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Alf Prøysen Centenary

Alf Prøysen would have celebrated his 100th birthday this year 23 July, and Norway Post is commemorating this day with two stamps. Unfortunately this popular artist was taken from his huge audience in 1970 at the age of only 57.

Alf Prøysen grew up on a smallholding in Ringsaker. In 1932 he left school and got a job working on a farm. Ten years later, Prøysen arrived at Vøien gård in Asker, and in 1945 he debuted with his collection of short stories, “Dørstokken heme”. With consistent use of dialect and very believable and excellent character development and setting descriptions, his books

garnered a large following. Three years later, popular musical gems came out on gramophone records and were played by thousands of windup gramophones across the country.

Prøysen’s breakthrough continued with his collection, “Drengstu`viser”, of which more than 135,000 copies were sold. Starting in 1952 we sat by the radio and listened to “Children’s Hour for the smallest” with Prøysen, Torbjørn Egner and Anne-Cath Vestly as the most popular program hosts. His novel “Trost i taklampa” created a major debate when Prøysen depicted the flight from the country as “a liberation project” for suppressed rural youth. More than 60,000 copies of the novel were sold, and “Trost i taklampa” also become a big success as a play and a movie.

In 1955, “Teskjekjerringa” (Mrs. Pepperpot in the English translation) appeared in Children’s Hour with Alf Prøysen. In total he wrote four books about this special woman, and today we can state that “Teskjekjerringa” became Alf Prøysen’s big international success. The story has been published in 23 languages and was turned into a TV program with more than 100 episodes in Japan. Before he passed away in 1970 Prøysen finished the manuscript for “Snekker Andersen og julenissen”, which was published the following year, delightfully illustrated by Hans Normann Dahl.