Virtual Event: Jon Fosse and Damion Searls, "The Other Name," with Dustin Ilingworth

May 9, 2020, 2:00 PM

Jon Fosse joins us for a rare appearance in conversation with translator Damion Searls and critic Dustin Illingworth about The Other Name, the first volume of his monumental Septology. Register here!

This program is free, but we ask that you consider paying what you can to support the bookstore at this time, or you might order a copy of Septology from our online store.

The Other Name follows the lives of two men living close to each other on the west coast of Norway. The year is coming to a close and Asle, an aging painter and widower, is reminiscing about his life. He lives alone, his only friends being his neighbor, Åsleik, a bachelor and traditional Norwegian fisherman-farmer, and Beyer, a gallerist who lives in Bjørgvin, a couple hours’ drive south of Dylgja, where he lives. There, in Bjørgvin, lives another Asle, also a painter. He and the narrator are doppelgangers—two versions of the same person, two versions of the same life.

The Other Name calls into question concrete notions around subjectivity and the self. What makes us who we are? And why do we lead one life and not another? Fosse deftly explores the convergences and divergences in the lives of both Asles, slowly building towards a decisive encounter between them both. A writer at the zenith of his career, with The Other Name, Fosse presents us with an indelible and poignant exploration of the human condition that will endure as his masterpiece. Transit will publish the final two books in 2021 and 2022.

JON FOSSE is one of Norway’s most celebrated authors and playwrights. Since his 1983 fiction debut, Fosse has written prose, poetry, essays, short stories, children’s books, and over forty plays, with more than a thousand productions performed and translations into fifty languages. 

DAMION SEARLS is a translator from German, Norwegian, French, and Dutch and a writer in English. He is the author of a book on Hermann Rorschach and the Rorschach test, and has translated many classic modern writers, including Proust, Rilke, Nietzsche, Walser, Ingeborg Bachmann, Alfred Döblin, and Jon Fosse, among others. He has received writing and translating awards from PEN America, PEN Center USA, the Netherland America Foundation, the University of California, and the Austrian, Belgian, and Dutch governments. He lives with his wife and son in Brooklyn.

DUSTIN ILLINGWORTH is a writer based in North Carolina. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Nation, The Atlantic, Paris Review, The Nation, the Times Literary Supplement, and The Baffler.