Archive for September 25th, 2012

“…the sun and the sifting shadows…”

September 25, 2012 @ 7:43 pm | Filed under:

From Tiina Nunnally‘s introduction to her translation of Kristin Lavransdatter:

Sigrid Undset’s great gift as a writer might best be described in her own appraisal of Charlotte Brontë, whom she much admired: “[Her] sense of self is grounded in her awareness that her art is bitterly true, that her talent is merely the courage to look honestly into her own heart. [She] wished to depict life and reality the way they are—life and reality as they existed in her own heart, in the limitless possibilities of her heart, in her dreams and yearnings, in the mirages of hunger and thirst—and in all the tiny gray-pebble days over which life flows.”

And this:

Undset had been an avid botanist. As an eighteen-year-old she described in a letter her love of nature as “that hypnotic immersion in the corolla of a rose when you have stared at it for so long that all outlines are erased and you become dizzy with crimson.” She said that she longed to “disappear into nature so that you cease to feel or think, but with all your senses you greedily draw in the light and colors, the rustling of leaves and the trickling of underground streams, the sun and the shifting shadows—that is happiness, nirvana.”