By Fosse, Jon; Searls, Damion
In her previous condo by way of the fjord, Signe lies on a bench and sees a imaginative and prescient of herself as she was once greater than 20 years previous: status by means of the window expecting her husband Asle, on that bad overdue November day while he took his rowboat out onto the water and not again. Her thoughts widen out to incorporate their complete existence jointly, and past: the bonds of kin and the battles with implacable nature stretching again over 5 generations, to Asle's great-great-grandmother Aliss. In Jon Fosse's brilliant, hallucinatory prose, these types of moments in time inhabit a similar house, and the ghosts of the prior collide with those that nonetheless continue to exist. "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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Extra resources for Aliss at the fire
She thinks, yes well it must be Thursday, and it’s March, and the year is 2002, yes, she knows that much, but what the date is and so on, no, she doesn’t get that far, and anyway why should she bother? what does it matter anyway? she thinks, no matter what she can still be safe and solid in herself, the way she was before he disappeared, but then it comes back to her, how he disappeared, that Tuesday, in late November, in 1979, and all at once she is back in the emptiness, she thinks, and she looks at the hall door and then it opens and then she sees herself come in and shut the door behind her and then she sees herself walk into the room, stop and stand there and look at the window and then she sees herself see him standing in front of the window and she sees, standing there in the room, that he is standing and looking out into the darkness, with his long black hair, and in his black sweater, the sweater she knit herself and that he almost always wears when it’s cold, he is standing there, she thinks, and he is almost at one with the darkness outside, she thinks, yes he is so at one with the darkness that when she opened the door and looked in she didn’t notice at first that he was standing there, even though she knew, without thinking it, without saying it to herself, she knew in a way that he’d be standing there like that, she thinks, and that his black sweater and the darkness outside the window would be almost one, he is the darkness, the darkness is him, but still that’s how it is, she thinks, it’s almost as though when she came in and saw him standing there she saw something unexpected, and that’s what’s really strange, because he stands there like that all the time, there in front of the window, it’s just that she usually doesn’t see it, she thinks, or that she sees it but doesn’t notice it somehow, because it’s also that his standing there has become a kind of habit, like most anything else, it has become something that just is, around her, but now, this time, when she came into the room she saw him standing there, she saw his black hair, and then the black sweater, and now he just stands there and looks out into the darkness and why is he doing that?
And then the fire is near him again. And it must be the darkness, and the fact that he’s so cold, that makes him unable to tell exactly where the fire is burning, he thinks, but he sees it, he does see it, there in the darkness, those yellow and red flames. And it looks warm, it looks good, because it’s cold, yes, he thinks, it has gotten so cold that he has to keep walking, he can’t stay standing in one place, it’s too cold for that, he thinks and he starts to walk and he’s freezing and it is so cold that he tries to walk as fast as he can and he can barely remember the last time it was so cold in the fall, he thinks, it must have been back when he was young, because back then, or that’s how he remembers it at least, it was almost always cold and there was ice on the fjord and so much snow on the hills, on the streets, ice and snow and cold, but now, in recent years, fall has always been pretty mild, and then this year the cold set in again, he thinks, and he doesn’t have a cap to wear anymore, those old red knit caps with tassels from when he was a boy, you can’t find them anywhere anymore of course, and where did they go, and where do they come from anyway, caps like that?
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?
Aliss at the fire by Fosse, Jon; Searls, Damion