Scott Manley Hadley at berfrois:
Jon Fosse is also a man, though about a decade older than Knausgaard. This story collection, Scenes From A Childhood, has recently been published in the UK by Fitzcarraldo Editions. In fact, acknowledging (or ignoring) this gender bias, the publishers include an extract from a Paris Review article in the blurbs at the front of the text that compares “the four elder statesmen of Norwegian letters” to the Beatles, deciding that “Knausgaard is Paul, the cute one; and Fosse is George, the quiet one, mystical, spiritual, probably the best craftsman of them all”. This description of Fosse is certainly accurate, if the impression given by this collection is correct, as the stories included here boast a rich emotionality as well as a complex blending of reality and dream to create a powerful dissociative response. The stories that comprise this collection vary from the bizarre to the conventional, using a gentle variety of voices to show loneliness, affection, depression, anxiety, excitement, hope and loss. This is powerful work.