Christina Hesselholdt’s Companions

“. . . everything is saturated with meaning, friendships, love affairs, the view of the world, the language.”

Reading Christina Hesselholdt’s Companions is to inhabit a constant rise and fall, immersion into conflicting currents and patterns that appear and disappear in the form of interior monologues of a group of the companions that give the book its title.

These companions are intertwined around Camilla, whose literary passion is one of the many pleasing aspects of this novel, as she contemplates, amongst many others, writers as diverse as Thomas Bernhard and Lawrence Durrell.

Saturation is the word that Virginia Woolf used to describe the effect she desired in The Waves, ‘a saturated unchopped completenesss’. Hesselholdt’s book stylistically nods in the direction of The Waves but has a different intensity. I found it absorbing and satisfying to follow each individual’s disillusionments and their sense of life and human separateness.