Above all, Vigdis Hjorth is a novelist, but she is also a committed and critical reader and contributor to the social debate. In 1999, her collection of prose pieces Confessions of an Erotic Author was published. The book is a showcase for her sense of humour and acute insights in small as well as larger matters. Since then, her writing has developed until she is now one of Norway's most interesting authors. She was awarded the Hunger (Sult) Prize and her recent Long Live the Post Horn! has just won the Critics' Prize. Her novels always trigger comment and discussion. Now, we are offered another opportunity to read her thoughts about other authors, for instance Hamsun, Brecht, Woolf, Kierkegaard, Gombrowicz and others. This collection contains articles, poetry, interviews and longer essays. The tone of Literary Essays is laid-back and amusing, but demonstrates the author's great intellectual breadth and engagement.
'Vigdis Horth presents a collection of great articles she has written about literature in a book called Fryd og fare, where she proves that a warm, educated and enthusiastic person can make learning fun and inspiring in a way machines just can’t… It takes time to read this book, but not because it’s long or verbose. It takes time because you need to put it down and have a think every now and then and have discussions with yourself about the topics in question. It is only once you’ve had this discussion that you can you pick it up again and carry on, with Vigdis Horth as your able guide.'
Dag og Tid
'When I read Fryd og fare, I want to write more like Vigdis Horth... an inspiring contribution to the never-ending debate about the role of literature.'
'Vigdis Horth is a master of the art of seducing the reader without losing sight of seriousness. The result is eleven great texts about life and literature… Hjort discusses freedom and responsibility, and her essay about Søren Kierkegaard weaves personal experience with philosophical insights about daring to live a life free from the pressure to conform. Vigdis Horth’s life and literature is in itself an example of this. … Vigdis Horth’s essay collection “Fryd og fare” reminds us that literature in one way or another must concern the reader in order to be relevant and interesting.'
'An exemplary presentation of other writers.'
'This essay collection showcases an author who plays the whole gamut. … This essay collection gives good insight into Vigdis Horth’s many passionate relationships with literature, relationships which showcase an author who plays the whole gamut and where eroticism by no means reigns supreme, but is one of many human fields which can be used to illuminate our lives and help us to understand ourselves better.'
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