Aliss at the Fire
By Jon Fosse
74 pp. Fitzcarraldo Editions. £11.
“Aliss at the Fire” is a mood.
It’s a Tuesday in late November, 1979, and you’re staring out the window, watching and waiting.
It’s a Thursday in March, 2002, and you’re staring out the window, watching and waiting.
The lines repeat, over and over, like a mantra, drawing you forward, inside.
It’s November in Norway, and the day is dark. You can hear the wind blowing. The mountains above the fjord are barely distinguishable from the sea and the sky.
This is a haunted house tale of a sort, though the strangest one you’ve ever read.
Fosse gives you what all those lousy VR experiences promise, but never deliver — a truly immersive experience. This is what literature can give you that other formats can’t. Fosse’s an acquired taste, best consumed in a comfy, window-facing chair in total solitude.
“Aliss at the Fire” is a great way to get your feet wet before diving into the Septology.