World Literature

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By Fosse, Jon; Searls, Damion

In her outdated apartment through the fjord, Signe lies on a bench and sees a imaginative and prescient of herself as she used to be greater than 20 years past: status via the window looking ahead to her husband Asle, on that poor past due November day while 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 shiny, hallucinatory prose, some of these moments in time inhabit a similar house, and the ghosts of the prior collide with those that nonetheless continue to exist. "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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Is it her, is it that she is there and waiting for him, that she is standing there in the light of the window, is that what makes him not want to go back home? no it’s not that either, but he is a little cold, and it’s gotten almost dark now, just like that it’s gotten dark, almost totally dark, so he should probably go home, he thinks, and he stays standing there and he looks at the shore, at the waves, and he looks out along the land, along the fjord, and he sees that the fjord and the mountain and the darkness are about to blend together, become one with each other, and now he has to go home, he thinks and he starts to go home, that was a short walk, he thinks, but he did get out for a little while anyway, he thinks, and now she must be waiting for him, she’s always waiting for him, she’s standing in the window, she’s always standing there in the window, looking, waiting, he thinks and he walks farther and when he’s walked a little farther, around the curve, he’ll be able to look back home at the old house and see that there’s a light in the window and see her standing in the window, he’s sure of it, she is standing there in the light, in the window, framed by the darkness, and she is looking at him, even if she can’t see him she’s looking at him, and she sees him, and it’s always like that, he thinks, and he walks out around the curve and he looks back home at the old house and there she stands, there in the light of the window she is standing and looking out into the darkness, and he knows that she sees him, she always sees him, he thinks and he wants to not look at the window, not look at her standing there, he thinks and he looks at the shore, and there, down there on the shore, down below the boathouse, a bonfire is burning there!

And why does he always want to row out onto the fjord, all year round? he doesn’t actually want to, he just does it, he thinks, he rows out onto the fjord, it doesn’t matter what the weather is, good or bad, and why? to fish? yes, well, he does a little fishing, but it’s been a long time since he was all that interested in fishing, so that can’t be why, he thinks, no today he had better just take a walk, that’s something he almost never does, he can’t remember the last time he just took a walk down the big road, he thinks, and so why should he today?

Why is he still here? because he’s gone, he’s been gone for years, it’s been years since he disappeared, but it’s still as if he’s still here, she sees the hall door open, she sees him stand there in the doorway, she sees him walk into the room, hears him say what he’s said so many times before, that’s how it is and that’s how it will be even though he is gone forever, he is still always here, he is saying what he always said, he is walking the way he always walked, he is wearing the clothes he always wore, she thinks, and her, what about her?

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