Innsyn. Antology of Contemporary Norwegian Literature

Antologije Vilenice Series, Slovene Writers’ Association, 2017
Authors: Øyvind Berg, Nils Christian, Gro Dahle, Jon Fosse, Inger Elisabeth Hansen, Tone Elisabeth Hødnebø, Cecilie Løveid, Stein Mehren, Steinar Opstad, Endre Ruset, Torgeir Schjerven, Ingrid Storholmen, Gunnar Wærness, Kjell Askildsen, Tomas Espedal, Brit Bildøen, Erika Fatland, Beate Grimsrud, Vigdis Hjorth, Ragnar Hovland, Mette Karlsvik, Karl Ove Knausgård, Gunnhild Øyehaug, Per Petterson, Åsne Sejerstad, Carl Frode Tiller, Ole Robert Sunde, Dag Solstad.
Editors: Birgit Hatlehol and Tanja Petrič.
Translators: Darko Čuden, Nada Grošelj, Iva Klemenčič, Jana Kocjan, Martina Noč, Tanja Petrič and Marija Zlatnar Moe.

The Anthology has been funded with support from NORLA – Norwegian Literature Abroad, Embassy of the Kingdom of Norway and Slovenian Book Agency.

Picture from the graphic biography of Edvard Munch, Oslo 2013 ©Steffen Kverneland

Innsyn – insights into contemporary Norwegian literature

Tanja Petrič, editor of the anthology

This year’s 32nd Vilenica puts front and centre Norwegian literature, which in spite its terrific tradition and the blooming Scandinavian crime fiction genre, alongside the recent success of individual authors such as Ove Knausgård, Per Petterson, Jon Fosse or Maria Parr, in Slovenia still ranks among the lesser-known domains of prose. The anthology of contemporary Norwegian literature entitled Innsyn, to be published within the framework of the festival, brings 28 fresh insights into the Norwegian literary landscape. According to professor Anders Johansen, the latter has in recent years been profoundly affected by the massacre on Utøya Island in July of 2011, which drastically reconfigured the attitude of the Norwegians towards language: “For many of us, it became crucial to find a painstakingly truthful expression for what had transpired, in a language that could do justice to the facts as well as the emotions.”
Selected texts were transmuted to Slovene by Darko Čuden, Nada Grošelj, Iva Klemenčič, Jana Kocjan, Martina Noč, Tanja Petrič and Marija Zlatnar Moe. “The purpose of the anthology is not only to present the literary output of the most visible contemporary Norwegian authors of various genres and generations, but also to show how the Norwegian writers seek out language that comprehensively expresses reality. The value of literature lies in helping us see the world clearly, not because writers are the most mindful of people, but because they try the hardest of all to put what they see into words. Authors of documentary-travelogue literature, such as female writers Åsne Seierstad who describes the massacre on Utøya Island, or Erika Fatland who explores how the Soviet heritage has affected five former republics, refreshed the documentary genre with their striking works. Karl Ove Knausgård, Vigdis Hjorth and Tomas Espedal did not become world-renowned merely for their intricate narration of intimate family stories, but also for persistently delving into the relationships between fiction and reality. Socially engaged poets, such as Inger Elisabeth Hansen and Torgeir Schjerven, teach us, in non-dogmatic ways, how to hearken to climate change, while also tuning our sensibility to the particularities of language. A new trend, with poets like Øyvind Berg, is also to create one’s own poetic language, which in his case leans on Shakespeare and Paul Celan while incorporating slang and entirely idiosyncratic, hybrid expression.” With these words, the selection of the authors is affirmed by the anthology’s co-editor Birgit Hatlehol, among other the head of the Oslo International Poetry Festival and the Oslo Poetry Film Festival.
The sublime lyricists Øyvind Berg, Inger Elisabeth Hansen and Torgeir Schjerven will at this year’s Vilenica Festival appear before the Slovene readership in person.