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Skipper Worse   By: (1849-1906)

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Skipper Worse by Alexander Lange Kielland is a compelling and thought-provoking novel that transports readers to 19th century Norway. Set in the coastal city of Stavanger, the story revolves around the life of the eponymous character, Skipper Worse, a respected merchant.

The narrative delves into the complexities of Skipper's life, including his troubled marriage to Rebekka, his business struggles, and his interactions with the vibrant community in Stavanger. Kielland's storytelling prowess shines through as he weaves together a tapestry of vivid characters, presenting a microcosm of society's flaws and virtues.

One of the central themes explored in the novel is the tension between tradition and progress. Skipper Worse finds himself caught between the old ways, rooted in conservative values, and the emerging wave of liberalism and modernity. This conflict is epitomized in Skipper's strained relationship with his father, who represents the old guard, determined to hold onto the past at all costs. Kielland masterfully captures this dichotomy, subtly critiquing societal norms and the challenges of adapting to a rapidly changing world.

What sets Skipper Worse apart is the author's ability to create an intricate web of relationships among the characters. Each individual is fleshed out with their own struggles, desires, and flaws, making them all the more relatable. From the ambitious young politician Gabriel Gram to the cunning shrewdness of Christensen, a rival merchant, every character contributes to the multifaceted narrative, creating a rich tapestry of human drama.

Moreover, the vivid descriptions of the natural landscapes of Stavanger add an enchanting layer to the story. Kielland's lyrical prose brings the coastal city to life, allowing readers to immerse themselves in the rugged beauty of the Norwegian scenery. The author's keen attention to detail and evocative imagery paint a vivid picture of the ever-changing sea and rocky terrain, providing a backdrop that mirrors the emotional turmoil of the characters.

While the pacing of the novel may feel slow at times, it is purposeful, allowing readers to fully absorb the intricacies of the narrative and the depth of the characters' emotions. Kielland's exploration of various social issues, such as the role of women in society and the consequences of unchecked ambition, adds layers of depth to the narrative, making it more than just a character study.

In conclusion, Skipper Worse is a captivating novel that skillfully portrays the conflicts and complexities of 19th century Norwegian society. Alexander Lange Kielland's storytelling prowess shines through, as he immerses readers in a world of vivid characters and thought-provoking themes. This timeless work of literature encourages contemplation about the delicate balance between tradition and progress, making it a worthwhile read for those seeking a captivating and intellectually stimulating novel.

First Page:

THE HARVARD CLASSICS SHELF OF FICTION [From Vol. 20] SELECTED BY CHARLES W ELIOT LL D

SKIPPER WORSE

BY ALEXANDER L. KIELLAND

EDITED WITH NOTES AND INTRODUCTIONS BY WILLIAM ALLAN NEILSON PH D

P F COLLIER & SON NEW YORK

Published under special arrangement with The Macmillan Company

Copyright, 1886 By D. APPLETON AND COMPANY

Copyright, 1917 By P. F. COLLIER & SON

CONTENTS

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

CRITICISMS AND INTERPRETATIONS: I. BY H. H. BOYESEN II. BY WILLIAM H. CARPENTER

SKIPPER WORSE

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

Alexander Kielland was born in Stavanger, Norway, on February 18, 1849, of a wealthy family of shipowners. After studying law at the University of Christiania he bought a brick and tile factory at Malk, near his native town, and for some years it appeared as if he were to follow the family tradition and become merely a substantial citizen of provincial importance. But about 1878 he began to publish some short stories in the Christiania "Dagblad," and in 1879 and 1880 there appeared two volumes of "Novelettes." These were marked by a light satirical touch and a sympathy with liberal ideas, and were written in a style which may well have owed some of its clarity to the study of French models, made during the author's visits to Paris... Continue reading book >>




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