Sometimes all you need is a day out, a day off. To wake up and only then decide where to go, to get in a car, heading off for somewhere. What you need is a day of mid-May sunshine and heat, walking up the steps of an old, ruined castle to find the coolness waiting inside, the stonewalls crumbling under the weight of so many years.
Years ago, before I went to University and began studying the relationship between literature and art, I started writing little stories inspired by some of the paintings I came across in galleries, postcards and reproductions my parents had on the walls at home. I made up stories about Picasso’s Blue Nude and Hopper’s Nighthawks. I wrote a few of them and then forgot all about it.
I have mentioned a couple of times on the blog that I feel really grateful for the experiences and opporturnities I have been given in London. I have not only been lucky but I have also been encouraged while being in the city to really put myself out there, to be brave and participate, and it has resulted in some pretty memorable moments for me.
Last year I volunteered to be a student speaker at a conference for the Bicentenary of the Norwegian Constitution at UCL which was a really fun experience to prepare and be a part of and which also got me invited to a dinner with the Norwegian ambassador. Last Summer I also won a competition to attend a Peirene Supper Club, where I got a chance to meet Meike, the publisher of Peirene and Norwegian author Hanne Ørstavik. And this year I have had the pleasure and honour of being a tour guide at the V&A.
On the UK World Book Day back in March I wrote a review of the English translation of Danish Helle Helle’s This Should Be Written in the Present Tense and promised you guys that I would post some more suggestions of Nordic literature in English translation. Since it’s the World Book Night in the UK today (and World Book Day in the rest of the world), I thought it was the perfect day for me to write about Nordic translated literature.