Welcome, traveller ...

Here the curious reader can follow the progress of the forthcoming new two-volume novel "Brent" by Norwegian
author Morten Jorgensen a.k.a. me. Here you will find
links that will give you some background for the books,
problems that I solve or questions that I ponder may be introduced, reports from my travels on research missions
for "Brent" may appear, news may break on this blog,
excerpts may be published.

Here all shall be revealed. In due time ...


Please scroll down

Join BRENTBLOG'S Followers (bottom) and/or Subscribe (sidebar and bottom)

Tuesday, 3 January 2012


I have a lot of research ahead of me. There will be at least one more trip this autumn. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I do not know quite yet whether I will be leaving Oslo for Brussels/Amsterdam/Hamburg, or London/Stoke-upon-Trent.All five cities must be sought up, but the order of my research trips does not matter. This autumn, either one is fine with me.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011


The key to writing an exciting novel is thoroughness and depth.
Time is the only factor that should be allowed to influence the search for perfection. I mean, I can't very well go for a hover fly Ph.D. before I write about them, can I? This is as far as it goes.


When I left Oslo, I defined nine tasks for the BRENT Research Mission to Beijing, China.
#1: to locate a restaurant that does not exist.

Check. I have even found a brilliant way to make it reasonably invisible.

#2: construct a real world flight route from a certain existing hotel in the city center

Check, although I modified it slightly, including moving the hotel out of the city center, to Sanlitung, adding more texture to that particular chapter in BRENT. The changes are all to the better. I am particularly happy with adding the hutong culture of Beijing into the plot.

#3: find and connect with as many as 10-15 people from a certain sociographic group that will participate as model characters in this sequence.

Check, although it took only one person to help me, and as I did not manage to get in touch with the punks and tradskins of Beijing in beforehand, I had to change the plot. But again to the better. The new story solves a more general problem in both volumes, a problem I have been struggling with for quite some time. It even includes a great punchline.

#4: locate a block or two, preferably not too far from Beijing's "main street", Wanfujing,

Check, although it is located slightly round the corner.

#5: locate an existing, rather posh day-time café, where a lunch is served and a stranger shows up.

Check, although not a café, and the stranger will show up in Brussels. The former change was another improvement. It adds a sense of History to the plot. The beef was delicious, the green tea sensational. I actually bought & brought 1/4 kg of this particular type of tea home to Norway. Yummy!

#6: find a given scientific Chinese institution.

Check. Not only that, I was given a tour of the entomological department of the Chinese Academy of Science, talked with or was introduced to up to ten of China's and Beijing's greatest experts on insects and their very talented assisting students: Jackpot.

#7: locate insects belonging to the familiy Syrphidae in some park

Check. Actually, I have several species to choose from, even if I did not get to see them physically in some park myself. But I saw dragonflies and butterflies, and my good Chinese friend Kun was stung by a wasp when we got into the cab, just as we were leaving the Tienanmen area after wrapping up #2.

#8: I shall stay at one, maybe two luxury 5-star hotels, preferably in a suite

Check. However, I decided for logistical reasons a.k.a. avoidance of stress, to stay in just one hotel while I was in Beijing. But I was given a tour in one 5-star hotel, and ate a grandiose lunch in another.

#9: eat dog
Check, although I was saved from actually eating dog. It is a myth that the Chinese eat dog. No standard Chinese restaurant in Beijing serves dog, although there is supposedly dog being served by Koreans, and there are regions in China where dog is eaten. But the Beijingers love their dogs. And cats. However, I did eat donkey, and I did gag at the table.

In the original planned plot, before arriving in Beijing, Brent was fearing that he would have to eat dog, and, alas, and to his
shagrin, his nightmare comes true at a formal reception dinner, where he's not able to refuse. It would have been absurd to stick to the original plot.
So I can happily state that my mission to Beijing was an indisputable success, but what more is, I got what I
really wanted: A glimpse of how the world will look like in BRENT, when China - and India - are the dominant powers on Earth. I was lucky enough to get friends already from day one, and with their help and their patience with my many questions, I think I also got a pretty good notion of how the modern grass roots Chinese man and woman think, at least in Beijing, something which will most certainly prove invaluable for the entire BRENT project.

All the 9 #above-mentioned tasks are related to events taking place in BRENT Volume 2, but the dominant Chinese global position will be obvious also in Volume 1. I could not really bargain for this insight. I mean, I was staying for just 10 days. It took me four or five trips before I even started to understand the soul of Scotland, just to mention one example. In Finland it felt as if I was on a another planet, despite the regional closeness to Norway.

But, thus, I can now see clearly before me the 4-star Chinese general and the stunning daughter of the future Chinese president, both appearing in Volume 1. Yes, I can even see how she's dressed, what make-up she is wearing.
Thanks to everyone who has shown an interest in my Beijing trip on different social media. A special thanks to Otto Malmgren for his invaluable advice on Beijing. I hade very little time for anything but Norwegian Facebook updates while in Beijing. But my observations and analysis of China will be parlayed on my general blog INTERMASHONAL TIMES in the weeks to come.

Read all about the Eagles of Chinese skyscrapers, the Beijing dress code, the Steroid Man from Australia, my drinking challenge, China vs. Greece, pork soup served from the pot deep inside a hutong, why Chinese hipsters don't care a damn about Facebook, a Jaco Pastorius fan playing "La Paloma Ade", Foodstuff Ltd and the Merrilyn Hotel, the Beijing street with ten guitar stores, Eurocentric myths and China's answer, and more.

*"If DVDs can have Extras, I can have pre-Exstras for BRENT." (M. Jorgensen, 2010)

Saturday, 17 September 2011

BEIJING DIARY, PART 03: A love affair

Before I arrived, I suspected that I would enjoy Beijing. But this is as close to love at first sight as it possibly can get. I actually feel slightly ridiculous, like a teenager. I simply love this city, irrevocably, enthusiastically, and nothing can change it.

It is not due to the fact that I get bottled Guinness here, it is not because of the yummy beef dish that I ate somewhere in the Ghost Street-area, not even caused by the woman who left her car and crossed the street because she saw that I was lost, it's not one thing or one experience, it's Beijing.

I am of course fully aware of the danger of superficial orientalism, but it's not that. It's love, pure and simple. Walking the streets, meeting the people, the scents, the sounds, the lack of pretentiousness. It's the diversity, the relaxed atmosphere, the friendliness, whatever. It's something. A something that is - it must be - unique.

Today I was planning to get acquainted with Beijing. When out on a research mission, I never use the normal channels that most novelists use. I walk. Until I get it.

So today I got lost, as I tried to get to the city center, but fortunately I came - by chance or by the will of the Gods - back to where I started. Then I went out to eat, and got lost once more, but I was soon found by a great restaurant in the Ghost Street-area, where I ate a delicious beef dish and was served - out of politeness, I guess - a Carlsberg. To finish a good meal, I asked for a glass of brandy (cognac, rather), but got a quart of some medicine-smelling Chinese spirituosa instead, and got unintentionally drunk.

Then I went back to the hotel, intending to go to Mao Live, but when I finally got there, one-ish, it was closed. Through errors I find my goal.

So instead I ended up drinking Guinness and talking Jaco Pastorius, and I got an offer to perform at an extremely low-key place here in Beijing. The rest of the evening is none of your business, but let's put it this way: I am in Beijing on a mission, and I expected to use at least the weekend before I found the help that I need to fulfill that mission. But unless my ability to judge character has degenerated severely on the Aeroflot Airbus that brought me here, I have already all the help that I need.

Hey, I'm all right. And if you didn't look forward with anticipation to BRENT before, you should start doing it now. By the prickling in my thumb, something brilliant's gonna come.
Because this is going to be just great.

Blame it on Beijing, not me.

BEIJING DIARY, PART 02: Finally installed

Finally, after several delays and postponements, I have finally installed myself in the Andingmen area in the district of Dongcheng in Beijing. I will use the weekend to understand the basic layout of this vast, even gargantuan city of almost 20 million people.

Right now, the mere excitement of being in what will be the heart of the world as we know it, in just a few years, is all-prevailing. But whatever happened to my prelude?


Upon my leaving, several of my friends have said, "Communism ..." etc. "Democracy ..." etc. I say: "China is big. HUGE! China is bigger than Communism." I am not going to Beijing for anything that is even remotely NOW or contemporary. I am going to Beijing to gaze into China's future, to catch a tiny glimpse of what is about to unfold.

There are a little under 5 million people living in Norway, my tiny Northern home country. I am leaving for a country of 1 400 million. There is almost something ridiculous in this comparison of numbers. How insignificant Norway seems as I sip my Roiboos. I start giggling as my thoughts stray to the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize, and in my mind's eye I see a Chihuaha - wearing the face of Norwegian Labour politician Torbjørn Jagland - trying to pee on the leg of a Grand Dane.

Some weeks ago I saw an American politician on CNN. Agitated and with conviction he stated something like: "The US must maintain it's leading role in internationl affairs."

It is a pathetic statement. The Chiahuahua has shape-shifted into a Cocker Spaniel, but the picture still looks ridiculous. It makes me think of great, futile speeches made by English politicians one hundred years ago, as the British Empire crumbled and fell, just like the American Empire now is shaking in its very foundations, it's pre-crumble time; deficit, foreign debt, recession, hurricanes, wars lost even before the Americans manage to erect their first McDonald's on the battle field. The Age of China has come, and the Americans may shake, rattle and roll, but their 15 minutes of glory in the 250 000 year old Time of Man are over.

It may take 10 years, 20, 30, it does not matter. China is rising. The ads in the spacious Departure hall at Oslo Gardermoen may in 20 years time all be promoting Chinese products, and the successor of the pretty Swedish blonde at Caffè Ritazza who is serving me a Focaccia anno 2010, may well be serving glass noodles when the year 2047 arrives.

Unlike many of my Norwegian countrymen and -women, I do not worry. The Western world has not exactly been a political or moral example for the world up through the centuries. I do not read History as a succession of various politics. I go for the anthropological approach. China's written history stretches back to the Shang Dynasty, some 3700 years ago. At the time, snotty Norway did not even exist.

As the café radio starts playing Bob Sinclair's Love Generation, I feel part of a giant historical shift, and in my heart there is love for China, my soon-to-be friend, and I look forward to my journey even more. Infatuation for China grips my heart.

I feel small, humbled, insignificant, antish. A Norwegian in Beijing. A speck of dust on China's eternal cloak.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011


Yes, of course I have postponed my research trip to China. With the recent bomb blast in Oslo and the massacre at Utoya, I would not have been able to concentrate on BRENT, had I stuck to my original itinerary. So now, as Norway slowly is returning to something that resembles normality, I can again focus on Beijing. Hopefully, I can board my plane late this month. But my VISA is valid until October, so no worries.


This is the Dassault Vehra, a compact small spacecraft of great versalitity and flexibility. An impressive machine, indeed.