Sigurd Hoel
Sigurd Hoel was a Norwegian
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

An author is broadly defined as "the person who originates or gives existence to anything" and that authorship determines responsibility for what is created. Narrowly defined, an author is the originator of any written work.-Legal significance:...

 and publishing consultant, born in Nord-Odal
Nord-Odal is a municipality in Hedmark county, Norway. It is part of the traditional region of Odal. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Sand. The parish of Nordre Odalen was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838 .-Name:The last element is the old district...

. He debuted with the collection of short stories Veien vi gaar (The way we go) in 1922. His breakthrough came with Syndere i sommersol (Sinners in Summertime, 1927), which was made into a film in 1932 and in 2002.


He was the son of teacher Lars Anton and Elisa Dorothea Hoel, and grew up in Odalen. He was admitted into Ragna Nielsens school in Kristiania, but when he finished school in 1909, he could not afford to begin college right away. He worked for a while as an insurance salesman before he could begin his studies in 1910, during which time he supported himself with teaching jobs. In 1913 he was an employee at Ragna Nielsens school.

In his time at college he was the editor of the periodical Minerva. His literary career began with the short story "Idioten" ("the Idiot") from 1918, when he won a writing contest. The same year he became an employee of "Socialdemokraten" as a literature and theater critic. In 1920 he wrote the comedy Den Enes Død together with his friend Finn Bø
Finn Bø
Finn Bø was a Norwegian songwriter, revue writer, playwright, journalist and theatre critic. He is particularly remembered for his song Norge i rødt, hvitt og blått, which became extremely popular in 1945. Among his other popular songs are Nå går'n på gummisåler and Bare rundt omkring, both from...

. Harald Grieg
Harald Grieg
Harald Grieg was a Norwegian publisher.He was a relative of Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg. Harald's brother Nordahl Grieg was a writer and an active member of the Free Norwegian Forces during the German occupation of Norway...

 got him a job as a consultant for Gyldendal Norsk Forlag
Gyldendal Norsk Forlag
Gyldendal Norsk Forlag, commonly referred to as Gyldendal, is one of the largest Norwegian publishing houses .-Gyldendal Norsk Forlag AS:Gyldendal Norsk Forlag AS was founded in 1925...

 and Erling Falk
Erling Falk
Erling Falk was a Norwegian politician, ideologist and writer. He was active in the Norwegian Students' Society, the Norwegian Labour Party and the Communist Party, but is best known as a leading figure in the group Mot Dag, who issued a periodical of the same name...

 made him the editor of Mot Dag
Mot Dag
Mot Dag was a Norwegian periodical and a communist organization with the same name.It was established in 1921 under the initiative of Erling Falk, partly with origins in the debate forum in the Social Democratic student government in Oslo ; partly from a Falk-led study circle which from 1919...


In 1924 he traveled to Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 to study socialism
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

, and there he wrote his first novel, Syvstjernen (The Seven Star). He continued on to Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, where he met Nic Waal
Nic Waal
Nic Waal, born Caroline Schweigaard Nicolaysen in Kristiania, Norway was a Norwegian psychiatrist, noted for her work among children and adolescents in Norway where she is known as "the mother of Norwegian pediatric and adolescent psychiatry." She was also active in the Norwegian resistance during...

 (died 1960), whom he married in Norway in 1927. They separated in 1936, and the same year he married again, this time to Ada Ivan. From 1934 to 1939 Hoel was a co-worker of Wilhelm Reich
Wilhelm Reich
Wilhelm Reich was an Austrian-American psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, known as one of the most radical figures in the history of psychiatry...

 who then had chosen Oslo as his exile. Hoel contributed to Reich's German language periodical Zeitschrift für Politische Psychologie und Sexualökonomie (Journal for Political Psychology and Sex Economy) and was the editor-in-chief of the issues No. 13 to 15. One of his major essays deals with the Moscow Trials
Moscow Trials
The Moscow Trials were a series of show trials conducted in the Soviet Union and orchestrated by Joseph Stalin during the Great Purge of the 1930s. The victims included most of the surviving Old Bolsheviks, as well as the leadership of the Soviet secret police...


During the war Hoel and his wife went back to Odalen. He participated in the Resistance
Norwegian resistance movement
The Norwegian resistance to the occupation of Norway by Nazi Germany began after Operation Weserübung in 1940 and ended in 1945. It took several forms:...

, and wrote articles for the Resistance press. In 1943 he was forced to flee to Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....


Hoel had a short connection to the landsmål
Landsmål, meaning "language of the land/country", was the name Ivar Aasen gave the Norwegian orthography he created in the 19th century. In 1885 it was adopted as an official language in Norway alongside Danish. In 1929, Landsmål was renamed Nynorsk...

movement, but later played an active part in the riksmål campaign. He was among the founders of the Author's Association of 1952 and was the chairman of the Riksmålsforbundet
Riksmålsforbundet is the main organisation for Riksmål, one of the written standard of the Norwegian language ....

 from 1956 to 1959. He died of a heart attack at 69 years of age.

Body of Work

Veien til verdens ende (Road to the World's End, 1933) is a child's portrayal from a farm environment and is considered one of his key works, together with, among other things, the novel Møte ved Milepelen (Meeting at the Milestone
Meeting at the Milestone
Sigurd Hoel's Meeting at the Milestone was first published in 1947 by Sigurd Hoel. Itis considered one of the most significant books of Norwegian literatureof the Occupation. It was immediately translated into several otherlanguages....

, 1947). In this novel he both distances himself from Nazism
Nazism, the common short form name of National Socialism was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany...

 and portrays the confrontation of war as a problem. The last novel, Trollringen (The Troll Circle, 1958), is also among his best-known works.

As the main consultant for Norwegian and translated literature for Gyldendal publishing, Hoel made an impression on a whole generation of Norwegian literature. From 1929-1959 Hoel was the editor of the publisher's "Gold Series", where he introduced a number of foreign authors, often with an astounding foresight for which works would remain. The series comprised 101 books -- among others, works from authors such as Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Miller Hemingway was an American author and journalist. His economic and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his life of adventure and his public image influenced later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the...

, F. Scott Fitzgerald
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was an American author of novels and short stories, whose works are the paradigm writings of the Jazz Age, a term he coined himself. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. Fitzgerald is considered a member of the "Lost...

 and Franz Kafka
Franz Kafka
Franz Kafka was a culturally influential German-language author of short stories and novels. Contemporary critics and academics, including Vladimir Nabokov, regard Kafka as one of the best writers of the 20th century...

. Hoel wrote prefaces for all of the books, and the preferences are collected in the books 50 gold (1939) and The last 51 gold (1959).


  • Knut Hamsun, O. Norlis, 1920
  • Veien vi gaar, Gyldendal
    Gyldendal Norsk Forlag
    Gyldendal Norsk Forlag, commonly referred to as Gyldendal, is one of the largest Norwegian publishing houses .-Gyldendal Norsk Forlag AS:Gyldendal Norsk Forlag AS was founded in 1925...

    , 1922. Short stories.
  • Syvstjernen, Gyldendal, 1924. Novel.
  • Syndere i sommersol, Gyldendal, 1927. Novel.
  • Ingenting, Gyldendal, 1929. Novel.
  • Mot muren, Gyldendal, 1930. Drama.
  • Don Juan, Gyldendal, 1930. Drama, written together with Helge Krog
    Helge Krog
    Helge Krog was a Norwegian journalist, essayist, theatre and literary critic, translator and playwright.-Personal life:...

  • En dag i oktober, Gyldendal, 1931. Novel.
  • Veien til verdens ende, Gyldendal, 1933. Novel.
  • Fjorten dager før frostnettene, Gyldendal, 1935. Novel.
  • Sesam sesam, Gyldendal, 1938. Novel.
  • Prinsessen på glassberget, Gyldendal, 1939. Short stories.
  • 50 gule, Gyldendal, 1939. Articles.
  • Arvestålet, Gyldendal, 1941. Novel.
  • Tanker i mærketid, Gyldendal, 1945. Essays.
  • Møte ved milepelen, Gyldendal, 1947. Novel.
  • Tanker fra mange tider, Gyldendal, 1948. Essays.
  • Jeg er blitt glad i en annen, Gyldendal, 1951. Novel.
  • Tanker mellom barken og veden, Gyldendal, 1952. Essays.
  • Stevnemøte med glemte år, Gyldendal, 1954. Novel.
  • Tanker om norsk diktning, Gyldendal, 1955. Essays.
  • Ved foten av Babels tårn, Gyldendal, 1956. Novel.
  • Trollringen, Gyldendal, 1956. Novel.
  • De siste 51 gule, Gyldendal, 1959. Articles.

Posthumous works

  • Ettertanker, Gyldendal, 1980. Left behind essays and articles, published by Leif Longum.
  • Litterære essays, Dreyer, 1990. Published by Helge Nordahl.


  • Anita Loos
    Anita Loos
    Anita Loos was an American screenwriter, playwright and author.-Early life:Born Corinne Anita Loos in Sisson, California , where her father, R. Beers Loos, had opened a tabloid newspaper for which her mother, Minerva "Minnie" Smith did most of the work of a newspaper publisher...

    , Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
    Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (novel)
    Gentlemen Prefer Blondes: The Illuminating Diary of a Professional Lady is a comic novel written by Anita Loos first published in 1925. Loos was inspired to write the book after watching a sexy blonde turn intellectual H. L. Mencken into a lovestruck schoolboy. Mencken, a close friend, actually...

    , Gyldendal, 1926.
  • Joseph Conrad
    Joseph Conrad
    Joseph Conrad was a Polish-born English novelist.Conrad is regarded as one of the great novelists in English, although he did not speak the language fluently until he was in his twenties...

    , The Nigger of the Narcissus, Gyldendal, 1928
  • Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
    Heart of Darkness
    Heart of Darkness is a novella written by Joseph Conrad. Before its 1903 publication, it appeared as a three-part series in Blackwood's Magazine. It was classified by the Modern Library website editors as one of the "100 best novels" and part of the Western canon.The story centres on Charles...

    , Gyldendal, 1929
  • Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim
    Lord Jim
    Lord Jim is a novel by Joseph Conrad originally published as a serial in Blackwood's Magazine from October 1899 to November 1900.An early and primary event is Jim's abandonment of a ship in distress on which he is serving as a mate...

    , Gyldendal, 1932
  • William Faulkner
    William Faulkner
    William Cuthbert Faulkner was an American writer from Oxford, Mississippi. Faulkner worked in a variety of media; he wrote novels, short stories, a play, poetry, essays and screenplays during his career...

    , Light in August
    Light in August
    Light in August is a 1932 novel by the American author William Faulkner.Light in August is an exploration of racial conflict in the society of the Southern United States. Originally Faulkner planned to call the novel Dark House, which also became the working title for Absalom, Absalom!...

    , Gyldendal, 1934
  • Arthur Koestler
    Arthur Koestler
    Arthur Koestler CBE was a Hungarian author and journalist. Koestler was born in Budapest and, apart from his early school years, was educated in Austria...

    , Arrival and Departure
    Arrival and Departure
    Arrival and Departure is the third novel of Arthur Koestler's trilogy concerning the conflict between morality and expediency . The first volume, The Gladiators, is about the subversion of the Spartacus revolt, and the second, Darkness at Noon, is the celebrated novel about the Soviet Show trials...

    , Gyldendal, 1946

Awards and distinctions

  • Gyldendal's Endowment
    Gyldendal's Endowment
    Gyldendal's Endowment was a literature prize which was awarded in the period 1934–1995 by the Norwegian publisher Gyldendal Norsk Forlag. The prize was awarded to significant authors, regardless of which publisher the author was associated with...

     (Gyldendal's Legacy) 1940
  • Bokhandlerprisen (Bookseller Award) 1948

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