Thursday, February 04, 2016

My Struggle, Volume 1

I have alluded to the fact that I was taking up Karl Ove Knausgaard's My Struggle, and now I have done so. I see what all the hype was about.

The first volume is quite something. It is all about his father, and his father's death, and his father's alcoholism, and growing up listening to alt rock and trying to get girls' attention. Obviously, it was close to home.

It is difficult to say what it is about Knausgaard, except to say that it is just all there on the page, he holds nothing back, he is intensely present and open. Probably the most compelling part of it was when he and his brother labor intensively to clean up the wreckage into which his father and his grandmother had let her home sink as he drank himself to death, and she, it turns out, helped him. Knausgaard is unflinching in discussing, for instance, how his grandmother routinely pees while sitting in a chair in the kitchen or living room.

Again, it's hard to describe, without actually working hard at it, and lord knows it is altogether too late for that. Just read it.

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