The new issue of Norsk Gyldendal's literary magazine, Vinduet, is now published, and as its leading editorial proclaims it's something of a mixed bag (the phrase is used in English). The atmosphere of the magazine is as curious as ever - in the articles and associated graphics and photos there are occasional eerie cultural echoes of the 1960s and 70s, and one sometimes has the impression that in literary terms, at least. Norway has a secret hankering for that ground-breaking but also traumatic period in the country's history.
Britain's Poet Laureate (in Norwegian this becomes hoffpoet) Carol Ann Duffy is the subject of a fairly long article by author and journalist Jostein Sæbøe, who recently published a Norwegian translation of Duffy's collection Mean Time, and there's a version of her poem 'Oslo'. Dag Solstad, who is 70 this year, receives extensive treatment from several authors, including Trond Haugen, who contributes an interesting review of Espen Hammer's Solstad monograph. For Hammer, Haugen suggests, Solstad's progression from the literary absurdism of the 1960s to the Marxism/Maoism of the 1970s was not a major break, but in some senses merely represented an extension of the 'absurd' into the political realm. There's a tribute to Gunvor Hofmo, who is now 90, and a long feature on the Iranian writer Mahmoud Dowlatabadi. Christopher Hitchens, Lorrie Moore and Russian novelist Andrei Gelasimov are the focus of other prominent items in the issue.