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Jon Fosse, the Norwegian inventor of new literary forms


Jon Fosse, the Norwegian inventor of new literary forms (NTB/Ole Berg-Rusten via REUTERS)
Jon Fosse, the Norwegian inventor of new literary forms (NTB/Ole Berg-Rusten via REUTERS)

Intimate and reflective like his literature, the Norwegian Jon Fossebrand new Nobel Prize in Literatureis a prolific author of innovative and difficult to catalog works that have almost made him invent new literary forms.

Born on September 29, 1959 in Hausgesund (Norway), he is considered one of the most important authors of today. His work has been translated into forty languages and his plays have been performed in about a thousand different productions around the world.

The Swedish academy has awarded him precisely for “his innovative plays and his prose that give voice to the ineffable”, in which he presents a world similar to that of the work of Kafka – one of the authors he most admires. with the difference that this appears in situations that are typical of our daily lives.

The landscape is a constant element in the work of this writer, who lives between Norway and Austria and who published his first novel, Red, Blackin 1983. During the ’80s he published a few more novels and a couple of poetry collections, but in the early ’90s he began writing plays.

Fosse poses for a photograph before the Booker Prize ceremony, London, in 2022 (AP Photo/David Cliff)
Fosse poses for a photograph before the Booker Prize ceremony, London, in 2022 (AP Photo/David Cliff)

“After writing about thirty plays and traveling to premieres everywhere, I felt that enough was enough and decided to return to writing fiction, which I imagined as ‘slow prose,’ somehow the opposite of the necessary brevity and intensity. in a play,” he explained in an interview with the Booker Prizefor which he was a finalist last year.

Declared admirer of Federico García Lorca and awarded a large number of awards, his work Septology -two of whose volumes were finalists for the International Booker in 2020 and 2022- is the longest text he has written.

A work that will be published in its entirety in Spanish next November by the DeConatus publishing house with 792 pages, according to its editor.

A book that took five years to write and that has an architecture built from seven parts or books and that have occupied four volumes in its Spanish edition – “The other name I” (volume I), “The other name II” ( volume II, “Yo es otro” (volume III-V) and “A new name” (volume VI-VII), although in other languages ​​it has been done in three volumes.

started writing Septology when I lived in castle Paul Claudel in the south of France, where he had been invited by the French poet’s family, and concluded the work in a small Austrian town on the outskirts of Vienna.

Jon Fosse's work was translated into more than 40 languages ​​(EFE/Aleksander Andersen)
Jon Fosse’s work was translated into more than 40 languages ​​(EFE/Aleksander Andersen)

“Perhaps the reason I wrote the novel was that I felt I had something crucial to say and that it was, so to speak, my duty to say it. I can’t say what it is, only the novel can do that, but it has to do with the mysticism of ordinary life, so it is not wrong to describe the novel as a kind of ‘mystical realism,’ he considers.

Fosse works on his memory and remembers many stories from his life in a poetic way, his relationship with his parents, his love stories… and everything becomes “a melody,” says his Spanish editor. Beatriz Gonzalez.

He writes in what he calls “a rare language”, New Norwegian, which only half a million people write but is understood by everyone who has Norwegian as a language and even those who speak Danish and Swedish.

“From a certain perspective, the Scandinavian languages ​​are a single language, since they are mutually understandable, but they are written in four versions, two of them Norwegian,” says Fosse.

He loves to write by hand, with fountain pens, but most of his work is written on Macs, computers of which he has a collection, including the first one he ever owned, which was the first laptop ever produced.

The Nobel Prize in Literature books translated into Spanish
The Nobel Prize in Literature books translated into Spanish
[Los libros de Jon Fosse se pueden descargar de Bajalibros clickeando acá.]

He assures that the authors who have influenced him the most are the Norwegian writer Tarjei Vesaasthe Austrian poet Georg Trakl and Samuel Beckettalthough the ones he admires the most are Franz Kafka and Knut Hamsun and, precisely, the Swedish academy has highlighted its similarity with Kafka’s work, but transferred to everyday life.

In 2007, he was made a knight of the Ordre national du Mérite of France and is ranked 83rd on the list of living geniuses of France. The Daily Telegraph.

Since 2011, Fosse has been granted Grotten, an honorary residence owned by the Norwegian state and located on the premises of the Royal Palace in the city center of Oslo, an honor bestowed for his contribution to Norwegian arts and culture.

Received the 2015 Nordic Council Literature Prize for the trilogy Andvake (The vigil), Olavs draumar (Olav’s dreams) and Kveldsvævd (The fatigue).

In addition, he has written the novels Stengd gitar (closed guitar), 1985, Flaskesamlaren (The bottle collector), 1991, Bly og vatn (Lead and water), 1992; To forteljingar (Two stories), 1993; Dyrehagen Hardanger (Hardanger Zoo), 1993; Prose fras ein oppvekst, Samlaget (Oslo, Norway), 1994, Melancholia, Samlaget (Melancholy, sex), 2006; Andvake (Wake up), 2007 and Kveldsvævd (Woven night), 2014.

Also Morning and afternoona novel that goes on sale this Thursday in Spanish and that talks about life and death with rhythmic prose that crosses the past and the present.

Source: EFE



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