Melancholy II

Melancholy II, original title Melancholia II, is a 1996 novella by the Norwegian writer Jon Fosse. It is set in 1902, on the day of the Norwegian artist Lars Hertervig's death, and is told from the perspective of Hertervig's fictitious sister Oline. The book is the sequel to Fosse's 1995 novel Melancholy, which is about Hertervig's time as a student.

Melancholy II
AuthorJon Fosse
Original titleMelancholia II
TranslatorEric Dickens
LanguageNorwegian (Nynorsk)
PublisherDet Norske Samlaget
Publication date
Published in English
September 2014


Øystein Rottem of Dagbladet wrote: "On one level this is a shiveringly reductive novel. Here existence is pressed down to the most elementary level: the oral and anal, food and feces." Rottem wrote that the story also has a religious aspect: "The connection between these two layers makes Melancholy II one of Fosse's most consistent works—and that is no small feat! You won't become happier by reading the book, but it grabs us more intensely than the vast majority of what otherwise is written nowadays."[1]

Publishers Weekly wrote in 2014: "In this coda to the acclaimed Melancholy, Fosse’s presentation of commonplace events is almost unbearably intense. ... Admirers of the first book will find this novel subtler and more profound than its predecessor, and new readers will discover a stunning, haunting meditation on age."[2]


  1. ^ Rottem, Øystein (1996-09-24). "Dystert om døden". Dagbladet (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2016-04-17. På ett plan er det en rystende reduktiv roman. Her trekkes eksistensen ned på det helt elementære plan: det orale og anale, mat og avføring. ... Koblingen av disse to plan gjør «Melancholia II» til et av Fosses mest konsekvente verker - og det sier ikke så lite! Man blir ikke lykkeligere av å lese boka, men den griper sterkere fatt i oss enn langt det meste som ellers skrives nåtildags.
  2. ^ "Fiction Book Review: Melancholy II by Jon Fosse". Publishers Weekly. 2014-07-28. Retrieved 2016-04-17.

External linksEdit