Oslo’s popular Litteraturhuset (Literature House) is looking for new funding to replace what it now gets from the Fritt Ord foundation, which promotes the free word. The funding situation has drawn some complaints lately, but one high-profile critic has been soundly rebuked.
Author Erik Fosnes Hansen complained in newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) that Fritt Ord shouldn’t start up new projects, only to then leave them to others to finance. Not only did Fritt Ord’s chief, Erik Rudeng, dismiss the criticism, but so did others as well.
It was clear from the start, in 2007, that Fritt Ord’s financial support would be withdrawn over time. “We made it clear that the initiative must have a regional anchor,” Rudeng told DN. Newspaper Aftenposten editorialized as well that Hansen’s criticism was “strange,” since Fritt Ord has a track record of helping start-up projects but then encouraging others to take over.
Fritt Ord has also supported other literature projects in Bergen, Trondheim, Odda and elsewhere. Literature House in Oslo has been a major success from the first day, hosting community debates, speakers and seminars involving literature, providing work space for authors and offering a popular restaurant and café.
Views and News staff