Agnar Mykle

1915-1994
Only in recent years has Trondheim taken its home-town relationship to Agnar Mykle seriously. Traditionally this relationship has been quite cool and remote. Through his no-holds-barred- writing style Mykle managed to aggravate wide circles in his home town. The upshot of it was that Mykle never expressed any warm feelings for Trondheim and its inhabitants – rather the opposite.
For that reason, he lived most of his adult life in Asker near Oslo. In his monumental novel Lasso rundt fru Luna [Lasso around Mrs Luna] (1954) the author's highly emotional depictions of growing up in Trondheim are present in several sections. This particularly refers to family life, schooling and teaching, which are presented in raw detail. People who were close to the author are treated mercilessly in the book, and this is what ensured the negative response to Mykle in his home town.
A much greater uproar was raised by his next book, the infamous Sangen om den røde rubin [Song of the red ruby] (1956). This book was reported to the police due to its risqué sexual depictions. A prolonged court case that lasted from 1956 to 1958 led to the book being confiscated. However, the publishing house and the author were acquitted by the Supreme Court. "The Ruby" did not have much to do with Trondheim, but all the commotion around it did not contribute to making his home town more receptive to the author.
However, when considered from the distance of time, things take on a different look. After his death Mykle memorial festivals have been arranged in Trondheim. In 2007, Trondheim local authority named a park after him, Agnar Mykles plass, a park situated by Klostergata in Øya, not far from the house where Agnar Mykle grew up, to honour a prodigal son.
Recommended reading: Anders Heger: Mykle. Et diktet liv [A life in writing]. Gyldendal, 1999

Author: Einar Rædergård