‘. . . Sontag believes that “the need to be alone, together with the discontent of being alone,” is a characteristic of the melancholic, and she arrives at the conclusion that “irony is the positive description with which the melancholic equips his loneliness, his asocial choices,” before she points to the Benjamin who in One-Way Street celebrates the irony, as he calls it, that allows the individual to claim his right or her right to live outside the fellowship, and this, Benjamin writes, is “the most European of all qualities.”‘
Jon Fosse, An Angel Walks Through the Stage and Other Essays (trans. May-Brit Akerholt)
Sontag’s observation seems to grow perfectly out of a Sardinian novel about which I’m trying to write – Salvatore Satta’s Il giorno del giudizio – which (ironically) Sontag admired greatly. I actually wonder whether she may have had that specific novel in mind when she wrote the above.
It is also a theme Pascal Quignard addresses at length.
Oooh, where? I gave up rather too easily with him. Was not ready, I guess. Might now be.
In ‘Sur l’idée d’une communauté de solitaires’ which is not in English translation
I knew there was a catch!
I discovered the Fosse book by way of a Knausgaard essay. How about you?
I certainly became aware of Fosse through Knausgaard. ‘An Angel Walks Through the Stage’ leapt out of a search of Dalkey Archive. It’s my first Fosse, a terrific place to start and a book I intend to return to often. Fosse’s vision of literature could not be closer to my own; that it is heavily influenced by Blanchot tells me I should try to climb that hill. Again. In what essay does Knausgaard mention it?
Think I found that essay, thanks!
Good! I had forgotten that it was an essay on Fosse. I only remembered that he mentioned reading Fosse’s essays and made them seem worth tracking down.
I first became aware of Fosse through this interview with Patrice Chéreau (https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2011/apr/25/patrice-chereau-director-interview-theatre). Could only find a few of his plays at the time.