Aliss at the fire by Fosse, Jon; Searls, Damion

By Fosse, Jon; Searls, Damion

In her outdated condo through the fjord, Signe lies on a bench and sees a imaginative and prescient of herself as she was once greater than 20 years prior: status by means of the window looking forward to her husband Asle, on that bad past due November day while he took his rowboat out onto the water and not back. Her thoughts widen out to incorporate their complete existence jointly, and past: the bonds of relatives and the battles with implacable nature stretching again over 5 generations, to Asle's great-great-grandmother Aliss. In Jon Fosse's bright, hallucinatory prose, a majority of these moments in time inhabit an analogous area, and the ghosts of the previous collide with those that nonetheless live to tell the tale. "Aliss on the hearth" is a visionary masterpiece, a haunting exploration of affection and loss that ranks one of the maximum meditations on marriage and human destiny

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Why does he just stand there like that all the time, when there’s nothing to see? she thinks, and if only it was spring now, she thinks, if only spring would come now, with its light, with warmer days, with little flowers in the meadows, with trees putting out buds, and leaves, because this darkness, this endless darkness all the time now, she can’t stand it, she thinks, and she has to say something to him, something, she thinks, and then it’s as if nothing is what it was, she thinks, and she looks around the room and yes everything is what it was, nothing is different, why does she think that, that something is different?

That anything could really be different? she thinks, because there he is standing in front of the window, almost impossible to separate from the darkness outside, but what has been wrong with him lately? has something happened? has he changed? why has he gotten so quiet? but, yes, quiet, yes, he was always a quiet type, she thinks, whatever else you can say about him he’s always been quiet, so that’s nothing out of the ordinary after all, it’s, it’s just how he is, that’s just the way he acts, that’s just how it is, she thinks, and now if only he could turn around and face her, just say something to her, she thinks, anything, just say anything, but he keeps standing there as if he never even noticed her come in There you are, Signe says and he turns to her and she sees that the darkness is also in his eyes I guess I am, yes, Asle says There’s not much to look at out there, Signe says No nothing, Asle says and he smiles at her No just darkness, Signe says Just darkness yes, Asle says Then what are you looking at, Signe says I don’t know what I’m looking at, Asle says But you’re standing there in front of the window, Signe says I am, Asle says But you’re not looking at anything, Signe says No, Asle says But why are you standing there then, Signe says Yes I mean, she says Yes are you thinking about something, she says I’m not thinking about anything, Asle says But what are you looking at, Signe says I’m not looking at anything, Asle says You don’t know, Signe says No, Asle says You’re just standing there, Signe says Yes I’m just standing here, Asle says Yes you are, Signe says Does it bother you, Asle says It’s not that, Signe says But why are you asking, Asle says I was just asking, Signe says Yes, Asle says I didn’t mean anything by it, I was just asking, Signe says Yes, Asle says I’m just standing here, yes, he says A lot of times when someone says something they don’t really mean anything by it, probably, he says Probably almost never, he says They just say something, just to say something, that’s true, Signe says That’s what it’s like, yes, Asle says They have to say something, Signe says They have to, Asle says That’s how it is, he says and she sees him stand there and sort of not entirely know what to do with himself and then he raises one hand and lowers it again and then he raises his other hand, holds it halfway in front of him, and then raises the first hand again What are you thinking about, Signe says No nothing special, Asle says No, Signe says I guess I, Asle says Yes I, he says and he stands there and he looks at her I, he says I, I, yes well, I’ll just, he says You, Signe says Yes, Asle says You’ll, Signe says I, Asle says I guess I’ll go out onto the fjord for a while, he says Today too, Signe says I think so, Asle says and he turns back to the window and again she sees him stand there and be almost impossible to separate from the darkness outside and again she sees his black hair in front of the window and she sees his sweater become one with the darkness outside Today too, Signe says and he doesn’t answer and today he’ll row out onto the fjord again, she thinks, but the wind is really blowing, and it probably won’t be long before it starts to rain, but does he care about that, whatever the weather is he goes out in his little boat, a small rowboat, a wooden boat, she thinks, and what’s so nice about rowing out on the fjord in a little boat like that?

That’s Aliss. That’s his great-great-grandmother, probably around twenty years old, he thinks, and the boy she’s pressing to her breast, about two years old probably, that’s his great-grandfather, Kristoffer. And he goes around the corner too, and he looks at Aliss with Kristoffer pressed against her breast go home through the front door of the old house, and he sees the door shut and she sees, lying there on the bench, the hall door open and then she sees a small woman with long black hair come in, she has big eyes, she is carrying a boy pressed against her breast and the woman rushes across the room and then she puts the boy down next to her on the edge of the bench and then the woman pulls the boy’s pants off, his sweater, she strips the boy totally naked and then she lays him down on the bench next to her, and the woman rubs his back again and again There there, good boy, don’t be cold anymore, the woman says Good boy Kristoffer, now you’ll get all warm, the woman says Don’t freeze now, she says Mama Aliss is here to rub you till you’re all warm, you’re a good boy, she says and Aliss rubs Kristoffer all over his back again and again and she sees Aliss stand up and she looks at Kristoffer lying there next to her on the bench, and he is wet, he’s sobbing a little, and there are shivers going through his body, and she sees Aliss go open the bedroom door and go in and then come back in and she is carrying a wool blanket and then Aliss comes over to the bench and she spreads the blanket out all over Kristoffer and then Aliss sits down on the edge of the bench and she starts to rub Kristoffer’s back again, over and over, rubbing and rubbing his back So, my darling Kristoffer, now you’re getting warm again, good little Kristoffer, Aliss says There there, good boy, good boy Kristoffer, she says Just think, you fell in the water, such a little boy and you fell in the water, but luckily Mama Aliss was there, yes, she says and she sees Aliss rub Kristoffer’s back again and again and she looks at the window and she sees herself standing there looking out the window, and she’s always standing there, why does she always have to stand there?

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