Sunday, December 20, 2015

Crowded with particulars …

… Life Itself | The Hudson Review. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Knausgaard, in My Struggle, provides the reader with the usual plainly autobiographical narrator but upends the fatalism, serving up instead what can seem, to Norwegian readers, a naïve, credulous, American-style enthusiasm about life. Whereas all too many Norwegian authors, moreover, ooze self-importance and patently view themselves as know-it-all sages, Knausgaard presents himself as an ordinary slob, rife with intellectual and social insecurities, who constantly worries that he doesn’t understand anybody or anything at all, including himself. He’s preternaturally uneasy around others, uncomfortable trying to adjust to societal expectations and congenitally suspicious of personal relationships, which, he frets, are “there to eradicate individuality” and “fetter freedom.”
I started reading it, but couldn't get into it. My fault, I am sure. But then there's also the brevity of life.

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