In 2016 the author Kjartan Fløgstad criticized the Norwegian reception to the novel The End of Eddy by the French author Édouard Louis, sparking a debate that would culminate in a stand-off between Louis and Fløgstad in the weekly newspaper Morgenbladet. The debate brought both esthetical and political questions pertaining to the depiction of the working class to the surface. In this article, we argue that the politically charged question of choosing either class solidarity or identity politics over the other lay at the core of the debate, and we show that Fløgstad’s criticism in many regards coincided with critical viewpoints raised by French journalists and academics two years earlier. By comparing the critical French voices with Fløgstad’s criticism, and by examining not only the rhetorical and political conflict between the two debaters but also their meeting points, we cast a new light on both the French pendant to the Norwegian debate, and on the political dimensions and larger context of the debate.
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