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by Jon Fosse
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Lars Hertervig is a provincial young Norwegian from a poor Quaker background, studying art in Germany and prone to crippling insecurities, sexual obsessions, and terrifying hallucinations. In prose as hypnotic as Beckett's or Berhard's--but earthier and funnier--the novel describes a single day of crisis and its repercussions, years later for Lars himself and a century later for a writer inspired by Hertervig's vision. Melancholy takes us into a painter's fragile consciousness, vulnerable to everything but therefore uniquely able to see its beauty and its light.
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