Bjørnson, Bjørnstjerne Martinius

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Bjørnson, Bjørnstjerne Martinius


Born Dec. 8, 1832, in Kvikne; died Apr. 26, 1910, in Paris. Norwegian writer, prominent in the theater and in public affairs.

Bjørnson fought for the national independence of Norway and against militarism. When he was the director of the Norwegian Theater in Bergen from 1857 to 1858 and of the Christiania Theater from 1865 to 1867, he tried to establish a national repertory. Bjørnson’s early work was romantic. The work of this period includes the historical dramas Between the Battles, 1858; King Sverre, 1861; Mary Stuart in Scotland, 1864; the two-part series Sigurd the Bad, 1862, and Sigurd the Crusader, 1872; and the tales from peasant life Synnøve Solbakken, 1857; and The Fisher Lassie, 1868. Bjørnson sharply criticized bourgeois reality in the realistic social dramas The Bankruptcy, 1875; The New System, 1878; The Editor, 1875; and the two-play work Beyond Our Power, 1883-95. In his later work Bjørnson contradicted himself in his solutions of social and ethical problems; he considered the vices of bourgeois society a deviation from the norm, as for instance, in The Heritage of the Kurts (1884; Russian translation, Novye veianiia, 1893) and In the Ways of God, 1889. Bjørnson’s plays were staged in Russia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1903.


Samlede digter verker, vols. 1-9. Oslo-Copenhagen, 1919-20.
Samlede verker, vols. 1-13. Oslo, 1932-33.
In Russian translation:
Poln. sobr. soch., vols. 1-2. Kiev-Kharkov, 1893-97.
Sobr. soch., vols. 1-7. Moscow, 1910-1914.
Izbrannoe. Moscow, 1959.


Brandes, G. “B. B’ernson.” Sobr. soch., vol. 1. St. Petersburg, 1909.
Mering, F. “B’ernson.” In his book Literaturno-kriticheskie stat’i, vol. 2. Moscow-Leningrad, 1934.
Neustroev, V. P. “Rytsar’ mira i demokratii.” Inostrannaia literatura, 1960, no. 4.
Bjørnson, Bjørn. B. Bjørnson. Oslo, 1932.
Mjøen, A. Erindringer om B. Bjørnson. Oslo, 1951.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.