Tomorrow my book about our first year in the forest will be published in Germany.
Today I am travelling home by train after having attended a litterature festival in Elsinore where I interviewed Nanna Goul about her recent book “Erle Perle”, a collection of modern day fairytales I´d say.
I like Nanna.
Besides being an author she is also a literary critic at the influential Danish newspaper Weekendavisen and she SLAMMED my first book (“Andrea Hejlskov”). She nominated it as the most redundant and insignificant publication that whole year. She hated it thoroughly. I´d never gotten a bad review like that before and it took me month to cope with it, not so much the fact that she didn’t like it – but the embarrassment.
I think that was the first time I realised that being an author means throwing yourself as flesh in front of the lions. Being an author means death. Look at all my blood, my bare nerves, my bones, bodily fluids. The vulnerability. Having the courage to be vulnerable. Very soft. Very, very soft.
At the same time I think writing is an act of defiance.
A very deep stubbornness. A very big “fuck you”. A bloody battle.
So I kept on writing, it´s not so much a choice actually, and when the book about our first year in the forest was ready for publication in Denmark I asked Nanna to interview me at the National Book Fair. I wanted to face my demons- since this is what living in the forest is all about, this is the effect this lifestyle have had on us.
Face it! Deal with it! Take responsibility! Own it!
Nanna was pregnant at the time and about to give birth so she couldn´t do the interview but I think my request intrigued her a bit because a couple of years later this happened:
A journalist had asked if she could come interview me about shamanism. I agreed to do this. The car arrives. Two journalists opens the doors. One of them- Nanna Goul. Apparently the piece was a collaboration between the two.
I cleared my throat and did the interview. A bit nervous. Afterwards we made dinner and sat around the fire for the whole night, drinking wine, getting drunk. A lot of truths where spoken that night and now I consider Nanna, well, a friend.
I´m telling you this story because I have come to realize how much being a writer have actually colored my experience of leaving society and living in the woods. See, being a writer is an act of communication. You communicate with the void, yes, but you also communicate with “the others”. I communicate with society.
Sometimes I wish that I could just live quietly in the woods. Forage and mind my own business but that’s just not how it is for me. The fact that I am a writer TIES me to the very culture that I criticize. I am bound to it.
Writers are never free- although maybe that is what we want them to be.
So ok. My book is about to be published in Germany.
I have been very tired of the publishing industry. I have been very tired of being a writer- but the collaboration with the german publishing house Mairisch Verlag have been such an inspiration. It has been a wonderful process- and I LOVE the cover!
(the cat thinks all of this boring)
If you know any german bloggers or journalist who might be interested in doing a review- please write me (email@example.com)
I am in the position of being a bridge.
On one hand there is this (dying) civilization. On the other hand there is the wild, the alternative lifestyle and the alternative stories.
I´m ok with being a bridge and I can tell you why.
It´s because of something that happened last night.
Last night I met the Norwegian author Vigdis Hjorth and I heard her read from her book “Arv & miljø”
I was flabbergasted. I was stunned. Electrified. Open eyes, open mouth, quivering as she cried, yelled this song of lamentation – and her defiance- into the darkness of the auditorium.
I was so moved.
And I thought to myself: moving people is a worthy cause.
We are nature defending itself.
(you can read more about the book in german here)