Jon Fosse believes he would have quit writing 40 years ago if he had listened to critics.

Jon Fosse believes he would have quit writing 40 years ago if he had listened to critics.

Jon Fosse, the Norwegian author and recipient of this year’s Nobel Prize in literature, has stated that his initial works received “relatively negative reviews” and that he would have ceased writing forty years ago if he had heeded the advice of critics.

Jon Fosse believes he would have quit writing 40 years ago if he had listened to critics. October saw the Nobel Prize induction of Fosse, whose novel collections consist of Aliss at the Fire, Melancholy, A Shining, and the Septology series, “for his innovative plays and prose that give voice to the unsayable.”

An English translation of his laureate address published on the Nobel Prize website indicates that he stated that his writing contained “many suicides” and that he was “afraid” that his work “might have contributed to legitimizing suicide.” He made these remarks Thursday afternoon. Nevertheless, after being awarded the prize, he was profoundly moved by readers who “openly expressed that [his] writing had simply preserved their lives.”

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“I have always known, in a sense, that writing can save lives.” “Perhaps it has even preserved my life,” he remarked. “Whatever would make me happier would be if my writing could also contribute to preserving lives.”

Fosse used his speech to meditate on his life, relating an incident from his time at school in which he was “overcome with a sudden fear” when asked to read publicly. After exiting the classroom, he informed his peers that he “needed to use the loo.” He felt that his anxiety had deprived him of language and that he “needed to regain it.” Writing evoked “the antithesis of fear” and “a sense of security” in him, according to him.

He established parallels between writing and music, describing how he transitioned from “exclusively being engaged with music” during his adolescent years (he once desired to become a rock guitarist) to writing. “I attempted to convey in my writing something of the experience I had while playing,” he explained.

Following this, Fosse elaborated on his composing process. “At some point during the writing process, I always have the sensation that the text has been written before, exists outside of me, and all I need to do is record it before it vanishes,” he explained.

He further stated that the absence of a single full stop in his novel Septology is “not an invention.” “I simply composed the novel in a single movement, one flow, without a complete stop,” he explained. Asle, an elderly painter who lives alone and reflects on his life on the south-west coast of Norway, is the novel’s protagonist.

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