The Other Name
- 5,99 €
- 5,99 €
What makes us who we are? And why do we lead one life and not another? The year is coming to a close and Asle, an ageing painter and widower who lives alone on the southwest coast of Norway, is reminiscing about his life. His only friends are his neighbour, Åsleik, a traditional fisherman-farmer, and Beyer, a gallerist who lives in the city. There, in Bjørgvin, lives another Asle, also a painter but lonely and consumed by alcohol. Asle and Asle are doppelgängers – two versions of the same person, two versions of the same life, both grappling with existential questions about life, death, love, light and shadow, faith and hopelessness. Written in melodious and hypnotic ‘slow prose’, The Other Name: Septology I-II is an indelible and poignant exploration of the human condition by Jon Fosse, ‘a major European writer’ (Karl Ove Knausgaard), in which everything is always there, and past and present flow together.
The first two installments of Fosse's wondrous septology (after Morning and Evening) sustain a riveting stream of consciousness in a single rhythmic sentence. A graying painter named Asle drives back and forth from the remote Norwegian seaside town of Dylgja to Bj rgvin, where a gallery shows his work. As he begins to drive out of Bj rgvin, he worries about another painter, also named Asle, whom he regrets not visiting there. He stops the car and walks through a snowy playground; observing a couple, he darkly desires to "paint them away" so that the "picture will disappear... and the uneasiness inside me will stop." Along with worry and unease, Asle is haunted by memories of the childhood deaths of a neighbor boy and Asle's sister. While he wanders in the snow, a woman recognizes him and invites him back to her house; he claims not to know her, and readers will understand she has mistaken him for the other Asle. Fosse's recursive narrative has echoes of such literary contemporaries as Ben Lerner and Karl Ove Knausgaard, while his deep focus on minutiae calls to mind Nathalie Sarraute. Fosse's portrait of intersecting lives is that rare metaphysical novel that readers will find compulsively readable.