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Melancholy

by Jon Fosse

A novel which takes you deep into the mind of Lars Hertervig - a Norwegian Quaker with mental health issues. This is certainly a tough one and not for those who feel fragile or vulnerable. I found I could only read it in short burst due to Hertervig's constant paranoia . However, if you're prepared to give this time and look behind the repetitive ramblings, you will find a sad story of love, bullying and homesickness. You have to admire the author (Jon Fosse) for being able to write so consistently in this fashion.

Extract

I am a darkness without you. I miss you. I am walking up the street, but I can't see anything. I am my longing for you. And I hear laughter far behind me. But the laughter is just there, because in me is only my movement toward you. I am only a turning toward you. I am walking. I am walking to you, I am a turning toward you. I am my longing for you. I am only a turning toward you. I am walking. I am walking to you. I can't do anything else, I can only be a movement turned toward you, whether you're there or not. All I am is a movement toward you. A movement, a turning, toward you. I am nothing but you, but you, who are not there. And it's precisely there, in what I am not, in that which is turned toward you, it's precisely there, in that which maybe isn't there, in what is just a turning, a movement, it's precisely there that I am in everything I paint and see.
Translated by Grethe Kvernes and Damion Searls

Parallels

The Quantity Theory of Insanity by Will Self
A Beautiful Mind - the film
 

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