Asbjørnsen and Moe: Collectors of Norwegian Folklore ... Tuss og Troll

Posted on March 27, 2017 by Deb Nelson Gourley

Peter Christen Asbjørnsen (1812 — 1885)
    Peter Christen Asbjørnsen was born on 15th January 1812 in Christiania [present day Oslo], where his father was a glazier. School studies addressed him less than [Sir] Walter Scott and the outdoor life in the city’s environs and in 1827 he was sent north to Ringerike for private tuition to prepare him for the Examen Artium [entrance examination to university]; there he befriended his co-worker to be, the similarly aged, Jørgen Moe. In 1833 he became a [university] student, but was immediately compelled to take up a position as a tutor. When he four years later came back to Christiania, he began medicinal studies and threw himself with ardor into Natural History; especially awaking his interest in Zoology, which he not only dealt with in several writings and dissertations, but also enriched with the discovery of new species. Later he turned himself to more practical areas. From 1856-1858 he studied through a public scholarship, forestry, in Germany. After his homecoming he was appointed to district forestry superintendent in the counties around Trondheim, and in 1864, after a new travel grant, amongst others, to Denmark and Holland, he was appointed as head of the State Peat Operations. In this position he remained, until he in 1876 resigned. A long series of writings of forestry, peat operation and other national economic topics arising from this time frame, including a cookbook Fornuftig madstel — 1864], which gave rise to a lengthy [1864-1867] polemic of the so-called Grødkrig [Porridge War].
    What gives Asbjørnsen his major significance for Norway’s intellectual life, is his work in the service of traditional poetry. Already the same year he became a [university] student, he began slowly to record folktales and legends, and in 1842, in conjunction with Jørgen Moe. He published the first booklet of “Norske Folke-Eventyr [Norwegian Folktales], collected and told by P. Chr. Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Moe”. This collection which has been published in many issues, assimilates as a continuation of “Norske Folke-Eventyr, told by P. Chr. Asbjørnsen. New Collection. With Contribution from Jørgen Moe’s Travels and Records”, 1871 and 1876. — As well as adventure, Asbjørnsen also collected folktales, which he released in a setting of fresh fragrant nature and tales of folk life, “Norske Huldre-Eventyr og Folkesagn”, 1845—1848. Asbjørnsen died in Christiania 6th January 1885.
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    Peter Christen Asbjørnsen er født 15. Januar 1812 i Christiania, hvor hans Fader var Glasmester. Skolestudierne tiltalte ham mindre end Walter Scott og Friluftslivet i Byens Omegn, og i 1827 blev han sendt op til Ringerike for under privat Tilsyn at forberedes til Artium; der lærte han sin senere Ven og Medarbeider, den omtrent jævnaldrende Jørgen Moe, at kjende. Student blev han i 1833, men var nødt til strax at tage ud som Huslærer. Da han fire Aar efter kom tilbage til Christiania, begyndte han paa det medicinske Studium og kastede sig med Iver over Naturhistorie; især vaktes hans Interesse af Zoologien, som han ikke alene behandlede i flere Skrifter og Afhandlinger, men ogsaa berigede ved Opdagelsen af nye Dyreformer. Senere vendte han sig mod praktiske Omraader. Fra 1856-1858 studerede han med offentligt Stipendium Forstvidenskab i Tyskland. Efter sin Hjemkomst blev han udnævnt til Forstmester i de trondhjemske Amter, og i 1864, efter en ny Stipendiereise, bl. a. i Danmark og Holland, ansattes han som Leder af Statens Torvdrift. I denne Stilling blev han staaende, indtil han i 1876 tog sin Afsked. En lang Række Skrifter om Skovbrug, Torvdrift og andre nationaløkonomiske Emner hidrører fra denne Tid, deriblandt en Kogebog, der gav Anledning til en langvarig Avisfeide, den saakalde »Grødkrig«.
    Det, der giver Asbjørnsen hans væsentlige Betydning for Norges Aandsliv, er hans Arbejde i Folkedigtningens Tjeneste. Allerede samme Aar, han blev Student, begyndte han saa smaat at optegne Eventry og Sagn, og i 1842 kunde han sammen med Jørgen Moe udsende det første Hefte af »Norske Folke-Eventyr, samlede og fortalte af P. Chr. Asbjørnsen og Jørgen Moe«. Til denne Samling, der er udgaaet i mange Oplag, slutter sig som Fortsættelse »Norske Folke-Eventyr, fortalte af P. Chr. Asbjørnsen. Ny Samling. Med Bidrag fra Jørgen Moes Reiser og Optegnelser«, 1871 og 1876. — Ved Siden af Eventyr samlede Asbjørnsen ogsaa Folkesagn, som han gjengav i en Ramme af friske duftende Natur- og Folkelivsskildringer, »Norske Huldre-Eventyr og Folkesagn«, 1845—1848. Asbjørnsen døde i Christiania 6. Januar 1885.

Jørgen Moe (1813 — 1882)
    Jørgen Moe is the son of a farmer from the farm Moe in Hole Parish, Ringerike, where he was born, 22nd April 1813. His father decided on his studies early, and from fall of 1826 he received private tuition in the Artium subjects [university entrance subjects] in his home town. After 1830, having become a [university] student, he was for a long time extensively occupied with esthetic and belletristic literature, but after some hesitancy decided on theology studies, and graduated in 1839. Already during his study years he had to make a living by giving tuition; from this time forth he was a teacher at various schools and for two years was a private tutor at ironworks owner, Jakob Aall at Næs, until he in 1845, was appointed as a teacher at the Royal Norwegian Military Academy, where he taught for eight years. At the same time he was for some years a research fellow at the university, in Norwegian Folk Traditions. In 1853 he began ecclesiastical work, first as chaplain in Krødsherred, later as a vicar in Drammen, and finally in Vestre Aker near Christiania. From there he received in 1875, the calling for bishop in Christiansand, where he died on 27th March 1882.
    Moe debuted in 1834 with a polemicist poem against Henrik Wergeland’s Critique of Oehlenschläger’s Poetry. However, his first poem was only published in 1849. Two years later followed his children’s tales I Brønden og i Tjernet [In the well and in the tarn], and in 1855 a collection of religious poetry.
    His influence on Norwegian literature, Moe in a fashion, blames Asbjørnsen, especially the classical rendering of folktales. The primary foundation to his collections he made in 1834, and three years later he joined Asbjørnsen for retelling and publishing of both their works. For the second release of the tales (1851) Moe wrote an introduction, which among other things explains the character types in these folk fantasies’ emergence. Also he published the first small collection of Norwegian folk songs and rhymes (1840), and recorded a considerable number of old ballads, of which a number are published in Sophus Bugge’s and Svend Grudtvig’s song collections.
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    Jørgen Moe er en Bondesøn fra Gaarden Moe i Hole Sogn paa Ringerike hvor han blev født 22. April 1813. Hans Fader bestemte ham tidlig for Studierne, og fra Høsten 1826 fik han privat Undervisning i Artiumsfagene i sin Hjembygd. Efter i 1830 at være bleven Student var han i længere Tid stærkt optagen af Æsthetik og Skjønlitteratur, men valgte efter nogen Vaklen Theologi til Studium, og blev i 1839 Kandidat. Allerede under Studieaarene havde han maattet skaffe sig sit Livsophold ved at give Undervisning; fra nu af var han Lærer ved forskjellige Skoler og i to Aar Huslærer hos Jernværkseier Jakob Aall paa Næs, indtil han i 1845 blev ansat som Lærer ved den kgl. norske Krigsskole, hvor han virkede i otte Aar. Samtidig var han et Par Aar Adjunktstipendiat ved Universitetet i norsk Folketradition. I 1853 gik han over i geistlig Virksomhed, først som residerende Kapellan i Krødsherred, senere som Sognepræst i Drammen, og tilslut i Vestre Aker ved Christiania. Derfra blev han i 1875 kaldet til Biskop i Christiansand, hvor han døde 27. Marts 1882.
    Moe debuterede 1834 med et polemist Digt mod Henrik Wergelands Kritik over Oehlenschlägers Digtning. Hans første »Digte« udkom dog først 1849. To Aar efter fulgte hans Barnefortællinger »I Brønden og i Tjernet«, og i 1855 en Samling religiøse Digte.
    Sin Betydning for den norske Litteratur skylder Moe, ligesom Asbjørnsen, især den klassiske Gjengivelse af Folke-Eventyrene. Den første Grund til sine Samlinger lagde han i 1834, og tre Aar senere forenede han sig med Asbjørnsen til Gjenfortælling og Udgivelse af begges Optegnelser. Til den 2den Udgave af Eventyrene (1851) skrev Moe en Indledning, der bl. a. gjør Rede for Karaktertyperne i disse Folkefantasiens Frembringelser. Ligessa udgav han den første lille Samling af norske Folkeviser og Stev (1840), og optegnede et betydeligt Antal gamle Viser, hvoraf en Del er udgivne i Sophus Bugges og Svend Grudtvigs Visesamlinger.

    [Asbjørnsen og Moe — Kilde/Source: P. Chr. Asbjørnsen, Norske Folke- og Huldre-Eventyr i Udvalg, Glydendalske Boghandels Forlag, Kjøbenhavn, 1896.]

    [Norwegian Folk Tales, Fairy Tales and Trolls: Tuss og Troll, 2-Volume-Set
From the collection of Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Moe as well as others, Astri My Astri Publishing, 2012 and 2013] www.astrimyastri.com

Posted in Astri My Astri Publishing, Bilingual, Deb Nelson Gourley, English, Jørgen Moe, Norsk Barneblad, Norway, Norwegian, Norwegian Folk Tales Fairy Tales and Trolls, Peter Christen Asbjørnsen, Tuss og Troll, www.astrimyastri.com


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