Macht Und Rebel

Macht Und Rebel Macht Und Rebel

Scandinavian Misanthropy #2

What makes Scandinavian misanthropy particular? According to Norwegian new-born literary supernova Matias Faldbakken, it is the particular mixture of a welfare state, high standards of living, modern corporate culture, consumer ideology and a society that not only is tolerant, but downright benevolent towards its own opponents and deviators from the norm. The Scandinavia of Faldbakken is a place of early adaptors – pure heaven if you’re in the world of marketing and want to test new consumer products, new strategies, new cultural habits and new ideologies. Only, there are no ideologies left according to Faldbakken. In the world that he depicts, talk is cheap, nothing is shocking and perversion is the norm. In short, anything goes.

The second novel of Matias Faldbakken takes the nihilistic satire from his first novel to yet another level. In Macht Und Rebel – Scandinavian Misanthropy II, Faldbakken shows a world where all choices are fakes and the inescapable poverty is the absolute loss of values. There is simply nothing to rebel against. This time, Faldbakken takes on the counter-culture as prime target for his satire.

Theatre rights:
Theater PræCeDens, Denmark
Münchner Kammerspiele, Germany
Volksbühne Berlin, Germany


  • “Faldbakken’s novel is reminiscent in its screwed-up but also exact observations of Michel Houellebecq, although without the morals and the romanticism; he has much of the rage of a Bret Easton Ellis, only all the sex and violence does not conceal a cry for love and morality; linguistically stylistic and with something of Irwin Welsh in being cinematic; and finally there is something of Céline’s nihilistic world- and self-destructive pathos, only with the difference that the enemies in Macht Und Rebel are not simply the bourgeoisie but also their own cohorts.”

    Die Tagezeitung, Germany

  • “There is a bleakness here and a linguistic subtlety which makes other young contemporary literature seem like babbling Winnie the Pooh books … all the same the novel is unusually funny because the absurdity of modern times is hit off to a T.”

    Verdens Gang, Norway

  • “Masterful, but uncomfortable, Norwegian novel takes the pursuit of provocation and novelty to its limits. Macht Und Rebel is a brilliant novel: it stages an apparently intellectual dilemma as an existentialist drama. It is not a speculative novel; on the contrary, it is a book that portrays intellectual conflicts as existential norms.”

    Information, Denmark

  • “The Norwegian misanthrope’s book no.2 is a strange book to recommend because at times it is a repugnant read. The fact that it is also very funny doesn’t soften the impression. But it is written by a young man who takes literature so seriously that I am tempted to believe that art can have political impact in 2003.”

    Weekendavisen, Denmark

  • Macht Und Rebel is very, very funny.”

    Marie Tetzlaff, Politiken, Denmark

  • “I would recommend the publishing house to print the text on toilet paper when the book comes out in paperback. It is a golden rule that content and packaging should be harmonised.”

    Dagbladet, Norway

  • “Rasul’s [Falbakken’s] writing has such drive that it grips the reader right the way through. This is no book for Pastor Manders, Aunty Pose or Valgerd Svarstad Haugland. Nor for Øystein Rottem from Dagbladet. But for those who read and enjoyed their Kerouac, Burroughs and Bukowski, Björneboe and Axel Jensen, Macht und Rebel is the best Christmas present they can dream of this autumn.”

    Morgonbladet, Norway

  • “It is not particularly well written, definitely not well finished off, lacks something in structure and everything in credibility, as well not being properly thought through.”

    Aftenposten, Norway

  • “The consistently international style also works well for the Norwegian reader as you have to approach the book much as if it had been written by Bret Easton Ellis, and not as vernacular poetry. … Macht und Rebel is like a lasting kick in the crotch for a complacent cultural reality, a professional and exhilarating read. In addition, it is action-packed and, in a slightly grotesque way, amusing.”

    DN Magasinet, Norway

  • “This is one of the funniest and most unpleasant books to have appeared in Scandinavia for a long time. Unpleasant precisely because it is funny.”

    Nexo, Denmark

  • “How can I be cruel? Matias Faldbakken writes a provocative novel about losers, nihilists and the sick character of Scandinavians. Do you like assholes? Yes? Then you shouldn't read any further, but rather head over to the nearest bookstore and buy Matias Faldbakken's novel, Macht Und Rebel. This book is a must for the anally-obsessed. Faldbakken is working at the impossible task of offering resistance to contemporary capitalism and the limitations of irony. The lamentation of the ‘pop left’ is recognizable: their own counterculture functions only as a diversion and as a source of ideas for turbo capitalism, because in order to survive, capitalism long ago incorporated every subversive tendency into itself. Macht Und Rebel aims to imprint this knowledge into the remaining political activists as well. Punk is dead!’ is the slogan. Matias Faldbakken screams out his aggressive, dark and blackish-brown jokes in a manner that only serves one purpose: re-enlivening punk.”

    Die Zeit, Germany

  • “What is ‘pop literature’? The concept has nothing to do with pop music, and sometimes nothing to do with literature either. The pop authors are today's Beat generation — in the 1940s and '50s their names were William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, today their names are Benjamin von Stuckrad-Barre or simply Matias Faldbakken. Today it's about expressing the specific state of health of youth. In our time, when youth is no longer a phrase of life but rather an article of consumption, this is a complicated venture. In any event, the 32-year-old Matias Faldbakken has already succeeded with one aspect in his first book, The Cocka Hola Company: to shock. This he's also succeeded in doing in his second book, Macht und Rebel … which opens a window on youth. Radical, but also realistic. Those who like Houellebecq are going to love Faldbakken. Rebellious!”

    General Anzeiger Boulevard, Germany

  • “Faldbakken, graphic artist and official representative for Norway at this year's (2005) biennial in Venice, has written this fall´s most provocative satirical novel. And in this book everyone gets raked over the coals. Quite intentionally: ‘After the reaction to my first book, The Cocka Hola Company, I have felt the need to more strongly challenge the goodwill of humanistic cultural workers.’ Has he succeeded? The hardbound edition will be published next week by the small publishing house Münchner Blumenbar Verlag. But a global media conglomerate is already out after the paperback edition; they are ‘very interested’ at Bertelsmann Verlag.”

    Sonntags Zeitung, Zurich

  • Macht Und Rebel, black/white, right/left, sex, violence, perversions as daily fare, anti-globalization and anti-brand name movement. Conceptual pairs such as good and evil are pure mockery in Matias Faldbakken's novel and just as difficult to keep apart as original and brand-name counterfeit. Rebel (one of two protagonists) is a personification of a bored, anti-anti, drug-dependent, left-wing, ‘underground’ movement. Macht (the other protagonist) on the other hand is a business figure who works with Rebel's lost ideals in order to get more money, sex and in the end even more power. Two opposites, who together form an appropriately brutal picture of contemporary corporations, which are screwed-up to be sure but however not twisted. Pedophilia and Hitler-speeches are cutting points which the two of them finally fuse together into a common enterprise. In Macht und Rebel, Matias Faldbakken plays with the taboos of our time, erases inviolable boundaries, becoming cynical and thereby also believable. More art than literature. American Psycho for twenty- and thirty-somethings is only a lukewarm comparison. Twilight of the gods!”

    DE:BUG, Germany

  • “The new book tells a story about crude young violence-prone, manipulative posers, far from the harmlessness of so-called pop literature. Both protagonists, Macht Und Rebel, which plays on Nacht Und Nebel published in Nazi Germany in 1941, which led to moral resisters being deported, have thrown large quantities of cultural ballast overboard, above all rebellion’s romantic features. Experiences of ‘underground’ contempt and guerilla marketing lend support to anti-modern feelings toward avant-garde and criticism… Faldbakken’s characters can be considered role models for young readers through and through — simply because any psychologization of these ‘pulp characters’ doesn’t allow itself. They act as though no course of action is a failure or makes any difference. Therein many will experience an equally shaking and realistic sketch of a life without perspective, just as young people have in an eroded western society. Macht Und Rebel screams incontestably to become a scandal. And the outlook is good that this calculatedly insane book will be that, if you consider how the ‘mechanism of indignation’ functions in Germany.”

    Popkultur und politik. Literaturen Heft, Germany

  • “Just as in his advanced predecessor, The Cocka Hola Company, Faldbakken narrates a rapid, fragmentary and unfathomably comic satire, which doesn't shy away from anything….”

    Konkret, Germany

  • “The message is basically the same as in The Cocka Hola Company no matter how you may try to defend yourself and behave, whether you transcribe or rewrite Hitler's speeches it all becomes absorbed and commercially exploited.”

    Style & The Family Tuned, HeftOktober 2005, Germany

Photo: Ivar Kvaal Matias Faldbakken
  • Literary
Reading material

Norwegian edition

German edition

English sample

Rights sold

Denmark, Lindhardt og Ringhof

Finland, Johnny Kniga

Germany, Heyne

Italy, Mondadori

Norway, Cappelen Damm

Slovenia, Didakta

Spain, Suma (World Spanish)

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Scandinavian Misanthropy