Tag Archives: Peer Gynt

scotagon

I am searching for a scotagon. I pull a book off my shelf. It’s in good condition for one dated 1907. The cover has gilt and relief: PEER GYNT and HENRIK IBSEN. I flip a bit, looking for something. Finally I find it, starting page 79:

(Peer Gynt höres at hugge og slå omkring sig med en stor gren).

Peer Gynt: Giv svar! Hvem er du?

En stemme i mörket: Mig selv.

Peer Gynt: Af vejen!

Stemmen: Gå udenom, Peer!

Is it not clear what that says? It may not be; when we struggle to understand a language we don’t know – which we all do at least once, as children, and many of us do again and again later in life – we are doing as Peer is doing, thrashing in the dark, wrestling to determine its shape. Hit something and see where the corners are, the angles we can grab onto. Peer is swinging and slashing with the branch of a tree. I’ll circumvent the learning process and give you a translation: Continue reading