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It won’t make the vase whole again

Nicole Flattery: Tove Ditlevsen, 3 June 2021

Childhood, Youth, Dependency: The Copenhagen Trilogy 
by Tove Ditlevsen, translated by Tiina Nunnally and Michael Favela Goldman.
Penguin, 384 pp., £9.99, January, 978 0 241 45757 3
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The Faces 
by Tove Ditlevsen, translated by Tiina Nunnally.
Penguin, 144 pp., £8.99, January, 978 0 241 39191 4
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... Ifirst encountered​ Tove Ditlevsen on a visit to Copenhagen. The whole trip had been a mistake. I kept thinking I should go and see the Little Mermaid. Seeing the statue, even from a distance, would somehow validate the journey. Apart from this depthless panic about how and when I would go and see the Little Mermaid, I was doing very little: wandering around galleries, sitting in the hotel bar ...

The Twin Sister’s Twin Sister

Adam Mars-Jones: Dag Solstad, 9 May 2019

Armand V.: Footnotes to an Unexcavated Novel 
by Dag Solstad, translated by Steven Murray.
Vintage, 256 pp., £11.99, May 2018, 978 1 78470 846 7
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T. Singer 
by Dag Solstad, translated by Tiina Nunnally.
Vintage, 272 pp., £9.99, May 2018, 978 1 78470 306 6
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... A bid​ of ‘Misère’ in a game of solo whist means that the player undertakes to lose every trick – it’s a sort of grand slam in reverse. Dag Solstad’s contract with the reader, on the basis of these two books, is similar: he undertakes not to make the best of his materials, producing an apparently methodical collapsing of novelistic machinery ...

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