ForførerenProvisional rating, as I m to understand the subsequent volume is something of an antithesis, the last an integration. is a very long book and it is quite amazing to me that any one writer can have this much life experience and still be capable of telling about it And keep it interesting Even if research offered the many historical facts adjusted as fiction and presented as anecdotes I would still find it remarkable that Jan Kj rstad could actually pull it off as well as he did It is a long life story of Norwegian TV celebrity Jonas Wergeland told in circles and repeats, ending at a certain point when the weary traveler and star of his show discovers the love of his life flat out on a polar bear rug dead red in their home after being murdered with a Luger For an enormous number of pages the narrator relates the many stories connected to the life of Jonas Wergeland and how these events all contributed to the dreadful result we are faced with in the very early pages of the novel The mystery the book blurbs promise it to to be never quite measures up, though the revealing and tantalizing anecdotes all add to a quite suspenseful and fulfilling climax There is no possible way in which I might explain this novel I can say however that as I perhaps too eagerly updated my wife these last few days about each extremely wonderful experience I had while reading this novel she finally replied, It sounds like a Wes Anderson movie So the very best I can do now would be to inform anyone already enad with the work of screenwriter filmmaker Wes Anderson that this book is completely up their alley Throughout the revolving myriad of countless stories related page after page regarding this fascinating life of Jonas Wergeland one is immediately struck by the eccentricities, curiosities, dangers, and clever results in all his affairs Jonas is quite an amazing individual as are the unlikely heroes in every Wes Anderson film Over the top is an understatement but it makes the reading experience absurdly fun.A continuing theme for me throughout this first book of a trilogy is how everything is always connected Each chapter in one way or another returns to visit a previously told story or adds something or other to an unfinished business I failed to count the many chapters but there are numerous anecdotes involved in getting to know this man Jonas and the principle influences that made up his life There are several memorable and important characters we meet along the way By the end of the book almost every question of fate is answered except for the initial mystery of his good wife s death I suppose that being the paramount reason for the author making this work a trilogy It is quite unfair to focus on the almost undo importance given to Jonas s magic penis or the phallic symbol his aunt employed as a life long artistic obsession The truth is that most young men are a bit too interested in that thing between their legs, as are some women perhaps, but there is really nothing to be done about it Denying, ridiculing, or shaming only makes it worse But the interesting development in this book for me regarding this phallic obsession is that Jonas himself never seems overly impressed or even brazenly brags about his manly gift Jonas always is the wanted one in a sexual relationship, which to some of us just might be a mutual fantasy not often shared He was never the initiator of any of the sexual behaviors in the first place, and for the most part always during the act itself remained on his back on the bottom And what seemed both beautiful and amazing to the narrator of this tale was the unlikely fact that this magic organ could fairly accommodate and satisfy any wanting vessel, be it large or small But the book was far beyond such a seemingly shallow thing as this magic penis It was achinglyabout a real tingling up his spine that would climb up and into his shoulders It was about owning and using his imagination, exploring and revealing human nature, and understanding the world we live in a bit outside of the box rather than remaining stubbornly stuck in our given notions of things as they are Given that Jan Kj rstad, like me, was also born in 1953 addedof a connection to his writing Having the novel placed in the same time period I grew up in offered opportunities galore for me to remember and reflect upon too I smiled often and always felt satisfied This is rare in a book for me In absence of any good explanation of what actually occurred between the covers for me, the bottom line for what I took away from reading this novel was a poignant reminder that life can be comprehended only as a collection of stories In good time I look forward to my continued reading of the remaining two books in this trilogy. Only a man would write a book where the main character has a magic penis and includes a female character that spends her life obsessed with all things phallic You boys really think you hold the key to the universe between your legs don t you With that aside this was a wonderful story I will leave the dissection of its qualities to othersarticulate than myself We ve all heard it before so I will spare you the deep analysis This Norwegian I m 5 8 was part of the original conversion that took place with Manny s review last April and completely agree with his summation Kjaerstad is a masterful storyteller that gently guides you through only allowing you enough information to keep you going Like a true seducer he knew when to give you what you wanted and when to hold it back Just when you thought you were going to get exactly what you needed, what you had been waiting for he led you down another path of wants and needs until finallyYES The copious phallic imagery lead me to believe Mr Kjaerstad might be compensating for a case of mangina He created a character that felt like the author s own unfulfilled fantasies Jonas could do no wrong His life was full of adventures and death defying feats He had a perfectly sculpted career full of fame and fortune where enemies were left in piles of humility behind him Everything he touched turned to gold while beautiful successful brilliant women fell at his feet waiting to have a chance with his magic penis Even with his charmed life you still like him You still want him to succeed Could this be a clever way to juxtapose where the story takes this character in the next book Maybe Could it be a symptom of the author s inadequacies Probably not but I enjoyed his story enough to find out He may just really be the true seducer in his writing as well as in life without a single inadequacy and I m just projecting Overcompensation or not he seduced this reader and I will keep reading and now onto 2. I don t know what to say about this book I don t know if I should even be rating it yet I feel like I m only a third of the way through a novel having finished this, that the next two novels not so much being a trilogy are going to comprise a finished work Sort of like a piece of classical music, sure you can listen to just a part of a Wagner opera and enjoy or not enjoy it, but you can t see the whole genius of what is going on by just listening to one movement of the entire work I don t want to say much yet about this, partly because I m planning on campaigning heavily for every who cares about books that I know to read this, and I don t want to give away anything As for the style of the book it s not straight forward Some other reviewers seem to think that the book should be put into linear order, and the narrative pieces linked in areader friendly manner Those people are wrong The author drops literary musical cinematic artistic hints all over the place that help guide the reader to what he is doing with form, and even without the hints having any kind of attentiveness should pull together all the different scenes into a coherent story Maybe the back of the book is to blame This is not a detective story about who killed the guys wife, it s not a murder mystery, it s not a James Patterson book I feel like I ve already said too much But I ll add one last thing because I don t think anyone I know will get it, I don t mean that smugly I just think the reference will not mean much This book reminds me, formally at least, like the opening seven or eight minutes of Henryk G recki s Symphony No 3, Symphony of Sorrowful Songs before the signing starts, something that still makes the music nice but takes away from the beauty created in the first half of the first movement I recommend listening to it as much as I recommend reading this book. image error Additional thoughts towards the end.I wish I could give this six stars.Before I start The ConquerorOne of the aspects of current literary fashion which has me somewhat confounded is the pejorative way in which sentimentality is viewed If only I had a dollar for every discussion of literature which compliments a writer or a book for not being sentimental Listen to the average critic talk about sentimentality in literature and it doesn t sound much different from Bush talking about The Axis of Evil Most recently I was looking at a discussion of As You Like It which complimented Rosalind s lack of sentimentality and quoted this famous reply to the idea that Orlando might die of love No, faith die by attorney The poor world is almost six thousand years old, and in all this time there was not any man died in his own person, videlicet, in a love cause Troilus had his brains dashed out with a Grecian club, yet he did what he could to die before, and he is one of the patterns of love Leander, he would have lived many a fair year though Hero had turned nun if it had not been for a hot midsummer night, for, good youth, he went but forth to wash him in the Hellespont and, being taken with the cramp, was drowned and the foolish chroniclers of that age found it was Hero of Sestos But these are all lies Men have died from time to time, and worms have eaten them, but not for love.Good old Rosalind A jolly rolemodel for a girl, no doubt But she is wrong Of course people die for love.The thing that struck me through and through while reading The Seducer is here is a man not afraid for one moment to write a book which is simply oozing with sentimentality of the most unabashedly Victorian type, something which should, if we are to believe the critics, quite offend us.The chapter p.323 330 in the English edition devoted to a description of Margrete s relationship to bread could come straight out of any Victorian depiction of the joys of domesticity To Jonas, this is happy married life looking forward to breakfast Jonas experienced many great and exciting things in his life, and yet given the choice, there was nothing to match breakfast with Margrete, her bread with wild raspberry jam and a glass of milk.And p 272, the most sentimental of all Victorian belief There comes a day when, as one writer put it, the bubble of chilhood bursts, and for Jonas that day came with Nefertiti s death Of course Jonas had always known that Nefertiti was too good for this workd, but even so, when she died he was not prepared for it In short, he fell aprt He took ill, become so ill that he had to be taken to hospital Jonas Wergeland was sick right to the marrow and so cold that he thoght he wold never be warm again The doctors at the hospital did not know what to make of it a ten year old who languished in bed, pale and wan, and kept throwing up, vomiting fits for which they could find no cause, a boy with a body temperature well nigh as low as that encountered only in people who had miraculously survived record lengths of time in extreme cold And one thing they would not have understood anyway, even if there had been gauges to measure that sort of thing, was Jonas s feeling of being totally out of joint, of lying there like a carcass that had been chopped limb from limb Jonas had only one thing to hold onto a crystal prism which he clenched tightly in his fist and did not let go of, not even when he was at his sickest.Jonas cannot die, there d be no story left, but the idea is still there Of course people die of love The Victorians knew it But we live in a period which views love with complete cynicism, so it is not something we would care to acknowledge.Perhaps Jan Kjaerstad gets away with his lavish sentimentality by couching it all in an overtone of sex One might think this is a book about a man with a magic penis who has artistic sex with all sorts of girls along the way Yet the sex is completely irrelevant to this book Take it away and the book would remain complete in every important respect, lacking nothing but an irrelevantly silly idea that a man this man, the hero can become a good mathematician by shagging a mathematician a good musician by shagging a musician etc etc etc.Even this amusing idea, now that I think about it, would fit nicely into a Victorian setting.So, one of the things I m left with after reading this book is sense of gratitude that Kjaerstad has been brave enough to re introduce this important aspect of human nature back into literature and damn the critics if they care.Additional thoughts.Regarding the issue of repetition in this novel, which some regard as intolerable and which certainly took some getting used to on my part.I ve read books before which are too long and yet which seem to consist of essential words This is something different again In a sense it would be possible to take out many of the words in that way one often wishes to edit Victorian literature, of which this is a prime, if modern, example.Yet I come to the conclusion that his use of repetition is necessary and important Even his lists are purposeful, if neither necessary or important But look at the repetition involved in his coming again and again back to the murder scene which opens the book And another sort of repetition he uses to build up to an event, which not only builds up but also gives such a sense of being there I think that is the key, you aren t really reading, you are being there So, the scene that comes obviously to me as the prime example is that of the events leading to Nefertiti s death How could you not be utterly at one with what is happening in those pages Brilliant and moving.As one who has tended always to be minimalist in my writing, but at the same time has increasingly moved towards short sentences and simple approaches I could not help but wonder how one sets about writing as Kjaerstad does I keep wondering why and how does it work.Figuring the answer to that is in practising the technique, I ve been working on that Here are some examples, and the topic is purely dictated by the magic penis theme of the booknothing to do with my personal preferences Lying in bed last night, thinking this that if your cock was so available to me that I could put it in my mouth every day for ten years, every one of those days and the first day of the eleventh year and so on would be a new, wonderful thing I did wonder if a world view dictated by my clitoris being firmly attached to my finger might be skewed and that it if wasn t rubbing against my finger, maybe I wouldn t think that every one of those days would be its own small heaven but since then I can report that sitting in the E n, eating poached apple breakfast cumble and toast with changes nothing, that sitting here lost in the idea of those ten years is no less overwhelming than if I were lying in bed, wishing my hands were yours.Or There was only one thing she could put in her mouth that would make her happy and she thought not so much of ten years as three thousand and six hundred and fifty days of it, every one of which was a new chance to pay homage as she liked to think of it though she was taking as much pleasure as she might be giving every day, and as she lay there, her thoughts directed by where her hand was and she decided to picture those days one by one, it was clear to her what the first day would be like and day two, and even day three, but at some point as she lies there stroking herself the days, his penis, her mouth blur into one impossibly long vision of penis and mouth seeking each other out to join together in this never ending moment of sweet sexiness, never ending and yet different every time.Or She was sure that what would restore her appetite was to be able to put the one thing in her mouth that she really wanted to be there, and not for one moment or for one day but for ten years or a hundred and every day being able to do that, rekindle her desire to eat for 3650 days to keep the numbers to a manageable level or because she is not greedy to be able to part her lips and put them around his penis and taste it anew every one of those days to have butterflies in her stomach at the very idea that today, never mind it is day 3651, she would be able to onceand yet if once , still for the first time, it so feels look with her eyes and then look with her lips dwelling upon this, wishing to play every one of those scenes slowly from start to finish, touching herself until she doesn t need to anyshe does in her mind see the whole of day one of ten years and falls asleep thinking that tomorrow she will find out what day two will be.I wasn t sure about these to begin with, but having read a couple of reviews since that are critical about the sex in this book, well, I can t get anyflak than that.can I What s interesting once you start trying to write like this is that you think about it all the timeand you find it is all much harder than you might expect. This book defies description Or rather, I will fail at describing it That being said, I will willfully fail at describing this piece of new classic Norwegian literature by calling it an extremely funny sexcapade of a magical penis Yes, a magical penis You ve probably heard about it They re usually attached to a Gary Stu.AND YET, Jonas, our magical stud, is also a WIZARD at everything because he naturally gets the full sweeping talents automatically from every woman he manages to seduce It would be absolutely absurd and atrocious if it wasn t so eye rollingly funny And the novel doesn t even have the FEEL of a humorous piece It reads somewhat dire and emotional because we keep bouncing around an epic framework of his wife s murder and ALL THE MEMORIES of his entire life as vignettes couched within ALL the most minor details that eventually make up an epically cool building of a single character that I admit I grew to love Just not because he s so stultifyingly brilliant at anything he puts his hand to Indeed, the whole structure of the novel is all kinds of brilliant for real An endless tirade of moments from his life that doesn t apparently have anything to do with the dire scene in question but EVENTUALLY becomes super important Multiply these by a bazillion and you ve got yourself a prism of a character as seen by so many instants and the effect is FREAKING AMBITIOUS.All the props I m really amazed.Of course, I was VERY often annoyed as hell about Gary and the magical penis But oh well, right The annoyance almost always transformed into me muttering, Ohhhh, pllleeeeaaaaseeeee and enough eye rolls to make my eyes pop out like I just came out of a Warner Brother s cartoon.BUT it worked Strangely enough, it worked. Manny said I must, so I guess I must I wrote the careful, analytical review below, and then I thought this is all wrong I am willfully misunderstanding the book What makes it unusual, almost unique, is the very personal relationship it establishes with the reader It is like a teacher, or a lover it is about how imagination and art and love can change your life Also, it is about how you can t reduce life to abstract schemas You have to use fantasy and intuition to find the special detail which illuminates the whole Writing an analytical review was completely inappropriate I mean, read my review by all means, I m not saying that anything I wrote was incorrect, but I could feel that the book was disappointed in me So I did something else instead, which was aappropriate response I won t say what it was, but if you read Forf reren, then you may also find yourself doing something that surprises you It s not an ordinary piece of literature.This is a beautiful, extremely original, magical realist novel Thank you, Oriana, for pointing me to it It s about a Norwegian TV director called Jonas Wergeland, whose masterpiece is a series calledTenke Stort Thinking Big It soon becomes clear that Jonas stands for the author, and the program stands for the book, which does indeed think big bigger, in fact, than anything else I can recall reading for a long while Kj rstad is being staggeringly ambitious, and any description risks giving the impression that he s failed So let me start by saying that he in fact succeeds brilliantly The novel, at least in the original Norwegian in which I read it, is fantastic it s lyrical, sensual, beautifully structured, and philosophically provocative You could hardly askfrom any book It combines a bewildering and paradoxical range of influences Some of theobvious ones are Hermann Hesse The Kama Sutra The Thousand and One Nights the music of Duke Ellington, Bach and Messaiaen the philosophy of Derrida several major figures from Norwegian history, including Henrik Ibsen and Knut Hamsun the Bergman film Persona G del s incompleteness theorem and Tombaugh s discovery of Pluto The narrative structure is also superficially chaotic, consisting of an endless series of flashbacks within flashbacks You d be right to wonder how anyone could do all this, and not just create an unholy mess The way he keeps control over his material is through a number of recurrent symbols and images, which rather resemble leitmotifs in music, and tie everything together Three of these are particularly important The first is the circle everything goes round until it comes back to where it started, but at any point you can suddenly fly off at a tangent, on some completely new course He is imaginative at showing both inevitable recurrence, and the wealth of startling, completely unexpected possibilities that exist at every moment The second is the turtle As we all know, the world was once supposed to rest on the back of a giant turtle, and he uses this image as shorthand to refer to hidden, underlying, generallyor less fallacious assumptions So he ll give you a brief glimpse of people s true motivations, and comment it ironically as another turtle This makes a fine running joke.The third key image is the church organ The organ, with its many pipes, stands for the huge range of ideas and influences in the book It also stands for the divided, fragmented nature of modern existence The music of the organ, which appears in several critical passages, combines the many different voices from its component pipes, and turns them into a single, unified harmony This is linked to the redemptive power of art, and the intertwining of pain and joy Often, some terrible event happens, and then there is a shift of perspective, so that it is seen as beautiful and necessary It becomes part of the ongoing work of art that is the main character s life The author seems to know a great deal about the specifics of organs, which is characteristic of the book details are important, and he takes them extremely seriously This is another of his major themes He is fiercely against reductionistic accounts, which seek to transform everything into flat schemas I am painfully aware that writing this review is in some important ways contrary to the spirit of the book Instead, his thesis is that the true way to understand something is to find the detail that will reveal its essense, and completely submerge oneself in that detail This is what motivates the prose style, which is full of startling sensory images visual, auditory, tactile, everything Paradoxically, as he says, the whole can be included in one of its parts He presents this poetically, in the legend of the flower so perfect that, if you picked it, the whole world would disappear He also slyly introduces an ironic reference to the G del incompleteness proof in one of the episodes where Jonas and his friend are giving their math teacher a hard time He explores the relationship between the part and the whole in many ways Two are particularly important First, the novel is both completely Norwegian, and also completely universal as he says early on, all of the world includes something of Norway, and Norway includes all of the world We see this, among other things, in Jonas s TV series Second, every person contains many people within them The way Jonas usually discovers his other, hidden, sides is through sex I m a little surprised that I haven t already mentioned the sex, because there s certainly a lot of it In keeping with this paradoxical book, it s both extremely explicit, and impeccably tasteful It s sensuous and erotic, and full of unexpected metaphors People do strange and beautiful things, which come across as making perfect sense, rather than being weird or perverse The magical realist dimension of the book is largely concerned with these passages somehow, when Jonas has sex with a woman, he magically acquires some of his lover s special qualities In general, the sex has an artistic and mystical dimension that is extremely unusual And it s funny In fact, although I ve somehow missed saying that too, a lot of the book is funny He has a wonderfully bizarre sense of humor Just to pick one random example, I loved the scene in the classroom with the Marxist teacher the poor guy s brought in his toy steam engine to demonstrate how new means of production transformed 19th century society, and he s then taken apart by Jonas and his snotty friend It reads like a sequence from The History Boys I still don t feel I m doing the author justice The experience is so muchdirect than anything I have said You feel personally engaged with him in a most unusual way sometimes it s like being hit over the head by a Zen master, and sometimes it s like making love with someone who s smarter andinsightful than you are If you have imagination, and you want to break out of the circle you re stuck in, you should read this book.Second reading About halfway through rereading Forf reren, I found this passage about Jonas s TV series which I liked so much that I just have to try and translate it myself For selv om hon ikke klarte sette ord p det, hadde hun sett noe nytt, noe viktig, noe hun aldri hadde sett f r og som fylte henne med positiv energi, og som fikk henne til se programmenne enda en gang, slik at hun standig oppdaget elementer og detaljer som hadde g tt henne hus forbi de foreg ende gangerne, samtidigt som hun s mer av likheter oh m nstre som gikk igjen og dermed hele tiden utvidet forst elsen for sammenhanget mellom alle programmene Det er som smykker inne i et st rre smykke, sa hun.For even if she could not put it into words, she had seen something new, something important, something she had never seen before and which filled her with a positive energy and made her watch the different episodes again, so that she constantly discovered elements and details which she had completely missed the previous times, and simultaneously sawof the echoes and patterns which repeated themselves and endlessly revealedconnections between all the episodes It s like jewels inside a larger jewel, she said.I find it surprisingly difficult to come up with a good translation for the key word smykke, which literally means ornament Ornaments are unnecessary things, and to call something ornamental is to mildly disparage it Smykke, in contrast, is related to the adjective smukk, beautiful , so it conveys the meaning something beautiful The various episodes of Jonas s series, and by extension the various sections of Kj rstad s book, are indeed beautiful things that combine to make a greater beauty, and that beauty is in no way ornamental I chose the word jewel , but the metaphor isn t quite right you can t really have jewels inside a jewel I can t think of anything better though.Third reading There are many books which people say can change your life but this one actually can change your life For example, it persuaded me that I needed to learn Norwegian properly And that was just one of the minor items. JonasWergeland, A Successful TV Documentary Producer With A Touch Of God S Gift Towomen, Returns One Evening From The World S Fair In Seville To Find His Wifedead On The Living Room Floor What Follows Is A Quest To Find The Killer,encompassing By Turns A Picaresque And Endlessly Inventive Look At Theconditions That Have Brought Wergeland To This Critical Juncture In Life Fromhis Hair S Breadth Escape From A Ravenous Polar Bear While Filming In Greenlandto A Near Death Experience Aboard A Passenger Ferry In The Icy Baltic, The TomJones Like Experiences That Comprise The Narrative Of Wergeland S Life, Relayedin Kjaerstad S Veneered And Acutely Observant Prose, Provide A Fascinatingportrait Of A Media Icon At The Crux Of His Journey As An Artist

Jan Kj rstad is a Norwegian author Kj rstad is a theology graduate from MF Norwegian School of Theology and the University of Oslo He has written a string of novels, short stories and essays and was editor of the literary magazine Vinduet The Window He has received a number of prizes, the most important being the Nordic Council Literature Prize, which he received for the perspectivist trilo

❰Read❯ ➵ Forføreren Author Jan Kjærstad –
  • Paperback
  • 612 pages
  • Forføreren
  • Jan Kjærstad
  • English
  • 08 August 2019
  • 9781585678686

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