1971–1985

Released: August 2017
Publisher: Tiderne Skifter
ISBN number: 978-87-0223-8167
Design: Kenneth Schultz
Photo: Robin Skjoldborg

TRIVIA

Genre: Periodical autobiography
Size: 248 pages
Opening line: “They said the soil was barren due to the unrest of the dead.”

REVIEWS

”Hall is brilliant in his depiction of a rampant Copenhagen in the seventies … the book is a sharp and observant snapshot of a city that no longer exists.”
( * * * * )
Berlingske – Mikkel Andersson (17.8.2017)

”Martin Hall has style, and with this book he manages to come close to the substance and the pain in the depiction of his early career’s harsh downside with suicides, drugs and chronic restlessness.”
Weekendavisen – Christian Dorph (18.8.2017)

”The multifacetted artist Martin Hall tells a charming tale of his early, wild years.”
Jyllands-Posten – Christian Møgeltoft (23.8.2017)

”Martin Hall writes unadorned, beautifully, often wise and most of the time relievingly funny about his youth and early days.”
( * * * * )
Politiken – Henrik Vesterberg (26.8.2017)

”Needle-pointed wit … the book kindles you and you’re moved as you enter its many rooms.”
Radio24Syv – Morten Lindberg (27.8.2017)

”Beautifully written, deeply personal, wildly entertaining and, not least, convincingly reflective.”
Bogbobler – Isabel Fluxá Rosado (1.9.2017)

“Insightful and amusing.”
Fyens Stiftstidende – Martin Kloster (2.10.2017)

EXCERPT
PRELUDE

 
I often imagine the story behind it all: Two people framed in cones of light. Their meeting. The detonation of bright summer nights and whispering voices – how they think, it’s all going to be fine.

Later she tells him, what’s about to appear; watches the face in front of her, light-hearted and nervous at the same time.

He tells her, it’s great.

Then she cries a bit, more of relief than joy. Basically, she doesn’t care – that’s how colossal the love she feels for the new life in her body is.

I imagine the copper-like smell of blood at the birth, the redeeming power of a ruthless force. How her touch falls with a snow-like softness on the new, yet familiar skin. Whispered words, air currents of formless breath.

Later on the infant in a cradle, sleeping with its legs spread out like a supermarket chicken. People who observantly watch the new life, foreign sets of lungs consuming the air in the room. Distant, haunting voices.

Days that start with brilliant sunshine, then slowly disperse into a haze. The grainy, white liquid of dreams. Baptism, serpentines and layer cake.

A boy in a closet. Intricate manners of speaking, pauses and empty glances. Everybody’s struggle to breathe.

POLITIKEN

Politikens Boghal (photo gallery: Maiken Kildegaard).

WA

Martin Hall’s long-awaited book 1971-1985 – at the time his first in five years – was released on August 17, 2017. The book is an autobiographical depiction of his formative years as a boy and a young man. The publishers, Tiderne Skifter (a subsidiary of Gyldendal releasing the works of authors such as W.G. Sebald, Jean Rhys and David Lynch), wrote the following about the book in their press announcement:

1971-1985 is a high-speed portrait of the Danish artist Martin Hall’s childhood and early youth, a teenage chronicle that focuses on a period of great personal and cultural impact in a rampant Copenhagen. From the rough black-and-white photos of the seventies to the following decade’s Polaroid pictures, from glam rock to punk and from Madame Arthur to Rockmaskinen at Christiania – the journey is long from General Franco’s catholic Spain, where Martin Hall lived as a young boy, to the liberated sex shops of Vesterbrogade.

Written in a simple, yet figurative language, he describes his parents’ reckless sense of adventure and the ruthlessness that characterized his adolescence, the alcoholic culture the seventies were soaked in as well as the sexuality and the political climate of the period. As a new generation cuts through previous norms and values, Hall’s personal journey and following formation as an artist during the early eighties reveals a story of great personal hope and tragedy, spiritual ferocity and loss.”

A first draft of the book was ready to be released in the summer of 2016 by the publishing house People’s Press. Shortly before signing the contract, however, Hall chose to withdraw the book for personal reasons. The final edition of 1971-1985, released by Tiderne Skifter in 2017, is a revised and expanded version of the original manuscript.

The book is released with support of The Danish Arts Foundation.

On the release day of the book Hall met the literary editor at Jyllands-Posten, David Jacobsen Turner, met for a short talk about the book in a packed Politikens Boghal (you can see a photo gallery from the day via the link). The week after its release, 1971–1985 went top 10 at Bog & Idé’s sales chart (Denmark’s largest bookstore chain).

REVIEWS OF THE BOOK

“Martin Hall writes unadorned, beautifully, often wise and most of the time relievingly funny about his youth and early days.”
( * * * * )
Politiken (Danish equivalent to The Guardian)

“Hall is brilliant in his depiction of a rampant Copenhagen in the seventies … the book is a sharp and observant snapshot.”
( * * * * )
Berlingske (Danish equivalent to The Times)

“Martin Hall has style, and with this book he manages to come close to the substance and the pain in the depiction of his early career’s harsh downside with suicides, drugs and chronic restlessness.”
Weekendavisen (Danish equivalent to New York Times Literary Review)

“The multifacetted artist Martin Hall tells a charming tale of his early, wild years.”
Jyllands-Posten (Denmark’s biggest newspaper)

“Insightful and amusing.”
Fyens Stiftstidende (major regional newspaper)