October 4, 2022

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Bokomslag for «Den unge mannen» og fotografi av forfatter Annie Ernaux.

“The Young Man” by Ani Erno – reviews and recommendations

She was 54, and he was 30 years younger.

However, she has never experienced a similar glow in any love affair before him.

In September, Annie Erno turns 82, and only now, as a truly old lady, publishes the story of her hard time with A, and how the pure young student made her experience her whole life all over again.

The short text becomes a mirror that also reflects the writing of Annie Erno. Because what do you do in these few well-chosen pages?

She writes about herself, and how she moved from the working class to the bourgeoisie. She describes meeting someone who makes her think about who she is and who she is ourIn the world and today, it is from these ideas that she creates a literature worth reading.

literary star

In France, Annie Ernault has long shone in the starry sky of literature. Here at home, flashes of light for the first time hit a wider audience in three or four years, especially with Publication of my books “The Years” and “The Event”..

Young writer’s success Edward Lewiswho explicitly cites Erno as his main source of inspiration, also contributed to a renewed interest in it.

Both use their private lives in a social exploration of gender, class, and writing.

When Litteraturhuset in Oslo just before the summer released tickets for an event with Ernaux, which takes place in Oslo this week, tickets snapped up in minutes. The event was moved to the University Hall to make room for more people.

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As if that wasn’t enough:

In September, “The Incident”, based on the little book in which she describes the illegal abortion she experienced in the 1960s – which almost cost her life – will be shown in Norwegian cinemas. The narrative becomes brutally topical if we read it through American spectacles.

Erno is referring to the actual event in the book. The student dormitory for lovers is located across the street from the hospital in Rouen, where she was quickly moved after the illegal procedure when she herself was a student his age.

The past meets the present, and it is as if Erno is consciously using the contemporary to take charge and remember the past.

Memories is a term that stuck with Annie Erno, who also wrote beautifully about their parents.

woman at the top

The writer painfully realizes that she has the power in the relationship. It has the role that society often assigns to men:

She has experience, education and money.

He has energy and beauty, which gives her the feeling of being young and desirable himself.

shy free

Erno records how much such an alliance provokes society. It’s as if the people around them see their intimacy almost as a thug thing, you think.

She herself has no shame.

Then she is also the one who ends the relationship. Don’t talk about leaving her as a rickety and despised woman. No, it’s free!

You found the material you’ve been longing to write down. She says the text comes into being almost in a cheerful state of inspiration and insight, right after she says thank you and farewell to her little lover. Only 30 years later, the story appeared between two covers.

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Carnal passion and the passion for writing are twins vying for the writer’s attention.

barely

But is this great literature?

Well, it’s a well-researched and succinct text about an unbalanced sexual relationship that sparks mental realization. Erno writes well about it to write his life, as I have done for many years. Among other things, it is about seeing oneself through others, and that is all well, good and beautiful, also in Henninge Margrethe Solberg’s Norwegian translation.

But naming this novel is misleading. The book consists of just under 30 small pages, as well as ten pages of critical praise for previous books from Erno’s hand.

“The Young Man” is an article that reflects the essence of the author’s life and work. In this sense, the text is valuable to someone who already knows the authorship.

If this is the first thing you read by Annie Ernaux, it is not at all surprising that some people feel cheated.