Lincoln. 1988. University Of Nebraska Press. 1st American Edition. Very Good in Dustjacket. 0803219741. Translated from the Norwegian by Sverre Lyngstad. 246 pages. hardcover. FROM THE PUBLISHER-Set in Oslo, Norway, Adam's Diary (Adams Dagbok) transcends geographical boundaries in its depiction of lovers victimized by social roles and sexual stereotypes. It was recognized as a major novel on publication in Norway in 1978, and its translation into English will raise Knut Faldbakken to the rank of world-class writer. The modern Adam is a composite of Thief, ‘Dog, ' and Prisoner. These are the personas of the three male narrators who love, fear, and hate the same woman, a divorcee who waits tables in a restaurant. The thief is her lover, afraid of any commitment; the ‘dog' is an abandoned summer sweetheart, reduced to a shadow of his former self, and the prisoner is her former husband, thoroughly average in his machismo. For these narrators, the woman serves as a mirror. They have been shaped by a society that engenders the dominance of role over self, of power over eros. In each case, the relationship between man and woman turns into a mockery: love becomes a prelude to mutual deception, sex involves power plays, and communication gives way to sordid betrayal and ritual violence. Only the woman holds out a promise of something different and better. In her quest for a more fulfilling life, she seems to follow an uncompromising ideal. More demanding than Ibsen's Nora, a prototype of feminist revolt, she wants everything-the traditional satisfactions of family and motherhood as well as the independence of a liberated woman. Linked by a headlong rush of events, the thief, the ‘dog, ' the prisoner, and the woman inspire a complex response. The reader of their ‘confessions' is caught between sympathy and shocked dismay, between subconscious complicity and horror. inventory #10182.
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