Eagle Hill Masthead

Journal of the North Altantic
    JONA Home
    Aim and Scope
    Board of Editors
    Editorial Workflow
    Publication Charges

Other Eagle Hill Journals
    Northeastern Naturalist
    Southeastern Naturalist
    Caribbean Naturalist
    Neotropical Naturalist
    Urban Naturalist
    Prairie Naturalist
    Eastern Paleontologist

Eagle Hill Institute Home

About Journal of the North Atlantic


Nordic, Scottish, Other: Selma Lagerlöf’s Herr Arnes penningar and Gerhart Hauptmann’s Winterballade from a Postcolonial and Gendered Perspective
Helena Forsås-Scott

Journal of the North Atlantic, Special Volume 4 (2013): 170–176

Full-text pdf (Accessible only to subscribers.To subscribe click here.)


Site by Bennett Web & Design Co.
H. Forsås-Scott 2013 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 4 170 The juxtaposition or, indeed, opposition of Nordic and Scottish is fundamental to the story of the Swedish author Selma Lagerlöf’s (1858–1940) novella Herr Arnes penningar (Lord Arne’s Silver; Lagerlöf 1903, 2011), yet for all the scholarly attention devoted to this text over the years, the representation and implications of these dimensions have remained neglected. When the German playwright Gerhart Hauptmann (1862–1946) turned for inspiration to Herrn Arnes Schatz, the German translation of Lagerlöf’s text, and wrote the drama Winterballade (Winter Ballad; Hauptmann 1917), in which the opposition between Nordic and Scottish is still more prominent, his drama attracted only minimal interest. Significantly, the most recent and detailed comparison between the two texts, Jennifer Watson’s (2004), makes no attempt to explore this important opposition and its wider role. This article investigates the juxtaposition of Nordic and Scottish in Lagerlöf’s and Hauptmann’s texts. How is it represented in the novella and the drama, respectively? And what are the roles and implications of this juxtaposition, especially with reference to relations of power and gender? I will be drawing on current thinking on colonialism and postcolonialism, and especially on the notion of a Nordic discourse as developed by the Danish critic Hans Hauge, who has coined the term “Nordientalisme” as the Nordic equivalent of Edward W. Said’s “Orientalism” (Hauge 2003:144–155). Some material from Homi Bhabha will also underpin my argument, as will ideas on nationhood and nationalism derived from Benedict Anderson, and a point from Elaine Showalter’s study of gender and culture at the fin de siècle, Sexual Anarchy. As part of my concluding assessment, I will also pay some attention to Lagerlöf’s Swedish translation and adaptation of Hauptmann’s drama, Vinterballaden (The Winter Ballad; Hauptmann 1919), which brings out some of the key differences in terms of power and gender in the context of Nordic and Scottish in the two texts I have been comparing, as Lagerlöf attempts to bridge some of the discrepancies. As Manfred Pfister (1994:2, 3) has pointed out, one of the main distinctions between narrative and dramatic texts pivots on the “communicative relationship between author and receiver”: “whilst the receiver of a dramatic text feels directly confronted with the characters represented, in narrative texts they are mediated by a more or less concrete narrator figure”. Lagerlöf was primarily a writer of prose fiction, her carefully crafted work drawing on elements of folklore, history, and legend, and often combining realism with the supernatural. The historical accounts of the events, apparently in the 1580s, in the parish of Solberga in the south of Bohuslän, when the minister along with his family and servants were murdered and the perpetrators made off with a chest full of silver, had long attracted Lagerlöf’s interest. But while in an earlier short story, “Hämnd får man alltid” (You Always Get Revenge), the emphasis was on the greed of the minister as he was murdered and robbed by three journeymen, Lagerlöf in Lord Arne’s Silver has shifted the focus to the aftermath of the deeds as Elsalill, the sole survivor, struggles with her feelings for the elegant Scot she meets in Marstrand but, as she is pulled into the project of revenge initiated by the murdered minister and implemented by her dead fostersister, realizes that Sir Archie and his two companions are identical with Nordic, Scottish, Other: Selma Lagerlöf’s Herr Arnes penningar and Gerhart Hauptmann’s Winterballade from a Postcolonial and Gendered Perspective Helena Forsås-Scott* Abstract - This article explores the representation and implications of Nordic and Scottish in the Swedish writer Selma Lagerlöf’s novella Herr Arnes penningar (Lord Arne’s Silver) and the German writer Gerhart Hauptmann’s drama Winterballade (Winter Ballad), the latter directly inspired by Lagerlöf’s text. Focusing on the significance of the juxtaposition of Nordic and Scottish with regard to relations of power and gender, the study draws on work by the Danish critic Hans Hauge as well as Homi Bhabha and Benedict Anderson. Demonstrating the role of the Scots and Scottish culture in power in the central section of Lagerlöf’s novella, where they combine into a temporary setting for a bold exploration of gender and agency, the article goes on to highlight the importance of the previously neglected juxtaposition of Nordic and Scottish in these texts by assessing the very different representations in Hauptmann’s drama, in which relations of power and gender turn out to be considerably more traditional. Across the Sólundarhaf: Connections between Scotland and the Nordic World Selected Papers from the Inaugural St. Magnus Conference 2011 Journal of the North Atlantic *University College London, London, UK, and University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK; h.forsas-scott@ucl. ac.uk. 2013 Special Volume 4:170–176 171 H. Forsås-Scott 2013 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 4 the murderers and eventually becomes instrumental in their arrest. Gerhart Hauptmann had established his reputation with dramas exploring social issues, most famously Die Weber (The Weavers; Hauptmann 1892), and Winterballade has been read as marking his final rejection of naturalism and psychologism (Cowen 1980:191). While Hauptmann’s interest in Lagerlöf’s text went back to 1905 (Hauptmann 1997:354), his development of the material during the First World War has been linked both to the ongoing war (Cowen 1980:191) and to his refusal to use the war for a work for the stage (Scharfen 2005:141). Hauptmann certainly highlights the violence that Lagerlöf’s novella marginalizes, introducing a scene in which the minister is threatened by one, then two, and finally three Scots who proceed to murder him and his granddaughter; moreover, he radically shifts the balance of the plot and the significance of Nordic and Scottish by adding Arnesohn, the son of the minister and the character who heads the calls for revenge, which are reinforced by references to the brave Norsemen who were Arnesohn’s ancestors. The differences with regard to the representation of Nordic and Scottish in Hauptmann’s drama also have major implications for the relations of power and gender. In the account of the events in Solberga in Johan Ödman’s (1746) Chorographia Bahusiensis, to which Lagerlöf referred as a source for Lord Arne’s Silver (Weidel 1964:211–214), the three men who murder the minister along with his family and servants and then escape with his money to Marstrand are clearly Other, defined as Scots from the beginning and in due course apprehended, tried, and made to suffer gruesome deaths through which the province and, indeed, the country (at this time Denmark- Norway) are cleansed. But by shifting the emphasis to the spell when the Scots, not just undetected but enjoying the benefits of Lord Arne’s wealth in Marstrand, are effectively in power, Lagerlöf’s novella radically destabilizes the colonial pattern found in Ödman. In an earlier study of Lagerlöf’s text, I have argued that the ice-bound Marstrand, with its many Scottish mercenaries waiting to cross the North Sea, “emerges as a stage for the Otherness at the centre of this narrative” (Forsås-Scott 1997:231), and here I want to take this reading a step further. Cut off by the ice, the port of Marstrand is indeed one of those insecure and transient stages which occur in a number of texts by Lagerlöf and which can be read as “offering space for significant alternatives” (ibid.). The alternatives explored in Marstrand are not just to do with gender and power, with the agency against the odds of Elsalill, the ghost of her fostersister, and Torarin, the disabled fishmonger, but also, I am arguing, with nationhood and power. The Marstrand that Torarin outlines to his dog in the opening section of the novella is in sharp contrast to the bleak and wintry scenery they are travelling through: [I] Marstrand går det präktigt till nu på vintern. Gator och gränder, Grim, äro fulla af främmande fiskare och köpmän. I sjöbodarna hålles det dans hvarje kväll. Och så mycket öl, som flödar på krogen! (Lagerlöf 1904:12; my italics) (Marstrand in winter is a place of delights. Its streets and alleys, Grim, are full of fisherman [sic] and merchants from outside. There are dances every night in the boat sheds. And the amount of ale that flows in the taverns! (Lagerlöf 2011:16; my italics) Roland Barthes has written about “the text that discomforts, […] unsettles the reader’s historical, cultural, psychological assumptions, the consistency of his tastes, values, memories”, and Lord Arne’s Silver, in my reading, is one of these “text[s] of bliss” (Barthes 1975:14). Written at a time when the union between Sweden and Norway was in a state of crisis and published just two years before its dissolution, with the Swedish sense of national identity in disarray, Lagerlöf’s text experiments with nationhood and Otherness by pitching foreign against Nordic. In Marstrand in winter, the foreigners predominate and the Scots are in charge, with Nordic temporarily becoming Other. Who, Hans Hauge has asked, has created “det nordiske” (the Nordic)? His answer is that it was created at the same time and by the same category of people who created “Orientalism”, that is by philologists and literature specialists “der bedrev nordisk og germansk filologi og studerede eller konstruerede den nordiske litteratur. […] De frambragte den eller det, i og med at de studerede den” (Hauge 2003:149) (who devoted themselves to Scandinavian and German philology and studied or constructed Scandinavian literature. […] They created these by studying them).1 Given the strong position of this Nordic discourse at the time when Lagerlöf wrote the novella, the experimental reversal that I am discerning in Lord Arne’s Silver, briefly making Nordic tantamount to Other, would have been a bold one. Indeed, in light of this reading, the first major publication of the novella, in the series “Nordiskt familjebibliotek” (Nordic Family Library), a joint venture by the publishers Gyldendal in Norway and Denmark and Bonnier in Sweden, was deeply ironical. The events on the quayside in Marstrand, in the second chapter of Lagerlöf’s novella, swiftly H. Forsås-Scott 2013 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 4 172 establish relations of power and gender in the context of Scottish and Nordic. Following the murders at Solberga, Elsalill has been brought to Marstrand by Torarin and, staying in the hut he shares with his mother, has been told to join in the gutting of fish so as to bring in some money. It is while she is busy working and telling her fellow gutters about the massacre that she finds standing in front of her “tre förnäma herrar, som buro breda hattar med stora plymer och sammetskläder med stora puffar, som voro utsömmade med silke och guld” (Lagerlöf 1904:35) (“three fine gentlemen wearing broad hats with long plumes and velvet suits with extravagant puffs, lined and trimmed with silk and gold” [Lagerlöf 2011:27]), and although the appearance of the most prominent of the three suggests recent illness, he otherwise seems to be “en lustig och djärf kavaljer, som gick omkring på de soliga bryggorna för att låta folk se på hans vackra kläder och hans vackra ansikte” (Lagerlöf 1904:35–36) (“a sprightly and gallant cavalier, promenading on the sunlit quayside to let folk see his fine clothes and handsome face” [Lagerlöf 2011:27]). The gulf between the Scots and the locals is reinforced as the account of the omniscient narrator is replaced by direct speech, with the leading gentleman explaining that they have been in the service of King Johan of Sweden, are now waiting for an opportunity to return to Scotland, and, in the meantime, have “ingenting att sysselsätta oss med” (“nothing to occupy us”): “därför drifva vi fram öfver bryggorna för att träffa människor” (Lagerlöf 1904: 36) (“that is why we stroll about the quayside looking for people to talk to” [Lagerlöf 2011:27]). The Scotsman’s direct speech contrasts against Elsalill’s account of the events at Solberga in indirect speech; and the subsequent dialogue between the two, in direct speech, confirms the Scotsman’s total control. As Elsalill says she believes she would recognize the murderers and wants to track them down and apprehend them, the Scot reminds her of her powerlessness: “[h]ur ville du väl rå med allt detta? […] Du är ju bara en så svag liten jungfru” (Lagerlöf 1904:40) (“‘How do you imagine you could achieve all that? […] You are but a frail little maid’” [Lagerlöf 2011:29]). When Elsalill’s anger with the murderers mounts, the three Scots begin to laugh at her: “långt efter att de voro ur sikte, hörde Elsalill, att de skrattade med full hals hånfullt och gällt” (Lagerlöf 1904:41) (“long after they had vanished from sight, Elsalill could hear their shrill, scornful laughter ringing out” [Lagerlöf 2011:30]). The Swedish Lagerlöf specialist Vivi Edström (2001:13) has argued that Lord Arne’s Silver is about “Elsalills väg till självuppgörelse” (Elsalill’s path to personal reckoning) in interaction with “den kosmiska rättfärdigheten” (cosmic justice), the latter term introduced by Louise Vinge. But Edström’s reading, with its traditionalist focus on Elsalill’s mind, emotions, and conscience, sidelines the specificity of the space in which this text investigates feminine agency and so overlooks the significance of the interplay of power and gender. The Scots have taken the chest full of silver from the parsonage, set the buildings alight, and departed, convinced that they have left all the inhabitants dead; and on discovering a survivor in Marstrand, the leading Scot wants to conquer Elsalill too. His desire to bring Elsalill to Scotland and his promises to build her a castle and “göra henne till en förnäm borgfru” (Lagerlöf 1904:71) (“make her a fine lady, mistress of all his household” [Lagerlöf 2011:46]), with a hundred maids in waiting and the prospect of dancing at the King’s court, adds new dimensions to the “imagined community” of Scotland in Lagerlöf’s novella. (Benedict Anderson’s [2003:6] term denotes the fact that “the members of even the smallest nation will never know most of their fellow-members, […] yet in the minds of each lives the image of their communion”.) Edström (2001:12–13) has argued that the “krigsmentalitet” (war-like mentality) characteristic of the three murderers is shared by Lord Arne who has acquired his wealth from the monasteries dissolved at the Reformation; but the point, it seems to me, is that in the section of the novella set in Marstrand, with a contingent of 100 Scottish mercenaries waiting for the ice to break, we can scrutinize this martial masculinity, which in fact amply illustrates what Homi Bhabha (2000:72) has described as “those terrifying stereotypes of savagery, cannibalism, lust, and anarchy which are the signal points of identification and alienation, scenes of fear and desire, in colonial texts” in disguise and in control. Elsalill never looked up while she described the massacre to the three Scots on the quayside and so did not notice that “deras öron blefvo långa af att lyssna, och deras ögon gnistrade, och ibland drogo sig deras läppar isär, så att tandraderna lyste fram” (“their ears grew long with listening, and their eyes glinted, and their lips sometimes parted to show the rows of teeth within”), nor that “mannen framför henne hade ögon och tänder som en ulf” (Lagerlöf 1904:38) (“the man before her had the eyes and teeth of a wolf” [Lagerlöf 2011:28]). In the main section of Lagerlöf’s novella, the Scots in Marstrand show up masculine power as not just total but also brutal. In this context, Sir Archie’s pangs of remorse, in the eyes of his companions, are tantamount to him abandoning “all manlighet” (Lagerlöf 1904:95–96) (“all manliness” [Lagerlöf 2011:59]), but it is Elsalill as the main representative of Otherness, the young girl of whom the Scots think that “ingenting kunde vara lättare än att dåra Elsalill” (Lagerlöf 1904:78) (“nothing could be 173 H. Forsås-Scott 2013 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 4 easier than bewitching Elsalill” [Lagerlöf 2011:50]), who is left to play a key role in taking them on. At her side, she has the ghost of her fostersister who, as if to reinforce their joint Otherness, looks very much like Elsalill. By the end of the narrative, Elsalill, too, is dead, but by then the joint agency of these two female characters has resulted in the unmasking and subsequent apprehension of the three Scots. Hans Hauge (2003:150) has argued that the notion of Norden, the collective term for the Nordic countries, could function as a substitute for ancient Greece, making it possible to claim that “[v]i var demokrater, før demokratiet kom til os” (we were democrats before democracy came to us). In Lord Arne’s Silver, in late-sixteenth-century Norden, there is not yet democracy, but there is a judicial system that can be regarded as proto-democratic, represented by the hearing held at the public assembly place in Branehög, close to Solberga, where a huge crowd follows the attempt by “länsherren på Bohus […] med lagmän och skrifvare” (Lagerlöf 1904:50) (“the lord of Bohuslän […] with his justices and clerks” [Lagerlöf 2011:35]) to find and punish the murderers a week after the massacre. Lord Arne’s call for revenge, issued once the hearing has concluded that the murderers have drowned, and more particularly his emissary, his dead granddaughter who is Elsalill’s fostersister, arguably bring this Nordicness to Marstrand. As soon as the Scots have been taken into captivity and the women of Marstrand have collected Elsalill’s body from the ship, the ice breaks up and the temporary stage provided by the ice-bound port is no more. But it has lasted long enough for the narrative to investigate relations of power and gender in the context of a dominant Scottishness and a Nordic Otherness. How, then, is the juxtaposition of Nordic and Scottish represented in Hauptmann’s drama, and how do the implications in terms of power and gender compare to those of Lagerlöf’s novella? First performed at the Deutsches Theater in Berlin on 17 October 1917, the drama consists of seven acts, the first two set in Solberga, the third in a court room at Bohus, and the remaining four in Marstrand or on the ice surrounding the port. By introducing the character of Arnesohn, the son of Herr Arne and himself a minister, the drama represents Nordic in terms quite different from those of the novella, and Arnesohn’s prominence in the plot also ensures that the contrast between Nordic and Scottish is maintained, in much the same terms, throughout. There is no equivalent, then, of that uniqueness of a Marstrand in which the Scots are temporarily in charge that we have traced in Lagerlöf’s novella. Set against Nordic as represented by Arnesohn is a Scottishness that is also highly visible; and with Arnesohn and Sir Archie as the main protagonists, the drama involves a major shift in terms of relations of power and gender. In the drama, the massacre in Solberga takes place on the eve of Herr Arne’s ninetieth birthday. Well known, according to his son, as “den besten Mann im Nord” (Hauptmann 1917:26–27) (the best man in the North), Herr Arne when he first appears is described in a stage direction as “der gewaltige Greis” (ibid.:29) (the powerful old man); not long afterwards, armed with his huge sword, he initially fends off the three Scots. In the court room at Bohus, the process of justice headed by the governor is overshadowed by Arnesohn’s demands for revenge, making the character draw the governor’s admiration: Bei Gott: ein wilder, hünenhafter Mann. Wie lebt in ihm die Kraft des toten Vaters! Welch ein Geschlecht! Kein bessres kennt der Nord. (ibid.:74) (By God: a wild giant of a man. / How the strength of his dead father lives on in him! / What a family! The North knows none better.) It is only as Arnesohn is preparing for the decisive confrontation with Sir Archie that he refers explicitly to his roots, to the forefathers who were farmers, who at times also made their living from piracy, and who included Leif Eriksson, “ein Normanne, der / mehrmals durchs Dunkelmeer nach Grönland fuhr” (ibid.:163) (a Northener who / several times sailed across the dark sea to Greenland). However, in light of the references to Arnesohn as a man from the north determined to get his revenge, the Viking associations have effectively been present throughout. More importantly, the notion of the original inhabitants of the north as independent, freedom-loving men brings into focus, in terms that are far more emphatic than in Lagerlöf’s novella, the idea highlighted by Hauge (2003:150) of Norden as democratic before the arrival of democracy. But while Lagerlöf’s text establishes a distance to the Nordic discourse, Hauptmann’s drama confirms and reinforces it. What kind of Scottishness, then, is contrasted with this rather predictable Nordicness? As Benedict Anderson (2003:4) has pointed out, nationness and nationalism are cultural artifacts which, “once created, […] become ‘modular’, capable of being transplanted, with varying degrees of self-consciousness, to a great variety of social terrains, to merge and be merged with a correspondingly wide variety of political and ideological constellations” . In Hauptmann’s drama, Scottish, at one level, is no less predictable than Nordic; for, in contrast to Lagerlöf’s novella, the drama involves plenty of bagpipes, with H. Forsås-Scott 2013 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 4 174 the Scots also dancing to the music on a number of occasions, and there is no shortage of references to the Highlands and Scottish food, with one of the Scots shouting, once the ice begins to break up, “ich rieche Hammelfleisch, ich schmecke Schottland” (Hauptmann 1917:155) (I can smell mutton, I can taste Scotland). While Erland Lagerroth is probably correct in his assumption that the Scottish elements in Lord Arne’s Silver have been inspired by Sir Walter Scott (Lagerroth 1963:286–87), these markedly “modular” Scottish details in Hauptmann’s drama arguably come across as more distinctive echoes of Scott. However, examples of this kind combine with aspects that are rather less flattering and even sinister. Unlike in Lagerlöf’s text, the three Scots identify themselves from the very start, and when they appear in the opening act they are drunk, their behavior “wild und unheimlich” (Hauptmann 1917:16) (wild and alarming), and their blasphemies as they wave their long knives seem to reinforce the relevance of Torarin’s earlier metaphor for the noise of the sharpening of the knives: “die alte Schlange zischt im Paradiese” (ibid.:13) (the old snake is hissing in paradise). No less alarming is the attempt by the Scots suddenly to transform themselves into comedians, “ein lustiges Kleeblatt” (ibid.:20) (an amusing trio), “Joculatores” (ibid.: 21) who entertain with a spot of leap-frogging. In comparison with the upright and determined Arnesohn, the three Scots emerge as unpredictable and unstable characters, the bagpipes and Highland references masking a self-gratifying licentiousness. Along with their fellow Scots, they are consistently Other in Hauptmann’s drama, effectively exemplifying the “Nordientalisme” that Hauge (2003:149) has explored in relation to peripheral or colonized ethnic groups, and that replicates the relations of power familiar from Said’s “Orientalism”. The inferiority of Scottish in relation to Nordic is highlighted by the character of Sir Archie. Having been challenged by the other two Scots to murder Berghild (the name given in the drama to Herr Arne’s granddaughter), young Sir Archie, cradling the dead female character in his arms, immediately regrets this deed: Wo bin ich hier? Und welcher Malstrom riss mich fort und spülte mich hier auf diese blutge Sandbank? Oder wer lockte mich, so wie ein Kind der Irrwisch, in diesen Blutsumpf? Oder wie verstieg ich mich in diese abgrundtiefe Kammer, in diesen Schacht, aus dem in Ewigkeit kein Rückweg ist? (Hauptmann 1917:55–56) (Where am I? / And what maelstrom tore me away and washed / me up here on this bloodied sandbank? Or / who tempted me, like the will-o’-the-wisp the child / into this swamp of blood? Or how did I lose my way / into this chamber deep as the abyss, / into this pit from which there is no return / ever?) Visiting Torarin and his sister (not his mother, as in Lagerlöf’s novella) in Marstrand and buying aquavit in their small shop, Sir Archie sees Elsalill silently passing through the room and suffers an attack of a disease he claims to have inherited from— with a reference to Macbeth—the Thanes of Ross (ibid.:88). Sir Archie, it has been argued, is suffering from epilepsy (Watson 2004:114–15), but this diagnosis fails to do justice to the linkage between his attacks and his emerging relationship with Elsalill, whom he repeatedly takes to be the dead Berghild, the relationship characterized not just by eroticism but also by vampirism and necrophilia. Ensuring that he is alone with Elsalill/Berghild, Sir Archie embraces her: So, näher, näher! – Und ich weiss es längst, dass keine Rettung ist vor deinen Küssen, und ob auch deine Küsse giftig sind und töten. Seit der Stunde, wo du mich mit blutgem Munde sterbend küsstest, brennt und rast in mir und höhlt mich aus das Gift! – Ja, ich bin tot, obgleich ich lebe, wie du lebst, obgleich du tot bist. (Hauptmann 1917:96) (So, closer, closer . – And I have known for a long time / that there is no hope of rescue from your kisses, / even if your kisses are poisonous / and kill. Since the moment when / with your bloodied mouth you kissed me as you were dying, / the poison burns and rages and hollows me out! – / Yes, I am dead although alive, as / you are alive although dead.) The question whether Elsalill is suffering from hysteria (Watson 2004:114) is, I believe, rather less interesting than the qualities and implications of this relationship, which roots feminine power in the erotic and sexual. Elaine Showalter has read the notion of the female vampire as a reaction to the emergence of the New Woman in the last few decades of the nineteenth century, quoting a gynecologist claiming that “just as the vampire sucks the blood of its victims in their sleep, so does the woman vampire suck the life and exhaust the vitality of her male partner” (quoted in Showalter 1992:180). With pathological cases such as Sir Archie and Elsalill, there is no space for ghosts, and the feminine characters remain Other, like the Scots. The contrast with Lagerlöf’s 175 H. Forsås-Scott 2013 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 4 massacre, and so reveals the truth about her bridegroom and his two accomplices. Lagerlöf’s adaptation was first performed at Nya teatern in Gothenburg on 20 September 1918. The reviews were not positive, and following the dress rehearsal, Lagerlöf wrote that she regretted almost everything she had retained from Hauptmann’s drama: “Jag skulle ha följt intrigen ur min bok, det hade varit bättre” (quoted in Afzelius 1969:73) (I should have stuck to the plot in my book, that would have been better). In some of the oral traditions about the murders of the historical Lord Arne and his family, the perpetrators are not Scots, but English or Irish (Weidel 1964:213). What is more, the terms Skotter and Skottekræmmere in sixteenth-century Danish could mean “pedlars”, without any reference to nationality implied (Krantz 1960–1961:67). However, the possibility that the historical Lord Arne’s murderers perhaps were not Scots at all but pedlars from somewhere else is, I think, rather less interesting than are the juxtapositions of Nordic and Scottish developed in Lagerlöf’s novella and Hauptmann’s drama, respectively, and the far-reaching but very different implications of these in terms of power and gender. In contrast to Hauptmann’s drama, Lagerlöf’s text, as I have attempted to show, can usefully be approached as an experimental field, an unsettling text in the Barthesian sense which, in terms that have previously not received any attention, explores nationhood, Nordic, and Scottish with far-reaching implications for the relations of gender and power. While the masculinity that rules at the end of Hauptmann’s drama is distinctly Nordic, the dislocation of the conventional patterns of gender and power in Lagerlöf’s novella and the foregrounding of feminine agency are of a piece with a problematization of nationhood that is not just more modern but also more relevant today. Literature Cited Afzelius, N. 1969. Selma Lagerlöf —den förargelseväckande. Gleerup, Lund, Sweden. 150 pp. Anderson, B. 2003. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. First published 1983, revised edition 1991. Verso, London, UK. 224 pp. Barthes, R. 1975. The Pleasure of the Text. English translation by R. Miller; French original 1973. Hill and Wang, New York, NY, USA. 67 pp. Bhabha, H.K. 2000. The Location of Culture. First published 1994. Routledge, London, UK and New York, NY, USA. 285 pp. Cowen, R.C. 1980. Hauptmann-kommentar zum dramatischen Werk. Winkler Verlag, Munich, Germany. 335 pp. novella with its provision of a space for the exploration of power and gender and the emergence of feminine power as represented by the dead fostersister and Elsalill is striking, as is the direct relevance of the contrast between Scottish and Nordic in this context. In Hauptmann’s drama, it has been argued, the character of Elsalill plays no significant role for the apprehension of Sir Archie (Weidel 1964:249). However, the motif of the female vampire remains in focus until the end, as the final confrontation with Sir Archie for which Arnesohn has been preparing never takes place: the Sir Archie who approaches across the ice is not just confused but convinced that a bite from a dead bitch has infected him with rabies. The act of revenge, Arnesohn realizes, has been wrested from him by God. In the central section in Lagerlöf’s Lord Arne’s Silver, then, Nordic is relegated to the position of Other, with Scottish in the position of power as gender and agency are explored, the decisive roles of the dead fostersister and Elsalill in the story becoming more prominent as a result. In Hauptmann’s drama, on the other hand, Nordic remains in the position of power throughout, with Scottish confined to the position of Other, a relationship that leaves no room for alternatives and strengthens the agency of the Viking descendant. Sick and deranged towards the end, the leading Scot can only access agency in the negative, and having three times repeated the “Nein” (Hauptmann 1917:179) (No), which means he refuses to accompany his two companions, he dies. How, then, did Lagerlöf handle the task of translating and adapting Hauptmann’s drama? She cut back on what I have labelled the “modular” Scottish elements, notably the bagpipes and the dancing. She drastically reduced the role of Arnesohn, renaming him Sune Arnesson, deleting his Viking ancestry, and clothing his demand for justice in a more Christian garb. She added to the complexity of the character of Sir Archie, balancing his weakness with references to his father, a leader of brave Highlanders, and with talk of Sir Archie’s Scottish assets and family links with Scotland’s King. While this made the juxtaposition of Nordic and Scottish in Hauptmann’s original drama less static and predictable, Lagerlöf’s rewriting of Arnesson and Sir Archie also went some way towards modifying relations of power and gender. But what is probably most interesting is that Lagerlöf restored Elsalill’s agency, and that she did so by playing into Hauptmann’s traditional relations of power and gender and then blowing these apart, to great dramatic effect. In Lagerlöf’s adaptation, Elsalill actually marries Sir Archie, but just as the celebrations are getting under way, she is confronted with three poor men accused of being the perpetrators of the H. Forsås-Scott 2013 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 4 176 Edström, V. 2001. Skuggspelet på isen. Vildhetens estetik i Selma Lagerlöfs Herr Arnes penningar. Pp. 11–30, In S. Klint and K. Syreeni (Eds.). Speglingar. Svensk 1900–talslitteratur i möte med biblisk tradition. Norma, Skellefteå, Sweden. 239 pp. Forsås-Scott, H. 1997. Beyond the dead body: Masculine representation and the feminine project in Selma Lagerlöf's Herr Arnes penningar. Scandinavica, 36(2): 217–238. Hauge, H. 2003. Post-Danmark. Politik og aestetik hinsides det nationale. Lindhardt and Ringhof, Copenhagen, Denmark. 287 pp. Hauptmann, G. 1892. Die Weber. Schauspiel aus den vierziger Jahren. S. Fischer Verlag, Berlin, Germany. 117 pp. Hauptmann, G. 1917. Winterballade. Eine dramatische Dichtung. S. Fischer Verlag, Berlin, Germany. 180 pp. Hauptmann, G. 1919. Vinterballaden. Dramatisk dikt. Med författarens tillåtelse översatt och bearbetad av Selma Lagerlöf. Albert Bonniers förlag, Stockholm, Sweden. 147 pp. Hauptmann, G. 1997. Tagebücher 1914 bis 1918, ed. P. Sprengel. Propyläen, Berlin, Germany. 479 pp. Krantz, C. 1960–1961. Herr Arne och skottarna i dikt och verklighet. Vikarvet: 61–68. Lagerlöf, S. 1904. Herr Arnes penningar. Albert Bonniers förlag, Stockholm, Sweden. 151 pp. Lagerlöf, S. 2011. Lord Arne's Silver, translated by S. Death. Norvik Press, London, UK. 98 pp. Lagerroth, E. 1963. Selma Lagerlöf och Bohuslän. En studie i hennes 90-talsdiktning. Gleerup, Lund, Sweden. 349 pp. Ödman, J. 1746. Chorographia Bahusiensis. Salvius, Stockholm, Sweden. 384 pp. Pfister, M. 1994. The Theory and Analysis of Drama. English translation by J. Halliday; first published 1988; German original 1977. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. 339 pp. Scharfen, K. 2005. Gerhart Hauptmann im Spannungsfeld von Kultur und Politik 1880 bis 1919. Tenea Verlag, Berlin, Germany. 186 pp. Showalter, E. 1992. Sexual Anarchy: Gender and Culture at the Fin de Siècle. First published in UK 1991. Virago Press, London, UK. 242 pp. Watson, J. 2004. Swedish Novelist Selma Lagerlöf, 1858–1940, and Germany at the turn of the Century. O du Stern ob meinem Garten. The Edwin Mellen Press, Lewiston, NY, USA, Queenston, ON, Canada, and Lampeter, Wales, UK. 207 pp. Weidel, G. 1964. Helgon och gengångare. Gestaltningen av kärlek och rättvisa i Selma Lagerlöfs diktning. Gleerup, Lund, Sweden. 454 pp. Endnote 1Unless otherwise indicated, translations are my own. Although the reference was to “Nordiska språk”, etc. (Nordic languages), the specialists involved devoted themselves to material written in the Scandinavian languages.