Norwegian literature

I like this article about the impact of Norwegian literature on the international stage over the past decade or so—culminating maybe with Jon Fosse's Nobel Prize in Literature this past year.

My experience with Norwegian literature extends pretty much as far as Ibsen and no further. But articles like this—and Fosse's Nobel Prize!—have prompted me to line up some modern Norwegian writers for the long evenings going into this year's quiet holidays.

I also particularly like this description of Norwegian literature:

Norwegian literature as a whole, on the other hand, could be reduced to a very different kind of caricature, one that might help explain some of its relative success abroad. Norwegian novels are toned down, rarely noticeably conceptual, rarely in direct conversation with theory or tradition. Here, you find page after page of plot driven middle-class angst, minimalism and melancholy, closeness to nature, mellowness, humility, and what presents itself as stripped-down honesty. Here and there a funny novel does appear, but when it does, it’s usually funny in a purely observational and demonstratively folksy way.

Now that's the kind of book I want to curl up with!



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