Fabian Kastner

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Fabian Kastner (born 1977) is a Swedish writer and literary critic.

Fabian Kastner writing his 24-Hour Book at Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm

Kastner caused a commotion in 2006 with his debut novel Oneirine, which turned out to be a literary experiment too far for the majority of critics: the book consisted exclusively of unattributed, pasted-together quotes from one thousand works of world literature. By doing so, Kastner wanted to discuss the issue of whether originality is possible in literature.[1][2] The book was later turned into a library artwork at Bonniers Konsthall, a venue for Swedish and international contemporary art in the centre of Stockholm.[3]

In Lekmannen ("The Layman", 2013), Kastner took as his starting point a theological essay on madness, Denkwürdigkeiten eines Nervenkranken (Memoirs of My Nervous Illness)[4] by Daniel Paul Schreber, from 1903, creating from it a hallucinatory literary fantasy. Schreber was a German lawyer who spent long periods of his life in various mental hospitals, and Kastner allows the reader to enter into his paranoid universe, a claustrophobic space in which concepts such as madness and sanity are twisted, turn after turn.[5]

In 2017, Kastner returned to the gallery space of Bonniers Konsthall to write a book from start to finish in twenty-four hours.[6] The resulting novella, Archive of the Average Swede, was published in English as the fourth title of Cabinet Books’ experimental “24-Hour Book” series. The book considers a project initiated by Sweden’s National Archive in the early 1980s designed to fully record the life of a typical citizen. The selected citizen, however, turned out to be a very different figure than what the archive had hoped for.[7]

Kastner is a regular contributor to the Swedish daily newspaper Svenska Dagbladet. He currently lives in Berlin, Germany.


  • Medelsvenskens arkiv (Archive of the Average Swede), Faethon, 2017 ISBN 978-91-984107-5-4
  • Lekmannen ("The Layman"), Albert Bonniers Förlag, 2013 ISBN 978-91-0-013436-5
  • Anakronismer (Anachronisms) (ed. Sara Arrhenius, Magnus Bergh), Albert Bonniers Förlag, 2007 ISBN 978-91-0-011606-4
  • Oneirine ("Oneirine"), Albert Bonniers Förlag, 2006 ISBN 91-0-010833-2

Translations in English[edit]

Honours and awards[edit]

  • 2013 Awarded by the Swedish Academy
  • 2013 Swedish Writers' Union Working Scholarship
  • 2007 Albert Bonnier's Fellowship for Younger and Newer writers
  • 2007 Swedish Writers' Union Working Scholarship
  • 2006 Borås Tidning's Literary Debut Price, shortlisted for Oneirine


  1. ^ New Swedish Books Annual Edition 2013, p. 13, accessed 2015-08-23
  2. ^ Kastner, Fabian, "Frying up some old leftovers" (transl. Henning Koch), Anachronisms, Albert Bonniers Förlag, 2007. ISBN 978-91-0-011606-4
  3. ^ Bonniers Konsthall - Against Time, accessed 2015-08-23
  4. ^ Schreber, Daniel Paul (1903). Memoirs of My Nervous Illness. New York: New York Review of Books Classics, 2000. ISBN 0-940322-20-X.
  5. ^ New Swedish Books Annual Edition 2013, p. 13, accessed 2015-08-23
  6. ^ Bonniers Konsthall – Finissage Insomnia, accessed 2017-10-16
  7. ^ Archive of the Average Swede by Fabian Kastner, accessed 2018-01-15

External links[edit]