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The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Lie, Jonas Lauritz Edemil

< The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)

LIE, lē, Jonas Lauritz Edemil, Norwegian novelist: b. Eker, Norway, 6 Nov. 1833; d. Christiania, 5 July 1908. He was educated at the University of Christiania, where he cultivated the friendship of Björnson and Ibsen, and in 1859 settled as a lawyer at Kongsvinger. He went to Christiania in 1868 to support himself by journalism and literary work and in 1870 became famous with his novel ‘The Visionary.’ The profits from its publication enabled him to spend some time in northern Norway and to visit Holland, Belgium, France and Italy. Returning in 1874, he received the poet's pension from the Storthing, resided in Dresden 1877-81 and from 1882 till 1891 lived in Paris in comparative retirement, writing his most notable works, and in the latter year he went to Rome, from which he returned in 1892 to Norway. The following are his chief novels and stories: ‘Stories and Sketches of Norway’ (1872), containing the story entitled ‘The Horse of Nordfjord’; ‘The Three-Master Future, or Life in the North’ (1873), a series of loosely connected stories or sketches dealing with the life of Norwegian seamen; ‘The Pilot and his Wife’ (1874), showing a considerable advance on his earlier works; ‘Thomas Ross’ (1878); ‘Adam Schrader’ (1879); ‘Rutland’ (1880); ‘Forward! Scenes of the Sea’ (1882); ‘Life's Slaves’ (1883), a powerfully realistic study of a soul involved in the net of circumstance; ‘The Family of Gilie’ (1884), a lighter story of Norwegian life; ‘The Gulf’ (1885), treating of the gradual decline of an old Norwegian family; ‘Eight Stories’ (1885); ‘The Commandant's Daughters’ (1886), by many regarded as his masterpiece; ‘Two Lives’ (1887), a penetrating study in the psychology of marriage; ‘Maisa Jons’ (1888); ‘Mischievous Powers’ (1889); ‘Trold’ (1891-92); ‘Niobe’ (1893), in which his subject is family troubles arising out of differing social, political or religious views held by parents and children; and ‘Grandfather’ (1895); ‘Wulffie and Co.’ (1901). He published a volume of poems in 1867 and he also wrote several dramas, ‘Faustina Strozzi’ (1875); ‘Grabow's Cat’ (1880) and ‘Merry Wives’ (1894). In 1894 he published an important critical work, ‘Honoré de Balzac, The Man and the Artist.’ Lie's chief works were translated into German, English and other languages. He was a realist who, however, avoided the excesses of his school, was especially happy in his portrayal of sailors and the sea and was gifted with a fine sense of humor and profound sympathy with the humble and the unfortunate and was a master in psychological analysis. A uniform edition of his works was published at Copenhagen in 15 volumes (1902-04). See The Pilot and His Wife.