A man in conflict with himself, his passions, with Europe. A fractioned Europe, a Europe closing in on itself. A Europe where history marches on in times of peace as in times of war: blind – and bloodily. What does it mean to be European? What does history matter? What to do with history gone awry? Then, what with love? If you don’t want it, can you kill it? And what happens when you try?
A novel about European identity, the binds of history between individuals & geopolitically, and how to deal with history gone wrong, about Europe’s relations to the outside world, especially ‘the other’ (ie, Muslims, blacks, the third world etc) – told through a love story gone terribly wrong. Told in an intense stream of consciousness through the war surgeon Sem Grant, veteran of the Balkan genocides, who is in the Austrian capital of Vienna sets out to kill his passion for the woman he loves but can’t have.
Europe (originally published in Denmark under the titles Kattens Tramp/ The Trampling Cat) steps right into our current debate on immigration, Eurocentrism and Europeanness.
Praise for Europe
‘Janne Teller’s Kattens tramp is a great novel in all meanings of the word. It’s about war and peace, love and hatred, and about humanity above it all. … Kattens tramp is an insanely beautiful love story, a novel that keeps offering enigmas, in a myriad of layers that are both gradually unveiled and also must be handled as exactly the enigmas that they are. Janne Teller’s writing is of an international caliber. There is nothing specifically Danish about this novel, written in a manic, almost hypnotically musical language, that one just laps up, only to read it again, hoping to wring out yet more meaning.’ – Berlingske Tidende
‘Every single sentence in Janne Teller’s Kattens tramp is thought provoking and mind-blowing. … The story of Sem’s and Zoja’s fatal passion is at one and the same time a sharp critique of European civilization turned upside down. … a wealth of precise and knowledgeable insights about war, love, and about being human in a dramatic and turbulent time of history.’ – Kristeligt Dagblad