Browse The Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives Home Page

Concerning Our Heritage - 1998

Concerning Our Heritage - 087732087X

Ole E. Rølvaag, Concerning Our Heritage, Translation of: Omkring Fædrearven, Translated by Solveig Zempel, © 1998 Norwegian-American Historical Association, Hardcover, 219 Pages, 0-87732-087-X, Volume 12 of Travel and Description Series.

Brief Synopsis

Concerning our Heritage by Ole E. Rølvaag, is a slice of immigrant life with a distinctive American flavor, even though the original book was written in Norwegian.

O.E. Rølvaag formulated the ideas presented here during the first two decades of this century, then collected and published them in book form in 1922. His intended audience was “his people”— Norwegian Americans living primarily in the Upper Midwest.

Why translate these essays by, about, and for a small group of early twentieth-century immigrants now?

One reason of course-is to allow English-speaking scholars to gain insight into the thinking of a major American writer. But perhaps more important, the issues Rolvaag struggled with reflect the timeless tensions between immigrant pasts and assimilated futures that are the circumstances of all Americans.

Furthermore, immigration is a world phenomenon, and it is my hope and belief that the message Rolvaag wrote for “his people”—the message that men and women need to understand the history of the people they came from and to know their literature, music, and arts in order to know themselves—will through this translation resonate with a new generation of readers.

About the Author

Norwegian-born Rolvaag emigrated to the United States at age 20 in 1896. Following a college education in Minnesota and Norway, he began the writing and teaching career (at St. Olaf College, Minnesota) that was to bring him fame as an interpreter of the Norwegian-American cultural experience.

Rolvaag's understanding of immigrant life on the prairie was the source of novels that have given his name a solid place in both national literatures.

His first, highly autobiographical work, The Third Life of Per Smevik (1912), was published under the pseudonym Paal Morck. Rolvaag's masterpiece, Giants in the Earth (1924--25), is his own translation, with Lincoln Colcord, of the first two of four novels dealing with the family of Per Hansa. Peder Victorious (1928) and Their Fathers' God (1931) complete the epic, although these two novels are less compelling.

Library of Congress Catalog Listing

LC control no.: 98212411
Type of material: Book (Print, Microform, Electronic, etc.)
Personal name: Rølvaag, O. E. (Ole Edvart), 1876-1931.
Uniform title: Omkring fædrearven. English
Main title: Concerning our heritage / by Ole E. Rølvaag; translated with an introduction by Solveig Zempel.
Published/Created: Northfield, Minn. : Norwegian-American Historical Association, 1998.
Description: ix, 219 p. : ill.; 24 cm.
ISBN-10: 087732087X
ISBN-13: 978-0877320876
Notes: Design from the original 1922 Norwegian ed. on p. [1] of cover.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Subjects: Norwegian Americans --Ethnic identity.
Norwegian Americans --Intellectual life --19th century.
Series: Publications of the Norwegian-American Historical Association. Travel and description series; v. 12
LC classification: E184.S2 R5813 1998
Dewey class no.: 305.83/982073
Language code: eng nor
Geographic area code: n-us---
Return to Top of Page

Norway, Norwegian or Norwegian/American Books

GG Archives Library

Norway Book Titles

Copyright © 2000- Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives. All rights reserved. See Terms of Use.