The series of seven novels, nearly 800 pages, are narrated in a stream of consciousness without sentence breaks, and the doppelgänger eponymous storyline is never clearly established as an extensive speculative exercise or a worthy coincidence. astounded (or implicitly fictitious automatic action). Each novel begins, mid-thought, in the same way, with Asle thinking about how to complete her painting of the St Andrew’s cross; each ends the same way, mid-latin prayer, at least until something else happens in the final book. However, Asle is the recognizable type, reminiscent of the main characters in the movie.”gilead shirt“And “Tinkers” by Paul Harding,” by TS Eliot”GerontionAnd Samuel Beckett’s “The Last Tape of Krapp”: old men surveying their lives, balancing immediate sensory questions about mortality with intense, incomplete memories enough and around about past events and people, as well as the higher demands of daily life near the end. This is Asle as he recalls childhood experiences such as lying to his mother about where he received a handful of krone coins; playing on the rocks with his sister; saw his grandfather’s boots shining in the rain; went to art school against the wishes of his skeptical parents; meets his future wife, Ales; leave the Norwegian Church; become Catholic; and likewise when he is worried, as an elderly person, about whether to drive in bad weather; whether he knows someone’s name in the pub; whether to walk the dog in a blizzard; whether to sell or host a painting; accept an invitation to a Christmas dinner.
Whatever Asle’s petty encounters and fragmented memories may mean, these are ultimately secondary to him detailing an intense, unbroken sense of connection. with God. In this way, Asle is not like Gerontion and the rest: He wants to “understand the unfathomable” about his life, about life itself, and about God. Furthermore, unlike the similar wishes and quests in Dante’s “Paradiso,” no otherworldly epic journey leads to a symphony of ecstasy from aerial metaphysics. In fact, there really isn’t much movement, ostensibly or inside, at all. Asle, more or less, was there – the knowledge and the feeling of being known to God. This meaning, on the contrary, projects his thoughts and feelings about the vocation and work of an artist, and likewise on what it means for a believer to respond to the felt presence of Germany. God in his life – even as an uncultured, distrustful fisherman comes by threading him because he’s painted a strange picture over and over and gone to church too much.
The repetition of the novel’s prelude and ending, the brevity of ordinary events, and the narration of the stream of consciousness in hundreds of pages without sentences, is ultimately less provocative. compared to the integrity of the protagonist’s beliefs, to interpret the prologue of John’s Gospel, that the world is a dark place, that a divine light shines through this darkness, and that darkness does not get over it. In the midst of times of depression and doubt, Asle deeply believes this and wants to convey it in his paintings:
“It’s always, always the darkest part of the picture that shines the brightest, and I think it might be because in the darkness of despair and despair, God is closest to us, but how does that happen, how light. I get the picture there, that I don’t know, and how it happened, I don’t get it, but I think it’s nice to think that maybe it’s going to be like this, that’s when an illegitimate child, as they say, was born in a barn on a winter day, just in time for Christmas, and a star high above sent its strong clear light down to the left. earth, light from God, yes. a beautiful thought, I think, because the very word of God that says God is real, I think, the simple fact that we have words and ideas God which means that God is real, I think, whatever the truth of it is at least it’s a thought one can think of, it’s the same, even if it’s not more than that, but it sure is. It’s true that when things are darkest, blackest, that’s when you see light, that’s when this light can be seen, when darkness shines, yes, and that’s always been the case at least In my life, when it’s darkest is when the light comes, when the darkness begins to shine, and maybe that’s the way in the paintings I paint, anyway, I hope so.” .
In a later episode, reflecting on the darkness of art and life, Asle commented that “a painting is not complete until there is light in it”. This is the hope that Caravaggio certainly recognized, and in wonderful, subtle ways, Fosse’s preparation for the end of “Septology” itself.
Only in the last pair of novels, now available in English under the title “A New Name”, did Asle stop coloring brown and purple lines. He accepts that these endeavors, in art and in his relationships with others and with God, are important only insofar as they create space for the breakthrough of light and presence. is not his own. Feeling weak and sprawled in the stranger’s bedroom before dinner, Asle prayed as he had done at the end of every novel before that. Only this time, he was interrupted emphatically: “I breathe in and out slowly and I move my thumb and finger up to the third bead and I say to myself Ave Maria Gratia plena Dominus… and me an orb of blue light shot into my forehead and exploded and I said reeling in myself Ora pro nobis peccatoribus nunc et in hora. “Septology” ends with a portrait of one’s life now completed by – because – of the light that has fallen on it. In turn, Fosse leaves open the last word of the world to whom and what happens next.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/22/books/review/jon-fosse-septology.html God, Art and Death in One Sentence (Very Long)