Monday, July 20, 2015

''Cli-Fi'' COUNTRY REPORTS: ''Cli-Fi'' in NORWAY -- (a global series of Country Reports)

''Cli-Fi'' COUNTRY REPORTS: ''Cli-Fi'' in NORWAY -- (second in a global series of Country Reports)
[ cli.mate fi.ction ]
UPDATE: July 20
This  article (it's in Norwegian, but    google translate might help) is about what the two journalists call "literature of nature" (naturlitteratur), but in which they mostly refer to Norwegian works of fiction which could be considered as cli-fi:

As the cli-fi genre gains momentum worldwide, with news reports in several languages already, and writers in over 15 countries already working in the cli-fi genre -- from Finland to Sweden to Norway to Austrlia and New Zealand and the USA and the UK (and Canada, too, of course) -- this blog has started a series of CLI-FI COUNTRY REPORTS, detailing news on the ground about cli fi in non-English speaking nations around the world. On topic today is NORWAY, with information gathered from our correspondents in Oslo and Stavanger and Svaalbard.

NEWS ALERT: In fall of 2015, in a Swedish magazine called Vi Läser (''We Read''), there will be an article about why ''cli fi'' is big in Norway, but not so big yet in Sweden, comparatively speaking. It should be an important article, and we will be looking for it, too. (Among those who have been interviewed for the ''Vi Laser'' article are several novelists and literary critics from both nations, according to sources).

'Cli Fi' in NORWAY

FROM OUR MAILBOX: ''Thanks for your message! Yes, I am the author both of the article in Tvergastein and of the first monograph on environmental literature from Iceland and Norway, covering roughly the time period 1970 until 2013 (Umwelt-engagierte Literatur aus Island und Norwegen, published in 2014 - but written in German only for now). In the book, I analyze among others the two novels also mentioned in the journal article (Uår by Knut Faldbakken and Anna by Jostein Gaarder) and Gert Nygårdhaug's novel Chimera. These are fictional texts from Norway dealing with climate change as a central issue. So I'd say there is quite a bit of info online now about Norwegian cli fi novels - but it's not like there are really many of them up to now. There are some more Norwegian crime novels which take up the issue, but not really from an environmental point of view.'' - Dr Reinhard Hennig -- 7/1/2015 [via email]

‘'It is Immoral to Be a Pessimist’ - Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation in Norwegian Literary Fiction'' is the title of an academic paper about cli fi in Norway. ''In the following, I want to examine how the novels of two Norwegian novelists....." the author Dr Reinhard Hennig begins. LINK HERE:

Norwegian writer Knut Faldbakken’s wrote two connected novels
Uår: Sweetwater published in 1974 and 1976. Many fictional
texts have taken up environmental questions since the beginnings of the environ-mental movements in Western countries around 1970.
In February 2013, world famous Norwegian writer Jostein Gaarder published a book with the title

Anna. En fa-bel om klodens klima og miljø
(“Anna. A Fable about the Planet‘s Climate and Environment”).
Gaarder is world-renowned for his novel about the history of philosophy,
Sofies verden
(“Sofie’s World”, 1991), which by now has been trans-lated into about 60 languages. The new book’s setting is Norway as of 2012. 16-year-old Anna frequently has dreams in which she is incarnated as her own great-grandchild, the likewise 16-year-old Nova, in the year 2082. e world in Novas time dramat-ically differs from Anna’s. Catastrophic climate change has taken place and global warming still continues, as several tipping points have been passed. Large parts of the world are uninhab-itable because of drought and desertification. Hundreds of millions have died from famine, climate change induced weather catastrophes and in desperate resource wars. Biodiversity is extremely reduced through the devastation of the earth’s ecosystems. In a key scene, Nova furi-ously accuses her own great grandmother – who is nobody else than 86-year-old Anna herself – for having been part of the generation respon-sible for this catastrophe and not having done enough to prevent it. Old Anna holds, however, that there might be a chance of changing the course of history. When young Anna wakes from this dream, she feels that it is now herself who has both the responsibility and the chance for creating a different future. She consequently gathers all kinds of information on what has to be done and starts an environmental group at her school.
provides rather little information about processes of adaptation that must have taken place between 2012 and 2082. e men-tioned catastrophes indicate, however, that most ecosystems and large parts of the world popu-lation soon reached limits of adaptability and subsequently perished.


An email from a teenager named Tonje in Norway helped this blog begin to understand the nature of the rise of cli fi memes in Norway. She was at the time a high school student, and she had written a class paper as part of Norwegian class at her school in the Stavanger region. She wrote: "I chose a problem for discussion that dealt with cli fi. The teacher's question was, translated into English, was: "Which impact could cli fi novels have on the reader and to what degree can it be regarded as a contribution in the environmental battle?"
The main part of Tonje's paper was an analysis of a Norwegain cli fi novel titled "Chimera" by the Norwegian author Gert Nygårdshaug (which unfortunately has not been translated into English yet, Tonje informed us).
Her paper was titled -- ''Poetisk klimakamp''
And subtitled: Hvordan cli fi påvirker leseren og fungerer som bidrag i klimakampen
Med utgangspunkt i Gert Nygårdshaugs roman, ''Chimera''
The Forward to her paper reads:
(1) ''Forord''
I denne oppgaven skal jeg undersøke hvilken innflytelse romaner med klima som tema kan ha på leseren. Mengden av slike bøker har økt kraftig de siste årene og har nylig fått sin egen sjangerbetegnelse; climate fiction (''cli-fi''). Problemstillingen jeg har valgt er: ”Hvilken påvirkning har cli fi på leseren og hvilket bidrag utgjør det i klimakampen?”

Først ser jeg det nødvendig å introdusere det nye sjangerbegrepet for å danne et grunnlag. Her vil jeg redegjøre for samfunnets påvirkning på litteraturen, før jeg går over til å diskutere hvordan litteraturen kan påvirke menneskene og samfunnet: en analyse av boken Chimera med øyne for virkemidler som frembringer følelser eller eventuelle holdningsendringer. Til slutt en samling av tråder i et større perspektiv.
When we asked Tonje how she first heard of the cli fi term, she told this blog by email: "I'm not quite sure how I first came across the cli fi term. I suppose I was Googling "eco-thriller" as this is what Gert Nygårdshaug calls his book ''Chimera,'' and I was looking for similar novels."

Tonje also said that that the cli fi term is NOT well known in Norway, noting that among her friends and classmates, well:

"Here in Norway, not a single person I've told about the cli fi idea has heard about it before," she told us.
Tonje's conclusion for her class paper: (4.2) Etterord

Det har vært et spennende og lærerikt, men også krevende arbeid. Mangelen og variasjonen i informasjon om den nye sjangeren har bydd på utfordringer, men også mye interessant innsikt. Jeg har i enda større grad enn før innsett rikdommen av Nygårdshaugs roman. En annen interessant oppdagelse er hvordan jeg med utgangspunkt i en norskfaglig analyse både finner sosiologi, psykologi og biologi relevant. Disse fagene utfyller hverandre litt på samme måte som litteraturen samspiller med samfunnet og menneskene. Arbeidet har i tillegg kastet lys over klimaendring i andre populære medier og trigget en interesse for denne alternative og fascinerende måten å formidle et budskap på.
And her notes on her research for the paper is a fantastic compilation of great links. This teeage girl really did her homework!
Bravo, Tonje, has started a 1-year course at a folk high school in central Norway. The course deals with biology, ecology, sociology and politics, she told us. She was also at the time of her emails last year travelling to the rainforest of Peru for 2 months. "As you see, biology and climate change are really things that interest me. The year after that I think I would like to study biology at a university, perhaps in the UK. But I'm not sure yet," she added.

"I enjoyed researching and writing the class paper and

I continue reading cli-fi novels with even more interest

than before," Tonje told us.
Tonje's footnotes:
(5) Kilder
(5.1) Primærlitteratur
Gert Nygårdshaug, Chimera, Cappelen Damm 1. utgave, 1. opplag, 2011
(5.2) Sekundærlitteratur
(5.2.1) Publisert faglitteratur
Langeland, Henrik Helliesen, Fortellekunst. Håndbok i litterære teknikker, Tiden Norsk Forlag, 1. utgave, 1. opplag 2011
Llosa, Mario Vargas, Brev til en ung forfatter, (Norsk utgave oversatt av Kari og Kjell Risvik) Gyldendal 2009. Originaltittel: Cartas a un joven novelista, Editorial Planeta 1997
De to ovenfor nevnte er ikke brukt direkte i oppgaven, men er brukt som bakgrunnsinformasjon.
Nybrodahl, Stein Tore og Håkonsen, Hans Olav, Kunsten å lære, H.O. Håkonsen & S.T. Nybrodahl, 2003.
(Nettversjon av aktuelt innhold:
(5.2.2) Artikler fra internett
( Cli fi
Kildene er her sortert etter publiseringsdato:
Bloom, Dan, Teleread, ”Cli-fi ebook to launch on Earth Day in April”. Lastet ned: 03.11.13.
Atwood, Margaret, Twitter. Lastet ned: 02.11.13.
Evancie, Angela, NPR, “So Hot Right Now: Has Climate Change Created A New Literary Genre?”. Lastet ned: 02.11.13.
Bloom, Dan, Teleread, ”Thanks to TeleRead and NPR, ‘Cli-fi’ is now an official literary term”. Lastet ned: 28.10.13.
Clark, Pilita, Financial Times, ”Global literary circles warm to climate fiction”. Lastet ned: 12.11.13.
Glass, Rodge, The Guardian ”Global warning: the rise of ’cli-fi’”. Lastet ned: 10.11.13.

World Wide Words, ”Cli-fi”. Lastet ned: 13.11.13.
DATO 25.05.13?
Wikipedia, ”Cli-fi”. Lastet ned: 13.11.13.

Andre internettkilder med uvesentlig dato:
Bloom, Dan, Cli FI Central. Blogg opprettet 12.11.07, aktiviteten økte eksplosivt i 2013.
Gernsback, Hugo, ”What is Science Fiction”. Publisert 1965. (Via Wikipedia ”Science Fiction”. Publisert: 20.01.04, sist endret: 05.11.13, lastet ned: 11.11.13.
Techeye ”About us, Dan Bloom”. Lastet ned: 04.11.13. ”Propaganda”. Publisert: 2012. Lastet ned: 17.11.13.
Wikipedia, ”Tendensroman”. Publisert: 09.01.06, sist endret: 10.03.13. Lastet ned: 17.11.13.
( Chimera
Oppedal, Torbjørn, Morgenbladet, ”Økofiksjonens muligheter”. Publisert: 16.09.11. Lastet ned: 03.11.13.
Regnskogfondet, ”Gert Nygårdshaug med ny bok om regnskogen”. Publisert: 14.09.11, lastet ned: 12.11.13.årdshaug-med-ny-bok-om-regnskogen
Stiauren, Kristina Valheim, Framtiden, ”Optimist i mørket”. Publisert: 19.04.12. Lastet ned: 17.11.13.
Sætren, Lars, Dagbladet, “- Det er utrolig mye poesi i vitenskapen”. Publisert: 11.09.11. Lastet ned: 03.11.13.
Wikipedia, ”Gert Nygårdshaug”. Publisert:11.06.05, sist endret: 25.08.13. Aktuelt innhold (bibliografi) sist endret 25.08.13. Lastet ned: 03.11.13.årdshaug


This appeared in a Norwegian newspaper too:

Her mission is titled "Poetic climate fight."

- I am concerned about the new genre of "cli fi", climate fiction, ie books on climate change that is not sciences literature. I have asked the question as to what extent Cli-fi novels can make a contribution to the debate and influence the reader. My answer is that I think it has the potential to mean something, but it is difficult to say to what extent it will affect, she says.

Hennes oppgave har tittelen "Poetisk klimakamp."
- Jeg er opptatt av den nye sjangeren "cli fi", climate fiction, det vil si bøker om klimaspørsmål som ikke er faglitteratur. Jeg har stilt spørsmålet om i hvilken grad Cli fi-romaner kan utgjøre et bidrag i debatten og påvirke leseren. Mitt svar er blant annet at jeg tror det har potensial til å bety noe, men det er vanskelig å si i hvilken grad det vil påvirke, sier hun.
TRANSLATION by my friend Geir: Her mission is titled "Poetic climate fight."

- I am concerned about the new genre of "cli fi", climate fiction, ie books on climate change that is not sciences literature. I have asked the question as to what extent Cli-fi novels can make a contribution to the debate and influence the reader. My answer is that I think it has the potential to mean something, but it is difficult to say to what extent it will affect, she says.
Project title:Nature, Culture, and Activism: an Analysis of Environmental Literature from Iceland and Norway
Advisor:PD Dr. Thomas Fechner-Smarsly
(Institute for German Studies, Department of Scandinavian Studies, University of Bonn, Germany)
Abstract:Does literature contribute to environmental awareness and to the solution of ecological problems? What characterizes an environmental text? Which ethical arguments referring to environmental questions are used in such texts? What is the relationship between these texts and contemporary environmental movements as well as the ecological ideas drawn upon by such movements? And, finally: What is the relation of the local, the national and the global to each other in environmental literature?
In order to answer these questions, I am combining approaches from three disciplines of the environmental humanities. The first is ecocriticism, a subfield of literary and cultural studies which addresses environmental questions. The second is environmental history, which not only researches past environmental conditions and interrelationships between humans and non-human nature, but also the history of ecological ideas and of environmental movements. The third discipline is environmental ethics, which’s theories allow a differentiated analysis of ethical arguments drawn upon in environmental literary texts. Methodologically, I use Hubert Zapf’s model of literature as cultural ecology, according to which literary texts have a triadic structure: They function as a cultural-critical metadiscourse, as an imaginative counterdiscourse and as a reintegrative interdiscourse. I connect this model with a more neutral definition of cultural criticism (Kulturkritik) developed by Georg Bollenbeck. In this way it becomes possible to define more closely the characteristics of environmental literature and to comprehensively take into account the historical and cultural contexts of such literary texts. The contrasting comparison of Icelandic and Norwegian environmental literature shows that perceptions of environmental questions are to a very high degree culturally shaped, and that in particular ideas of national identity have considerable influence on the characteristics of the respective ‘environmental imagination’.
My sources were works by five Icelandic and five Norwegian writers, published between 1970 and 2013.

The texts from Norway are Erik Dammann‘s essayistic book Fremtiden i våre hender („The Future in Our Hands“, 1972), Knut Faldbakken‘s two-part novel Uår – Aftenlandet („Bad Years – the Occident“, 1974) and Uår – Sweetwater („Bad Years – Sweetwater“, 1976), Sidsel Mørck‘s documentary novels Stumtjenere („Silent Servant“, 1978) and Ikke til salgs! („Not for Sale!“, 1983), Gert Nygårdshaug‘s novels Mengele Zoo (1989) and Chimera (2011) as well as Jostein Gaarder‘s young-adult novel Anna. En fabel om klodens klima og miljø („Anna. A Fable about the Planet‘s Climate and Environment“, 2013).
Support:This project was supported by the Heinrich-Böll-Foundation through a PhD scholarship .
Status:The PhD thesis was submitted at the University of Bonn in January 2014. The thesis defense took place in April 2014. The thesis was published in October 2014 under the title Umwelt-engagierte Literatur aus Island und Norwegen. Ein interdisziplinärer Beitrag zu den environmental humanities in the series Texte und Untersuchungen zur Germanistik und Skandinavistik.

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