Monday, 2 July 2012

Tvedestrand, Norway

Tvedestrand is a town and municipality in Aust-Agder county, Norway. It is located in the traditional district of Sørlandet.The town itself lies at the end of a picturesque fjord, Oksefjorden (originally Ufsefjorden, meaning the fjord with steep, rocky sides).The town as it now exists was built in the 19th century as a harbour for Norway's longest existing iron works, Næs jernverk. Lying in the parish of Holt, Næs jernverk has one of the largest and most significant of the surviving mansions in Sørlandet, built by Ulrich Schnell. Schnell bought up various iron works in the neighborhood and set up several sawmills in the district. He obtained a special license to export timber directly from Tvedestrand, establishing the basis for an international harbour.

Lowry refers to the port in his poem 'For Nordahl Grieg Ship's Fireman'; "Bare arms among the storm-tossed washing in Tvedestrand". Lowry refers 3 times to the port in his first novel Ultramarine; it is the birthplace of 2 of the crew of Oedipus TyrannusAndersen Marthon Bredahl and Norman Leif (Pg. 15), where the ship Oedipus Tyrannus was first registered (Pg. 51) and the home of Dana Hilliot - "The seasons changed quickly: spring plants were staring at the sun in Tvedestrand; there were bare arms among the storm-tossed washing; the soundless black depths of a fjord closed over my head. Home. (Pg. 98). There is no record of Lowry visiting the port on his 1931 trip to Norway.

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