In 1966 came Stein Mehren's first collection Museum of contemporary Art. He later wrote nine essay collections. The last one, The sealed message, was published in 1992. Mehren's essayism falls between several chairs: He is too personal and literary for the professional philosophers, too philosophical for the Norwegians, for the lyricist for the lyricists, for the religious for the atheists – and for the anti-ideological for the politically engaged.
Most of Mehrens essays in Museum of contemporary Art was first published in magazines or newspapers belonging to the left: Dagbladet, Fossegrimen / Veien Frem and Kontrast in addition to literary magazines such as Ord & Bild, Vinduet and Profil. Mehren also wrote for Ny Tids forløder Orientering. He was represented with four essays in the anthology The bloodstains on the road – Norwegian neo-radicalism from Johan Borgen to Georg Johannessen . . .
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