Septology VI - VII: A New Name

Septology VI - VII: A New Name

Jon Fosse The Nobel Prize

Original title: Eit nytt namn. Septologien VI - VII
Publisher: Samlaget, 2021
Genre: Novel
Pages: 331 pages

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Asle is an ageing painter and widower who lives alone on the southwest coast of Norway. His only friends are his neighbour, Åsleik, a traditional fisherman-farmer, and Beyer, a gallerist who lives in the city. There, in Bjørgvin, lives another Asle, also a painter but lonely and consumed by alcohol. Asle and Asle are doppelgängers – two versions of the same person, two versions of the same life, both grappling with existential questions.

In this final instalment of Jon Fosse’s Septology, the major prose work by ‘the Beckett of the twenty-first century’ (Le Monde), Christmas is approaching. Tradition has it that Åsleik and Asle eat lutefisk together, but this year Asle has agreed to celebrate Christmas with Åsleik and his sister, Guro. On Christmas Eve, Åsleik, Asle, and the dog Bragi take Åsleik’s boat out on the Sygnefjord. Meanwhile, we follow the lives of the two Asles as younger adults in flashbacks: the narrator meets his lifelong love, Ales; he joins the Catholic Church; he starts exhibiting with Beyer; he can make a living by trying to paint away all the pictures stuck in his mind. After a while, Asle and Ales leave the city and move to the house in Dylgja. The other Asle gets married too, but his wedding ends with a sobbing bride and is followed soon after by a painful breakup.

Written in melodious and hypnotic ‘slow prose’, A New Name: Septology VI-VII is a transcendent exploration of the human condition and a radically other reading experience – incantatory, hypnotic, and utterly unique.

Foreign rights

Arabic: (Saudi-Arabia) Dar Athar
Brazilian-Portuguese: Editora Fósforo
Chinese (simplified): Yilin Press
Chinese (traditional): Ecus Publishing House
Croatian: Naklada Ljeva
Czech: Host
Danish: Batzer & Co
Dutch: Uitgeverij Oevers
English (UK): Fitzcarraldo Editions
English (US): Transit Books
English: (ANZ) Giramondo
Finnish: WSOY
French: Christian Bourgois éditeur
German: Rowohlt
Greek: Gutenberg
Hungarian: Kalligram
Italian: La Nave di Teseo
Lithuanian: Aukso žuvy
Polish: ArtRage
Portuguese: Cavalo de Ferro
Romanian: Pandora
Serbian:Treći Trg
Spanish: De Conatus
Swedish: Bonniers

Awards

Shortlisted for the International Booker Prize 2022
Longlisted for the Dublin Literary Award 2022
Finalist for the 2022 National Book Award (USA)
Winner of The Brage Prize 2021
Winner of the Norwegian Critics Prize for Literature 2021

Jon Fosse takes his writing to places where no other Norwegian author can follow him.

VG

A beautiful final volume about art, yearning, and passion. Jon Fosse concludes his masterpiece Septology with outstanding novelistic artistry.

Bergens Tidende, 6/6 stars

Septology reeks of greatness. […] Jon Fosse has done it again. The series will remain a pre-eminent work in Fosse’s oeuvre, and, dare I say, in the Norwegian canon. […] This book is a depiction of growing up, of becoming an artist, a story about love and friendship, about loneliness and longing.

Vårt Land

After I finished the last book of Septology, I walked around in a haze for a long while, simply grateful to be alive. The work is so breathtakingly strange and unclassifiable that it seemed to me as though Fosse had created a new form of fiction, something that has a deep kinship to Samuel Beckett’s work, but is infinitely more gentle and God-soaked.

The Guardian

Jon Fosse

Portrett jf kred agnete brun
Photo: Agnete Brun

Nobel Prize-winner Jon Fosse (b. 1959), is widely considered one of the most important writers of our time. For almost forty years, he has written novels, plays, poems, stories, essays, and children’s books. His award-winning work has been translated into more than fifty languages and his plays have been staged over a thousand times all over the world.

Jon Fosse grew up in Strandebarm, a small village in the western part of Norway, he now lives in the Grotten, an honorary residence in Oslo, as well as in Hainburg, Austria, and Frekhaug, Norway.

Fosse was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2023 and has received numerous prizes, both in Norway and internationally through the years.

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