Johan Bojer: Den store hunger (The Great Hunger)

The latest addition to my website is Johan Bojer‘s Den store hunger (The Great Hunger). Bojer write about the poor and downtrodden. This book is about Peer Holm, the illegitimate son (as was Bojer himself) of a well-to-do army officer). He was farmed out to poor foster-parents in the Lofoten Islands, where the main activity was fishing. He hoped to inherit from his father when he died but only received a measly sum but managed to get work in a smithy and then studied engineering and had a successful career abroad before returning to Norway where he married and had children. However, he was soon bored and invested a lot of money in an engineering project which went wrong, leaving him back where he had been – flat broke. The moral of the story, clearly outlined by Bojer, is that money and wordly success are not the true path to happiness but, rather, it is a strong spirit, a belief in God and devotion to what the Germans call Kinder und Kirche – children and church, family and religion.

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