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A gentle cannon

Two jovial and slightly authoritarian guides to the literature will talk about "ordinary people" books.

[literary dissemination] Literary critic Marta Norheim has written Røff's guide to contemporary literature. The literature scholar Jon Treberg, Tone Selboe and Hans Erik Aarset have written World Literature.

In recent weeks, both works have received relatively much attention. Norheim's book because it – as the title more than suggests – is intended as an overview of contemporary literature. World literature because we have to go all the way back to Francis Bull's heyday to find a similar publication in Norway: a literary history in one volume.

If the two new books have anything in common with Bull's form of literary history, then it must be that they are characterized by optimism on behalf of literary dissemination. Here, there is no question of succumbing to the demands of the horde of consumer-friendly taste democrats. Here it is rather a matter of considering the dissemination of literature as a genre that has not been given once for all.

The communication is one. . .

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