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The Luminous Darkness

The Luminous Darkness

The Theatre of Jon Fosse

Leif Zern; Translated by Ann Henning Jocelyn

Oberon Books

"A study that should help put Fosse on the map in English-speaking countries." –Susan Elkin, The Stage

"[Fosse's] lyrical writing, deep themes and abstract ideas haven't engaged British audiences. Yet. In anticipation that he will soon be on the scene, you might like to prepare. Leif Zern, a Swedish journalist, analyses Fosse's plays and poetry in this clear, manageable guide." –What's On Stage


"Since the early 1990s, Jon Fosse’s plays have been produced in countless venues internationally, and have been translated into dozens of languages – winning awards, inspiring critical adulation, and intriguing and inspiring theatregoers throughout the world. Strangely, however, his work remains largely unknown to English-speaking audiences – an oversight that Leif Zern’s The Luminous Darkness will do much to redress. In twelve short chapters, the book explores Fosse’s career, offering a lucid and insightful argument that is enriched by Zern’s intimate knowledge of the plays in production. The result is an important and timely study of a playwright who demands and deserves our attention." –Patrick Lonergan, National University of Ireland Galway


When Jon Fosse had his playwright début with And We Shall Never Part at the National Theatre in Bergen in 1994, he was already an established author of several novels, collections of poetry and children’s books. Since his breakthrough in 1996 with the world premiere of Someone Will Arrive at the Norwegian Theatre he has written over twenty more plays and has become the world’s most performed contemporary European playwright. Oberon Books publishes Nightsongs, The Girl on the Sofa and I Am the Wind, together with his other plays in five collections. Fosse was made a Chevalier of the Ordre national du Mérite of France in 2007 and received The International Ibsen Award in 2010.


Leif Zern is the drama critic of the Swedish national daily newspaper the Dagens Nyheter. He has written several books on theatre and also a book about the film director Ingmar Bergman. For many years, Zern has been reporting on contemporary European drama; he has followed Jon Fosse’s dramatic productions from the very start in the early 1990s.


Ann Henning Jocelyn is an author and translator of numerous books and plays. Her English translations of plays by Jon Fosse have won her much acclaim.

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