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1[[quoteright:300:]]²RomanticismVsEnlightenment should summarize the work of Norwegian author Henrik Arnold Thaulow Wergeland (17 June 1808 – 12 July 1845), playwright, poet, political lobbyist and historian. He is arguably the {{trope codifier}} for the Norwegian romantic movement at large, and also the patriotic movement in UsefulNotes/{{Norway}} during the 1800s. In his day, he was a badass, or at least a {{badass boast}}er, writing poems and plays until his last cough. He died of two-sided Pneumonia at the age of 37.²²To be honest, he was BlessedWithSuck because of his father, Nicolai Wergeland, who had been a member of the UsefulNotes/NorwegianConstituentAssembly, and made a lot of enemies. It is said that the son inherited a number of his father`s enemies, although it is known that he made up the best way he could. A natural LargeHam, it was obvious that Wergeland was able to make enemies all on his own, and was known for his quarrelsomeness on behalf of the less fortunate. He was prone to get himself into legal strife, and the greatest of those nearly ruined him. His wilfulness, and his ability to help the poor, made him a FolkHero, and as such, he is also the biggest MemeticBadass in Norwegian literature. No other poet has ever been said to ride the rainbow. ²²Wergeland is probably most known in non-Norwegian countries for his political lobbyism on behalf of Jews. The Norwegian constitution was strikingly clear on not allowing Jews access to the realm, and Wergeland worked for years to get this paragraph amended. He finally succeeded, though it would take another six years after his death to get the case closed. Swedish Jews paid for his memorial monument in gratitude.²²Wergeland was a friend to the commoners, and generally a pain in the ass for all cultural snobs. His quarrelsomeness made him a lot of enemies, and he was hunted down by lawsuits that nearly ruined him. He was also a hardass republican, ultra-patriotic, in a country mostly ruled by a Swedish king. The said king eventually gave him an occupation, which caused many of his earlier friends to turn him down. ²²The Norwegian leftist movement consider him a hero, and he became quite rightly a national icon. His massive production, makes him, however, somewhat hard to read, but most Norwegians can recite at least one of his poems. His influence is apparent in the plays of Creator/HenrikIbsen and other writers.²²''' Notable works by Henrik Wergeland'''²²* ''Literature/CreationManAndTheMessiah''. His ''Magnum Opus'', written in 1829, and rewritten on his deathbed in 1845 (somewhat abridged) under the title ''Man''. This poem proves Wergeland could write cosmic poems with the best of them (Creator/DanteAlighieri, Creator/JohnMilton, Creator/WilliamBlake).²* ''Literature/TheJew'', a collection of poems written for the Jewish Question in 1841, followed by ''The Jewess'' in 1845. Both collections are prone examples of tolerance and understanding - quite anti-racist for the time. ²* ''Theatre/IrreparabileTempus'', a farcical morality play written when he was barely 20 years of age. [[{{Aesop}} The Aesop]] is there in the title: To use your life wisely, and not waste it on trifles. ²* A number of plays and short stories, often farcical and political. ²----²!! Tropes found in the work of Henrik Wergeland:²²* {{Anvilicious}}: It is hard to imagine anyone dropping his anvils in such an elegant manner.²* ArtistDisillusionment: A number of times. Most famously in his poem ''Follow the call'', where he calls himself out of it, stating that a small audience is better than no audience at all. And if somebody listens, he will have achieved something anyway. This particular case begins with a moment of disillusion, because he is writing in a language that hardly survives his own breath (or, is understood by very few), and not on a world language like English.²* ApocalypseHow: When the Russians had defeated Poland at Ostrolenka (1831), Wergeland wrote a lengthy poem about it, called ''Cæsaris'', pointing fingers directly at [[UsefulNotes/TsaristRussia the Russian empire]]. Here, he predicts a "burning planet" and burning towns, in a way that comes close to nuclear devastation, as well as a planet off course, tumbling wildly into space without any connection to gravitational orbit. Although this seems pretty bad, he manages to invert it, by also predicting that life with come crawling back in time. Even if it takes a thousand years. ²* DeadpanSnarker: When it came to social criticism, Wergeland could snark with the best of them. He criticized the lot of the paupers, after an incident when five paupers froze to death in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden. ²---> Who are we to ask? The body, or the retainer of the poorhouse? or the priest? The latter one is, after all, respectable. ²* CallToAgriculture: Wergeland was an eager, self taught botanicist, and used flower metapors all over the place, as well as didactic poems and essays on how to grow and use almost anything that can sprout from Norwegian soil. One of his farces ends with a DeusExMachina fairy coming in with a set of flowers, each and every one of them carrying a virtue meant to kill or neutralize lies. As it happens, the use of metaphors fits every single flower extremely well. He also wrote a poem to a friend who just happened to be a botanicist, and the flowers are everywhere. ²** On his deathbed, he founded the "company of cabbage and roots", distributing seeds to working class people all over town and elsewhere, with descriptions on how to use them.²* DontAsk: Wergeland was really upset after the smashing of {{Usefulnotes/Poland}} in 1831. He had written a number of poems on the subject, but when he later wrote a "catechism of freedom" for Norwegians, he underlined this on behalf of the Poles: "Don`t ask of them. Don`t ask if I believe whether God and his justice rules in Heaven..." Understated that he felt really bad about the Polish situation after the Russian conquest. ²* ChewingTheScenery: Not ''all'' of his plays are like this, but some of his farcical plays definitely counts. The play ''Harlequin Virtuos'' is a combination of this and StylisticSuck, all for the RuleOfFunny. ²* CreatorCameo / AuthorAvatar: In some of his farces, he is present himself, although under different names. As those farces were statements directed towards his critics, he features in the background (as Siful) in one of them, and as the poet ''Leontodon'' in another. In one particular case, he even doubled as an elf king. ²** On the more serious side, we have the poet Sylvius, mooning over Stella in his first cycle of poems (a flanderized version of himself), being chided by Stella from the background. ²* {{Determinator}}: A number of poems goes by this or the "don`t give up" slogan. He calls on {{heroic willpower}}, because the truth will be victorious no matter how hard it is beaten in the first place. And "God counts the will more than anything else". ²* {{Dystopia}}: His satirical play ''Theatre/{{The Last of the Wise}}'', a dystopic vision of the future. True {{science fiction}}, as the action is set on another planet entirely. ²* FriendToAllChildren: He wrote a number of poems, didactic and otherwise, for children. He also wrote ''about'' children, of course. ²* FriendToAllLivingThings: Poems on flowers, insects, animals of all kinds. He even let his horse hold a lengthy speech on the subject of animal abuse.²* GoodSamaritan: Jacob, the old Jew in his poem ''Christmas Eve'' features prominently. He picks up a freezing child in a blizzard, and heads for the nearest house seeking shelter. Too bad he`s Jewish, as the good Christian couple will not let him in on Christmas Eve. Tragedy ensues when the couple find the man dead at their doorstep the morning after, and understand that the child with him is actually theirs.²* HavingAGayOldTime: Unavoidable after 170 years. A good example of this is quoted from Literature/CreationManAndTheMessiah, where he speaks of "seeing with the far sight of the soul". In the original text, the words "far sight" are now used for "television" in Norwegian, and hilarity ensued, instantly (See with the television of the soul...). ²* HumansAreCthulhu: Wergeland stated the "spiritual" origin of man in many poems, up to and including his cosmic ''magnum opus''. Essentially, the idea was platonic/gnostic, meaning that the souls of humans originated on a higher level, and that they eventually would return to their maker. The task of UsefulNotes/{{Jesus}}, among other things, was to awaken that slumbering urge. ²* InformedJudaism: In his poems written for the Jewish cause, Wergeland couldn`t resist this. Most apparently shown in the use of the name Jehovah. Wergeland`s Jews repeatedly utter the name, while {{real life}} Jews are ''very'' cautious on this particular issue. ²* UsefulNotes/JohannesGutenberg: Wergeland wrote a poem to his honor to memorize the invention of printing. The press made knowledge shareable and accessible for all, something that fit well into his ideas of enlightenment. ²** In the same vein, we would have expected Wergeland to praise the emergence of the {{internet}}, [[FridgeLogic had he known about it]]: "Does the thought roll around the globe with the speed of ideas? He (Gutenberg) sprayed a radiant rain over earth of spirited, weird magical signs..."²* TheLostLenore: Wergeland wrote a rather sweet poem in the cycle dedicated to his wife, where the spirit of a dead girl and former love interest introduces herself to be the guardian angel of the happy couple. Neat reconciliation. ²* {{Metaphorgotten}}: Pretty much a staple of his style. He was definitely a grave offender in his early phase, to a point where the ''Pataphor'' came into play. It is tricky to explain how this actually works, but an example should be one metaphor railing into a long explanation, [[MindScrew giving way to yet more metaphors (inside the first one)]], making the whole thing essentially taking on a life of its own. ²** This gained him a heavy scolding from contemporary critics, who arguably didn`t get it. ²* MundaneMadeAwesome: In his youth, Wergeland had a pet rabbit, which used to run around in his bedroom. The creature was maimed, and had lost an ear and a leg. Wergeland wrote a poem dedicated to the rabbit, and managed to enter a ''cosmic vision'' on the way. DownTheRabbitHole indeed...²* TheMuse: ''Stella'', being an amalgam of four love interests from his youth. His first cycle of poems book ends with poems dedicated to her. She is also mentioned in other poems from the same cycle, and is the sole inspiration for Literature/CreationManAndTheMessiah.²* {{Mythopoeia}}: His magnum opus is a retelling of the history of mankind as a myth, which also claims that all myths are related, and that all wisdom derives from the same source, or the same sage. There are also lots of non-human entities of higher celestial order, meddling in human affairs, or at least commenting on them. ²* OlderThanTheyThink: Wergeland was the first to use the mode of free verse, at least in Norway (his latest poems from 1845 at least). He may even have predated Creator/WaltWhitman in this area. ²* OurFairiesAreDifferent: Wergeland used TheFairFolk on several occasions in his plays, usually on the good side. In one particular case, it is lampshaded that the fairies in question is in fact reincarnated birds and butterflies. They also have the power to relocate souls - in this case, the soul of a naughty boy who has to be punished for rude behaviour against animals and insects. If he does not redeem himself, he will end up as one of the night elves. Hence, the fairies (night-elves) are actually the souls of departed animals, and thus closely connected to the cycles of nature.²* OurSoulsAreDifferent: "Souls", as stated by a very young Wergeland (barely 21 at the time), are "spirit eggs" seeded inside humans. One soul may be the result of ''one single spirit'', and when ''that'' happens, a human genius emerges, to alter the course of human history - he mentioned a few candidates, among them UsefulNotes/JuliusCaesar, Creator/WilliamShakespeare and UsefulNotes/NapoleonBonaparte. Usually, a soul would consist of half a spirit, sharing a spiritual identity with another human. And thus, the idea of StarCrossedLovers gain a specific meaning in the Wergelandverse. ²* OurSpiritsAreDifferent: Wergeland created the idea of "elementary spirits", or ''aions'', roaming the universe. Those spirits would then split up to form the basis of more than one human soul. See the trope above for more details. ²** A later version had two spirits already in love, who ensouled the sleeping bodies of Adam and Eve, ensuring that all humans shared that spiritual inheritance (Wergeland was not strictly consistent on this - he developed his ideas over a period of 17 years. That would be entire literary career). ²* SelfDeprecation: On his deathbed, Wergeland wrote a rather humorous autobiography, pestering himself for some of his youthful failures, like the stalking business. He also imagines someone finding his skull twenty years after his death, and the skull holding a lecture over some nonsensical issues. Until the reveal: the skull harbored a rat all along. ²* SesquipedalianLoquaciousness: Played straight in his poems, which, as a rule, are quite long and elaborate.²* SnarkToSnarkCombat: With fellow student and rival poet Johan Sebastian Welhaven. The two wrote insulting and humorous verses towards one another for a year. When those verses was published and printed by accident, the combat went haywire and made cultural history. Verged on {{volleying insults}}. ²* StreamOfConsciousness: The rule in his early poetry, which, despite a defining title, seems to contain thoughts of almost everything.²* WorldOfHam: Inevitable. Some of his poems are just ''made'' for ChewingTheScenery good and proper. ''It Works''! ²* CreationMyth: His ''magnum opus'', retelling the human history from creation to final doom. ²* DearNegativeReader: His poem ''Mig Selv'' ("Myself") is basically an answer to his critics in the newspaper ''Morgenbladet'', particularly their statement that he was a grouchy and unpleasant person. In this poem, he first denies being grouchy or unpleasant because he's so very cheerful and mild that he needs only the hint of fresh air or a green leaf to experience pure joy; then he goes on to explain why he's not wasting his valuable time even getting angry with such a pitiful excuse for a newspaper, continues by stating it's no wonder he gets in a bad mood when he has to deal with idiots like them, and then finishes with a rousing praise of the stars in the sky, who shine so brightly that he just smiles peacefully in the face of such unfair mockery as he's been subject to. In 2008, during Wergeland`s bicentennial anniversary, Morgenbladet finally printed the poem on his birthday, and made a public apology for this. Yes, it took them ''that'' long.²* WorkingClassHero: Hans Jacobsen, described as being "heroic" because he appreciated freedom over slavery (which would have given him a more sustainable diet). ²* WorkingClassPeopleAreMorons: Subverted. Wergeland actually ''invented'' the term "working class" in Norway, and wrote several pamphlets for the workers to benefit from. He showed special attention to this group, and often helped them if he was able to. He strove for social enlightenment, and this made him loved among commoners. Many of them attended his funeral. He also married a commoner`s daughter, by the way. She showed such wit and intelligence that she completely won the hearts of his father and sister - the two of them became lifelong friends. ²* WorldHalfFull: All the way. Wergeland was a born optimist, and never gave up hope. ²----


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