Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Karl Ove Knausgaard's My Struggle Book 1

Karl Ove Knausgaard's My Struggle, Book 1 is one of the most intriguing books I've read in a long time. It is often compared to Marcel Proust, as it is the first of six autobiographical "novels." He details his life, bouncing around chronologically, in a way that kept me reading even when the particular topic was mundane (and some, like his father's death, are not mundane at all). He is an excellent writer, and has a knack for simultaneously remembering, explaining (in one part, he acknowledges the "meta" aspect of that sort of introspection) and putting it all into almost a spiritual context.

Of course, for such writing to work it has to be honest, and he doesn't spare anyone, including himself, and he is often filled with shame and doubt. Many people now hate him for his brutal truth (which seems to be the reason he left Norway for Sweden). Even in what we typically consider an age of narcissism, with selfies everywhere, we're still faking it--we don't much want people seeing us naked, so to speak.

It's the sort of book that makes you feel more aware of how you're dealing with any particular situation. I've already ordered book two.


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