Friday, June 21, 2013

Knausgaard in Norway

More immediately striking, however, is another parallel concerning the ways in which fiction is born of fact, and the question whether this is fiction at all. As in Proust’s novel, the narrator of “My Struggle” has the same name as the author and seems to have lived much the same life, to have been preoccupied by much the same concerns and to be, as was Proust’s narrator, in search of a subject for his story, which subject turns out to be that very search. Proust changed a great deal — invented or amalgamated places (like the “Combray” of the book’s opening section), people (like the jealously held Albertine) and events (like the dipping of a madeleine in tea, presumably). Knausgaard, it appears, has not — and this has led to threats of legal action on the part of family members and a level of national and international attention such that a number of Norwegian companies have declared Knausgaard-free days during which debate is to be suspended in the name of some modicum of productivity. It is estimated that something approaching 1 in 10 Norwegians have read the book.
This is from the New York Times review of Book 2 of Karl Ove Knausgaard's six book series.

I am 20 pages from finishing Book 1 of the saga.  I've found it entertaining and interesting, but not gripping.  Four stars overall.  I suspect that I will enjoy the second book more than the first, based on what I've read about the themes covered -- childhood, adolescence and death in the first; marriage and adulthood in the second.

1 comment:

  1. max rsvp mensch re SEE MY PIECE HERE how-norwegian-publisher-and-his-british. - #knaussgaardfree