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Seán Kinsella

Seán Kinsella holds a Master in Philosophy in literary translation from Trinity College, Dublin. Kinsella has translated Norwegian crime novels by Stig Sæterbakken, Frode Grytten, Tore Renberg, and Bjarte Breiteig into English, as well as a selection of short stories by Kjell Askildsen, Everything Like Before (2020). He lives in Norway with his family.

Mardon’s Night

Kjell Askildsen published his first collection of stories in 1953. This month, Archipelago Books publishes Everything Like Before, a career-spanning collection from the 91-year-old Norwegian writer. Themes remain remarkably consistent throughout the work: absence, family, memory, and uncertainty. The sensory experience reminds me most of a long still in a Tarkovsky film, maybe a few photographs submerged in a murky stream. The story selected here, “Mardon’s Night,” exemplifies the movement of all relationships, the ebb and flow in the very act of relating, and how our interpretation of another’s subjectivity moves gently, easing its way to understanding. The result is a masterful representation of consciousness.

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The Brooklyn Rail

MAY 2021

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