This week I'm using This Should Be Written In Present Tense by Helle Helle and it's a Danish book from Netgalley which I just finished (review here). I really enjoyed it because it's just such an honest book in that it doesn't make any excuses or really gives any kind of background information. In that sense it sort of reminds me of, beware, pretentiousness is coming up, of Scandinavian architecture. I know, this is terrible, but it really does because Helle just bares all the bones and all of her character's insides and somehow it's beautiful.
From Denmark’s foremost novelist and master of minimalism, a unique and mesmerising new novel
This should be written in the present tense. But it isn’t.
Dorte should be at uni in Copenhagen. But she’s not.
She should probably put some curtains up in her new place.
And maybe stop sleeping with her neighbour’s boyfriend.
Perhaps things don’t always work out the way they should.Intro:
'I wrote too much about that step. Where I locked myself out in March. Where I sat and stared in April. Where my mum and dad stood in down jackets well into May, heads at an angle.The lilacs were in bloom. A bus swung away from the station. A hot smell of diesel, then lilacs again. My arms were bare, the air was warm and mild.' p.1I love this beginning because it feels so stripped back and yet so honest. I know those are big words that are used about almost every single realistic, modern novel, but for this one it's really true.
'"Do you like the course? Are you getting on all right with it?""Yes, fine.""Fine means not fine at all.""No, it doesn't. Fine's fine." I said and gulped a mouthful of coffee.' p.60If this isn't a description of a student talking about university then I don't know what it is. Don't get me wrong, I love my course, but the amount of people that just sort of trudge along, fueled by coffee, is amazing.
So, what do you think? Sound good to you or is it not to your taste?