Saturday, July 3, 2010

Jostein Gaarder

Norwegian novelist Jostein Gaarder is best known for his third novel, Sophie’s World (1991), a philosophical tale told through the eyes of a teenage girl.

From his Q & A with Anna Metcalfe at the Financial Times:

Which literary character most resembles you?

Hans Castorp in Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain. He’s naive and wants to understand things. He’s not afraid of asking silly questions.

Who are your literary influences?

Jorge Luis Borges, Dostoevsky, Herman Hesse and the Norwegian author Knut Hamsun – not that I think I can write like these authors. I’m also inspired by books written for adults and children: AA Milne, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Dickens, and 19th-century Norwegian folk tales.

* * *
What book changed your life?

There are two: Lillelord [1955] by a Norwegian writer called Johan Borgen and Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky, when I was 18. That book can make a boy a man.
Read the complete interview.

--Marshal Zeringue