In 2004, writer David Goodhart caused controversy in Britain with an essay warning that growing social diversity was putting strain on the social contract that underpins the welfare state. Christian Kjelstrup, editor of Eurozine partner journal Samtiden, speaks to Goodhart about how Brexit and the ongoing debate over immigration have reflected his arguments.
After the massacre on Utøya on 22 July 2011, Norwegian prime minister Jens Stoltenberg assumed the role as “comforter of the nation”, a response typically Scandinavian in its implication of a quasi-paternal relationship between prime minister and population. Writing in ‘Samtiden’, Stoltenberg describes the thinking behind the wording of his statements and sees in their overwhelmingly positive reception a “renaissance of the public address”.
When I was 22 I wanted to find a different way of writing about being a man, writes Geir Gulliksen. It should be possible to be as gentle as a boy or as reckless as a girl. But gender stereotypes have not changed as radically as we think.
Out to where storytelling does not reach
To write is to write one’s way through the preconceived and into the world on the other side, to see the world as children can, as fantastic or terrifying, but always rich and wide-open. Karl Ove Knausgård on creating literature.
The only clear thought to seep through the numbness and nausea after 22/7 was the relief that an ethnic Norwegian was responsible, writes Samtiden editor Cathrine Sandnes. Not because she feels vindicated, but because she is grateful for all the things that are not happening out on the streets.