The Authorship of Tomas Espedal

Jeppe Sievers

Student thesis: Master thesis


This thesis is centered around the norwegian author Tomas Espedal. The paper sets out to read Espedal’s novels as one text altogether with the same I, while exploring how the literary term autofiction supports this approach. The thesis is divided into three parts.
The first part of the thesis examines the genre autofiction. It shows examples of how autofiction is used as a genre for different generations of authors, and how it is popular to write this hybrid genre between autobiography and fiction. It illuminates a tendency to write
autofiction, discussing the ethical questions that arises when the written books become a mix of autobiography and fiction. This is further discussed in the third part.
The second part of the paper probes how the I develops throughout the books, and how the author writes about the themes love and alcohol. Both themes are literary fuel to the author, both in his writing and in his performances. I choose to understand the paratexts - interviews and performances - as complementary dimensions of the same I that appears in the novels. As life and literature become fused, I argue that it is pointless to separate the two.
In third part of the thesis, I show how writers write about each other and interact with each others’ lives and literary works. While the main focus is Tomas Espedal’s authorship, the thesis also discusses Karl Ove Knausgård’s works as well as upcoming authors and authors who made an impact in the danish public with their books. I use interviews, talks and tv-shows to let Tomas Espedal discuss his own writing. Finally, I discuss the ongoing challenges for autofiction and give my own suggestion to how the authorship may evolve in the future when the next books in the one great collected Tomas Espedal novel will be written.

EducationsDanish, (Bachelor/Graduate Programme) Graduate
Publication date1 Jul 2018
Number of pages76
SupervisorsLasse Horne Kjældgaard