Melancholy II (Norwegian Literature) (Paperback)
Dalkey Archive Press, 9781564789044, 97pp.
Publication Date: January 6, 2015
Not so much a sequel as an alternate perspective, Jon Fosse's coda to his brilliant and much-lauded Melancholy picks up the story of tormented landscape painter Lars Hertervig in 1902, shortly after his death. Taking place, like Melancholy, over the course of a single day, it treats us to the thoughts of Hertervig's sister, carrying on with her life in the absence of her eccentric brother. She recalls their childhood under a domineering father, remembering Hertervig's difficulties fitting in, and likewise Hertervig the man: poors, always hovering on the brink, fanatical about painting and his own perceived shortcomings as an artist and human being. In the same hypnotic prose for which Fosse is famous, Melancholy II serves as an investigation not only into the "collateral damage" wrought by art and artists, but into a master's tools and obsessions as well.