The Pillars of Society, and Other Plays

The Pillars of Society, and Other Plays

Read FREE!

The Pillars of Society, and Other Plays

The Pillars of Society, and Other Plays

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The Scandinavian group of countries holds to-day a position not unlike that held at the beginning of the century by Germany. They speak, in various modified forms, a language which the rest of the world have regarded as little more than barbarous, and are regarded generally as an innocent and primitive folk. Yet they contain centres of intense literary activity; they have produced novels of a peculiarly fresh and penetrating realism; and they possess, moreover, a stage on which great literary works may be performed, and the burning questions of the modern world be scenically resolved. It is natural that Norway, with its historical past and literary traditions, should be the chief centre of this activity, and that a Norwegian should stand forth to-day as the chief figure of European significance that has appeared in the Teutonic world of art since Goethe.

To understand Norwegian art--whether in its popular music, with its extremes of melancholy or hilarity, or in its highly-developed literature--we must understand the peculiar character of the land which has produced this people. It is a land having, in its most characteristic regions, a year of but one day and night--the summer a perpetual warm sunlit day filled with the aroma of trees and plants, and the rest of the year a night of darkness and horror; a . . .

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