She lies, immobile, eyes closed, in the grass. The grass is so high that she is not visible. The sun is so strong that she is unable to open her eyes. When she opens her mouth to speak, only a low hiss is audible. She has fallen down from a chair and is unable to move.
Thus opens Vibeke Tandberg’s second novel. The story unfolds in a willful way, and time, space, senses and causality dissolve through variations, displacements and repetitions. Tandberg writes with great authority, combining sober prose with powerful imagery.
Tempelhof is a playful and assured novel, with a wayward power.
Praise for Tempelhof:
“Tandberg’s prose is interesting because her universe enters into a dialogue with the drama as much as with her profession as a painter … Some fresh drama blood in the veins of the novel is a good thing.”
“Refined … It is like Becket in Waiting for Godot … But the point of the novel is describing existence, how memories and events are displaced and shuffled. As they are in reality. Who could have described it better?”
“demands an attitude from the reader which resembles that you have as you enter a gallery: Don’t expect everything to make sense at a glance. Don’t expect to be presented with a cut and dried story. Let it sink in, and see what comes from it. Tandberg’s books are a stab at the ready-made, and Tempelhof is so far the best hit … The strength of the novel is connected to the subtle dealing with topics like the value of a human life and our mortality, bodily discomfort and the trivialities we surround ourselves with. Tandberg manages to create space for these topics, perhaps because they are not discussed clearly”
“Tandberg’s new novel is a concentrated portrait of the possibilities of imagination … It is exactly this audacious richness in fantasy that adds character to her writing … a linguistic precision that call to mind the poet Tor Ulven and his wish to write as if he were ‘a video camera of words’ … Tandberg is more comfortable in her originality and thus simpler. This benefits her”