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Group read: Kristin Lavransdatter

2018 Category Challenge

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1christina_reads
Edited: Jan 9, 2018, 10:04am Top

Welcome to the 2018 group read of Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset! We've modified our plan from a year-long read to a quarterly read, and here's our schedule:

Book I: The Wreath -- April
Book II: The Wife -- May
Book III: The Cross -- June



This trilogy of historical novels is regarded as a Norwegian classic and resulted in Undset's winning the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1928. The three individual novels are The Wreath (a.k.a. The Bridal Wreath), The Wife (a.k.a. The Mistress of Husaby), and The Cross, but the Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition (pictured above) contains all three.

There are two English translations of the novel. According to Wikipedia, the older Archer/Scott translation is "unnecessarily formal and clumsy" (and also expurgates some scenes), while the newer Nunnally translation is clearer and more straightforward.

When I suggested this group read, I envisioned a year-long event since the book is so long. But I don't have a clear idea for how to divide it into shorter sections. Each book of the the trilogy has three subparts, meaning that overall, there are nine clearly delineated sections. Given that, would it make sense to read the book over nine months instead of twelve? Or is there a different breakdown that would make sense over twelve months? If so, I'd love to hear your suggestions!

So, who's in for this group read? Will you read the Archer/Scott translation or the Nunnally? (I own the latter, so it's an easy choice for me!) Will anyone be reading via audiobook? And has anyone read anything by Sigrid Undset before? I have her biography of St. Catherine of Siena, but I have yet to read it.

2mathgirl40
Jan 1, 2018, 1:33pm Top

>1 christina_reads: Thanks for starting this thread. I will definitely be participating, and I'll also be reading the Nunnally translation.

I'm fine with whatever schedule you want to suggest and I'll do my best to keep up!

3kac522
Edited: Jan 1, 2018, 2:29pm Top

I'll be following along with the Nunnally translation. I read the first book within the last couple of years, so probably won't re-read that, but will start with Book 2.

I read the entire trilogy many years ago and loved it. I also read The Master of Hestviken ages ago and I've read a volume of her short stories. These didn't stay with me like KL.

4DeltaQueen50
Jan 4, 2018, 3:24pm Top

Thanks for setting this up Christina. I have the Nunnally translation and am also fine with whatever schedule you wish to follow. I am also going to be reading The Forsyte Saga over the course of the year so I am hoping I can keep up with both!

5HighViolet
Jan 6, 2018, 11:59am Top

I will be joining you in this read, but there is a bit of a wait for the Nunnally translation at my library, so I'll join in whenever I finally get my hands on a copy.

6japaul22
Jan 6, 2018, 1:18pm Top

Kristin Lavransdatter is one of my favorites but I've only read it once (I usually reread "favorites" multiple times). I bought this book as an audiobook last year with some points, but looking at 44 hours of audio has sort of put me off starting it.

I might join in on this with the audio book, might get sick of the audio and just read it, or might not reread it in any form this year. But either way, I'll keep up with this thread and join in any discussion that happens.

7christina_reads
Jan 8, 2018, 12:17pm Top

Glad to see there is some interest in this group read! I've been mulling over a possible timeline, and I'm wondering what y'all would think about making this a quarterly read instead of a year-long one. That way, we're looking at three months, a.k.a. one book per month. In my edition, The Wreath is only 273 pages, The Wife is 372, and The Cross is roughly 400 (endnotes start somewhere in there). So it seems quite manageable to me...what say the rest of you? I'm thinking April/May/June could work, but I'm certainly open to other suggestions.

8DeltaQueen50
Jan 8, 2018, 12:37pm Top

>7 christina_reads: That would work for me especially as I have really overloaded myself in January and I'm sure my moving in February will cut down on my reading time.

9mathgirl40
Jan 8, 2018, 1:14pm Top

>7 christina_reads: That timeline works for me.

10Dilara86
Jan 8, 2018, 2:58pm Top

Hello all! I'd been planning on reading Kristin Lavransdatter for Reading Globally's Nordic Countries quarter, but haven't got round to it yet. I'll definitely be lurking in this thread...

11Yells
Jan 8, 2018, 3:32pm Top

I am in the middle of The Forsyte Saga right now so starting in April works nicely. And spacing it over three months seems like a good plan.

12kac522
Jan 9, 2018, 1:25am Top

Apr-May-June works for me.

13christina_reads
Jan 9, 2018, 10:09am Top

Looks like we have a consensus! Here's our schedule:

Book I: The Wreath -- April
Book II: The Wife -- May
Book III: The Cross -- June

I've also posted this to the first message in the thread, so that newcomers will know what's what. I'll post a discussion thread for The Wreath by April 1. Can't wait to read and discuss this book!

14DeltaQueen50
Jan 9, 2018, 4:36pm Top

I'm looking forward to it, too, Christina!

15bryanoz
Jan 14, 2018, 10:38pm Top

It has been sitting on the shelf for a few years, I'm in !

16LisaMorr
Jan 30, 2018, 4:19pm Top

I'm in as well, I have the Penguin Classics Nunnally version.

17Yells
Feb 17, 2018, 8:04pm Top

I couldn't wait and started early. Just finished book one and I love it so far. The Nunnally version is wonderful.

18christina_reads
Feb 19, 2018, 9:27am Top

>17 Yells: That's great to hear!

19mathgirl40
Mar 5, 2018, 9:53pm Top

Several years ago, I watched "The Danish Poet", which won the 2007 Oscar for Best Animated Short Film. It's about a poet who travels to Norway to seek out the author of his favourite book but instead finds his true love.

I remembered that the film was incredibly charming and funny but I'd forgotten some of the details of the plot. It's just now that I realize that the book in the story was Kristin Lavransdatter! There are lots of references to the book and to Sigrid Undset.

This 15-minute film is well worth watching. However, it does say a bit about the plot of the novel, so don't watch if you want to avoid all spoilers. You can see it here

20Yells
Edited: Mar 5, 2018, 10:06pm Top

I finished the whole thing already and loved it. I was trying to pace myself but I just couldn't stop.

And now I have a film to look out for - thanks for the heads up!

21christina_reads
Apr 1, 2018, 1:21am Top

The thread for book 1, The Wreath, is up! http://www.librarything.com/topic/289434

22christina_reads
May 1, 2018, 9:19am Top

The thread for book 2, The Wife, is up! http://www.librarything.com/topic/290785

23christina_reads
Jun 1, 2018, 12:25pm Top

The thread for book 3, The Cross, is up!
http://www.librarything.com/topic/292016

Group: 2018 Category Challenge

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