Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A well-ordered spirit …

… Sigrid Undset’s Essays for our Time | First Things. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The essays in Stages on the Road were written while Sigrid Undset was experiencing a full flush of earthly praise and material success, and it is lovely to contemplate that while the Nobel Prize committee was honoring this woman with what is arguably the most coveted award in Literature—for her epic novels Kristin Lavransdatter and The Master of Hestviken—Undset was focusing on the martyrdoms of the cheerfully subversive Margaret Clitherow and the besieged Jesuit, Robert Southwell. So detached was she from the prize—called “an homage rendered to a poetic genius whose roots must be in a great and well-ordered spirit”—that Undset’s brief remarks at Stockholm’s banquet amounted to little more than her saying, “everyone in Norway asked me to give regards to Sweden!” 

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