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"Here you see the slab bags in the kingdom"

Everything you need to know about the Norwegian Writers Association Annual Meeting.

At the Norwegian Writers' Association's annual meeting – hereafter called the Annual Meeting – I often associate with the thriller and crime writer Jørgen Gunnerud, the quiet poet Tone Hødnebø as well as the prose writer and small-town realist Jonny Halberg. With the latter – both of us have a trait of being restless and a little hyperactive – it becomes a bit like being back in junior high school; noisy, crooked, then there is something else with Gunnerud: He is a restrained tactician, former academic and of course student politician, son of a Frogner director and thus AKP's in the 70 century, one of the hardest I would think (and with his grumpy and reserved physiognomy would double the mark of being harsh), before again listening to his heart and not being led by his scholastic brain. And of course, like so many of those with a bourgeois origin who became active in the AKP, he proletarized and became a beer runner for Schous Brewery. And since I had been a civilian in Moss, I in Moss became acquainted with the youth-
political environment, including many AKP people – at one time Moss had to be the place in Norway where the AKP had many young supporters (the funny thing is that the only place the AKP has ruled – in the name, not in the favor – is in Turkey) , and at that time Solstad lived in Moss, Edvard Hoem was nearby, not to forget Jon Michelet, and the only worker AKP in Moss got hold of, later the author Asbjørn Elden, not to forget the clever doldisen Kim Brandstrup.
What Gunnerud knew about Moss, and about those who were active in the AKP, was not small, and after I got to know Gunnerud and got him to tell, he told me he had been a kind of political commissioner for the city (another commissary, by comparison, was Khrushchev during the siege of Stalingrad), or if it was the whole of Østfold county, I do not remember, but what he knew about Moss and those active in ml was impressive.

Jørgen Gunnerud

HodneboTone
Tone Hødnebø

But at all the Annual Meetings I have been to – which are not many, as I got it in my mind when I became a member in the early 80's that the Annual Meetings of the Norwegian Writers' Association were unbearably boring with a queue of bad writers who would complain that they did not get published their books anymore and that they never got

Oslo 20101125. Jonny Halberg is out with a new book, "A Norwegian tragedy". Photo: Erlend Aas / Scanpix
Jonny Halberg

scholarship; that is, meeting tormentors – then I have joined
Gunnerud (who has gone to the Norwegian Labor Party; not he alone, there are several old AKP members who have done the same, as SV is too soft for them, and lacks the political cynicism that the Labor Party has) and the small town realist Jonny Halberg and the kingdom unique poet Tone Hødnebø.
Gunnerud never makes a fuss, he just yawns about bad allegations from various meeting tormentors, he is an avid strategist at the Annual Meetings and a wise speaker, without saying a word, then loudly, about the Annual Meeting's chronic drunkenness (here I do not mention the name of the piety and to be in solidarity with my colleagues, because after I was elected to the Literary Council of DnF – I sat there for six years – I went to the Annual Meetings and discovered, despite drunks and meeting tormentors, that it was nice there), or if various half-asleep colleagues, even before tonight's big party (which I will return to without blaming anyone – just throw some shit).
I remember the comment from a vigilant writer who looked across the room and said, "Here everyone has a diagnosis," or another who jokingly said, "Here you see the slabs in the kingdom."

The dictatorship of the annual meeting the chair of the meeting is usually in his ace like a minor Napoleon, if not the whole Annual Meeting would have been chaotic and no one would have remembered who should say what, or whose turn it would be to say what – what then? Exactly, so our Idiamine chairman had no choice but to be strict and crack down on the slightest instance of unreasonableness and the troublemakers who failed to stay within a liberal speaking time but continued as if time were unlimited, or again and again asked for the word, as the aforementioned drunkenness – they were clubbed down, not to mention a steady stream of idiotic publishers, and they, it should also be said, who came up with interesting posts and suggestions.
What is a recurring theme from the rostrum – and it is not to be misunderstood, nor to disagree with – is that the scholarships are too small, and that the publishers are stingy with the fee, and that there is crime over a low shoe; the few times a poet speaks and tells about poor sales, almost no reviews and few who offer readings, no one is surprised, not even those who sleep, it goes without saying, or the one drunk who did not get it with himself, and who loudly asked for a replay, and what was repeated was that the chairman thunders the chairman's club on the table so that the water carafe jumped.
Then there was a coffee break, and I greeted colleagues I had not seen in a long time; one of them was completely white in the face and looked as if she had had a bout of acute rheumatism, and as I asked, I was told that she again, and now in old age, had been divorced, and failed. . .

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