Sigurd Hoel

Sigurd Hoel

Sigurd Hoel (December 14 1890 - October 14 1960) was a Norwegian author and publishing consultant, born in Nord-Odal. He debuted with the collection of short stories "Veien vi gaar" ("The way we go") in 1922. His breakthrough came with "Syndere i sommersol" ("Sinners in the summer sun", 1927), which was made into a film in 1932 and in 2002.


He was the son of teacher Lars Anton and Elisa Dorothea Hoel, and grew up in Odalen. He was admitted into Ragna Nielsens school in Kristiania, but when he finished school in 1909, he could not afford to begin college right away. He worked for a while as an insurance salesman before he could begin his studies in 1910, during which time he supported himself with teaching jobs. In 1913 he was an employee at Ragna Nielsens school.

In his time at college he was the editor of the periodical Minerva. His literary career began with the short story "Idioten" ("the Idiot") from 1918, when he won a writing contest. The same year he became an employee of "Socialdemokraten" as a literature and theater critic. In 1920 he wrote the comedy "Den Enes Død" together with his friend Finn Bø. Harald Grieg got him a job as a consultant for Gyldendal Norsk Forlag and Erling Falk made him the editor of "Mot Dag".

In 1924 he traveled to Berlin to study socialism, and there he wrote his first novel, "Syvstjernen" ("The Seven Star"). He continued on to Paris, where he met Nic Waal (died 1960), whom he married in Norway in 1927. They separated in 1936, and the same year he married again, this time to Ada Ivan. From 1934 to 1939 Hoel was a co-worker of Wilhelm Reich who then had chosen Oslo as his exile. Hoel contributed to Reich's German language periodical "Zeitschrift für Politische Psychologie und Sexualökonomie" (Journal for Political Psychology and Sex Economy) and was the editor-in-chief of the issues No. 13 to 15. [ [ Zeitschrift für Politische Psychologie und Sexualökonomie] ] One of his major essays deals with the Moscow Trials. [ [ Der Moskauer Prozess] (German)]

During the war Hoel and his wife went back to Odalen. He participated in the Resistance, and wrote articles for the Resistance press. In 1943 he was forced to flee to Sweden.

Hoel had a short connection to the "landsmål" movement, but later played an active part in the "riksmål" campaign. He was among the founders of the Author's Association of 1952 and was the chairman of the Riksmålsforbundet from 1956 to 1959. He died of a heart attack at 70 years of age.

Body of Work

"Veien til verdens ende" ("The way to the end of the world", 1933) is a child's portrayal from a farm environment and is considered one of his key works, together with, among other things, the novel "Møte ved Milepelen" ("Meeting at the landmark", 1947). In this novel he both distances himself from Nazism and portrays the confrontation of war as a problem. The last novel, "Trollringen" (the Troll ring, 1958), is also among his best-known works.

As the main consultant for Norwegian and translated literature for Gyldendal publishing, Hoel made an impression on a whole generation of Norwegian literature. From 1929-1959 Hoel was the editor of the publisher's "Gold Series", where he introduced a number of foreign authors, often with an astounding foresight for which works would remain. The series comprised 101 books -- among others, works from authors such as Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Franz Kafka. Hoel wrote prefaces for all of the books, and the preferences are collected in the books "50 gold" (1939) and "The last 51 gold" (1959).



* "Knut Hamsun", O. Norlis, 1920
* "Veien vi gaar", Gyldendal, 1922. Short stories.
* "Syvstjernen", Gyldendal, 1924. Novel.
* "Syndere i sommersol", Gyldendal, 1927. Novel.
* "Ingenting", Gyldendal, 1929. Novel.
* "Mot muren", Gyldendal, 1930. Drama.
* "Don Juan", Gyldendal, 1930. Drama, written together with Helge Krog.
* "En dag i oktober", Gyldendal, 1931. Novel.
* "Veien til verdens ende", Gyldendal, 1933. Novel.
* "Fjorten dager før frostnettene", Gyldendal, 1935. Novel.
* "Sesam sesam", Gyldendal, 1938. Novel.
* "Prinsessen på glassberget", Gyldendal, 1939. Short stories.
* "50 gule", Gyldendal, 1939. Articles.
* "Arvestålet, Gyldendal, 1941. Novel.
* "Tanker i mærketid", Gyldendal, 1945. Essays.
* "Møte ved milepelen", Gyldendal, 1947. Novel.
* "Tanker fra mange tider, Gyldendal, 1948. Essays.
* "Jeg er blitt glad i en annen", Gyldendal, 1951. Novel.
* "Tanker mellom barken og veden", Gyldendal, 1952. Essays.
* "Stevnemøte med glemte år", Gyldendal, 1954. Novel.
* "Tanker om norsk diktning", Gyldendal, 1955. Essays.
* "Ved foten av Babels tårn", Gyldendal, 1956. Novel.
* "Trollringen", Gyldendal, 1956. Novel.
* "De siste 51 gule", Gyldendal, 1959. Articles.

Posthumous works

* "Ettertanker", Gyldendal, 1980. Left behind essays and articles, published by Leif Longum.
* "Litterære essays", Dreyer, 1990. Published by Helge Nordahl.


* Anita Loos, "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes", Gyldendal, 1926.
* Joseph Conrad, "The Nigger of the Narcissus", Gyldendal, 1928
* Joseph Conrad, "Heart of Darkness", Gyldendal, 1929
* Joseph Conrad, "Lord Jim", Gyldendal, 1932
* William Faulkner, "Light in August", Gyldendal, 1934
* Arthur Koestler, "Arrival and Departure", Gyldendal, 1946

Awards and distinctions

*Gyldendals legat (Gyldendal's Legacy) 1940
*Bokhandlerprisen (Bookseller Award) 1948

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  • Hoel —   [huːl], Sigurd, norwegischer Schriftsteller, * Nord Odal (Provinz Hedmark) 14. 12. 1890, ✝ Oslo 14. 10. 1960; von S. Freud beeinflusster Erzähler und Dramatiker, der mit pessimistisch gestimmten erotischen Darstellungen und scharfer Satire… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Hoel, Sigurd — (1890 1960)    A Norwegian novelist, Hoel is also considered one of Norway s major novelists of the 20th century. The heir of both neoromanticism and realism in Norwegian literature, Hoel decisively altered his country s literary landscape by… …   Historical Dictionary of Scandinavian Literature and Theater

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