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

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Thursday, 27 August 2009

WHY "BRENT"?

When people who do not know my authorship ask me what kind of novels I write or what I write about, my answer is "I don't". I am into aestetics, into text as text, I am in search of textual poetics. Content is an uninteresting factor to me. Genre is of no interest to me.

When I became a Cappelen author in 1995, I wrote them a letter, containing my writing plan, i.e. four novels. One had already been published, two have later been published, and now the time has come for "Brent", the final novel of these four.

As aestetics is my sole purpose, the skills of the novelist are decisive to me. But while writing my first novel "Sennepslegionen", I quickly realized how limited my skills were at the time. So I made a chart, a map of the Skills of the Novelist. You know, characters and character debt, intrigue, dialogue, depictatations, clichees etc. etc.? All these and more I distributed more or less evenly on these four books. You just have to start somewhere, right? If I was to wait until I mastered all these skills before writing, I would never be able to write a single book.

Some authors, like Knut Hamsun, excel in their youth. I am more the hard worker, I am the Hokusai Man. Commas and prepositions, rhytm and allusion; the skills must be mastered.

So "Brent" is the conclusion of a period in my authorship, the grand exam, the end of my apprenticeship. In "Brent" I am supposed to master the Craft of the Novelist, I am supposed to be able to use all the tricks of the trade, the ones I have already mastered in my previous novels as well as the ones I had no chance whatsoever of expressing in my first novel.

My previous novel "Bank" is a small suite, a chamber drama. But for "Brent" I need the crass opposite, a HUGE canvas. Which is why I chose to write about the future, a space opera that is NOT science-fiction in the traditional sense, but still contains an element of the fantastic, I needed an adventure, a modern fable, in which I in principle can do and write whatever I like.

When I wrote my debut, I was fortunate enough to be one of the last trainees of the Old School of Publishers and Editors. The ones that had read the Greek classics and spoke latin, who quoted Shakespeare's sonettes. Today, the publishing house editor is a book-shaper, someone who in conjunction with the author shapes a book. The skills of the author is no longer their job.

So I have been my own teacher. Thus, I have sincerely and methodically tried to make "Brent" as difficult as possible to write. It is supposed to be an exam, not a walk-over.

One example: In my first novel "Sennepslegionen" (The Mustard Legion) I got away with six credible characters. My second novel, the sequel "King of Copenhagen", was all about one single person. The third was an inbetweenie; there were three main characters in "Bank". All acccording to my Skills Plan. In "Brent", however, there are about 50 main characters.

When I decided to write "Brent" in English, it seemed almost logical. To write a "big" novel in a language that is not my mother's tongue ... There is no such thing as the proverbial free lunch.

The composition of "Brent" is like a weight-lifter's manual: The athlete adds more and more kilos to the bar to achieve a greater weight-lifting result. Voluntarily.

My previous novels were based on what I mastered. This time around I have composed a novel that forces me to exceed myself. If I don't, "Brent" will simply suck. Major.

So, patience, my friends. This one might take time.

1 comment:

  1. "Big-time" hilsen en random kødd.

    ReplyDelete

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