Alexander L. Kielland
Kielland in later years
|Born||Alexander Lange Kielland|
18 February 1849
|Died||6 April 1906 (aged 57)|
|Occupation||Novelist, short story writer, playwright, essayist, businessman, and politician.|
Alexander Lange Kielland (Norwegian: [ɑlɛˈksɑ̀ndər ˈlɑ̀ŋːə ˈçɛ̀lːɑn]; 18 February 1849 – 6 April 1906) was one of the most famous Norwegian realistic writers of the 19th century. He is one of the so-called "The Four Greats" of Norwegian literature, along with Henrik Ibsen, Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson and Jonas Lie.
Born in Stavanger, Norway, he grew up in a rich merchant family. He was the son of consul Jens Zetlitz Kielland and great-grandson of Gabriel Schanche Kielland (1760–1821). Kielland was the younger brother of Norwegian landscape painter Kitty Lange Kielland.
His family also included his son, Jens Zetlitz Kielland, (1873–1926); uncle Jacob Otto Lange (1833–1902), cousin Axel Christian Zetlitz Kielland (1853–1924), nephew Jens Zetlitz Monrad Kielland (1866–1926), cousin Anders Lange (1904–1974) and great nephew Jacob Christie Kielland (1897–1972). His great niece Axeliane Christiane Zetlitz Kielland (1916–1995) married Agnar Mykle (1915–1994).
Despite being born wealthy, he had a sincere affection for the less fortunate, treating his workers well when he was a factory owner. He remained a spokesman for the weak and a critic of society throughout his time as a writer. His best known plays were the satirical comedies Tre Par (1886) and Professoren (1888). He was also well known for his short stories.
Among his most famous works are the novels Gift (1883), Skipper Worse (1882) and Garman & Worse (1880). Gift (published in English as Poison ) is the first of a trilogy including Fortuna (1884) and St. Hans Fest (1887). In this trilogy, Kielland satirizes the hypocrisy of Norway's clergy. In Gift, Kielland debates the preference for Latin that Norwegian teachers had during his time. The story features a young boy called Marius, lying on his deathbed while repeating Latin grammar.
From 1889 to 1890, Kielland worked as a journalist for the newspaper Stavanger Avis. Kielland virtually stopped writing fiction in 1891 and published only stories which had been published earlier. In 1891 he was designated the mayor of his hometown, Stavanger, until 1902 when he relocated to Molde as county governor of the land Møre og Romsdal.
It has been debated why Kielland ended his career as a writer so early. Some believe that he was so much of a realist that he could not deal with the neo-romantic tendencies of Norwegian literature at the end of the 19th century. A more probable reason is that he chose to focus on his political career.
The biography of Alexander L. Kielland by Tor Obrestad includes thoughts about Kielland dying from obesity. Already from the mid-1880s, Kielland had suffered from shortness of breath. He had several heart attacks, constantly gained weight, and couldn't control his great passion for food.
- Novelletter, 1879
- Nye novelletter, 1880
- To Novelletter fra Danmark, 1882
- Garman & Worse, 1880 - 
- Arbeidsfolk, 1881
- Else, 1881
- Skipper Worse, 1882.
- Gift, 1883
- Fortuna, 1884
- Sne, 1886
- Sankt Hans Fest, 1887
- Jacob, 1891
- Paa Hjemvejen, 1878
- Hans Majestæts Foged, 1880
- Det hele er Ingenting, 1880
- Tre par, 1886
- Bettys Formynder, 1887
- Professoren, 1888
- Forsvarssagen, 1890
- Menneker og Dyr, 1891
- Omkring Napoleon, 1905 
- Alexander Lange Kielland (Ancestry.com)
- "Lange Kielland (A Mirror Of Nature: Nordic Landscape Painting 1840-1910. Minneapolis Institute of Arts)". Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2008-03-24.
- Alexander L. Kielland, utdypning (Store norske leksikon)
- Alexander L. Kielland-ulykken (Store norske leksikon)
- Alexander Lange Kielland (Edvard Beyer / Morten Moi. Store norske leksikon)
- Liukkonen, Petri. "Alexander Kielland". Books and Writers (kirjasto.sci.fi). Finland: Kuusankoski Public Library. Archived from the original on 25 July 2010.
- Garman and Worse is available on Wikisource
- Garman & Worse is available in the original Norwegian on Project Runeberg at Garman og Worse (in Norwegian)
- Skipper Worse was published in English translation in 1885 and later as one of the Harvard Classic collection. A 2009 translation into English of Skipper Worse by Christopher Fauske is published by Cross-Cultural Communications, Merrick, NY.
- . Skipper Worse is also available in the original Norwegian on Project Runeberg at Skipper Worse
- English translation 1907: Napoleon's Men and Methods