Saturday, April 16, 2016

Karl Ove Knausgaard, My Struggle, Book 3

So I just wrapped up Book 3 of Knausgaard's somehow stupendous work, and cannot wait to move on to Book 4, wherever it takes me. One of these days he's going to start about the crazy mass murderer fascist guy up there in Norway, for those of you who remember him. Here in America we have so many it's hard to keep them straight in our minds, sometimes.

In any case, it continues to be a remarkable piece of work, first and foremost in the extent to which, by digging deep into his own experience and holding nothing back (how he cried all the time even at the age of 13 and was mocked for it, how he was called a "jessie" [apparently an effeminate male] and fag-baited in middle school) he lets the reader -- or this one at least -- access his own memories. Of course, this is the most standard stuff of realistic narrative -- reader identifying with narrator -- and in theoretical circles one of the most hotly contested claims of literature, that it's all illusory blah blah blah.

But the great thing about being out of the business of literature is of course that I don't have to care about any of that. I can just read and think and write whatever I freaking please, without having to worry about the theoretical legitimacy of what I'm saying, which is another way of saying I don't have to be concerned about marketing and positioning my writing. I can just fart it out.

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