Tarjei Vesaas: The Hills Reply

“Because when I read, I don’t really read; I pop a beautiful sentence into my mouth and suck it like a fruit drop, or sip it like a liquer until the thought dissolves in me like alcohol, infusing brain and heart and coursing on through the veins to the root of each blood vessel.” This is how Bohumil Hrabal’s Haňta reads — or how he doesn’t really read.

This is how I read, or how I did not really read, The Hills Reply by Tarjei Vesaas. I do not think there is any other way to read, or to not really read, this book.

What is this book? I can say, “A collection of sixteen short pieces of literature.” Or I can also say, “A lyrical poem, two hundred and seventy five pages long.”

But I’d rather say: A Lispector attuned to nature. An impressionistic artwork so keenly aware of the elements, of the light in different times of the day, and of its sounds and its silences. A swan song of sheer beauty that leaves you quiet and asks your heart, for the time being, to dwell inside its pages… a heart so full, so open, it breaks.

6 thoughts on “Tarjei Vesaas: The Hills Reply”

    1. 😂 Our book club recently launced an Instagram account, and a different member is assigned to host it every week. It’s my turn, and in an attempt to prettify things “for the gram,” I paired these macarons given by a friend with books from my favorite publisher — since they look just as delectable. Hahaha! It’s funny that you noticed this unusual feature. 😂

      The book, however, has its moments of pain and beauty. The Norwegians truly surprised me this year with the uniqueness of their style. (Hanne Ørstavik’s “Love” and this one.) Reading them feels more like reading poetry.

      Glad I took time to veer a bit from my usual region to discover these. 💕


      1. Interesting to hear that Norwegian writers have been surprising you this year. I can’t say I’ve read a Norwegian author yet. I can definitely tell you I’ve ate macarons this year though 🤣🤣🤣

        Liked by 1 person

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