«Marie van Loos, the housekeeper at the rectory, stands in the kitchen window and looks out along the road. She recognises the two up there by gate, it’s none other than Rolandsen the telegraphist, her own fiancé, and Olga, the sexton’s daughter. This was the second time she’s seen the two of them together; what was going on? If Miss van Loos hadn’t been so busy she would have gone straight up to them and demanded an explanation.»

2017-04-2613:10 Viktor Håkonsen

Dreamers (1904) is set in the trading post of Rosengård, in the north of Norway, where a brother of Mack from Sirilund is the most important man.

The main character is a solid but charming and creative telegraphist named Ove Rolandsen. Rolandsen is engaged to Miss van Loos, at the same time as he is in love with Elise, daughter of the local business magnate. The novel also offers a fine description of the troubled marriage of the village priest, and there is a fascinating portrait of the priest’s scatty and impulsive wife.

Dreamers gives a good picture of life in a small trading post around the turn of the last century, with a keynote of hard realism that contrasts with the focus in the earlier novels on the strange and enigmatic personalities of his wanderers and artists figures.

Front cover, first edition of Sværmere (Dreamers). Photo: The Hamsun Centre.