”You believe it, and you immerse yourself completely..."
“There are some writers that I keep going back to,” says Helle Helle and mentions Tarjei Vesaas, Virginia Woolf, and Thomas Mann. Read more …
In this interview Helle, an acclaimed Danish writer, discusses the similarities between reading and writing:
“You start reading a new book, the first page may or may not push you away. Or maybe the first 40 pages. And then suddenly, you’re completely immersed. Writing a book is similar: You have to fight your way into your own book. When I write the first 30 pages, all I’m thinking is: “Why would anyone ever be interested in this construct?” Because that’s what novels are. You’re looking at your own construct. I may get annoyed at something I’m reading because I’m thinking: This isn’t okay. It’s badly written.” Then the construct collapses,” she says.
Helle Helle discusses Norwegian writer Tarjei Vesaas’ novel ‘The Ice Palace’ saying that ”you believe it, and you immerse yourself completely. While also stepping outside it. Writing is like that as well. You go in and out all the time…
…The exciting thing about writing is when your words can make both things happen. When you can stop the reader, but also make them read on.”
Helle Helle was born in 1965 and is one of Denmark’s most celebrated authors. Her novels have been translated into more than 15 languages. She published her first book of prose under the title ‘Eksempel på liv’ (Example of life), in 1993. Since then she has published a long list of novels and she has received numerous awards for her writing.
Helle Helle was interviewed in her work-study in Sorø, Denmark, by journalist Tore Leifer, August 2020.
Camera: Klaus Elmer and David Schweiger
Edit: Kasper Bech Dyg
Produced by Christian Lund
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2021
Supported by C. L. Davids Fond og Samling
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