1.04.2010

The Art of Literary Seduction

Does it get any hotter than this? Surely not. Mind you this was written in Norway nearly a century ago:


She manages so as to arrive late in the evening; all is quiet at Maaneland when she reaches there. See, Axel has already begun haymaking, the grass is cut near the house, and some of the hay already in. And then she reckons out that Oline, being old, will be sleeping in the little room, and Axel lying out in the hayshed, just as she herself had done. She goes to the door she knows so well, breathless as a thief, and calls softly: "Axel!"

"What's that?" asks Axel all at once.

"Nay, 'tis only me," says Barbro, and steps in. "You couldn't house me for the night?" she says.

Axel looks at her and is slow to think, and sits there in his underclothes, looking at her. "So 'tis you," says he. "And where'll you be going?"

"Why, depends first of all if you've need of help to the summer work," says she.

Axel thinks over that, and says: "Aren't you going to stay where you were, then?"

"Nay; I've finished at the Lensmand's."

"I might be needing help, true enough, for the summer," said Axel.
"But what's it mean, anyway, you wanting to come back?"

"Nay, never mind me," says Barbro, putting it off. "I'll go on again tomorrow. Go to Sellanraa and cross the hills. I've a place there."

"You've fixed up with some one there?"

"Ay."

"I might be needing summer help myself," says Axel again.

Barbro is wet through; she has other clothes in her sack, and must change. "Don't mind about me," says Axel, and moves a bit toward the door, no more.

Barbro takes off her wet clothes, they talking the while, and Axel turning his head pretty often towards her. "Now you'd better go out just a bit," says she.

"Out?" says he. And indeed 'twas no weather to go out in. He stands there, seeing her more and more stripped; 'tis hard to keep his eyes away; and Barbro is so thoughtless, she might well have put on dry things bit by bit as she took oft the wet, but no. Her shift is thin and clings to her; she unfastens a button at one shoulder, and turns aside, 'tis nothing new for her. Axel dead silent then, and he sees how she makes but a touch or two with her hands and washes the last of her clothes from her. 'Twas splendidly done, to his mind. And there she stands, so utterly thoughtless of her….

A while after, they lay talking together. Ay, he had need of help for the summer, no doubt about that.

"They said something that way," says Barbro.

Knut Hamsun - Growth of the Soil, 1917

1 comment:

霍斯餓 said...

your artical is so funny!! it make me so happy!! ........................................