Thursday, December 11, 2008

Top ten angel books

Karl O. Knausgaard, author of A Time for Everything, named "his 10 favourite depictions of these not always divine creatures" for the Guardian.

His argument for the list and the top title:
Never having been interested in angels or religion, I suddenly stumbled across one in my writing. Mostly out of boredom with myself, really, and with the terrible, never-ending novel I was working on then, I thought I maybe should look into the subject. For the next year I was obsessed with angels, read everything I could find about them, and then I wrote a new novel.

Angels are connected with the divine, but also with men. Through this deeply archaic image, it's possible to see how the relations between those two have constantly changed, in a polarity that has kept producing meaning, and still does. I hope my selections give some sense of this rich and strange tradition.

The Satanic Verses
by Salman Rushdie

It may be hard to imagine now, but there was a time when Salman Rushdie was the best novelist in the world. In 1988, to be exact, when this novel was published. Every sentence is full of life, and the life described is everchanging, unstoppable, in constant metamorphosis and flux, in opposition to the religious longing for one god, one people, purity and control. The angel in this neo-baroque world, Gibreel, is an Indian film star. I can´t think of any novel that treats the problems of our time better and more accurately than this one.
Read about all ten titles on Knausgaard's list.

--Marshal Zeringue