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Planless walks

Norwegian omelet
Forfatter: Suzanne Brøgger
Forlag: Gyldendal (Danmark)
In her quest for the peculiar Norwegian, the Danish author Suzanne Brøgger delivers a very fragmentary and disjointed text.


Danish author Suzanne Brøgger is taken to Norway to capture whatever the Norwegian may be. She strolls around on the must and see and sees what she can bump into.

Therefore, the work may still be about Brøgger himself. Naturally and all over. As here on the way to the red bowler's exit: "The whipped cream vagabond has left its trees and newly harvested yellow fields to get lost at Copenhagen Airport, which is being transformed from minute to minute. Disruption, it is called. Once upon a time, I chose cohesion with a particular landscape – somewhere – and to subject myself to the sky over it, while initially being basically on the road all my life. ”

Norway is often used to have an opportunity to write about something else.

So it is the traveler Brøgger that we turn company with. It is the delusional Brøgger who goes astray and hooks in the Norwegian country from north to south. And it is not least the sociable Brøgger who, in order to find out the Norwegian, searches for this and the other man on his way. Talk to everyone from Tomas Espedal and Erik Fosnes Hansen to Vanessa Baird and Finn Skårderud. There are always exciting conversations coming out, but also some empty talk.

Steady flow of impact

Naturally, Norway comes on the field. After all, it is the subject or perhaps rather the pretext for writing this book that has really come into being. It becomes a gentle stream of strikes. About Norway's struggle to find an identity that allows one to hide a little from everyone else and maintain the non-modern in one's being, but which also results in the fact that one likes to dress in popular customs and celebrate a nation that is still is new. About the special citrre between the high-tech Norway and the deeply folkloric Norway, which seems to thrive side by side. And about the country's ability to maintain its edge, as something that is not just left over. Something that doesn't just exist for the urban center to have something to be different from. It will be a well-known story. A tribute to the Norwegian outskirts, where the culture reportedly also thrives and where you can even get a cup of coffee with milk foam. At the Lofot wall, calm falls over Brøgger. The light and the darkness have a new meaning, and she is quiet for a while.

Lost beauty blues

Norway is often used to have an opportunity to write about something else. In this way, Norway becomes a kind of prism for contemporary phenomena and issues. For example, when Brøgger goes against those who believe that Islam and Wahabism are two sides of the same cause, she subsequently makes a virtue of clarifying that Wahabism is an arts and culture-hating desert cult that is far too high degree and especially on Saudi Arabian soil have been allowed to flourish. Or when she finds out on a hike to her and thus the reader that her advanced age now means that she bears both genders in her. She is no longer constantly exposed to desire, no longer (just) an object. Therefore, she can now go freely, on planless walks, as it is called in the poem by Poul Borum. Or here in Brøger's own words: “As young people, women complained about being considered sex objects. Like old people, they complain that they are no more. Lost beauty blues. I am not complaining. I sing. For me, it's ups and downs. " This also allows Brøgger to put his young self on stage. The young I who with works like Free us from Love (1973) and Creme fraiche Cheese (1978), looked at her, coveted, acted erotically on her own, and in doing so produced what she in retrospect calls confessional literature.

Fortunately, the book is an energy discharge of rank, and the words flow.

Brøgger reads in the newspaper about a Norwegian man who goes into psychotherapy to get in touch with his feelings and then gets an association with how our technocratic society, where we all become robots, has made the language of human emotions particularly exclusive. She hurries about how the media always wants to know how something feels and concludes: «It is the language of shares and sports that has permeated all spheres. An extremely poor language. ” It may be a correct analysis, but it hardly has much to do with Norway as such.

Impulsive work

But what does it do when the book is fortunately an energy discharge of rank. 'Apropos' is a recurring word in the work. Brøgger comes to mind about something else. And then the flow of thought starts and the words flow. Mostly, as a reader, you follow suit in this essayistic jumble, but the flow of words also makes the work a very fragmentary and ludicrous writing. Maybe almost an overly impulsive text?

Steffen Moestrup
Steffen Moestrup
Regular contributor to MODERN TIMES, and docent at Denmark's Medie- og Journalisthøjskole.

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