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Reading...

Yes, here's a gem, if, like me, you have a penchant for Scandinavian existentialist novels. Dag Solstad's Novel 11, Book 18, which I bought in hardback yesterday. Lovely little book - physically. Like much of Scandinavian landscape, the cover and feel of it is aesthetically pleasing in that spare minimalist manner that promises so much depth. The words inside aren't too bad either! And perhaps one of the reasons why I love these types of stories and this type of story-telling is because it TELLS a story and isn't so slavishly devoted to SHOWING the story as I really cannot stand novels that are nothing more than wannabe scripts - here's a scene and here's one and here's one and...one day it'll get made into a film y'know.
Anyway.
The protagonist is the middle-aged Bjorn, a small town Treasurer where he had shacked up with the aptly named Turid Lammer (think Lurid Stammers, although she doesn't stammer, nor is particularly lurid, but I couldn't help thinking that she is both) the woman for whom he had left his previous wife and child. Like the character of April Wheeler in that other great existentialist novel, Richard Yates' Revolutionary Road, Turid is a leading light in the local am dram society, although, unlike April Wheeler, is loved and never puts a foot wrong and thus foreshadows the essential core of the existential angst now facing Bjorn. He's BORED! I'm not. Yet. Anyway, I'm not even halfway through so cannot possibly comment any further until I've done so, but here's a link.

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I'm also going to tweak section one of this three section critical paper with a view to journal publication because of the academic interest in the claims I make of Mary.




-Dedicated with love and respect to Dr Bruce Lloyd-


And in memory of my parents:
Thomas Valentine and Joan Theresa
Good people who taught me so much more than they realised

***


The biggest thank-you is due to Norma Clarke, Professor of English Literature and Creative Writing at Kingston University, who supervised this PhD. I never had cause to doubt my initial instincts as Norma proved to be the best mentor I could ever have wished for.

I would also like to acknowledge the generous studentship that I was fortunate to be awarded by Kingston Universi…