Through the Night

Overview

Drawing on fantasy and nightmare, Through the Night is a philosophical horror story charting the madness of a father whose son has committed suicide.
Dentist Karl Meyer’s worst nightmare comes true when his son, Ole-Jakob, takes his own life. This tragedy is the springboard for a complex novel posing essential questions about human experience: What does sorrow do to a person? How can one live with the pain of unbearable loss? How far can a man be driven by the grief and despair ...

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Overview

Drawing on fantasy and nightmare, Through the Night is a philosophical horror story charting the madness of a father whose son has committed suicide.
Dentist Karl Meyer’s worst nightmare comes true when his son, Ole-Jakob, takes his own life. This tragedy is the springboard for a complex novel posing essential questions about human experience: What does sorrow do to a person? How can one live with the pain of unbearable loss? How far can a man be driven by the grief and despair surrounding the death of a child? A dark and harrowing story, drawing on elements from dreams, fairy tales, and horror stories, the better to explore the mysterious depths of sorrow and love, Through the Night is Stig Saterbakken at his best.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Late Norwegian novelist Saeterbakken (Self-Control) explores the aftermath of grief in his haunting last novel, posthumously released in a vibrant translation by Kinsella. Dentist Karl Meyer is forced to re-evaluate and simplify his life and marriage after the suicide of his young son. The story of his quest to reconstruct himself is achingly told in a lyrical, internally-focused narration. Saeterbakken's confident articulation of the myriad emotions and symptoms that make up Meyer's grief is a grand example of drawing universality from extreme specificity; the prose is evocative in a way that forces the reader to feel deeply the entire gamut of his particular sorrow and guilt while also being an observer of his wife divergent experience. This is set in sharp relief against recollections of happier times before the suicide; Meyer relives the period before the tragedy and makes himself miserable trying to puzzle out to what degree his past actions, including an extramarital affair, make him culpable for the suicide. Readers may lose the plot's thread in a surreal sequence towards the end, but it is not wholly disorienting. Though hardly uplifting, Saeterbakken last is notable for the beauty and heartbreak of its narration. (July)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781564788740
  • Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press
  • Publication date: 6/18/2013
  • Pages: 150
  • Sales rank: 799,774
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Stig Sæterbakken (1966–2012) was one of Norway’s most acclaimed contemporary writers. His novels include Through the Night and Siamese (also published by Dalkey Archive).

Seán Kinsella was born in Ireland and holds an MPhil in literary translation from Trinity College, Dublin. He has previously translated work by Frode Grytten and Bjarte Breiteig into English, and currently resides in Norway with his wife and two daughters.

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