Stine Jensen //
In this beautiful first novel of philosopher and literary theorist Stine Jensen narrator Dolly searches for the true story about her uncle Mads. She contacts the daughter of the Danish woman who was decked by an Egyptian outside Dr. Mads Laudrup's practice and she unravels the knots that tied their lives' stories together. Dolly sketches the tales of these different lives, these alien cultures and motives, and finds the truth about Mads, 'brilliant musician and courageous restorer of hymen'.
Once upon a time Mads told his niece Dolly that he 'sewed up the cunts of Muslim women'. And every week on Danish radio, but from his Saudi Arabian residence, he declared the Arabs simply hypocrites. Dolly preferred not to run into him at the sporadic family gatherings he attended, although he once did protect her and her ample breasts against the gazes of other drunks and showed the world his genius when he played the clarinet.
Selma left her daughter Patricia notebooks: a yellow one with travel notes, a red one with notes on erotic encounters, a blue one with comforting oneliners and a black one in which she noted her fascination for the Middle East.
Kader detests the Western world he lives in and suspects his wife of the unprecendented lecherousness he secretly sampled at Selma's. Mads 'Doctor Jazz' Laudrup, the one who accomodates women with the opportunity to experience sexual freedom, is the perfect scapegoat.
It is the strong aversion to a foreign culture on the one hand and the fascination with the exotic on the other that play an important role in this novel. Jensen illustrates it lavishly with music. Mads hangs on to traditional jazz when he takes up practice in the Arab world, while Selma submerges herself into music that dresses up her spiritual travels through Egypt.
Writer Stine Jensen combines the cheery melancholy of dixieland jazz, the romantic tunes of Oum Kalsoum about lost loves and the country that Mads listens to when all hope melts away with more modern music: she lets Dolly complete Booktunes 13 by imagining an increasingly rising soprano in Doctor Jazz' practice while the girls float away anaesthetized only to wake up as newborn virgins with Coltrane in their heads.
text by Erik de Loor / transl. by Mina Witteman / photo by Jean-Marc Luneau