Frobenius, Nikolaj

   A Norwegian novelist and social critic, Frobenius had his debut with Latours katalog (1996; tr. De Sade's Valet, 2000), a novel about a man who is unable to feel pain and who therefore inflicts pain on others in an attempt to learn what pain is like. As an assistant to the notorious Marquis de Sade, he also tries to comprehend his employer. It was a huge success both in Norway and abroad, and was followed by Den sjenerte pornografen (1999; The Shy Pornographer), in which a young boy enters a society of the future where life is completely centered on the production and consumption of pornographic images. Frobenius successfully expresses his critique of the sexualization of contemporary life. Andre steder (2001; Other Places) probes the boundary between reality and fiction, truth and lies. The protagonist, a young man named Christopher, responds to his father's disappearance by leaving his ill mother and his girlfriend for a year and a half. Upon his return he can remember only a few things from the time he was gone and has no clear sense of his own identity.
   Det aller minste (2003; The Very Least) contains, in the form of an interior monologue, the response of a 17-year-old to his mother's suicide. It is a highly fragmented text that effectively conveys the condition of a mind that is in the process of deteriorating. It is built on Frobenius's play Mikromani (Micromania), which was performed, without much success, at the National Theater in Oslo in January 2003. Teori og praksis (2004; Theory and Practice) is a well-written but highly personal book that barely fictionalizes the autobiogrpahi-cal material on which it is based.

Historical Dictionary of Scandinavian Literature and Theater. . 2006.

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