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Je schneller ich gehe, desto kleiner bin ich
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Je schneller ich gehe, desto kleiner bin ich

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  954 ratings  ·  124 reviews
Mathea Martinsen lebt am Stadtrand von Oslo und hat gerade ihren geliebten Mann verloren. Für wen soll die alte Dame nach dem Tod des schrulligen Statistikers jetzt ihre Ohrenwärmer stricken? Mit wem kann sie fortan über das Dasein philosophieren? Schon die Anläufe, wieder Kontakt zu anderen Menschen zu finden, gestalten sich schwieriger als gedacht. Matheas Versuche, ins ...more
Hardcover, 141 pages
Published 2011 by Hoffmann und Campe (first published 2009)
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Mar 01, 2013 s.penkevich rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to s.penkevich by: I love the Norwegian writers
Shelves: dalkey, death, norway
Nothing is like being breathed on by a life
-Knut Hamsun

In youth, we foolishly chase away the days looking towards the future. Once we get there, we realize the limited number of days remaining and look backwards, hoping we left enough of a mark on our race to the end so we can be remembered. Kjersti A. Skomsvold’s heart-warming The Faster I Walk The Smaller I Am, winner of the Tarjei Vesaas First Book Prize in 2009, tells the story of Mathea Martinsen, an elderly woman whose crippling social a
This was one of those weird impulse buys that I can't entirely rationalize—because the cover design alone should have been like an application of Maximum Strength David-Be-Gone spray. I mean, look at how confoundingly twee that is! I get a toothache from all that latent whimsy. But on the flipside of the pros and cons chart, it is published by Dalkey and—according to the description at least—it's about growing old and coming to terms with mortality and all of that fun stuff.

I should have truste
During the early 1990s I looked forward to Saturday nights. I worked two full time jobs to pay off debts and found myself working six days a week. At my local pub, I assembled a writing group and for several months, it was the focal point of my week, hell, my existence. Blame it on youth but I would alternate between Guinness and espresso throughout the night, argue until I was hoarse and then go home in the wicked light of morning, clothes reeking of smoke. Most of the group's efforts I have ch ...more
Chad Post
I think this line helps open up the problems I have with this book: "I feel the need to scratch my bites until they bleed. That rhymes."

Sure, technically, "need" and "bleed" do rhyme, but man, that sense really has no cadence, no rhythm. It's all technically correct, yet it's like hearing a Muzak version of your favorite song: all the notes are in the right places, but the timbre is fucked.

Skomsvold is all of 32 years old, so writing a book about an elderly, lonely woman is definitely not *writ
very funny narrative of an old, i mean OLD, lady who is isolated (by choice, but with the realization that death is coming and damn, nobody is going to remember her and tell funny stories and fondly recall her, but instead gonna die and rot in the cold cold ground, unremembered and really?, who gives two shits for some old lady?) but realizes she needs to get out and about and make some sort of impact on those around her so to be ALIVE (but let's be honest here, hardly anybody, except maybe plut ...more
Shellie (Layers of Thought)
Original review posted on Layers of Thought.

A “literary tragicomic” that is translated from Norwegian. It’s a short but challenging read which is at times brilliant, heart-wrenching, sadly funny, and with some interesting bits which require mathematical knowledge to fully understand their references.

About: It is told in the first person by an aging woman Mathea Martinsen. She is a cerebral individual, currently obsessed with death, and perhaps possessing a social anxiety disorder. She stays in h
The Faster I Walk, The Smaller I Am
By Kjersti A. Skomsvold
Translated by Kerri A. Pierce
Published by Dalkey Archive Press

By Aileen Donegan

“Hamsun said that nothing is like being breathed on by a life, and I wish someone would ring my doorbell, even if they just ran away.”

Norwegian novelist Kjersti A. Skomsvold’s award winning debut centers on Mathea Martinsen, an old woman dealing with the inevitability of death. Spoken in first person narrative, she examines her life in full and decides that sh
Ryan Smith
Dalkey Archive has another stunner in this debut novel by Kjersti A. Skomsvold.

Our lonely, elderly narrator has measured her life, if she has truly marked off the passage of time at all, in knit earwarmers and an insistent though compelling lifelong conjuration from her husband of one statistic after another. As she sits overlooking the edge of her own mortality she gazes back into the spare vacuum of her life to see what filled all those spaces kept barren of friends, family, pursuits, and so
Kesinlikle okunması gereken; kendine özgü bir kitap.
Sosyal olarak toplumun bir parçası olamamış; bir şekilde, sanki oynayan bir diş, kopuk bir uzuv gibi yaşayan bir kadının iç dünyasında yaşıyoruz.
I really don't know about this book. I can't decide whether my lack of enjoyment comes from a well written book with an uncomfortable subject matter, or from just a badly written book period. I've noticed it's rather difficult to critique a book that has a weird feel about it, because it can always be argued that this was intentional and the fact that you didn't like it meant that the author succeeded blah blah.

I think I've settled on it being a combination of both. The book is slightly uncomfo
Frank Hestvik
The good: the language is great. It's humorous and playful. That's why I liked it.

The actual story and subject-matter though... It's about an elderly lady who lives with her husband in an apartment block. She is lonely and constantly afraid of death. Apart from her husband, hardly anyone knows she exists, and no one cares. She wants friends, but she hides from everyone; she feels oppressed by her fear of death, but she continues to read the obituaries. She's neurotic to an extreme degree, but it
Adrienne Urbanski
This book centers around a lonely, isolated old woman trying to live on her own after her husband dies. Essentially, her entire life has been devoid of friends, a career, or pursuits aside from her husband who has known her since childhood. Skomsvold writes in a poetic, fable like style and frames the mundane events of the protagonist's life as pivotal. Such occurrences as trips to the grocery store and being asked what time it is become the big events of her life, as she has no other social int ...more
A look in the life of a Norwegian woman who has never been comfortable around or communicating with people. Her loneliness is more acute as she reads the obituaries in the papers and realizes that old as she is, she's still alive while those she knew are dying. Her naive comments and blunt observations more often than not confuses her audience or causes them to cringe.

With her sudden realization that her life could be at an end soon, she feels a need to participate in the world, but is unsure h
Kitap, hayatı boyunca neredeyse görünmez olmuş, silik, ölümü bekleyen yaşlı ve yalnız bir kadın olan Mathea hakkında. Ömrünün son günlerini yaşıyor; yaşamdan hiçbir şey alamamış, kendini hep değersiz hissetmiş olmasına rağmen ölmekten de çok korkuyor. Öykü boyunca Mathea'nın iç konuşmalarını dinliyoruz. Sonuç oldukça hüzünlü, yer yer rahatsız edici ama akıcı bir kitaptı. Bir de her ne kadar öykünün içindeki bir kaç şeye atıfta bulunmuş olsa bile kapak resmini pek beğenmediğimi ekleyeyim.
Mathea tem quase cem anos. Nunca gostou de se relacionar com as pessoas - excepto com o marido, Epsilon -. Tem medo de morrer sozinha e sem que alguém saiba que existiu...

Uma bonita história sobre uma estranha (ou não) mulher.
Uma fábula, comovente e simultaneamente divertida, sobre solidão, velhice e morte.

"Li num livro, que perguntaram a um condenado como imaginava a vida depois da morte. "Uma vida onde posso levar comigo as recordações desta", respondeu ele. Acho que falou bem."
Lyrical, emotional prose without being too wordy or sentimental. Mathea is one of the most unique characters I've ever met in fiction. The way her world is presented to the reader is innovative yet simple. Sentences alternately made me feel sad for what she lost or never had, feel happy because she was delighted by so little, or laugh because she had such a wonderful way or viewing the world. It might take a few pages to feel surrounded by her world, but it is definitely worth a read.
"The Faster I Walk, The Smaller I Am" is a strange, sad, darkly humorous, and honest little book that invites us to wonder about why we are here and if anybody will really remember us when we're gone. The quirky narrator Mathea Martinsen's perspective will surprise and delight.
I read this little book in a couple hours or so -- one more book before the year ends -- a funny/sad tale translated from the original Norwegian. Mathea Martinsen has outlived her contemporaries, including her husband, Epsilon, although she still seems to talk to him. She has always been a reclusive woman, he being the only person she could comfortably talk with, but now she feels an urge to leave something of herself behind. Her efforts fail for one reason or another. Does it matter whether any ...more
i am currently translating it into dutch for zirimiri press. to be published october 2015
Cărți și călătorii
Deşi este o carte subţire, nu vă luaţi după aparenţe, nu este o lectură facilă. În cele puţin peste o sută de pagini este sintetizată o întreagă viaţă şi niciun cuvânt nu pare în plus. Mă gândesc cât de greu trebuie să fie să scrii atât de dens, de concentrat… să încarci fiecare cuvânt cu semnificaţie… să spui într-o frază cât alţii în zeci de pagini.

Romanul este unul trist şi vesel în acelaşi timp, pentru că protagonista, Mathea, vorbeşte despre singurătatea ei cu candoare şi umor. Este o lectu
M. Fatih Kutan
Adıyla müsemma, hızlandıkça azalan, azaldıkça kalbi yoran bir roman. Ölümüne çengel atmış bir kadının, Mathea'nın rüzgârlarını hissediyoruz kitap boyunca. Birçok yerde, evli çiftin yaşlı ve ölüme yakın olduğunu anlasak da, Mathea'nın tüm hisleri bize daha çok bir genç hızlılığını anımsatıyor. Yaşlandıkça çocuklaşır ruh derler, işte tam bu durumu, Kjersti Skomsvold çok iyi bir şekilde hissettiriyor.
A breezy yet clever spell. I read this, and I began to mirror Mathea, i.e., I became anxiety-ridden, suffused with self doubt, too aware of myself.

I ran a quick errand to the store, and couldn't quite figure out how to interact with the cashier "normally."

I caught a train, and couldn't relax in my seat. I felt the weight of the eyes around me.

That said, the story, its characters, and its logic are a bit uneven, maybe flat or underdeveloped--perhaps gimmicky or too transparent. It's an effective
When I log into Facebook or Twitter I’m now met with a plethora of inspirational quotes, it seems the social media generation is hell bent on improving themselves. I can’t help thinking though that for every influencer there’s someone else being influenced, for every person who wins there is somebody else behind them, for every achiever there is somebody else who didn’t quite achieve. Who gives the underachieving, influenced, loser a voice? And it can’t be too big a voice or else they’ll be tram ...more
Kitabın, Mathea'nın kafiye maharetine ve sevdasına uygun orijinal adı Türkçe çeviride de korunsaymış keşke.
Kısa, sade ve yoğun bi’ metin..

Kitap roman kahramanı Mathea’nın bakışından anlatılıyor, zaman zaman bulanan zihninde dolaşıyor. Yaşamı boyunca -biraz da kendi tercihi ile- görünmez olan yaşlı kadın, ölümünün de fark edilmeyeceği kaygısında..

Yaşamaktan da ölmekten de korkuyor ama bir şekilde ölmeden önce görünür olabilmek için kendince oyunlar oynuyor.. Hayatının sessizliğine karşın Mathea’nın iç sesi canlı, bazen neşeli, bazen kızgın.. Anlattığı ve kendisinin kabullendiği yalnızlığı ise okuyucu
Is this novella a little gem because it is surprising and different? Or because it has an irritating and unreliable narrator who forces one to continually wonder what makes her behave as she does. Between rhyming sentences (how does a translator pull that off anyway?), having bizarre conversations with strangers, and continually knitting earmuffs, her obsession with death is threaded throughout. Full of surprises, this was recommended in Necessary Fiction and it is worth seeking out.

curious, this story shares with linked stories/review the idea of what i was calling 'the mark of zero'...yeah, i know, lame, but i've never been good with titles.

easy reading, this, our eye-narrator doesn't bother with five- and ten-dollar words. she lives a simple life. and it was this passage from the story more than others before that
This review can also be found at I read therefore I am

After Tales of the city, I went on with another book out of my literary comfort zone. Sounds like February is the month of literary experiments! Indeed, I seldom read contemporary novels, let alone contemporary novels featuring elderly people. But it was an interesting read. Not one I’ll remember for the rest of my life, but a pretty nice read nevertheless.

The faster I walk, the smaller I am is the story of Mathea, an old woman of over 90 y
This is a simultaneously funny and emotionally touching little book. Skomsvold has presented an odd character with an odd voice and really does some amazing things in a small space. Intensely imagined and described in her humanity, I don't think there is anyone who could read this and not love the main character.
Kerime B. Toksu
A tiny little novelette with an enormously appealing (slightly comic but not at all light-hearted) voice. Mathea Martinsen is a quirky old lady who's afraid her life will be over before anyone has noticed she's been here. And the translation is fantastic - clever and subtle.
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Kjersti Annesdatter Skomsvold made her literary debut in 2009 with the novel 'The Faster I Walk, the Smaller I Am'. The book was nominated for the Norwegian Booksellers' Prize, the P2-listeners' Novel Prize and won the Tarjei Vesaas' Debutant Prize (judged by The Literary Council of The Norwegian Authors Union). It was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2013. Skomsvold h ...more
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“I've knitted myself a hat, it's plum red with an appealing lace pattern, I figured that a few air holes would be nice now that it's spring. I put it on and feel like a cranberry in the snow, and I wonder if they can see me from the moon. Me and the Great Wall.” 6 likes
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