Read The Boat in the Evening by Tarjei Vesaas Elizabeth Rokkan Online


Earning its author a third nomination for the Nobel Prize, this tale centers on a crane colony arriving at its breeding ground to play out a delicate drama, ending with the rarely observed ceremony of the ritual dance. All is observed by a transfixed child who has frozen into his background and become a piece of nature himself. With a kind of cinematic impressionism, thisEarning its author a third nomination for the Nobel Prize, this tale centers on a crane colony arriving at its breeding ground to play out a delicate drama, ending with the rarely observed ceremony of the ritual dance. All is observed by a transfixed child who has frozen into his background and become a piece of nature himself. With a kind of cinematic impressionism, this novel voyages back to episodes from childhood, adolescence, and maturity as well as conducts speculative forays into the unknown. Unfolding in a series of delicate sketches that record the changing moods of human experience, this story is at once pervaded by a sense of melancholy and a sensuous appreciation of nature. A profound and beautiful book, it is the summation of a literary artist's first-hand experience and observation of rural life—of landscape and people....

Title : The Boat in the Evening
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780720611984
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 200 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Boat in the Evening Reviews

  • Algernon
    2018-10-30 22:28

    I exist for the sake of the rivers beneath the earth.To listen and to understand.Not to understand, but to be close to where it is happening. I may scare some readers away, but the only way I can describe this book is as a long introspective poem told in prose fragments or cantos. There is no plot, there is precious little in the way of characters and action. What we have here is a consciousness asking unanswerable questions, a contemplative look at existence, a stream of emotions settling one over the other like falling snow - amazement, fear, curiosity, love, tramquility, turmoil, grace. Tarjei Vesaas turns himself into a mirror reflecting the natural wonders of him homeland, offering us the gift of wonder that makes the particular into the universal. The overal tonality is a melancholic one, a silent sigh at the end of a long trip. Instead of a continuous narrative, we have elegant and spare brushstrokes of china ink, dancing across the page in a pulsing rhythm of light and darkness, we have the beating heart of a consciousness larger than the individual, an awakening / atuning to the long lifespan of stone, to the the migratory habits of cranes, to the tidal waves of the ocean.Vesaas is the boatman guiding his craft through the meanders and rapids of innocent years, passionate years, toiling years, searching years, tired years, searching through this - his last published novel - to gain the shores of peaceful river: The shining, tranquil river glides out with its burdens. It comes as if from far away in the interior, and delivers its innermost secrets. On its way towards the distant ocean.what accompanies it on the journey? Intense desires that have subsided. Nothing more. It is the evening of a long journey, and the poet shares with us the richness and the wisdom of his experience, in almost transparent, sparkling words that have been polished like gemstones over the grindstone of memory. My own words feel heavy footed and stumbling in trying to convey how much the prose of the Norwegian has moved and inspired me. As usual, I have to borrow from his own talent in order to better express these feelings: The things one says usually seem to be left lying about on the floor like a pair of lop-sided shoes - while the things one wanted to say feel like birds in flight. [...]Words can cause trouble like large rocks in one's path.Wrong: words can clear the largest rocks out of the way.Wrong again: Words can turn into dark chasms unbridgeable for a whole lifetime.We know very little about the power and destructiveness of words.yet "words is all I have, to take your heart away" as the Bee Gees taugth me so many years ago, and my heart beats this time to the rhythm of the long-legged dance and beating wings of blue cranes, majestic creatures who come visiting from far away countries, to teach a young boy about the beauty and the danger and the fleeting nature of happiness. They are not birds, they are ourselves when we have passed between the millstones, crossed the thorny wastes, gone throught he fire, undertaken wondrous journeys and given away our heart to things unworthy of it - with the resulting humiliation unto death.then it happens.then we must dance like this. Then we clothe ourselves in the proud guise of the crane and sail through the world, away from the fleshpots, to find a familiar marsh, utter wild shrieks and invent frenzied gestures. A morning of adventure in early childhood, a young boy hiding silent and scared among the grass, can give meaning and strength to a whole lifetime. The most famous sequence in the book reminds me of Dyonisian mysteries in ancient Greece, explains my fascination for Vesaas through the vital connection he maintains with the mineral and natural world, his Zen like capacity to extract energy and contentment from sunrise and snow and flowing water, a connection that has been alienated in me through long years among cement towers, my eyes glued to an electronic screen. I have become suspicious even of my tendency to overanalize the texts in my reviews, to reach for far-fetched connections in order to impress my friends with my sophistication and my knowledge of trivia. (I went to wikipedia to get some research done after reading about the dancing cranes from "In the Marshes and on the Earth", looking up Bacchus : 'Dionysus is represented by city religions as the protector of those who do not belong to conventional society and thus symbolizes everything which is chaotic, dangerous and unexpected, everything which escapes human reason and which can only be attributed to the unforeseeable action of the gods. He is also called Eleutherios ("the liberator"), whose wine, music and ecstatic dance frees his followers from self-conscious fear and care, and subverts the oppressive restraints of the powerful.' But Vesaas has no need of clever connections or academic explanations, he is a vessel, a boat sailing between the bones of the earth and the distant, unreachable stars. He is the burning conscience that is inside the world, not the dry, cold intelligence that places itself outside in order to observe and analyze. For with one's eyes one may mirror the shy, pure crane.I am on the crane's own territory; I seem to have entered a sacred place where one has no right to be.The ritual will be played out in the guise of a bird. He is searching for anchoring points, for the safe shores that will reconcile him with the imminent darkness. Wisdom seems forever out of his grasp, night unavoidable and lonelines the only certainty. Liberation is a big word. It doesn't suit me; what am I to be liberated from? On the contrary, I must be able to receive. To fill a void. The poet is wise, the poet is sad, the poet is terrorized by the night and the loneliness. If the cries of the cranes could be translated into human language, they could probably say something like this (sung to the tune of Jacques Brel - "Ne me quitte pas"): Please. Don't go. Don't go for a long time. I must see it all. Don't go. Do something that will frighten me, if you like, but don't go. I will stop now, before I drown this gem of a book with unnecessary explanations. I cherished every page of it, some full of light, others distubingly dark and morbid. I put on more Jacques Brel on my music player, added some Don McLean ("Starry, Starry Night". "Seasons in the Sun") and forgot for a few hours that I am between four walls. I walked with Vesaas among high mountain meadows full of spring flowers and sailed on tranquil rivers towards wooded shore. The following quotes are just a few 'haiku-like' fragments of a bigger picture that is revealed patiently with each of the sketches included in the book.(the line breaks are my own, the novel is presented in prose, but I believe that Vesaas makes no distinction between the two forms when he builds his prose. The translator of his work did a great job capturing the rhythm and the tonality of his phrasing, and I envy his compatriots first for being able to walk in the poet's footsteps, and secondly for being able to read his novels in the language they were written). So let me fade away and follow the spell of Vesaas words:"Snowbound, snowed under, and trapped in the snow.This is my song and thus is my song,the day is long and this is my song,let me simply get snowbound and trapped in the snow.The day is long, and the day is long.It is good to sleep, snowbound and trapped in the snow." - - -Nothing is nothing, the day is past, it is evening and the wind is rising.Outside are moonshine and wind. - - - The heart is split in two,irresolute between its desires.Yet the boat has to advance ...night or day are merely shifting veils to be traversed.Advance with fierce courage.Not for the sake of men.For the sake of insoluble riddles.It utter secrecythe heart is split in two. - - - The world is large. The world contains such infinite variety - and we need not know more about it than that. - - -A solitary, thick grove of leafy trees. And the loveliest weather. Warm rain that has a quality of great gentleness, a quality of deep peace. - - - It is a young girl sitting in the sunshine.A girl, of course. - - - One sees only oneself in the stone. There everything is sealed, yet one sees oneself in the stone exactly as created, and walks quickly past oneself with beating heart. The walls in the rock are smooth yet deeply troubled. - - - A breathing space between iron hands. Soon they will be here. One must cling to ordinary things. - - - If there is a heart here, it is lonely.The heart grows lonely; that is how it was created. It grows finally into its true self.Lonely. It is far to its neighbour, and there it is a stranger. So it has even further to go. - - - The air may be charged with bitter questions, useless questions. They will not be asked. They merely rest above the carrying water, rest while on the move like everything else. No current halts because it is difficult to understand that intense desires are quenched. - - - Scent of the first rain on a light dress, over warm fleshWhat of it?Or on my own light shirt.Fleeting, precious moments. - - - It seems so trivial, but it doesn't take much.Just walking up to fetch the milk churn early one morning can be a miracle. - - - The hour of becoming before full daylight. He who sleeps sins when he sleeps away this. - - -No more words now.Here is my thirsting hand.

  • Nate D
    2018-10-30 19:28

    Fragile humanity alone in the undying magnitude of nature. Instants of crystalline clarity of word and deep psychic significance. Simple eloquence and beauty shaped into thought-series like drops of water rapidly following one another down a leaf, each in graceful expression of subtle design. Quiet resonance. More series of prose poems than the novel I had taken it for originally, but there's a certain thematic arc holding things together. Not for nothing the vignettes are numbered in a specific order. Some are rather abstract (your heart lies by the roadside while the ocean has crept up to the house and a boat taps the wall), some extremely concrete (clearing the way through snow and fog on a winter morning, observing the return of the cranes to a hidden pond, awaiting a meeting in snowfall), all are wise and deftly expressive. Each of Vesaas' books, starting with The Ice Palace, earned him a nobel prize nomination, but he never got one, and died just after this last work was published. It feels like an elegy, the best elegy.

  • Bettie☯
    2018-10-28 18:26

    (view spoiler)[Bettie's BooksThe rating, any status updates, and those bookshelves, indicate my feelings for this book. (hide spoiler)]

  • Felix Hayman
    2018-11-11 18:35

    I have read this book so many times and have searched and searched for faults, but there are none.This is as sparse a series of sketches you will ever read and you will not for one second be disappointed, because writers have too much of a tendency to over extend and over exaggerate the written word.Not so, Tarjei Vesaas. Few realise that he was nominated for the Nobel prize 8 times! and this book proves a reason why.

  • Kyle Osland
    2018-11-03 00:37

    A vital collection of little internal sketches. Some are certainly more accessible than others, but each deals with topics we will all must pass through in time. Primarily for those who are already Vesaas fans, not a work to start with.

  • Wendy
    2018-11-06 01:40

    This is the only book by Vesaas I had to give up on, Uncharacteristically self-indulgent, and entirely lacking in his usual excellent pacing.

  • Alisa
    2018-10-24 02:15

    I really wish I had known this was a collection of short stories before starting it. I spent the first several "chapters" attempting to make connections between the characters. Finally, by the fifth story, I could experience each as a stand-alone. As with many short story collections, this isn't cover-to-cover perfection. Several are too formless for my taste, either completely lacking characters (such as The Wasted Day Creeps Away on Its Belly and The Tranquil River Glides Out of the Landscape) or are nothing but surreal dreams or hallucinations (like Daybreak with Shining Horses and The Dream of Stone). Reading about a dream, even if well-written, is just as uninteresting as having someone tell you about the dream they had last night. Despite these few I did not enjoy, I am still so glad I read this for those that stand out as excellent. Truly excellent. The Drifter and the Mirrors, like the novels by Vesaas I have read, uses a fascinating mix of reality and surrealism. It describes a man drifting in a river, near death, disorientated by the reflections. It reads like a fable, and yet can also be interpreted as realistically capturing the feeling of drifting in a river near death. In the Marshes and on the Earth was also lovely, describing the powerful mystery of having a close encounter with nature. And the penultimate story was, for me, the ultimate. It is the least surreal, and shows that Vesaas can describe simple life (a boy's changing thoughts and observations of his mother) with profound insight and beauty.

  • Peter
    2018-10-21 00:44

    A beautiful but difficult book. The writing is often gorgeous, poetic and full of lonely longing, but some passages are very abstract and almost devoid of narrative or characterization. A fascinating work of modernist fiction that requires very careful reading. I've read three Vesaas books so far, and he hasn't disappointed me yet. It's a wonder he isn't more widely known.

  • Britty
    2018-11-11 20:25

    See for my review.