Skram, Amalie

(1846-1905)
   A Norwegian novelist, short story writer, and dramatist, Skram stands, together with Camilla Collett, as one of the first practitioners of women's literature in Norway. Raised in the lower-middle-class family of a shopkeeper with unfulfilled social ambitions, she knew disappointment firsthand from an early age. At the age of 18 she was married to a ship captain named Muller who was nine years her senior. Like many young women of her class and generation, she entered marriage without any clear sense of its conjugal dimension, and her reaction to married life was shock, anger, and disgust. These emotions subsequently fueled the creation of her many mistreated and unhappy woman characters.
   After accompanying her husband on many of his voyages and bearing two children, she realized that there was no future in their relationship and wanted a divorce. Her husband did not agree, and she had a nervous breakdown, followed by some months at a mental hospital. When she was discharged, she stayed with her brother for a while, and her marriage to Muller was dissolved in 1882.
   Associated with a group of journalists in Bergen, Skram had already written some articles about literature. Her first fiction effort was a short story, "Madam Høiers lejefolk" (1882; Mrs. Høier's Renters). After her 1884 marriage to the Danish writer Erik Skram, who encouraged her to embark on a longer work, she wrote the novel Constance Ring (1885; tr. 1988), which tells the story of an unhappy woman's marriage with—from the perspective of the time—great openness and excruciating detail. The same year she published her second short story, "Karens jul" (1885; Karen's Christmas), about an unwed teenage mother and her baby, both of whom freeze to death a couple of days before Christmas.
   Three more novels and a play deal with unhappily married women. The novel Lucie (1888) explores the match between a former streetwalker and a lawyer, criticizing society's double standard in a manner similar to that of the Christiania bohemians. Inspired by some of the author's experiences during her years of sailing with her husband, Fru Ines (1891) tells the tragic story about a Spanish woman who is unable to fully express her eroticism. In the novel Forraadt (1892; tr. Betrayed) Skram pairs an innocent young woman with an older man; the mismatch leads to tragedy for both ofthem. The eponymous protagonist of Agnete (1893), Skram's best dramatic effort, believes that love has the potential to purify, but she is as disappointed as Skram's other married women characters.
   The pessimism of Skram's works may seem connected with the aesthetics of naturalism, which denied the freedom of the will and saw biological inheritance and social environment as determining factors in human life. Naturalism is even more strongly present in her greatest work, the tetralogy Hellemyrsfolket (1887-1898; The People of Hellemyren), which consists of the novels Sjur Gabriel (1887), To venner (1887; Two Friends), S. G. Myre (1890), and Afkom (1898; Offspring). It is a great family saga about four generations plagued by poverty, alcoholism, and dishonesty.
   Skram's frantic pace of work led to another breakdown, and she was hospitalized in 1894. Two novels, Professor Hieronimus (1895) and Paa St. Jørgen (1895; tr. with Professor Hieronimus as Under Observation, 1992), tell about her unhappy experience with the medical authorities of her day. While earlier regarded as inferior to her better-known works, these two novels have come to be recognized as an important personal statement.

Historical Dictionary of Scandinavian Literature and Theater. . 2006.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Skram, Amalie — ▪ Norwegian novelist original name  Amalie Alver  born August 22, 1846, Bergen, Norway died March 15, 1905, Copenhagen, Denmark       novelist, one of the foremost Naturalist writers of her time in Norway.       The daughter of an unsuccessful… …   Universalium

  • Amalie Skram — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Amalie Skram Amalie Skram Nacimiento …   Wikipedia Español

  • Skram — Skram, Amalie, dän. norweg. Romanschriftstellerin, geb. 22. Aug. 1847 in Bergen, seit 1884 Gemahlin des dän. Schriftstellers Erik S. (geb. 1847 in Kopenhagen), gest. 15. März 1905 in Kopenhagen; gehörte ganz der realistischen Richtung an; schrieb …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Amalie Skram — Infobox Writer name = Amalie Skram imagesize = 155px caption = Amalie Skram pseudonym = Amalie Mueller birthname = Berthe Amalie Alver birthdate = 22 August 1846 birthplace = Bergen, Norway deathdate = March 15 1905 deathplace = Copenhagen,… …   Wikipedia

  • Amalie Skram — in jungen Jahren Amalie Skram (* 22. August 1846 in Bergen als Berthe Amalie Alver; † 15. März 1905 in Kopenhagen) war eine norwegisch dänische Schriftstellerin und Frauenrechtlerin. Inhaltsverzeichnis …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Amalie — ist ein weiblicher Vorname, der als Amalia im Mittelhochdeutschen belegt ist und der später insbesondere dank Friedrich von Schillers Die Räuber im 18. Jahrhundert starke Verbreitung fand und zum Modenamen avancierte. Amalie kommt auch als… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Skram — ist der Familienname von Amalie Skram, dänisch norwegische Autorin Peder Skram, dänischer Admiral und Seeheld Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur Unterscheidung mehrerer mit demselben Wort bezeichneter Begriffe …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Skram — Skram, 1) Erik, dän. Schriftsteller, geb. 10. März 1847 in Kopenhagen, machte als Gymnasiast den Krieg 1864 mit, wurde verwundet und von den Preußen gefangen genommen (»Jenseits der Grenze«, 1888). Nach beendeten Studien und weiten Reisen in… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Skram — Skrạm,   Amalie, geborene Ạlver, norwegische Schriftstellerin, * Bergen 22. 8. 1846, ✝ Kopenhagen 15. 3. 1905; schilderte in naturalistischen Romanen und Erzählungen, die von empörter Anklage und tiefem Mitleid getragen sind, das hoffnungslose… …   Universal-Lexikon

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