By Fosse, Jon; Searls, Damion

ISBN-10: 1564785734

ISBN-13: 9781564785732

ISBN-10: 1564789950

ISBN-13: 9781564789952

In her previous apartment via the fjord, Signe lies on a bench and sees a imaginative and prescient of herself as she was once greater than two decades past: status by way of the window anticipating her husband Asle, on that poor past due November day whilst he took his rowboat out onto the water and not lower back. Her thoughts widen out to incorporate their entire lifestyles jointly, and past: the bonds of relations and the battles with implacable nature stretching again over 5 generations, to Asle's great-great-grandmother Aliss. In Jon Fosse's brilliant, hallucinatory prose, a majority of these moments in time inhabit an identical area, and the ghosts of the previous collide with those that nonetheless live to tell the tale. "Aliss on the hearth" is a visionary masterpiece, a haunting exploration of affection and loss that ranks one of the maximum meditations on marriage and human destiny

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Why has he gotten so quiet? but, yes, quiet, yes, he was always a quiet type, she thinks, whatever else you can say about him he’s always been quiet, so that’s nothing out of the ordinary after all, it’s, it’s just how he is, that’s just the way he acts, that’s just how it is, she thinks, and now if only he could turn around and face her, just say something to her, she thinks, anything, just say anything, but he keeps standing there as if he never even noticed her come in There you are, Signe says and he turns to her and she sees that the darkness is also in his eyes I guess I am, yes, Asle says There’s not much to look at out there, Signe says No nothing, Asle says and he smiles at her No just darkness, Signe says Just darkness yes, Asle says Then what are you looking at, Signe says I don’t know what I’m looking at, Asle says But you’re standing there in front of the window, Signe says I am, Asle says But you’re not looking at anything, Signe says No, Asle says But why are you standing there then, Signe says Yes I mean, she says Yes are you thinking about something, she says I’m not thinking about anything, Asle says But what are you looking at, Signe says I’m not looking at anything, Asle says You don’t know, Signe says No, Asle says You’re just standing there, Signe says Yes I’m just standing here, Asle says Yes you are, Signe says Does it bother you, Asle says It’s not that, Signe says But why are you asking, Asle says I was just asking, Signe says Yes, Asle says I didn’t mean anything by it, I was just asking, Signe says Yes, Asle says I’m just standing here, yes, he says A lot of times when someone says something they don’t really mean anything by it, probably, he says Probably almost never, he says They just say something, just to say something, that’s true, Signe says That’s what it’s like, yes, Asle says They have to say something, Signe says They have to, Asle says That’s how it is, he says and she sees him stand there and sort of not entirely know what to do with himself and then he raises one hand and lowers it again and then he raises his other hand, holds it halfway in front of him, and then raises the first hand again What are you thinking about, Signe says No nothing special, Asle says No, Signe says I guess I, Asle says Yes I, he says and he stands there and he looks at her I, he says I, I, yes well, I’ll just, he says You, Signe says Yes, Asle says You’ll, Signe says I, Asle says I guess I’ll go out onto the fjord for a while, he says Today too, Signe says I think so, Asle says and he turns back to the window and again she sees him stand there and be almost impossible to separate from the darkness outside and again she sees his black hair in front of the window and she sees his sweater become one with the darkness outside Today too, Signe says and he doesn’t answer and today he’ll row out onto the fjord again, she thinks, but the wind is really blowing, and it probably won’t be long before it starts to rain, but does he care about that, whatever the weather is he goes out in his little boat, a small rowboat, a wooden boat, she thinks, and what’s so nice about rowing out on the fjord in a little boat like that?

He thinks, they just disappear, the years go by and both the years and these red caps come from somewhere or another, he thinks, but then again, he thinks, he has finally found a cap, big and roomy, yellow-white, it must have been left behind by his Grandma, the one who was married to Olaf, his grandfather, Grandpa Olaf, who died when he himself was so little that he has no memory of him, Grandpa Olaf, but he definitely does remember, he thinks, that Grandma wore a cap like this, that has stuck with him, the way one thing or another can sometimes stick with you, yes he definitely remembers Grandma walking up to him in a cap like this and he also remembers the blue coat she wore and that she had a walking stick in her hand, he thinks, because it’s slippery on the big road where Grandma comes walking up the hill and she has a walking stick in her hand so she can steady herself and keep on her feet and not fall down and break her bones, as she said, he thinks, and in her other hand is her shopping bag, a red bag, and on her head is the yellow-white wool cap that he himself always wears now, on these cold days.

And does she look scared? desperate? as though she is dissolved and in the process of disappearing altogether? does she really look like that? she thinks, who is that? she thinks, but no, she is standing right here, in front of the window, she is standing here and looking out, so why did she get it into her head that she was standing down there on the big road, as though dissolved? why see something like that and think something like that? no it can’t be, she thinks, because she’s standing here, here in front of the window, and she’s looking out, but she can’t stay standing like this, here in front of the window, after all she stands here so much, she just stands like this almost all the time, stands and looks out the window, and sometimes she looks down at the big road, sometimes at the little road, that’s what they called it, she thinks, the little road, to go with the big road, it was supposed to sound kind of cute, or maybe it was just to have a name for the road, and so it stayed the little road, that’s what they called it, the road that went down to the big road from the old house, their home, where they live, the old house, the oldest parts of the house are several hundred years old, and then it was added onto, here and there, and she herself has lived here for more than twenty years now, no, such a long time?

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Aliss at the fire by Fosse, Jon; Searls, Damion

by Mark

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