Friday, October 24, 2014

Weird Tales from Northern Seas

Jonas Lie - Weird Tales from Northern Seas (1893)

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19th century Norwegian writer Jonas Lie is little-known in the English-speaking world but apparently a major figure in Norway.  This collection of strange ocean-connecting stories includes the one most likely to have been encountered due to its inclusion in Roald Dahl's book of ghost stories (though under a slightly different title) - "The Fisherman and the Draug".  This book is a selection of his stories done by the translator Robert Nisbet Bain (a British Museum linguist who also translated the Hungarian writer Mor Jokai).  I assume when he says the translations are from Danish he really means Norwegian since the langauges are very similar and Norway's National Library lists Lie's books in Norwegian.  In any case Nisbet Bain says "Finn Blood" is actually a "charming love-story" though I doubt that's true of "The Wind-Gnome."  Though you never know.....