A cat, a bird and a man are the fulcrums of Vibeke Tandberg’s third novel. The story takes place in a car, in a house by a farmyard, in a spruce forest so dense that the sun never reaches the forest floor. The main character is a woman, who sees hears and senses. Her observations and sensations constitute the novel’s story, and it is through her gaze – not her thoughts or reasoning – that a sequence of events reminiscent of a crime mystery take shape.
The story of Joelle Joelle unfolds within the space of a year, but the novel is written in a special form of chronological disorder, where the pieces of a narrative are being told, retold, and repeated until small reflections, individual moments and observations assume absurd proportions.
Joelle Joelle is freely inspired by the French roman nouveau, in particular Alain Robbe-Grillet’s Jealousy (1957).
Praise for Joelle Joelle:
“A narrative tour-de-force … surrealist ord absurd tones torpedoes the cool, detailed description of everyday life”
“While her earlier novels contained dialogues and a certain story, Tandberg here goes further than ever in dissolving the structure of the traditional novel … In some of the descriptions in Joelle Joelle you fall into a distinctive rhythm which sharpens your attention, opens up your concentration … That a novel so concentrated on vision and perspevtive actually lifts its eyes and reminds us of what we choose to see and not see, gives […] Tandberg’s cerebral protest against regular literature greater weight”