Read the profile here: "Northern light".
- Amazon delivered My Struggle-1 last week and I have been devouring it page by delectable page like a man possessed every night before hitting the sack. There is something hypnotic about the writing that draws you in and keeps you engaged. As The Economist notes:
Knausgaard devotes pages to buying beer as a teenager, or pushing a pram as a new father. But he is saved from being boring by four things.
The first is the energy of his writing: what it lacks in polish it makes up for in immediacy.
The second is his willingness to “put everything into a book”, as he describes it. He not only dwells on things that other writers might consider to be beneath consideration. He dares to be politically incorrect: to reveal, for example, how humiliating it is for a hulking man to take his children to play groups.
The third element is the sense of transcendence: “My Struggle” is full of quasi-religious moments when the author sees something bigger lurking beneath the surface of events.
The fourth and most important thread is Mr Knausgaard’s father, a figure who provides the book with both its narrative drive and its all-enveloping sense of menace.
The Economist is not the only publication to lavish praise on Knausgaard and his magnum opus:
“Powerfully alive . . . Knausgaard is intense and utterly honest, unafraid to voice universal anxieties . . . He wants us to inhabit the ordinariness of life, which is sometimes visionary, sometimes banal, and sometimes momentous, but all of it perforce ordinary because it happens in the course of a life, and happens, in different forms, to everyone . . . There is something ceaselessly compelling about Knausgaard’s book.” — James Wood, The New Yorker (selected as one of the Books of the Year)
“A fantastic novel . . . I cannot say anything other than that I am looking forward desperately to the rest of it.” — Dagsavisen (Norway)
“Knausgaard’s thinking is magnificently unbridled.” — Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany)
“Between Proust and the woods . . . Like granite, precise and forceful. More real than reality.” — La Repubblica (Italy)
“I can’t stop, I want to stop, I can’t stop, just one more page, then I will cook dinner, just one more page . . .” — Västerbottens-kuriren (Sweden)