Sigrid Undset: A Study in Christian Realism


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By A. H. Winsnes

“The realism of Christianity is indomitable,” Sigrid Undset once wrote. The same could be said of her own realism. From incisive novels of modern life to richly detailed medieval sagas, Undset was peerless in her literary treatment of human life. Sigrid Undset: A Study in Christian Realism follows Undset from childhood to adulthood, from agnosticism to Catholicism, and from fledgling author to one of the twentieth century’s true visionaries—Catholic or otherwise. By marrying biography to literary appreciation, A. H. Winsnes shows how Undset could process her personal experiences and interests through her writing and thereby put them into “an eternal perspective, in relation to the divine order.” Connecting Undset to her peers in twentieth-century Catholic literature—including Chesterton and Greene, Bernanos and Mauriac—Winsnes underscores her ability to show, like they did, men and women as the “architects of their own misfortune,” but also to complement that vision with depictions of those same people as participants in their own salvation, inherently drawn toward goodness and truth.

A writer seems to see in advance the gloom through which we must pass—the dark places—and seeks to find a way out. (Sigrid Undset)

A personally perceptive compilation and critically astute interpretation—the latter, as expressed by Undset herself, “certainly correct”—of the stages of Undset’s life and work, Winsnes’s Sigrid Undset: A Study in Christian Realism makes the compelling case for its subject as “the Christian realist par excellence.”

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Andreas Hofgaard Winsnes (1889–1972) was a Norwegian scholar of literature and history. Author of numerous books and essays, professor at the University of Oslo, and a founder of the Norwegian Academy, he was influential in the renaissance of Christian humanism in twentieth-century Scandinavia.

Paperback & E-book: 288pp.

E-book: Immediately following purchase, an .epub file and a .mobi (Kindle) file are available for download.

ISBN: 978-1685950637