Norwegian national cultural identity is often thought of as being hermetic, untarnished by external influence. Norwegians’ relationship with the new Europe is wary – they have twice returned “No” votes to referenda on the EU – while the traditionally strong influence from America goes unchallenged. But what is truly Norwegian, truly European, and truly American in all this? As an author whose influences span Europe and the US, Stig Saeterbakken asks whether literature helps maintain individual and collective identity, or whether it inspires us to discredit it. When the Cyclops demands our name, how should we answer?
(b.1966) is an author, translator, essayist, and editor. His novels include the trilogy Siamese (1997), Self-control (1998), and Sauermugg (1999). His most recent novel is Capital (2003); essays on literature and evil have been collected in The evil eye (2001). Saeterbakken has been published in Norwegian, Swedish and Danish. More here.