chapter  2
Ski Tracks in the Wilderness: Nature and Nation in Norwegian Young Adult Books from the 1930s
BySVEIN SLETTAN
Pages 16

Nature is a strong ingredient in nation-building. The shifting landscapes of different regions act as pieces in a national puzzle; they are “parts of the great whole,” as Selma Lagerlöf characterized the districts described in her nationforming novel The Wonderful Adventures of Nils (Thomsen 124).1 Nationbuilding processes also often construct a connection between the conditions of nature and the character of the people, whose ability to resist the hardship of nature demonstrates the strength of the nation. And, not least, nature is a setting for national heroes, with their frontier experiences, crises, and triumphs.