a review of Kjersti Skomsvold’s The Faster I Walk, The Smaller I Am
Skomsvold’s book is nothing but a voice whose horizons coincide with those of a mind. And in its inmost intransitivity this voice finds its bedrock in what Mathea terms “totality.” Her problem is that she feels estranged from this totality, yet yearns to return to it. “Perhaps I should stop seeing myself as an individual and start identifying myself with the totality,” she thinks, “but . . . I’m about as far away from it as you can get.” Skomsvold doesn’t need to explain her character’s sense of estrangement, because the limits of the book are those of Mathea’s mind. After all, no one ever really knows why they are the way they are.