Armand V.

Dag Solstad

Winner of the Brage Prize 2006

“Is a novel something that has already been written, and the author simply finds it, and carefully excavates it? I have to admit, for every year that passes by, I have become more and more aware of the fact that I am wrapped up in this comprehension. But who wrote the novel originally? If I am simply the one who finds it and excavates it? This is a comment to somewhere in the text up there which concerns, or hides, a metaphysical question of the highest importance.” (Footnote 5)

In this novel, which consists of the author’s footnotes to a novel that has not been written, Armand V. is the main character.

In the mid 60s, Armand and his best friend Paul Buer arrive at University at Blindern in Oslo. They grew up in the same town on the west side of the Oslo Fjord. Paul Buer ends up with the realists, Armand with the philologists. Paul Buer becomes a meteorologist. The radical and EEC-opposed Armand makes a career as a diplomat and ambassador in world metropolises. The unwaveringly loyal ambassador Armand V. plays the part with a certain distance, on the inside – if not on the outside – he is an unfaithful servant of his country.

The jury’s grounds for the Brage Prize:
“The prize winner in the fiction category has influenced Norwegian literature for years. This year’s book is innovative and one step further in the author’s meticulous exploration of what a novel is and can be. The author himself claims to have ended his authorship, and refers to his two last publications as exceptions. The jury, however, finds that this year’s book – about the protagonist who, for different reasons, neither can nor wants to protest against the ruling social forces – is a new and important chapter in the author’s story about the single individual’s effort to understand and conform to society. The book holds a unique place in the authorship – and consequently also in Norwegian contemporary literature.

With an outstanding, fragmentary construction, the author has created an artistic style which clearly has been redeeming for the writing itself: The unconstrained leaps, the disjointed clarity, the unrestricted scope – all this which will turn Armand V. into a modern classic.”

Rights sold to

  • Language Foreign publisher
  • American EnglishNew Directions
  • DanishRosinante
  • EstonianLoomingu Raamatukogu
  • GermanDörlemann
  • GreekPotamos
  • ItalianIperborea
  • SwedishOrdfront

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Additional info

  • Armand V.
  • 2006
  • Forlaget Oktober
  • Fiction
  • 248 pages