Arnulf Øverland

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Øverland, Arnulf


Born Apr. 27, 1889, in Kristiansund; died Mar. 25,1968, in Oslo. Norwegian poet.

Øverland, who took part in the socialist movement, spent the years 1941 to 1945 in the Sachsenhausen and other concentration camps. Feelings of melancholy and loneliness pervade the collections he published between 1910 and 1920. Such collections as I Conjure Thee (1934) and The Red Front (1937) protest against capitalism; they express sympathy for the USSR and the Spanish people’s struggle for freedom. Øverland’s poems of the war years (collected in We Shall Live Through All, 1945) called for a struggle against fascism. His later collections of verse include The Smoking Candle (1960) and On Nebo Mountain (1962). He also wrote short stories, plays, and works on linguistics.

Øverland opposed the modernist school in postwar Norwegian poetry. At the same time, however, the poet retreated from his socialist ideals. Øverland served as chairman of the Norwegian Writers’ Union in 1952.


Samlede dikt, vols. 1–6. Oslo, 1947–61.
Noveller i utvalg. Oslo, 1963.
In Russian translation:
“Stikhi.” In the collection Sovremennaia skandinavskaia poeziia. Moscow, 1959.
[”Rasskazy.”] In the collection Norvezhskaia novella. Leningrad, 1974.


Gelsted, O. Arnulf Øverland. Copenhagen, 1946.
Festskrift til Arnulf Øverland på 60 -årsdagen. Oslo, 1949.
Haakonsen, D. Arnulf Øverland og den etiske realisme 1905–1940. Oslo, 1966.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.