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7. Write a dialogue among characters in a work of art.



As we walked up the Ekeberg, Munch began to fall behind. We slowed our pace and at the far end of the lookout stopped to wait for him. It was a pleasant but unremarkable outing; we'd spent most of the time discussing Jaeger's contribution to the next issue of the journal and my own legal troubles with Albertine. Munch was still leaning over the guardrail, watching something in the bushes or simply drunk. Annoyed, I pulled my collar up against the chill and called him.

"I say, look at that sky," exclaimed Jaeger suddenly. Not a man to be much taken with sunsets, he was gazing towards the fjord, where dusk had already settled in the hills and was advancing on the harbor.

Then I heard it--a long, piercing scream that rose from the insane asylum at the foot of the hill. When Munch rejoined us he looked distinctly unwell.

blood and tongues of fire
above the blue-black fjord
and the city
passing through nature
an infinite scream


Edvard Munch (1863-1944)
"The Scream", 1893
Oslo, National Gallery
Photo source: Wikipedia

Author's note: This one was fun. The location that Munin his several versions of the painting has been identified as an overlook along Valhallveien on the Ekeberg. Munch left an account of the episode, a visionary experience while walking one evening with two friends. I followed it but decided to write the prose from the friends' point of view. Munch didn't name them so I researched and chose Christian Krohg and Hans Jaeger. The tanka is Munch's voice—iit's a found text from a poem he wrote on the frame of one version.