Page images
PDF
EPUB

English Literature, 1903, by the lamented Conrad Hjalmar Nordby, Instructor in English in the College of the City of New York, whose early death (in 1901) cut off a highly promising career. In 1897 L. Bernstein treated for his doctorate: The Order of Words in Old Norse Prose.

5. In the University of Minnesota a Department of Scandinavian Languages and Literature was established in 1883. Olaus J. Breda 1 was appointed Professor, and he entered upon his duties in the fall of 1884. Professor Breda stressed the study of Norwegian and the modern Scandinavian literature, and down to 1894 the instruction dealt exclusively with these subjects. The attendance upon the courses was good; thus in 1886 there was a class of seventeen studying Norwegian. In 1887 an advanced course in Norwegian literature was also given. During 1892-1893 Professor Breda was absent on leave and Mr. J. J. Ness had charge of the work. He introduced the study of Old Norse and he also gave a course of lectures on Norse Mythology. After Professor Breda's return in 1893 new courses in literature and in Norwegian history were introduced. Upon his resignation in 1898 3 the chair was vacant for a year. Dr. John S. Carlson was appointed Professor in the summer of 1899. and he assumed charge in September of that year. While Professor Carlson has emphasized the Swedish side of Scandinavian study, full courses are also given in Norwegian language and in Norwegian and Danish literature.

At the present time there is offered a two-year course in Swedish, a beginning course in Danish-Norwegian and one of more advanced nature, as well as courses in Old Swedish, Old Danish and Old Norse. In the first two of these courses considerable work is done in composition, oral and written exercises and translation from and into the foreign language. The courses are also intended as introduction to the literatures of the three countries. The last three deal with 'the history, language and literature (of the three countries respectively) from the earliest times to 1500 A. D.' An advanced course in Scandinavian litera

1 Formerly Professor in Luther College, Decorah, Iowa.
2 Now Professor of Latin in Wittenberg College, Ohio.
8 Professor Breda went to Norway where he has since lived.

ture is given, in which the literature of Norway in the nineteenth century is studied, with special reference to Ibsen's influence. In the second half-year is studied the Swedish literature in the nineteenth century, with special reference to August Strindberg's influence. Courses in Danish, Swedish and Norwegian literature are also offered. During the fourteen years that Professor Breda had occupied the chair an excellent foundation had been laid for a Scandinavian library, and this had been further strengtheden by Professor Carlson. The library was, however, practically all destroyed in the fire of 1904. On a visit to the University in August, 1906, I found there a small collection of about 575 volumes in Swedish (and Norwegian) literature, mostly recent purchases. An appropriation had, however, been made and Professor Carlson was at the time in Scandinavia selecting books for the University library. A doctorate dissertation on The Law of the West Goths (Östgötalagen), a Translation with Notes, was published in 1906, and a thesis on Henrik Ibsen is at present in the course of preparation. A decorate work on Loddfáfnismál, was written by Victor Nilsson in 1898.

The University of Minnesota has a larger attendance of Scandinavian students than any other college in the country, the total number the current year being about 500. The state of Minnesota has a Scandinavian population of 466,365, while in the cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis the number is about 90,000. The Thulanian Club of the University is a thriving and enterprising organization of Norse students, which has an active membership of thirty and an alumni membership of nearly one hundred. There are sixteen Scandinavians on the instructional staff of the various colleges of the University.

6. Instruction in the Scandinavian languages has been given in Northwestern University since 1882. In that year The Swedish Theological Seminary, founded in 1870, was moved from Galesburg, Illinois, to Evanston and incorporated in The Northwestern University. The object of the Seminary is the training of ministers for the Methodist church. In 1885 a DanishNorwegian department was organized having the same purpose. The instruction in the Scandinavian branches have been in

charge of Albert Erickson, A. M., President of The Swedish Theological Seminary, and Dr. N. Simonsen, D. D., Principal of the Danish-Norwegian Theological Seminary. Dr. Simonsen gives regularly two elementary courses in Danish-Norwegian, one a four-hour course and the other three hours a week. He also offers one in the modern literature, three times a week, based on Brock og Seip's Literaturhistorie. The instruction in Old Norse is given by the Department of German and has generally been conducted by Professor C. Curme, Professor of Germanic Philology. Old Norse and Gothic are studied together, emphasis being laid upon the relation of these languages to other members of the Teutonic group. Kahle's Altisländisches Elementarbuch has generally been used. During 1905-1906 this class was taught by Professor Gustaf E. Karsten. 7. Although formal instruction in Scandinavian was not offered in Johns Hopkins until 1885, the beginnings date back to 1882-83. Dr. Wm. H. Carpenter that year held an appointment as Fellow by courtesy and in the fall of the year delivered a series of twelve public lectures on Old Norse-Icelandic literature. In 1885 the study of Old Norse was introduced as a regular course of instruction for graduate students in Germanic Philology. The class was taught by Dr. Henry Wood, and was based on Noreen's Altisländische Grammatik and Oscar Brenner's Altnordisches Handbuch. This was followed by an advanced course the next year in the Elder Edda according to Symon's edition, Die Lieder der Edda, Halle, 1888. In the first-year course such prose texts have been read as Möbius's Analecta Norröna, Mogk's edition of Gunnlaugssaga Ormstungu and selections from Laxdölasaga and Njálssaga. As a rule students in Old Norse here have previously had Gothic and Old or Middle High German, and the first years work is made strictly linguistic. A doctor's work on Norse Influence on the English Language was submitted by Albert E. Egge in 1886. In 1899-1900 Sivert N. Hagen, 2 fellow in English, treated as his doctoral dissertation: Scandinavian Influence in Middle English. Scandinavian philological journals and the publications

1 Now Professor of English, Washington State College.

2 Instructor in English, University of Iowa, 1900-1905, Vanderbilt University, 1906.

of scientific societies are well represented in the library of Johns Hopkins University. Outside of this, I am told, the library is, however, very inadequately equipped, not only in the modern literature, but also in Old Norse. As will be seen from the above no opportunity is offered for the study of any of the modern Scandinavian languages or literatures.

8. In 1885 David Starr Jordan gave a course in Indiana University in Peterson's Norsk Grammatik, with the reading of Björnson's En Glad Gut. This was the first time that any of the Scandinavian languages had been taught there. In the following year the same course was repeated, to the reading being added this time Björnson's Fiskerjenten and a collection of Norwegian lyric poems. In 1888-1889 Björnson's Synnöve Solbakken and Jonas Lie's Den Fremsynte were studied, as also in 1890-1891, the grammar being omitted in the latter year. There was also another class composed of members of the faculty. From 1889 to 1904 Professor Gustaf E. Karsten was Head of the Department of Germanic Languages. Since 1891 Professor Karsten conducted classes in the old Germanic dialects, particularly Gothic, Old Norse and Old High German. Any separate course in Old Norse was not given. Professor Karsten, who had always been much interested in the Scandinavian field, hoped to have a chair established for these languages. He resigned as head of the department, however, in 1903, and since then and until this year there has been no instruction offered. During the current year, Guido H. Stempel, Associate Professor of Comparative Philology, has conducted a course in Old Norse which is to alternate with Gothic hereafter in a cycle of two years. Sweet's Icelandic Primer and Noreen's Altisländische Grammatik are used, together with the study of Noreen's Geschichte der nordischen Sprachen in Paul's Grundriss der germanischen Philologie, the relation of Old Norse to Old and Middle English being given special attention. In addition to this Professor Stempel is also offering a course of lectures on NorseGermanic Mythology and the Old Norse sagas with special reference to the mutual relations between England and the Scandinavian countries. Instruction in Danish or Swedish has never

been given, nor has Norwegian been taught since Professor Jordan's resignation in 1891 to accept the Presidency of Leland Stanford University. The library is fairly well equipped on the side of Old Norse.

9. For many years Professor Francis James Child gave counsel to graduate students in Old Norse in Harvard University. The first formal course was however not given until in 1888, when Eugen H. Babbitt had a class of ten students. The year following Professor George L. Kittredge gave a similar course, which has since been repeated in alternate years. The size of classes has varied from five to ten. Halthausen's Altisländisches Elementarbuch and Noreen's Grammar have been used, in connection with which have been read Gunnlaugssaga and Gylfaginning and about a third of the Volsungasaga A part of the reading has been done in class without previous preparation. A course in the Elder Edda has in recent years also sometimes been given. It has therefore always been the literary side of Old Norse study which has been emphasized at Harvard.

Public lectures have been delivered at various times. Thus, for example, Professor Kittredge has given lectures in the nature of a survey of Old Norse literature. The study of Norwegian was introduced in 1899. Since 1900 the instruction in the Scandinavian languages and literature has been in charge of Dr. William H. Schofield. He had studied Old Norse and Danish in Copenhagen University and is in possession of a ready command of Modern Danish that is very unusual for one not to the manner born. Professor Schofield in his work has laid special stress upon the study of the Eddas and the Icelandic sagas and English-Norse literary relations. He has published important contributions to this field as 'Signy's Lament' in The Publications of the Modern Language Association, Volume XVII, pp. 262–296, and 'The Story of Horn and Rimenhild,' Volume XVIII, 1-83. In 1905-1906 he had a class of fifteen in Old Norse literature, the members of the class all being either candidates for the doctor's degree or already having that degree.

Professor Schofield was in the spring of 1906 made director

« PreviousContinue »