L’Amento: Madame Nielsen’s Novel of Painful Love | NDR.de – Culture – Book

Status: 04/09/2022 06:00 AM

Danish artist Klaus Beck Nielsen has been writing accounts of his life as Madame Nielsen since 2014. After “Endless Summer” and “The Beast”, Madame Nielsen’s third book is now published in German: “Lamento”.

by Lisa Kressler

Two Danish writers who are in love but are no longer passionate about each other cause a fire in a friend’s apartment. While the couple appeared paralyzed in the burning bedroom, the friend threw herself into the flames to save her belongings. The two are not helping her. The man just crawls into the room to save his manuscript. The woman feels pregnant and does not move.

When I gave birth to you and lifted him toward me and held you by the hand for the first time like a stranger still me and looked into your eyes that you had not yet seen, I saw them, the night, all the darkness of the world: when the light comes, and the night, and the sorrow, and the whole story and all the terrible things we have done, gather within you.

“Lamento” begins with a fire of guilt, and in this opening scene the whole murderous truth about young lovers emerges for a brief moment: he loves art more than people. She misses a friend.

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The fire of love is extinguished

Madame Nielsen’s lamentations are told from a woman’s perspective. She writes to her daughter about the violent infatuation that developed on her:

“Infatuation is out of time, it’s transcendence, it’s expanding infinitely, luminous now. It’s breathless and feverish, it’s burning, it’s ‘out of me’, it’s all consuming and must die.”

Parents meet in Copenhagen poet circles, return home together and do not leave the apartment for several weeks. Safe in an infatuation capsule, they drink wine from each other’s mouths and enjoy intense sex. At some point he has to go, the room of ecstatic love opens up to the world and the closer she looks, it becomes clear to her that he needs solitude, and that he is still untouched, no matter how close she is. On A Journey Through Africa He Reveals A Surprising Aggression:

The next moment, the car stopped in the middle of the driveway and he’s out, black silhouette, bending inward and holding my upper arm and pulling like a white whore into the light and turning around so I can’t see him there is sickeningly sexy and vulgar, but real.

They marry, have a child and move in together. The more bound she became, the more urgent he had to go. He throws himself into the performing stage scene, leaves behind the boundaries between life and art and has to go on. Once you call him:

– I’m alone, he said, everything is fine except for one thing.
– what did you ask.
– I never know how long I should stand still, I think a moment, just a moment, but how long does a moment last and when does it suddenly end?

Luxurious linguistic artwork

As in Endless Summer and The Beast, Madame Nielsen turns her autobiography into a sumptuous work of linguistic artwork in Lamento. This time she tells herself through the eyes of his ex-wife, writer Christina Hesselholdt. Surprisingly, this perspective refutes the divergence movement. Anyone who tries with such great sympathy to understand their ex and her view of their history is still with her.

“Lamento” is not shy about anything: neither fire nor big pictures of falling in love. One feels like lying in bed with this elusive guy and hoping he stays. One cannot admire Madame Nielsen enough for her plastic delicacy.

The river is a wound full of fish

by Lorena Salazar

page number:
208 pages
a novel
additional information:
Translated by Hans Langendorfer
Keppenhauer Watch
Order number:
20 EUR

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Culture NDR | New books | 04/29/2022 | 12:40 pm

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