Over Wintering

Jørn Lier Horst, Closed for Winter (2011, Vinterstengt, translated by Anne Bruce, 2013)

ClosedNorwegians seem to have summer homes. Or perhaps it’s just the middle class ones. They seem to be in the middle of nowhere and are perhaps a symbol of their relationship with isolation. In this case, we have Ove Bakkerud, seeking out isolation from a break up, who finds that his hytte has been broken into in his absence. And it gets worse: there is a murder victim at a nearby cabin, a cabin owned by TV personality Thomas Rønningen. Continue reading →

My Left Foot

Jørn Lier Horst, Dregs (2010, Bunnfall, translated by Anne Bruce, 2011)

DregsThere’s a kind of detective work in coming to this, the fifth in the Wisting novels, after the television adaptation of books nine and eight of the sequence.

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Iced Blondes

Wisting (Directed by Trygve Allister Diesen and Katarina Launing, 2019)

I stumbled across Wisting a couple of months ago in the nether regions of iPlayer and downloaded the first episode a couple of months ago. I confess I’ve never seen The Bridge (soon to be a Radio 4 programme), nor Wallander, nor the original version of The Killing (but most of the American version). I did see Modus (possibly in reverse order) and Svartsjön (ultimately silly, but verging on the Todorovian fantastic, if I recall correctly), so my scandinoir experiences are thin (I think I gave up after the second film in The Girl with the Increasingly Passive Character trilogy). Continue reading →

It’s a Scream

I didn’t go to Oslo just to see The Scream (1893), but it would have been worth it. I’ve seen a pen and ink version at Bergen, but this was the first time I’ve seen this version in the flesh – there’s a later, probably 1910, version supposedly at the Munch Museum (but it wasn’t on display) and the one owned by Petter Olsen and sold for $120,000,000 but we take this to be the original.

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Trolling the Uncanny

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I seem to be constructing a history of Norwegian painting, in part because I’ve failed to find a decent book. In part this is so I can understand Edvard Munch and Nikolai Astrup’s better. There’s a list of names in Øystein Loge’s Nikolai Astrup: Betrothed to Nature I need to follow up, but it might be interesting to see what I can construct myself.

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Why Don’t You Come Up and See My Motifs, Sometime?

Nikolai Astrup: The Way Home (23 January 2016 to 22 January 2017, KODE 4, Bergen)

Whilst many of the important Nikolai Astrup paintings were out on tour to places such as the Dulwich Picture Gallery, Bergen offered a selection of work to demonstrate his emergence as an artist. Since Astrup is hardly known outside of Norway, it shouldn’t be a surprise that few of these are household names. Norwegian art for us begins and ends with Munch, alas.

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