Transborder Café


Writer KJARTAN FLØGSTAD (Oslo) lived in Bjørnevatn for 5 years, travelled a lot in the High North and described his journeys in a number of books and essays. In one of his last books “The Pyramid” he describes the Russian settlement and coal mining community on the archipelago of Svalbard.
Writer VIKTOR EROFEEV (Moscow) didn´t have a sense for North at all… before he once visited North Cape and wrote a story “Don´t Complain”.
One of the great characters of the Russian rock music, ALEXANDER SKLIAR (Moscow) has been to Norway many times – both on private visits and for Pikene´s projects. This time with a new repertoire – “Sailors´ Songs” – a perfect match for Kirkenes.

The renowned writers and a charismatic musician discuss and share their thoughts through dialogues, story-reading, performance, singing and playing!
Language of discussions: English

KJARTAN FLØGSTAD (born June 7, 1944 in the industrial city of Sauda in Ryfylke, Rogaland) is a Norwegian author. Fløgstad studied literature and linguistics at the University of Bergen. Subsequently he worked for a period as an industrial worker and as a sailor before he debuted as a poet with his collection of poems titled Valfart (Pilgrimage) in 1968. His major breakthrough came in 1977 with the novel Dalen Portland (Dollar Road); he was awarded the Nordic Council’s Literature Prize for this work. Fløgstad published six major novels after Dalen Portland as well as two crime novels using the pseudonym K. Villun. In the major novels he demonstrates a command of realistic precision combined with an understanding of sociology. Fløgstad’s works depict the economic and social transitions as Norway moves from an agricultural culture to an industrial society, and then to a post-industrial society. His style of writing, as demonstrated in both fiction and non-fiction, is very characteristic: lots of puns, allusions to other texts and to films and a mix of sociolects. Kjartan Fløgstad is one of the best-known authors writing in the genre of magic realism in Norway, and his overall realistic plots feature many fantastic twists.

VIKTOR EROFEEV was born in Moscow in 1947. The son of a high-ranking diplomat he spent some years of his childhood in Paris. Erofeev graduated from Moscow State University in 1970, where he studied Literature. He then made his post-graduation at the Institute for World Literature in Moscow with a thesis on “Dostoevsky and French Existentialism”. The literary almanac “Metropol” created a major scandal in 1979. It was a compilation of politically explosive texts, selected by Viktor Erofeev, Vassili Aksionov, Andrei Bitov, Jevgeni Popov and Fasil Iskander, in which both officially established writers and renegade writers were included. The attempt to publish the almanac in the Soviet Union failed because it was judged to be “pornography of the mind”. The work was published in the West. During this period his father, Vladimir Erofeev, Stalin’s former interpreter, was forced to resign and end his diplomatic career. From this time Viktor Erofeev was considered a dissident, and his writings were banned. With the first signs of Perestroika, Viktor Erofeev was able to publish again. In 1990 his first novel appeared, “Russian Beauty”. His story “Life With an Idiot” was adapted for the operatic stage by Alfred Schnittke. His major works are “Men” (1997), “Russia’s Fleurs du mal” (1999), autobiographical novel “The Good Stalin” (2004, translated into 20 languages). Erofeev lives in Moscow, has his own program on the Russian TV channel «Kultura», writes regularly for “The New Yorker”, “New York Review of Books”, The International Herald Tribune.

ALEXANDER F. SKLIAR left his diplomatic career to start in 1986 Va-Bank band that became one of the leading alternative Russian bands. The now hard rock, now folkish, now romantic Va-Bank have never been a band to be contained by the traditional boundaries of rock genre. Va-Bank (in fact, meaning “to bet everything”) played in Kirkenes in 1989 and 2007. Last year Skliar dismissed Va-Bank. He now works fundamentally in solo projects, the newest of which was released in November 2008, “Sailors’ Songs”. Sailors, for Skliar, are a symbol of strong, free individuals who are trying to take control of their destiny. They might’ve been abandoned by their women, they might be smugglers or traitors, even, but their strength shows through in any of these situations.
Under Transborder Café Skliar presents the program with the same title. “It is my reflection over my life path that has turned 50. It is a biographic book with many songs telling different life-stories, woven together with one thread – my life. Expressed by voice, guitar and accordion.” With Rushan Ayupov (accordion).

Arr: Pikene på Broen.