A Time for Everything

A Time for Everything


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In the sixteenth century, Antinous Bellori, a boy of eleven, is lost in a dark forest and stumbles upon two glowing beings, one carrying a spear, the other a flaming torch … This event is decisive in Bellori’s life, and he thereafter devotes himself to the pursuit and study of angels, the intermediaries of the divine. Beginning in the Garden of Eden and soaring through to the present, A Time for Everything reimagines pivotal encounters between humans and angels: the glow of the cherubim watching over Eden; the profound love between Cain and Abel despite their differences; Lot’s shame in Sodom; Noah’s isolation before the flood; Ezekiel tied to his bed, prophesying ferociously; the death of Christ; and the emergence of sensual, mischievous cherubs in the seventeenth century. Alighting upon these dramatic scenes – from the Bible and beyond – Knausgaard’s imagination takes flight: the result is a dazzling display of storytelling at its majestic, spellbinding best. Incorporating and challenging tradition, legend, and the Apocrypha, these penetrating glimpses hazard chilling questions: can the nature of the divine undergo change, and can the immortal perish?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780980033083
Publisher: Steerforth Press
Publication date: 11/20/2009
Pages: 499
Sales rank: 475,177
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.90(d)

About the Author

Karl O. Knausgaard was born in Norway in 1968 and made his debut with the novel Ute av verden (Out of the World). A Time for Everything, his second novel, was nominated for the Nordic Council Prize. It is his first to be translated into English.

James Anderson’s literary translations from the Norwegian include Berlin Poplars by Anne B. Ragde, Nutmeg by Kristin Valla, and several works by Jostein Gaarder.

Read an Excerpt

Antinous had been born in 1551 at Ardo, a small mountain town in the far north of Italy, where in all likelihood he remained until he began to study in 1565. Apart from one particular event, to which he was to return time after time for the rest of his life, little is known about his early years. The names of his parents and native town do not figure anywhere in Antinous’s writings, and, as they are otherwise characterized by a large amount of biographical detail, this early obscurity has aroused the curiosity of many readers. But if one is to attempt to understand Antinous, it isn’t to the inner man one must turn.


Excerpted from "A Time for Everything"
by .
Copyright © 2009 Karl Ove Knausgaard.
Excerpted by permission of Steerforth Press.
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A Time for Everything 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
arubabookwoman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As a young boy in the early 16th century, Antonious Bellori came across two angels. These angels were not beatific; they were grotesque and frightening, with claws and ashen faces, and they were greedily gnawing on raw fish. The encounter compelled Bellori to devote the rest of his life to the study of angels, and to seek an answer to the question 'Where did the angels go?' After a lifetime of research, he published The Nature of Angels in 1584.After describing Bellori's encounter with the angels, the middle portion of the novel consists of retellings of several stories from the Bible in which angels engage with humans. Most prominent are the story of Cain and Abel and the story of Noah and the Flood, each of which is in and of itself novella length. Knausgaard's versions, however, are like no Bible stories you've ever read.The Cain and Abel story's setting is akin to 19th century Norway, and is filtered through the lens of a modern psychological viewpoint. In this version, the reader questions which of the two brothers deserves to die.The story of Noah's Ark is told almost entirely from the viewpoint of Noah's sister, It's not a spoiler to say that in the end she dies. In Knausgaard's reimagining she stands shoulder-deep in water holding her grandchild above her head watching the ark sail away. Noah, too ashamed to face his sister's pleas for help, is hiding below deck.The next part of the book returns to Bellori's life and his final days. He continues to contemplate and to resolve his theories relating to the existence of angels. He also continues to seek contacts with them, with some unsettling results. The final 50 or so pages of the book involve a morose man, living on an isolated island in modern day Norway, who is seeking salvation for an undisclosed crime, and who has some theories about angels himself.This is a unique book. There are some theological ponderings, but they are bearable, and don't interrupt the flow of the story. The surprising conclusions reached about the existence and nature of angels may disturb some believers. However, I highly recommend this book.4 1/2 stars
Anonymous More than 1 year ago