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2024년 1월 22일

이번 선정 도서는 "아침 그리고 저녁" 입니다.



아침과 저녁 사이, 하루 동안 벌어지는 일들을 통해 인간의 삶과 죽음, 인간의 존재 의미를 탐색하는 소설이다. 세상의 모든 것들은 서로 연결되어 있고, 그 연결고리를 찾지 못하면 우리는 세상의 일부만을 볼 수밖에 없다.


우리가 보는 세상은 언제나 불완전하고 부족하기 때문이다.


부분 발췌: 북규 (2023.10.15), 욘 포세의 아침 그리고 저녁, 네이버 블로그, 원본링크


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노르웨이 작가 ‘욘 포세’의 소설 ‘아침 그리고 저녁'은 장편소설이라고는 하지만 135페이지 분량에 판형도 소설책이라기보다는 아담한 시집에 가깝다. 중편 소설 정도의 분량이다. 내용은 소설 같기도 하고 서사시 같기도 하다. 아름답지만 황량하고 고독한 피오르에서 태어난 아기가 평범한 어부로 살다가 늙고 죽어가는 과정을 시처럼 노래한다. 과연 죽음 뒤에는 무엇이 있는지. 죽은 이의 영혼이 그 주변을 떠돌게 되는 것인지. 나도 이제 죽음이 먼 세상 의 일이 아닌 나이가 되어가고 있다. 죽음을 생각해 보게 하는 책이다.


부분 발췌: 고동운 (2020.04.09), 아침 그리고 저녁, 브런치스토리, 원본링크


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아침 그리고 저녁

원제: Morgon og kveld

 

Novel by Jon Fosse

- 모임날짜: 2/17/2024 (토)

모임시간: 3:30 - 5:30PM

모임장소: 온라인


+ 참석을 원하는 분들은 오픈톡에서 RSVP를 부탁드립니다.


+ 온라인모임입니다. 당일 오전에 카카오톡을 통해 개인별로 초대장이 발송되니, 운영자 "재호"와 1:1 대화기록이 없는 분들은, DMV북클럽 오픈챗방에서 아이디 "재호"를 찾아 1:1 Open Chat 줌 링크를 요청해주세요.


+ 자유롭게 대화하는 편안한 형태의 모임입니다. 반대와 찬성을 가르는 논제식 토론이 아니라 소감과 의견을 공유하고 공감하며 열린분들과 책에 대한 인사이트를 나눕니다. 부담없이 참여 부탁드립니다.


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There is a very theatrical feel to Fosse’s novels as if they could easily be converted to dramatic form. Despite being a rather internal novel, Morning and Evening is actually quite visual. Sparse and with few changes of setting, much of the book involves characters coming and going as if on a stage, and it is not a great stretch to imagine the novel performed by a theatre group. What would be lost, however, is the marvelous stream-of-conscious puzzlement and repetitious prose that take us into the human soul in a way that would be inaccessible through visuals alone.


Morning and Evening is simple on the surface. A man, Johannes, is born, and years later, the same man dies. Not much actually happens in the novel, yet somehow the entirety of a life lived crawls out from the small crack of novelistic space. Fosse has a unique style that creates quiet novels with a roaring fluidity marked by repetition and unhindered by traditional, or virtually any, punctuation. The lack of periods and new paragraphs beginning without capitalization emphasizes the way life moves in a continuous flow, and it is the bare, natural and quotidian aspects of life that Fosse best mines for universal understanding.


Morning and Evening shines by compressing a lifespan down to an utterly basic and mundane essence. Divided into two major sections, the first being the father witnessing Johannes’s birth and the second letting the reader walk hand-in-hand with Johannes on a seemingly normal day where everything around him feels intangibly different. As the second section unfolds, we are given fleeting glimpses at the key elements of Johannes’ life as they spiral together down a drain toward death. This compressed essence is like the thesis statement of a life’s ‘meaning’, and over the short novel Fosse examines the way we ascribe meaning on a world lacking inherent meaning. 'and everything is in a way heavy in itself, everything in a way announces itself and announces everything you do with it,' he writes. When we see objects, we understand them through our perception of what they mean to us through their use, their name, or even through association with past events containing the object. An object is forever drenched in the residue of our experiences with it, becoming a part of us whereas it would be meaningless without our perspective ruling over it.


Nietzsche wrote that ‘God is dead,' inviting us into a world of possibility with no objective morality. How weightless the set-pieces of our existence would be with no defined purpose to validate their being. Fosse employs frequent repetition of statements and ideas which function like a refrain in the melody of his prose to insert his messages in our heads like a musical hook. There are frequent moments when characters assert the belief that there is a 'lower god' which rules the world and not an 'all-powerful' God which would have created the world. Perhaps in a world where God has turned away, as Fosse reminds us time and again, we ourselves become the lesser gods. An individual gives meaning to the surrounding world in ways which spell out a personal story, giving individualized substance to the weightlessness of experience when assessing one’s own existence.


We read the tremors of a self-authored set of purpose and meaning as they wane to reveal a weightless reality upon which they were built. Fosse’s tone is not one of sorrow or fear but of simple freedom. 'he has a feeling that he will never see all of this again,' Fosse writes, 'but that it will stay in him, as what he is, as a sound…' Death takes the world from Johannes, but he also takes the world with him by carrying it in his eternal memories. It creates a comforting vision of death and Johannes revisits the standardly expected places, friends and family that is most dear to him before venturing from this world.


The image of death presented in the novel is especially reassuring considering the depiction of the world with all it’s 'darkness and all the terrible evil...' Olai considers the implications of bringing forth a child into this world 'starting out on his own life, out in the hard world, already you are connected to both God’s goodness and a lower god or devil…' If not for the lowly goodness we decide to find in the world, all we would be left with is fear and a void and death would be 'to be dissolved and turn back into nothing...from nothing to nothing, that’s the path of life…' It is this fear of the nothing and the evils of the world which makes us believe there must be meaning and a god of some sorts, something to pacify us into continuing in the dark, continuing our species. Most importantly, this belief embraces us into accepting the inevitable oblivion at the end of all our timelines.


Peter, best friend to Johannes, is the comforting face sent to usher him down the path of acceptance. A fisherman with long, unkempt hair and a calm demeanor, his character is sure to invoke Christ-like comparisons. A pivotal scene finds Johannes and Peter out fishing and Johannes' bait is unable to sink below the surface.


The sea doesn’t want you, he says

and Peter wipes the tears away

Now all that’s left is earth, Peter says


The scene recalls the biblical moment of fishermen John and Simon Peter being called by Jesus as he walks across the water and reflects Peter’s calling Johannes into death. The unknown beneath the surface is gone, all that’s left is the earth and it’s previously known wonders locked in Johannes’ memory.


While Morning and Evening has an obvious biblical undercurrent, the book benefits from Fosse’s message which may be read as a non-denominational, philosophical inquiry into meaning that uses biblical principles as pre-existing guideposts rather than religious dogma. 'God does exist,' insists Johannes’ father, Olai, 'but far far away and very very close...he shows himself, both in the individual person and in the world.' While the book can be read at face value as individuals being agents of God in an evil world, the novel also works metaphorically as a solipsistic investigation of the inescapable, internal consciousness making us each gods of our own realm of reality within the void of shared reality. Fosse’s works are open to interpretation, and this is as much their source joy as their attempts at universality. The novel’s stream-of-conscious style is only broken up by a period in one particular place:


[Olai] will be the father of a little fellow who will also be named Johannes, after his father. There is a God, yet, Olai thinks. But he is far away, and he is very close. And he is not all-knowing and not all-powerful. And it is not this God who rules over the world and humankind…


From here the novel progresses uninterrupted. Fosse stops the flow to punctuate the importance of the Father, both God and human fathers. Life stops at God and only begins from him. Similarly, Olai and his wife Marta are also creationary forces, the lesser gods that rule not from on high but from within the world. Beginning the novel with Olai witnessing the birth of the character who dominates the rest of the novel shows the endless flow of life from one being into another.


Fosse slowly and steadily twists the screws in his work, increasing tension and awe so gradually that it is hardly noticeable until the reader is practically overcome by it at the conclusion. The novel progresses down a path which is, admittedly, predictable though Fosse’s goal is not to shock readers with a cheap trick dropping the floor from under them. The effect is there, however the novel does slog and feel flat from all the humdrum ideas and predictability. He shows his authorial hand throughout so readers may focus on the internal human tragedy rather than the plot, and the novel is all the better for it. Fosse’s prose lives up to his message and is imbued with a heavy weightlessness. Morning and Evening is a brief work in a minor key sung in hushed tones and is certainly one worth experiencing despite feeling like an overused chord progression. With the help of Dalkey Archive and Damion Searls’ crisp translation, Fosse’s voice will reverberate within a new audience.


부분 발췌: S.Penkevich (2015.11.01) Morning and Evening. Goodreads. 원본링크

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Gawon Lee
Gawon Lee
Feb 18

토론 요약


* 대단히 흥미롭거나 흡입력있는 스토리 구성이 아니었던지라 잔잔하게 읽혔고, 지루한 감이 없지않은 와중에 분량이 길지않아 그나마 다행이었다. 요즘 노벨문학상 수상 작품들 좀 (여러가지 의미로) 대단히 특이하지않은가! 번역의 한계를 감안을 해보아도 여전히 그러하다.


* 기본적으로 죽음을 생각하게하는 소설이지만, 단순히 노인의 고독사로 보기엔 전혀 불편한 구석이 없이 선물같은 하루를 선물받는 사후를 맞이한다. 흐름이 단순해서 작가가 어떤 주제를 다루고싶은지를 금방 알게된다. 탄생을 다루는 짧은 1부를 지나 2부에서는 바로 요하네스의 죽음 이후가 그려지는데, 영혼의 즐거운 하루 여정마저도 시종일관 담담한데다 클라이막스라고 해봐야 막내딸의 몸을 그대로 통과해버리는 장면이 전부다. 한 인간의 삶을 지켜보는 소설에 이토록 짧은 회상과 독백씬 몇가지가 전부라니! 그럼에도 우리는 요하네스의 삶이 대략적으로 어땠을지 상상해볼 수 있고, 이 부분에서 존 윌리엄스의 소설 '스토너'와의 비교가 재미있는 대화가 되었다. 둘 다 고단하고 척박한 시골…


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