Against Art

The Notebooks
Translated by James Anderson
₹499.00 $19.00

In contemporary Norwegian fiction Tomas Espedal’s work stands out as uniquely personal; it can be difficult to separate the fiction from Espedal’s own experiences. Against Nature, a companion volume to Espedal’s earlier Against Art, is an examination of factory work, love’s labor, and the work of writing. Espedal dwells on the notion that working is required in order to live in compliance with society, but is this natural? And how can it be natural when he is drawn toward impossible things—impossible love, books, myths, and taboos? He is drawn into the stories of Abélard and Héloïse, of young Marguerite Duras and her Chinese lover, and soon realizes that he, too, is turning into a person who must choose to live against nature.

In contemporary Norwegian fiction Tomas Espedal’s work stands out as uniquely personal; it can be difficult to separate the fiction from Espedal’s own experiences. In that vein, his novel Against Art is not just the story of a boy growing up to be a writer, but it is also the story of writing. Specifically, it is about the profession of writing—the routines, responsibility and obstacles. Yet, Against Art is also about being a father, a son and a grandson; about a family and a family’s tales, and about how preceding generations mark their successors. It is at once about choices and changes, about motion and rest, about moving to a new place and about living.

 

Watch an interview with author Tomas Espedal in which he speaks of reading and writing.

 
 
“One of the most beautiful, most important books I've read for years.”—Klassekampen
 
“Espedal has written an amazingly rich novel, which will assuredly stand out as one of the year’s best and will also further fortify the quality of Norwegian literature abroad.”—Adresseavisen
 
Against Art attacks literature while at the same time being intensely literary. Our greatest sorrows and torments, the individual experiences often so anemic in art, find a voice of their own.”Morgenbladet
 
Against Art moves me with its maternal history and proves yet again that Tomas Espedal writes great novels.—Dag og Tid
 
“An impressive, multi-layered narrative, of the power and limits of art, of finding one’s place—within a family, as well as a place to live and work—of dealing with grief and ever-changing intimate personal connections, whether abrupt—the death of a loved one—or more gradual—a daughter coming into her own. It is a complete work, yet also feels like a stage, of his life and writing-career. . . . A quite fascinating, rich, and deeply personal work.”—The Complete Review
 
Against Artis not ’about’ anything but instead details its own process of creation. The result is a book that is never anything less than interesting, and which reads as an experimental meditation on itself.Edward Sugde, Times Literary Supplement
 
ISBN: 9780857425775
Pages: 172
Publication Year: August 2018
Size: 5" x 8"
Format: Paperback
Rights: UCP
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