Attempts to Describe the Impenetrable

Dag Solstad

Arne Gunnar Larsen is a social democrat, an architect and director of planning of a huge housing cooperative. Realising that he has a powerful urge to become part of the people, he leaves his wife and moves from his flat in the poshest part of downtown Oslo to a large housing estate on the city’s outskirts. It is an estate he himself has helped plan, a place where “the architecture was to be a tribute to human company”. However, Larsen’s encounter with the modern housing estate turns into an encounter with the Great Absence, until he strikes up a strange friendship with the neighbouring couple – a friendship that has terrible consequences.

In Attempts to Describe the Impenetrable Solstad borrows tricks from popular genres like the thriller and the melodrama. At the same time, this is a novel that comments its own creation, where Solstad, the author, comments his own project.

Rights sold to

  • Language Foreign publisher
  • DanishRosinante
  • DutchOrdeman
  • ItalianIperborea
  • RussianKhudozhestvennaya
  • SwedishNya Doxa

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Additional info

  • Forsøk på å beskrive det ugjennomtrengelige
  • 1984
  • Forlaget Oktober
  • Fiction, Novel
  • 175 pages