Per Olov Enquist – The Irreverence of Transparency

Aula of Collegium Novum UJ, Krakow

Per Olov Quist at the meeting "Inne zycie" during the 1st edition of the Conrad Festival

November 4, the Aula of Collegium Novum. Per Olov Enquist on life, writing, and the future of literature.

“If everything started so well, how could it end so badly?”

The writer writes with low intermissions, filling the thought-rigged frame with life. His life? His long dead father’s life? Your life? My life?

Life floats in and out of hard covers. It permeates the print, and in its overflow it even gives you a lesson in diving.

A Romanian writer once said all valuable work  is perfused with autobiography. What is autobiography, I ask, other than our answer to the questions of Life?

The journey out of the Islandic night brought out the gestures of surrender and irreverence: the surrender to the grip of creative writing and the irreverence of transparency.

The reality in the book is different from and, yet, it is indeed related to the reality as you and I know it.

The work as a period (“.”) is meant to bring closure. Before writing, the period awaits. It settles in the memory after the ink dries out.

“Here’s a question I cannot answer: What next?” More transparency…


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