Author Topic: Karl Ove Knausgaard  (Read 353 times)

Karl Ove Knausgaard
« on: October 11, 2017, 01:11:20 PM »
Any of you silly billies like him?

I'm quite a big fan, his books feel incredibly refreshing after reading a lot of wanky post-modern lit. A raw honesty and weird addictive quality to them that I love. His evocation of Norway (especially in book 3 of My Struggle) is absolutely lovely as well.

Currently up to book 5 in his My Struggle series but had to stop reading it coz I got my heartbroken and there's loads of stuff about falling in love and all that stuff. Planning on going back to it soonish though if I can read it without becoming a sad boy.

So yeah, any of you lot read him? Thoughts? etcetc

Smeraldina Rima

  • A slug-ridden cabbage
Re: Karl Ove Knausgaard
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2017, 09:20:17 PM »
It's too long ago now for me to say anything in detail, but I did enjoy the first one and half of the second one with excitement and misplaced certainty that I would make it through the whole thing. I came to feel that while the speed of writing made it extremely interesting, as a novel of confession it was less successful - or at least unusual - in having a hero that wasn't just becoming understood but was consistently attractive in his charisma. I deleted an unfair comparison I made with Thomas Bernhard's Gathering Evidence and My Prizes in the other thread but would recommend anyone who has enjoyed Knausgaard's novels to try the above, which focus on the author's early life and late prizes. It's very easy once you stop reading something to start sneering at it so I'm trying to remind myself how awed I felt when reading A Death in the Family and that should motivate me to return - maybe jumping to book 3 which you recommended - or at least skip to the last one when it's translated. I remember being startled to learn it would contain four hundred pages about Hitler's book of the same title.

Re: Karl Ove Knausgaard
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2017, 07:56:18 AM »
Cheers, for the recommendation. Shall add it to my list.

"in having a hero that wasn't just becoming understood but was consistently attractive in his charisma"

Not sure if I really agree with this, I mean the bloke obviously has an ego but is quite honest about it and also honest about his own self loathing and massive insecurities. Fair fucks though I can understand him becoming a bit tiresome.

Also worth mentioning that although I really enjoyed the fuck out of book 3 I think a lot of people regard it as their least favourite in the series. I just really enjoyed the evocations of a childhood lived in Norway, he does it beautifully. Also some really funny bits about the weird shit that kids do and all that. Can't remember if it's book 4 but I think it is, which is kind of a long drawn out struggle to lose his virginity that's really amusing as well, fantastic ending too.

As I say book 5 kept (excuse the internet slang) "hitting me right in the feels" so much that I had to stop, but that's more to do with my own stupid real life shit. Need to go back to it.

Smeraldina Rima

  • A slug-ridden cabbage
Re: Karl Ove Knausgaard
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2017, 02:51:49 PM »
I've put that badly. I didn't tire of him as a personality and that's partly what I was worried about. At no point did I grow to dislike him or find him embarrassing or pretentious or cynical. Howj Begg recently reviewed Rousseau's confessions pointing out how pathetic he is. My favourite confessional author, Saint Augustine, has a special child-like approach to his weaknesses and his behaviour which I appreciated and started to measure Knausgaard against. I'll focus on something more specific. There's a section in the first book where he complains about a friend who introduces him as the handsome Karl Ove. It was an interesting part, and an understandable frustration, but I would have been interested to read him coming back to examine the role that he thinks his appearance has played in his life, considering that he is an especially beautiful looking man. Anyway, I am uncomfortable having criticised him so sweepingly and in terms I can't really defend. It's complicated by the overlapping judgements of the life and the writing.

Twit 2

  • In the boneyard of dreams
Re: Karl Ove Knausgaard
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2017, 02:31:24 PM »
Have read excerpts, and a few articles about him. I fear it treads that line between genius and absolute fucky-bum-boo-boo. I found a lot of it to be platitudes, but to be fair it might all work in context and I need to read something by him all the way through.