Wednesday, November 24, 2010

big society - part 2

Your response to my big society post a couple of weeks ago was amazing. Thank you for participating!

I always enjoy hearing from you. This time was not different. I loved hearing what you thought when reading the post and I also loved reading what you thought of other people’s comments. It felt like I was part of a conversation.


I know all posts can't be equally engaging, and that is not a goal either. But I do hope to be part of this kind of engaging conversations once in while.

Last week I saw an interview with the American writer Jonathan Franzen. He is on a tour to promote his new book “Freedom” and did an interview here in Oslo.

One part of the interview that especially caught my mind was when the Norwegian interviewer (Siss Vik) asked him about “competition” and how competition was a theme in his book. What caught my attention was his answer. He said that in the US no one asked him this question, while in several European countries he had been asked that same question.


…He then went on to explain his theory on why he is not asked about the “competition” aspect in his book. Interestingly enough he said that one reason why the competition theme is not asked about in his book is because it is an uncomfortable subject and because of politeness. It is not nice to be competitive, so we don’t talk about it…

….on some level I think that comparison is related to competition. We compare to see where we stand in this unannounced continuous competition. Anyhow the interview reminded me of you and our conversation.

(...and why I would like a kindle or some other e-reading device, now!)

You can see the interview (in English from aproximately minute 8) here


  1. Kafka on the Shore is one of my favourite books. If you like modern Japanese fiction, you might also like Strangers by Taichi Yamada, Now You're One of Us by Asa Nonami and The Devil's Whisper by Miyuki Miyabe.

  2. Thank you Ian! I love book tips. They are now all noted in my list of books to read.

  3. Competition does seem to be a touchy subject for some people. It can get ugly in certain instances. I wouldn't advocate becoming consumed by competition, but a little bit is okay with me. It keeps me on my toes.

  4. I agree Denise, a little competition is good. The good kind of competition that doesn't also contain jealousy, but that is more like an energy to push yourself further... The sky is the limit!

  5. As an individual I prefer stimulation than competition. Competition involves, in my opinion, a business meaning & something a little agressive that is not me. regarding this maybe I'm too ... European !!


Thank you for letting me know you were here!