Brander Matthews (1852–1929).  The Short-Story.  1907.

By Björnstjerne Björnson  (1832– )

Notes to The Father

BJÖRNSON is the most intensely Norwegian of all Norwegian writers; he delights in setting before his readers the accent of his beloved fatherland. And yet his themes transcend the local interests of Norway, and have often a universal application. In “The Father,” for example, the setting is full of local color and the successive incidents are strictly Scandinavian; but the theme is not limited to any one country. This story was written in 1860.
There is a Biblical largeness in this story, with all its brevity and its directness. It is a parable, if one so chooses to regard it, with a tragedy in the middle of it, out of which there comes peace at the end. The pathos is all the more powerful for being implied rather than stated. The Scandinavian author displays here one of the finest characteristics of all imaginative writing—the ability to suggest far more than he has chosen to put into words.