Translated from the original Norwegian by James Anderson
In contemporary Norwegian fiction Tomas Espedal’s work stands out as uniquely personal; it can be difficult to separate the fiction from Espedal’s own experiences. Against Nature, a companion volume to Espedal’s earlier Against Art, is an examination of factory work, love’s labor, and the work of writing. Espedal dwells on the notion that working is required in order to live in compliance with society, but is this natural? And how can it be natural when he is drawn toward impossible things-impossible love, books, myths, and taboos? He is drawn into the stories of Abélard and Héloïse, of young Marguerite Duras and her Chinese lover, and soon realizes that he, too, is turning into a person who must choose to live against nature.
About the Author
Tomas Espedal (b. 1961) debuted as a writer in 1988. In 1991, he won awards in the P2/Bokklubbens rome competition for She and I. Founder of the Bergen International Poetry Festival, Espedal’s later works explore the relationship between the novel and other genres such as essays, letters, diaries, autobiography and travelogue. Espedal’s Go. Or the Art of Living a Wild and Poetic Life and Nearly Art have been nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize.
The author dwells on the notion that working is required in order to live in compliance with society, but is this natural? And how can it be natural when he is drawn toward impossible things – impossible love, books, myths and taboos? In the end he has to choose to live against nature.