Photos: Team Olsen

What: Knut and Marie Hamsun's residence

Where: Strandbygdveien 151, 2408 Elverum, Norway

Here it is: Elverum is situated on the road 3 through the Østerdalen. From the city centre you drive north on the Strandbygdveien along the river.

Here Knut and Marie Hamsun lived with short intermissions in autumn/winter 1910-1911. The house is named Bakkelund (Hillgrove) and has remained almost unaltered since Hamsun's times. Knut and Marie had rented the upper floor.

In Hamsun's collected letters, one can find enjoyable traces from the time in Elverum: "Dear Mrs. Welhaven, Elverum, 13. September 1910. Now I have finally got hold of the remaining booklets of my collected and shall find them one of these days and send them; up till now I have had such a mess due to this removal, - Oh, had no time to speak neither orally nor in writing the whole winter, I have sixty-odd unanswered letters lying around! Let Mrs. Nissen rest in peace; it was probably not easy for her either, but for whom is it easy! By the way, in 20 years both you and I will be where she is now. Then we will be nothing more than she is now: A medallion on a stone. But still we breathe. And here is a nice forrest. And you are leaving for Rome. And then another year has gone. And this time next year it will be 19 years before you and I turn into medallions. Yours sincerely Knut Hamsun."
Also in September he writes his good friend Georg Olsen in Hamarøy:
"And now a winter is approaching again. Here in Elverum it is much, much colder than in Nordland, 30 degrees below zero is quite normal. But the air is so thin and light, therefore it does not feel so cold. And now I have the same drudgery again with a new book for christmas."

Many thanks for the tip to Team Olsen and father-in-law!


© Kirsten Hedvig Rasmussen www.hamsun.at