sagde til slut

ja – for at blive kvit hende – jeg træng-

te ogsaa höilig til mynt og fik da 200

kontant – resten skulde jeg faa senere

men har endnù intet hört fra hende;

men jeg skal idag have den fornöielse at

at sende et rykkerbrev jeg ogsaa – ellers

pleier det jo være saa, at jeg er den mod-

tagende paa det omraade.

Engel ventede forgjæves paa Deres besög

i höst – hùn paastaar at föle at

onde mennesker har lagt ondt mel-

lem Eder og os – (dog ikke paa grùnd af

at De ikke besögte os i sommer); jeg

haaber at hendes fölelser er feilagtige,

og at De har tilgivet mùlige hensyns-

lösheder fra min side.

Nù maa De fortælle hvilke af mine

træsnit De mangler i Deres egen samling

"Kverngang" ("Kvenna-gong" er her

navnet paa det höstveir, som behöves

for at "kvernen skal gaa") skal jeg sende

saasnart jeg faa tag i karton – til Deres

egen samling altsaa. Prytz er reist for

en maaned siden – han var saa begeistret

for 2 af mine billeder, at jeg lod ham faa

det ene "sommernat ved gjærdet"; og det andet

"Fjösfrieriet" (1,50 m.) fik han for 300, – som

han skal betale af paa lidt efter hvert. Han var

en hyggelig gùt. Kommer De til Bergen i vinter?

Da kùnde jeg jo vise Dem billeder. Bedste hilsener

til Eder alle fra Engel og Eders hengivne Astrup

Oversettelse

Upside down text at top: 

Forgive my handwriting and style in this poor light.

           Dear Mrs. Höst!

I am sorry, that this time I did not

immediately acknowledge the money

Kroner 420, which I received 4

days ago. – Many thanks! I was

very pleasantly surprised, as I

did not think, You had anything to

sell for me, – they truly came

as an encouragement during these dark

times – for us it is a dark time

also in a literal sense, – as we

are only allotted one litre of kerosene

per month. – We were forced to dig

up a little long ago discarded lamp,

that burns a minimum of oil,

and we live in semi-darkness throughout the

long dark evening; – for I cannot

remember experiencing a fall so

dark – it is probably due to the constant

rain, – it has been raining here almost non-stop

since the middle of August, – which here

had to cause damage; – in the middle of

September or slightly later it began

to snow heavily, – it had

already snowed at length in the mountains, – then a

touch of mild weather arrived with even worse

rain than before, – brooks ran, where

there had never been brooks before – all

the snow in the mountains melted quickly, 

and the brooks became rivers and soil

and stones fell away many places in the village.

Lake Jölstervandet rose so high in one day,

as it has never been in living 

memory, and at the same time a severe

westerly storm arrived, so the country roads along

Lake Jölstervandet – especially on our side –

(the south side) were totally washed away

by the high waves, – boathouses

and firewood, – which people had cut up

for the winter – were strewn everywhere, – we lost

our boat and a lot of firewood, as well as a loom

and I am very worried about my

little studio, which stood out in 

the waves while the water pounded

upwards under the floor again and again.

I had no choice but to carry 

everything out, that was in the house and

of course became utterly soaked and caught a

cold – and since then we have

now been almost without contact

with the rest of the world, – as the roads were

impassable; – many places

one could not say with certainty

where the road had been before. 

We were all enlisted every last man

here on the south side, and I too had to 

toil as a road construction worker for 3 days 

and of course my cold did not 

improve, – and as I might have

expected, I was struck with terrible chok-

ing seizures, that plague me every 

night now – the continuing raw weather

is perhaps also part of the cause of it,

and now I cannot light the lamp,

when the seizures begin, – before I would often

let the lamp burn through the night, so that I 

could fetch medications in a hurry – now 

it is twice as discouraging, when I have to

lie fumbling in the dark and struggle

for every mouthful of air, while

the dark and evil thoughts gain

command over me – evil beings

show up and disappear to make

room for other evil beings.

Until now I have been on good terms

with people in the village – now even

they have begun: – a little over-

sight during the busy spring season – I registered

my farmhand 9-10 days too late into the

damned humbug arrangement, that’s

called medical insurance and now, 

to "set an example" due to

many similar oversights in the village,

they have imposed a fine on me in the amount of Kroner 100; – I

protested and now there will be a court case about it.

This and similar kinds of things occur 

and it is of course due to the darkness.

II

All small things become large – some

sheep have broken into my 

cabbage field and eaten up all my cabbages

(which was my personal reserve of

food for the winter) – while our own

sheep are under the snow in the moun-

tains, so it’s not likely we will get them back, –

it will incidentally be a rather large loss

during these difficult times – and Engel doesn’t talk

about anything else all day long. – Then there are the

landslides on the farm as a result

of the terrible flooding; – it is all

left as it is, – I give up and 

let "Our Lord" let out His rage. 

What’s worse is that Engel is ill with

pleurisy – I must try to scrape

together some coins to travel in to 

Bergen to a doctor with her – I

have no other choice than to do

something I have never done before

at least not deliberately: – to make

poor pictures and arrange an exhibition 

but I am reluctant to do it – at

least I don’t dare do it in Bergen

– have thought of Haugesùnd – it is 

currently every poor painter’s eldo-

rado. I don’t dare ask Your

advice about such an dishonest undertaking

– it’s not likely that anything will ever come of it. 

In the meantime I strive to do my

best when it comes to painting – with the few

paints that remain at my dis-

position – I’m struggling – and then I receive

requests from this or that "young"

painter: whether I have paints lying around

– "I don’t paint any more" and thus I might

just as well sell them my paints since

they are lying about getting spoiled etc. – well

others are lacking paints

too it seems – many colours

are impossible to get hold of – but if only I

had an abundance of all the colours that are

still available in the shop I would

be very happy and come a little

further than I have now. –

A lady came by one day and said

that she had travelled up here just

to purchase pictures by me – she

had tried in vain to get something

of mine through the art dealers

She immediately fell for 3 

of my pictures which she absolutely

had to have for 500 Kroner – she had

experienced so many difficulties in coming

to meet me – (she had been

here a few days before but had to

return down to Vasendens hotel with

her mission incomplete as I was not at home

that day) – she therefore felt that

I had to let her have the 3 pictures

for that cheap price and in the end I said

yes – in order to get rid of her – I was

also in dire need of change and received 200

in cash – the remainder I was to receive later

but I have not yet heard from her; 

today I shall have the pleasure myself of

sending a reminder of payment letter – normally

it is I, who am on the re-

ceiving end in that area.

Engel waited in vain for Your visit

this fall – she says she has a feeling that

malicious people have caused some discord be-

tween You and us – (though not because

You did not visit us this summer); I

hope that her feelings are unfounded,

and that You have forgiven any possible lack of

consideration on my part.

Now You must tell me which of my

woodcuts You are lacking in Your own collection

"Kverngang" ("Kvenna-gong" is the local

term for the autumn weather, which is needed

in order for "the mill to turn") I shall send

as soon as I get hold of cardboard – for Your

own collection in other words. Prytz left 

a month ago – he was so enthusiastic

about 2 of my pictures, that I let him have

the one "Summer night by the fence"; and the other

"Cowshed Courting" (1,50 m.) he got for 300, – which

he will pay off gradually. He was

a nice boy. Will You be coming to Bergen this winter?

In that case I could show You pictures. Best wishes

to You all from Engel and Your devoted Astrup