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Hans Henrik Jæger

                                                   Writer Hans Jaeger, 1889, Edvard Munch

The Kristiania Bohemians (Norwegian: Kristiania-bohemen) were a political and cultural movement in the 1880s centered in Kristiania (now Oslo). Hans Jæger was the central figure in the movement, and other prominent members included Christian Krohg, Oda Krohg, Jon Flatabø, Haakon Nyhuus, and Nils Johan Schjander. The Kristiania Bohemians were naturalist artists and belonged to the period of Naturalism, but the clear emphasis that they placed on feelings also points towards the next literary period, Neo-Romanticism. The movement consisted of about 20 men and a few women, and others loosely associated with the movement, such as Arne Garborg.

The Kristiania Bohemians are also known for their Nine Bohemian Commandments, which had its origins in an article published in Impressionisten no. 8 in February 1889 and is often attributed to Hans Jæger. However, in the biographical novel Jæger – en rekonstruksjon (Jæger: A Reconstruction), Ketil Bjørnstad writes that the journal's publisher, Johan Collett Michelsen, wrote the piece together with Oda and Christian Krohg as a parody of Jæger, whom they were having a dispute with.

Hans Henrik Jæger ( September 2 1854, Drammen, Norway –  February 8 1910, Oslo) was a Norwegian writer, philosopher and anarchist political activist who was part of the Oslo (then Kristiania)-based bohemian group known as the Kristiania Bohemians. In 1886 he was prosecuted for his book Fra Kristiania-bohêmen, then convicted and sentenced to 60 days' imprisonment and a fine of 80 kr for infringement of modesty and public morals, and for blasphemy. He also lost his position as a stenographer at the Parliament of Norway. Jæger was defended in court by barrister Ludvig Meyer.. He and other bohemians tried to live by the nine commandments he had formulated in Fra Kristiania-bohêmen.

The following year he was forced to flee Norway. He had been sentenced to 150 more days in prison after the Norwegian government learned that he had sent 300 copies of Fra Kristiania-bohêmen to Sweden under the pretense that it was a volume of Christmas stories.
He was a friend of Edvard Munch and was the subject of one of Munch's paintings, swiftly painted in the rented room of one of Munch's friends.

Hans Jæger maintained that sexuality should be unrestricted in relationships, arguing that the traditional values of marriage and social class encroached on personal freedom and fulfillment. Jæger asserted that the institution of marriage should be abolished and that there should be "full sexual freedom between the sexes in the same social class."


The Bohemian Commandments (Norwegian: Bohêmbud) or Nine Bohemian Commandments (Norwegian: Bohêmens ni bud) is a frequently cited text from the Kristiania Bohemian movement in Oslo:
1.         Thou shalt write thine own life.
2.         Thou shalt sever thy family roots.
3.         Thou canst not treat thy parents badly enough.
4.         Thou shalt never smite thy neighbor for less than five crowns.
5.         Thou shalt hate and despise all farmers, such as Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson.
6.         Thou shalt never wear celluloid cuffs.
7.         Neglect not to make a scandal in the Christiania Theater.
8.         Thou shalt never repent.
9.         Thou shalt take thine own life.
The commandments come from an article published in Impressionisten no. 8 in February 1889, which is often attributed to Hans Jæger. However, in the biographical novel Jæger – en rekonstruksjon (Jæger: A Reconstruction), Ketil Bjørnstad writes that the journal's publisher, Johan Collett Michelsen, wrote the piece together with Oda and Christian Krohg as a parody of Jæger, whom they were having a dispute with.




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