Ivo De Figueiredo - Selected Title Author

Ivo de Figueiredo thinks Edvard Munch’s breakthrough in Europe didn’t happen despite of his provincial background, but because of it. In The Storm. A Biography of Edvard Munch he depicts Munchs’ life and artistry.

Ivo de figueiredo foto agnete brun 1m8a1778
Ivo de Figueiredo has written the book 'The storm. A Biography of Edvard Munch. Photo: Agnete Bruun.

The Storm. A Biography of Edvard Munch is one of NORLA’s Selected Titles for autumn 2023. Here, author Ivo de Figueiredo speaks about the book, who it is written for, what inspired him to write it and where and when he works best.

What is your book about?

The Storm. A Biography of Edvard Munch is, naturally, about Edvard Munch’s life and artistry. The biography will publish in two volumes, the first one now in October, and the other one in a year, but they will be merged to one volume for the international edition. I have tried to write a biography that reaches from the near, human aspects to the bigger cultural historical context Munch was part of in Norway and Europe. In short, I have wanted to write a book about a man that was obsessed by a restless energy, a storm, if you like, that drove him to create at all hours of the day and until his last breath. I follow this storm from Løten to Berlin to Paris, and try to explain how such a radical artist could emerge in a country in the European periphery, such as Norway. My thinking is that Munch’s breakthrough in Europe didn’t come despite of his provincial background, but because of it.

What inspired you to write this book?

The boring answer is that I was asked to write it by the Munch Museum and Aschehoug. I guess they asked because I have previously written a two-volume biography on Henrik Ibsen, and this is where my deep inspiration lies: Ibsen and Munch are not just fascinating people with impressive life works, they are also Norway’s two biggest contributions to the global culture. This I have taken seriously, and consequently tried to write a biography that pushes the boundaries of the narrow, Norwegian perspective on Munch.

Who is this book for?

This answer is simple: It is generally for anyone who thinks the thought of reading two volumes of Edvard Munch’s life and art sounds tempting. The volumes do not exactly go unnoticed on the kitchen scale, but I have written a story that I think and hope will be catchy for everyone. Academics will definitely find more to dwell into in the foot notes, but I recommend everyone to have a look there: it is in the foot notes that the history nerd in me has been allowed to frolic in the many quirky and puzzling topics and details of Munch’s life.

Where and/or when do you work best?

I work best in my own little cave at home, but I travel regularly to Berlin and other places for inspiration and concentration – and also to give my family a little break from the book factory on the ground floor.

Read more

See full presentation of the book here

See all NORLA’s Selected Titles for autumn 2023 here