Fosse, Jon

(1959-)
   A Norwegian novelist, poet, essayist, and playwright, Fosse is Norway's foremost dramatist after Henrik Ibsen. His work has been translated into 30 languages and is frequently performed abroad, especially in Germany. He has received numerous literary prizes and is Norway's best-known writer internationally. Fosse writes in a minimalist yet lyrical nynorsk and takes as his theme simple and everyday occurrences.
   Fosse started out as a novelist and had his literary debut with Raud, svart (1983; Red, Black), a story about teenage depression and suicide. Stengd git r (1985; Closed Guitar) has as its protagonist a single mother who wanders the streets while her baby has been left at her apartment, from which she has been locked out. Neither novel has a clear resolution of the story. The novel Blod: Steinen er (1987; Blood: The Stone Is) likewise has no clear ending, and the central element of the plot, whether or not a man is the murderer of his dead wife, is also left unresolved. All three books have in common that the protagonists are confused and that their confusion is reflected in the disjointed language that is used consciously by Fosse to give a sense of its representationalist limits.
   Around the time when he was separating from his first wife, Fosse published the novel Naustet (1989; The Boathouse), a story about youthful love triangles and their repetition later in the lives of the narrator and the book's other characters. Flaskesamlaren (1991; The Bottle Collector), presents a protagonist whose identity is as uncertain and fragmented as those of the individuals he encounters and fictionally represents in the text. In the novel Bly og vatn (1992; Lead and Water) a married journalist happens upon an intoxicated young woman, takes her with him to his hotel room, experiences the complete collapse of his ability to function professionally and socially, and then discovers that he has fallen in love with the woman. He, too, is one of Fosse's many decentered characters.
   Fosse has commented on his artistic practice in such collections of essays as Fra telling via showing til writing (1989; From Telling via Showing to Writing) and Gnostiske essay (1999; Gnostic Essays), in which he acknowledges his debt to such philosophers as Theodor Adorno, Herbert Marcuse, Martin Heidegger, and Jacques Derrida.
   Fosse became a dramatist after his second marriage in 1993 and has published a large number of plays, starting with Og aldri skal vi skiljast (1994; And Never Shall We Be Separated). Both this play and those that followed are characterized by a lack of emphasis on plot and a corresponding focus on the limitations oflanguage; the characters, often unnamed, rarely manage to express what they want. The theme of Og aldri skal vi skiljast is how difficult it is for couples to remain married, and this problem is also explored in Namnet (1995; tr. The Name, 2002), in which a couple is expecting a child, which highlights their difficulties in communication. Communication is also the issue in Nokon kjem til a komme (1996; tr. Someone Is Going to Come, 2002), in which a marriage breaks down subsequent to the arrival of a third person. Three plays published together in 1997, Barnet (tr. The Child, 2002), Mor og barn (Mother and Child), and Sonen (The Son), all highlight the problem that children, present or absent, can be to a marriage. In Barnet the problem is the lack of a child, as the woman miscarries, while the other two plays deal with conflicts about and with children.
   Both the love triangle and conflicts involving children are thematized in Natta syng sine songar (1998; tr. Nightsongs, 2002), in which the father of a baby is also trying to become a writer. This drama, too, has a pessimistic outcome, as there is a failure to communicate and the mother of the baby leaves for another man. In Ein sommars dag (1998; A Day in Summer) the failure of the man and the woman to communicate effectively plays itself out on two temporal levels, as it is filtered through the memories of the woman after she has grown old. Both the elderly woman and her younger self are characters in this play, and a brief meeting between them reinforces the theatricality of the piece. Draum om hausten (1999; Autumn Dream) also juxtaposes the past and the present, neither of which is stable in the memory and experience of the characters. The three plays Besøk (2000; Visit), Vinter (2000; Winter), and Ettermiddag (2000; Afternoon) continue the themes ofjealousy, isolation, and failure of communication. In the play Vakkert (2001; Beautiful) another love triangle from the past reemerges.
   Dødsvariasjonar (2002; Variations on Death) is yet another play about loneliness and features a family of three: father, mother, and daughter. The daughter regards death as a good friend, but she is ambivalent when she finally chooses suicide. Jenta is sofaen (2003; The Girl in the Sofa) juxtaposes a grown woman with her pubescent self as she fails to bring healing to wounds sustained in her early teens. Lilla (2004) deals with teen sexuality and power struggles, while Suzannah (2004) is a dramatic presentation of the life of Suzannah Thoresen, the wife of Henrik Ibsen.
   His success as a dramatist has not kept Fosse from writing novels. Melancholia I (1995) and Melancholia II (1996) present the life and family of the Norwegian painter Lars Hertervig. Morgon og kveld (2000; Morning and Evening) takes place partly after the death of the protagonist, as he continues to exist in a spiritual realm. Det er Ales (2004; It Is Ales) tells about love, death, and the ocean in the lives of several generations of one family.
   See also Theater.

Historical Dictionary of Scandinavian Literature and Theater. . 2006.

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  • Jon Fosse — (* 29. September 1959 in Haugesund, Norwegen) ist ein norwegischer Autor. Er wuchs in Strandebarm in der Kommune Kvam in Hardanger auf und lebt heute mit seiner Familie in Bergen. Zunächst veröffentlichte Jon Fosse vor allem Lyrikbände und Romane …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Jon Fosse — (2005) Jon Fosse est un écrivain norvégien, né le 29 septembre 1959 à Haugesund. D abord romancier et essayiste, il écrit également des poèmes et des livres pour enfants. Il est désormais mondialement connu surtout en tant que… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Fosse — ist Name oder Namensbestandteil mehrerer geografischer Objekte: Fosse, Pyrénées Orientales, Frankreich Fosse (Fluss), ein Nebenfluss der Vesle in der Champagne La Fosse Corduan, Aube, Frankreich La Fosse de Tigné, Maine et Loire, Frankreich La… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Fosse (homonymie) — Fosse Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Jon Fosse — (born September 29, 1959 in Haugesund) is a Norwegian author and dramatist. He currently lives in Bergen, Norway.He debuted in 1983 with the novel Raudt, svart . His first play, Og aldri skal vi skiljast , was performed and published in 1994. Jon …   Wikipedia

  • Fosse (disambiguation) — Fosse may refer to:Places* Fosse, town in France * Fosses, Val d Oise, France * Fosses la Ville, Namur, Belgique * La Grande Fosse, Vosges, France * La Petite Fosse, Vosges, France * Nayemont les Fosses, Vosges, France * Fosse, village in Norway… …   Wikipedia

  • Jon — ist ein männlicher Vorname. Der Name ist eine Kurzform des hebräischen Vornamens Jonathan („Geschenk Gottes“) und vor allem in Skandinavien und in den USA verbreitet.[1] Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Bekannte Namensträger 1.1 Vorname 1.2 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Fosse — Fosse,   1) [fɔs], Bob, eigentlich Robert Louis Fosse, amerikanischer Regisseur, Schauspieler und Choreograph, * Chicago (Illinois) 23. 6. 1927, ✝ Washington (District of Columbia) 23. 9. 1987; wirkte häufig am Broadway als Choreograph;… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Fosse — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Sur les autres projets Wikimedia : « fosse », sur le Wiktionnaire (dictionnaire universel) Une fosse est un creux réalisé dans la terre par …   Wikipédia en Français

  • La Fosse — Fosse bzw. Fosses ist Name oder Namensbestandteil mehrerer geografischer Objekte: Fosse, Pyrénées Orientales, Frankreich Fosse (Fluss), ein Nebenfluss der Vesle in der Champagne Fosses la Ville, Provinz Namur, Belgien, mit der Abtei Fosses La… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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