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Book review: In the Obscurity of the forest, go Nicole Krauss lost on purpose

Nicole Krauss, born in 1974, has had great success with his earlier novels, notably ”Love story” that came on the Swedish 2005. After the novel ”The big house”, it took seven years before the new ”Mystery forest” came out.

the Title comes from Dante's ”divine comedy”: the oft-quoted stanza is that of Ingvar Björkesons translation reads: ”To the middle, just on our living hiking / I had in an obscure forest lost / wandered away me from the right path”.

book review: Nicole Krauss ' ”great house.”

the female protagonist in the book have the same first name as the author, and a similar situation – divorced with two sons – feels Nicole's trip to Israel to cure his writer's block as a autofiktivt berättargrepp.

the Novel Nicole is traveling from their home in Brooklyn to Tel Aviv. Where she comes in contact with an older university teachers of literature and former Mossadagent. He wants to her – she understands not what – but he begins to occupy more and more of her time. Soon she is ensnared in a Kafka project which is about to ”write the real end” on Franz Kafka's life. The israeli man calling, demanding that she should follow them to the places that have with Kafka to do. Nicole is moved step by step, without own overview or the like, the increasingly Kafka-gestalten.

The other main character is a lawyer, Jules Epstein, who left his family in New York and traveled to Israel. He and Nicole meet never in the novel: their stories running in parallel in different chapters.

Both hoping for a transformation. A soul walking.

family in Israel, but raised in the united states. Epstein is a wealthy older man who has given things away ”with the same frenzy as he had once acquired them”. In the museums they are happy for the donations, but the children see the transformation of a father who behaves beyond belief.

The authentic penetrates everywhere in this novel, the events and the name, well-known israeli and american writers and politicians give themselves known. Everywhere small fragments which burn together fact and fiction.

Despite the fact that the novel is heavy with subtext, can Krauss be exceptionally clear and sharp stylistically, for example, when she describes how it is for Epstein to get a divorce. ”Something needed to break, and he felt that it did it then, knew how fragile the bones one by one cracked under his fingers /.../ So easily, so fragile was the marriage.”

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with concepts such as time and loneliness, exile and jewish mysticism, and identity.

Both the Epstein and Nicole are travelling ”home” to Israel. Both hope for a transformation. A soul walking. Epstein, who made away with all their possessions, will disappear. The single track after him is a briefcase which the police found in the desert. But Nicole comes back. When she sees her own home, she gets a profound mystical experience of the meet itself. ”Through the living room window, I saw my children sitting on the floor, bent over a game. They saw me not. And for a moment I saw not myself, either, where I sat in an armchair in a corner, and was already there.”

the Scene corresponds with the author's interpretation of God's command to Abraham, that he would break up from the said to be home and go to Canaan. She believes that the point of this is that Abraham would go out of himself to prepare a place for which God had intended him to be.”

Read more: On a collision course with Krauss

in the midst of life have gone astray and have lost the orientation is consistently in this novel. It tells about the people who can not see clearly, does not really know what they are doing or why. Much is – probably intentionally – unclear and confusing even in its presentation. Dante and Kafka, the text presents a basic feeling of sadness. Despite the fact that it is more matter of construction than the illusion there is something that makes me err on and discover a book with humor and many refined and elegant passages.

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