Bokmål Mirror Story

So I was standing around wondering what to post when I suddenly remembered all those old books I’d packed when I moved. That’s really the only relevant part of the story, so I’m going to stop it there. This is from a Bokmål reader so old that it smells like literature. If you’ve smelled it, you know what I mean.

It looks like this story was by Camilla Collett. I’d like to encourage you to use translators as little as possible so you can learn more. And if you already know Bokmål… you’re going to be bored. Luckily for me, I haven’t accidentally learned it yet…


 

Det ene speil var kjøpt av en bonde som bodde en hel mil nord for mitt hjem. Jeg tok up til hest, og jeg tror det regnet dyktig den etter middag; men hva gjorde det? For den rette ivrer som drar ut med det sikre håp om å erobre et ekte stykke, gis der ikke regn eller ondt vær.

Jeg nådde stedet og traff mannen stående i sin sval. <<Er det kanskje Lars Mostu selv?>> — <<Jo, det er nok det.>> — <<Er det ikke du som kjøpte det ene av de store speil som ble solgt på M. auksjon?>> — <<Jo, det var nok det au,>> so han. — <<Å, måtte jeg ikke få se det?>> — <<Nei, det var nok itte beleilig det.>> — <<Ikke beleilig?…>> — <<Å nei da; det gikk nok riktig gæli medden speilen!>> — <<Å? … Hvordan det? Den er da vel ikke slått i tu?>> — <<Nei just itte det, men da je skulle kjør’n him om kvelden, så kom je til å kjør’n sund…>> — <<Kjøre den sund! Så er den jo i tu! Men hvordan kunne det gå til?>> — <<Å,>> so mannen, <<je hadde vel litt i hue, som så lett kan hende på slikt et sted, men slettes itte så je kan si at je itte sanset meg riktig; det skal ingen kunne si meg på! Og så la je meg oppe på lasset for å stø’n litt; det tålte han itte, må tru!>>

Jeg overlater til enhver å tenke seg alle de utrop jeg utstøtte i mitt indre. Jeg ville ikke se den, men jeg spurte om han kunne si meg hvor det andre speilet var.

<<Jo, den ble riktig solgt til Østvoll, nå huser je det også. Han Hans Østvoll kjøpt’n. Je hadde vel litt i hue, som så lett kan hende, men slettes itte så je kan si at je itte sanset meg…>> Det var en dryppende, sterktduftende,men lys sommeraften, så jeg besluttet å holde ut of ta innom Østvoll, om det enn ble sent. Jeg nådde gården. <<Er det ikke den mannen som har kjøpt…>> osv. — <<Nei, det var itte je det,>> ble det svart. <<Men mannen på Mostu forsikret meg…>> — <<Å, var det likt seg det da! Je kjøper nok itte slike speiler je! Det må ha vært han gamle Hans der oppe i Nordgården da; men je har itte fornummet noen sånn speile oppe hos ham heller.>> Gamle Hans traff jeg ikke, men hans kone forsikret at det berodde på en ren feiltagelse av Mostumannen. Speilet ble ikke solgt til Østvoll, men til Vestvoll. Der bodde hennes søster; hun hadde nylig sett speilet henge der.

Østvoll og Vestvoll! Altså til Vestvoll. Jeg repeterte for meg underveis, liksom en formular som skal åpne dørene til den forheksede skatt: Konen på Østvoll har sett speilet henge på Vestvoll, konen på Østvoll har sett speilet hos sin søster på Vestvoll. Konen på Østvoll har sett det henge på veggen hos sin søster på Vestvoll osv.

Ankom til Vestvoll. Ved hjelp av en liten hvithåret fyr, som stod i svalen og spiste på et smørbrød, hvis tykkelse, syntes det meg, langt overskred grensene for det en rimelig  kan fordre av et par kjever, fikk jeg konen ut, som satt i sin vev innenfor. <<Er det ikke mor Vestvoll, som er søster til konen på Østvoll?>> — <<Jo, det er nok søster mi det.>> — <<Så er det visst du som kjøpte…>> osv. — <<Jo, det var nok det; frøkna får være så god å gå inn,>> sa den vennlige, pene kone, idet hun hjalp meg ned.

I stuen så jeg neg forgjeves om etter det jeg søkte. <<Jo, det var ganske riktig det; det var en gild speile, men je solgte den igjen tel mannen her borte på Bjørge; han har bygd så, må tru, og så syntes han at han ville ha en speile. — Men det er itte langt til Bjørge, det er bare jordet bortover,>> la konen til, da hun så min skuffelse, som grenset til forferdelse. <<Frøkna rir snart bortom der. Han har bygd han, må tru, og så syntes han at han skulle ha seg en speile.>>

Til den betegnede gård var det nettopp så langt ned igjennom dalen og bort jordene at jeg hadde tid til å utfinne alle muligheter for at speilet ikke var der og, gjøre dem til umuligheter igjen. Han kunne ikke ha solgt det igjen; ti han hadde bygd, og så syntes han at han ville ha… osv. Konen har nylig sett det henge på veggen i hans nystue. Det skulle dog være besynderlig om det på den korte tid var slått i tu. Ildebrann kan ikke ha ødelagt det, for huset, det nye huset, står der jo. Dessuten, intet av hva jeg kan tenke meg, kan hende, altså er det ingen tenkelig grunn til at jeg nå ikke skal se speilet henge på veggen like for mine levende øyne. — <<Er mannen hjemme?>> spurte jeg en jentunge som stod med en annen, nesten likså stor, på armen.

<<Nei, han er itte.>> — <<Vil do være så snill å vise meg den store speilen han kjøpte av mor Vestvoll,>> sa jeg, dristig springende over innledningen. <<Nei, speilen kan Dere itte få se.>> — <<Hvorfor ikke det?>> — <<Han er itte hime.>> — <<Speilen?>> — <<Nei, han er hos snekkeren; men i mårå  kan Dere nok få se’n, for da blir’n ferdig.>> — <<Ferdig!>> skrek  jeg, <<hva har snekkeren gjort med den? Var den i tu… var den sund?>> — <<Nei, han var itte sund. Snekkeren har bare skøri’n opp til småspeiler.>>—


 

Were I to give an award to a post for the most interesting spell-checking I’ve done so far, this one would be the undisputed winner.

Segment of Odyssey Summary

I’ve never really been satisfied with any depictions of this in modern media. On the other hand, what do I like from modern media (excepting some mostly older Black Metal)? My point is: here’s part of Homer’s Odyssey. The chunk I have partially summarized below is from Book X. The copy of the book I have was translated by Robert Fitzgerald and its ISBN number is 0-679-72813-9. Some of the names in the book were written kind of phonetically and I have pretty much kept that below.


 

They had landed on a new island and were trying to decide whether to explore it. The men remembered the tragedies they’d already faced and their brothers-in-arms they’d already lost and began to weep. Odysseus saw they were losing time for action and counted off his Akhaians in two platoons, commanded by himself and his “godlike Eurýlokhos”. They shook lots in a soldier’s dogskin cap to decide which platoon was to go exploring inland. Thusly it happened that Odysseus and his platoon were fortunate enough to stay behind while Eurýlokhos and his twenty-two companions went further on. All wept – including those who stayed behind. The men who left found the hall of Kirkê (a smooth stone house) in an open glade. Wolves and mountain lions lay around the house, but rather than attacking they switched their tails like hounds and fawned on the men – also like hounds – as the men looked upon them in fear. When the men got to the entryway of the house, they stood and listened. They could hear the goddess Kirkê as she sang and weaved on her loom. The men said nothing for a while until Politês (“most faithful and likable of my officers”) calmed the other men, saying it was just a young weaver and that there was no need for stealth. Eurýlokhos was afraid it might be a trap, but the others cried out and were met by the occupant, who seated them on thrones and lounging chairs. She gave them food and wine, then “flew after them with her long stick and shut them in a pigsty”, at which point they had physically become pigs even though their minds remained unchanged. Eurýlokhos (remember: he stayed outside and so remained human) ran down to the ship to warn Odysseus and the platoon that had stayed behind. Odysseus, upon hearing his tale (no pun intended) requested that Eurýlokhos take him back the way he had come. The latter refused, so Odysseus went alone. Hermes met him part way through his trip inland in the form of a man so young that he barely had a mustache (it is typical for him to be described as appearing young, so this isn’t unusual at all), and warned Odysseus about what lay ahead and how to defeat Kirkê and her power. Hermes gave Odysseus a magic plant from the ground to keep his mind and senses clear of the magic (the plant is described as being a “fatigue and pain for mortals to uproot”, having a “black root and milky flower”, and being called “a molü in the language of the gods”, in case anyone is interested). Each went their separate ways; the god to his home Olympos and the godlike man straight into danger (which almost might as well have been his second home for how often he was in it). Odysseus arrived in Kirkê’s hall and was welcomed inside. Kirkê was quite surprised when her magic failed to work and invited Odysseus to bed while his sword was still against her throat (he had swung at her in retaliation to her swinging a stick at him in an attempt to turn him into a pig). He was not taken in by this pathetic display. She had turned his men into pigs under that very roof, after all, and he kept that in mind. Odysseus made her swear that she would not work any enchantment to his harm. “She swore at once, outright, as I demanded, / and after she had sworn, and bound herself, / I entered Kirkê’s flawless bed of love”. (The phrase “bound herself” refers to the oath she made.) Kirkê’s four nymph maids busied themselves in her hall, making the place look nice and bringing in savory loaves to tempt Odysseus, but he, having a heart, would neither eat nor drink as he thought of his lost men. Kirkê asked him why he still wouldn’t eat or drink even after the oath she had made. Odysseus explained that he wanted to see his men, so Kirkê opened up the sty and gave each one in turn a stroke from her staff, which turned them human again. They appeared younger, more handsome, and taller than before. They each took the hands of Odysseus and sobbed. Even Kirkê was moved by this.