Per Petterson - Quotes

There are 31 quotes by Per Petterson at Find your favorite quotations and top quotes by Per Petterson from this hand-picked collection about time, family. Feel free to share these quotes and sayings on Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr & Twitter or any of your favorite social networking sites.

In a household tragedy, you are very much aware of being alone. It is something that is possible to grasp, and that is why it hurts so much. Because you are alone. I know a little about this. ---->>>

'In the Wake' was a very bleak book. This relationship was not too good, the father and son. This time around, I wanted a father and a son who really loved each other, which would be visible on the first page and would still be there on the last page. ---->>>

A lot can change because you are embarrassed by something. ---->>>

I'm a family-based person, even though we didn't exactly have a very happy family. I was never in any doubt that this was a centre of writing. ---->>>

At first I wanted to go to university, but I really didn't dare to. I was too self-conscious, being a working-class kid. It was really difficult. I was going to study history, but the professor asked me some questions I didn't understand, and I didn't dare to ask what they meant. I left university and went to work in the Post. ---->>>

I come from a working-class family. They're the people I know and the people I love, I guess. I do not write about them for political reasons, but because, as I see it, most interesting things - social, political, emotional - take place there. It's a bottomless well for an author like me. ---->>>

Living here where I live, on a farm way out in the countryside, in the woods, in fact, I have plenty of time to be alone, and I like it. I always have. I like my own company. And I am not the only one who feels this way; a high percentage of the Norwegian population feel as I do. ---->>>

To tell you the truth, I don't edit much at all. Most times, when I have finished the first draft, that's the book. Of course, I work on the page I am on until I am happy with it. I might even say that I try to state the landscape. ---->>>

When a translation is very good, it is fascinating to see how the book changes and yet stays the same. I think 'Out Stealing Horses' sounds more American for Americans than it does in Norway, and still, it is all there, everything that I wrote. It's amazing. ---->>>

When you are a sentence-based writer, they have to be good. They have to be really on the spot. Because when you don't have a plot, really, what shall you rely on? Just language. And sometimes I am so afraid of writing the wrong thing, I just sit and wait for the right thing to come. ---->>>

I hate plots. ---->>>

I rely heavily on rhythm when I write. You should tap your foot when you read it, all the way through. ---->>>

I worked in a bookstore in Oslo, importing the English-language books. ---->>>

I write about families. That is who we are. ---->>>

If you're a Norwegian writer, you are not visible in the world. The door of the English language is very hard to open for a Norwegian writer. ---->>>

Making sentences is what I do. I mean, the story will come as I write. ---->>>

When my mother talked about her brother, there was this light in her eyes. I thought, 'This is the basis of a novel.' ---->>>

1989 was such a very, very important year in Europe. The wall fell, the Soviet Union was crumbling, and so many things happened - in 15 minutes, the world changed. ---->>>

I admire American literature, both contemporary and classic - 'Moby-Dick' is just about the best book in the world - and I admire British literature for its insistence on dealing with social class. It may have been an influence. ---->>>

I decided if I couldn't be a writer, my life would be miserable. I had this imaginary room of references to all the books I had read, a kind of bubble, in which I lived. ---->>>

I do consider myself a Norwegian writer, or a Scandinavian writer, as my family tree reaches into both Denmark and Sweden. I don't think about it, of course, when I am writing. ---->>>

I do not think of literature as something confessional or therapeutic. I make sentences in order to be precise about experiences and things. I am urged by many things and no things in particular. ---->>>

I don't know if nature is a direct literary influence on my writing, but it is certainly important to me. I take great joy in writing about it. It is something I have taken with me from my childhood; the body exposed to the threat of the physical world and at the same time being at home in it. ---->>>

I grew up in the city. Both my mother and father were factory workers, and I loved the life in the 'metro.' Everybody saw me as a very urban guy. And I was. ---->>>

I was born in 1952, so obviously the sixties were important. That's when I came of age. It was also a revolutionary period, a complete break with the generation before us in terms of culture, literature, music, and in politics, of course. 1968 was an important year; I was 16, and the world became clear to me, visible, so to say. ---->>>

Philosophically I am, or at least have been, a follower of Sartre. I am very interested in the choices we make, or don't make, in life-defining matters. That moment of 'angst' and its consequences can be such a cruel thing. ---->>>

Some critics said, 'Hey, why are you writing historical novels?' I say they're not historical, they're contemporary, because people walking around who lived through this, even a little bit, they carry it inside. The contemporary isn't just what you can see now. ---->>>

The important discovery I made very early is that my novels had to be written without any given plan or outline. I can't do it in any other way. But then they are dependent on the sentences, my intuition, and, as I have experienced many times, the subconscious. ---->>>

There is always this quarrel about what is preferable: the straight, naturalistic, epic storytelling or the modernistic, disjointed, slightly hermetic one. To me it does not matter, as long as it's good. I like both kinds. Although the common reader seems to prefer the first, which is to be expected, and who would blame her? ---->>>

To me, a book is a book. A novel is a novel, and you have hundreds of possibilities, options, and they may all be fine. Charles Dickens or Ingeborg Bachmann, Claude Simon or later writers. The one and only condition is that it has to be good: it has to have quality, substance, atmosphere. ---->>>

To say that a family is happy I think is to diminish it, taking out what is interesting. Growing up, I don't think my family was any happier or unhappier than anyone else's. My mother and father should have been divorced or never even married. On the other hand, I remember many moments of happiness. ---->>>


Nationality: Norwegian
Born: 07-18, 1952
Occupation: Novelist

Per Petterson (born 18 July 1952 in Oslo) is a Norwegian novelist. His debut book was Aske i munnen, sand i skoa (1987), a collection of short stories. He has since published a number of novels to good reviews. To Siberia (1996), set in the Second World War, was published in English in 1998 and nominated for the Nordic Council's Literature Prize (wikipedia)