This is the most exciting and compellingly original novel to come out of Scandinavia since Miss Smilla's "Feeling for Snow" - it combines timelessly powerful storytelling with a searching enquiry into the relations between Man, God and the angels. It starts in the Garden of Eden and soars right through to the present day via Renaissance Italy and all along the way angels are to be found, if sought...It's the 1560s and Antinous Bellori, a boy of 11, is exploring the woods above his home in the mountains in the north of Italy. Done fishing, he happens upon an anthill and begins, systematically and sinfully, to torture the ants and destory their home. Night falls quickly and he is so carried away by the havoc he is wreaking that he loses his sense of time and route home. Fearful, he wanders the woods blindly, sensing danger at every turn, eventually coming upon a clearing, unseen, in which stand two glowing beings, one carrying a spear, the other a flaming torch...This event is decisive in Bellori's life and he thereafter devotes himself to the study of angels, and engages with the writings of the great Christian thinkers in his own On the Nature of Angels. Bellori revisits, expands and renews the key stories from the Bible in which angels - the intermediaries between the human and the divine - loom large: the expulsion from the garden; life in the land of Nod; Cain and Abel; Lot in Sodom; Noah's isolation and his brother's death and sister's elopement before the Flood; Ezekiel's prophesying; and the death of Christ. Through the majestic resurrection of these stories the question is asked: Can the nature of the divine undergo change?
About Karl O. Knausgaard
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Published October 1, 2008
by Portobello Books Ltd.
Literature & Fiction.