My Struggle: Book 3 PDF è My Struggle: PDF/EPUB ²

My Struggle: Book 3 I am grateful that I mistrust my own opinions Even with the first two volumes of My Struggle under my belt, I would have quickly abandoned volume three if I trusted my first impressions Not that three is fundamentally different than one and two, but Knausgaard s prose in these books is simply like nothing else I read, and as it had been a while since I read him I reacted too quickly to his difference without allowing my reading self to settle into it His prose can read as flat and uninspired, I am grateful that I mistrust my own opinions Even with the first two volumes of My Struggle under my belt, I would have quickly abandoned volume three if I trusted my first impressions Not that three is fundamentally different than one and two, but Knausgaard s prose in these books is simply like nothing else I read, and as it had been a while since I read him I reacted too quickly to his difference without allowing my reading self to settle into it His prose can read as flat and uninspired, and can seem boring and pointless and generic, and does go on and on, none of which typically inspires me to continue but Knausgaard is simply and fundamentally different I do not yet know exactly how he is different, nor do I know if I want to know directly experiencing the uncanny hypnotic quality of his prose is enough for me This volume covers his childhood from roughly age 6 to age 14 or so His childhood was like almost anyone s childhood, with only a few experiences falling outside what I would consider the norm I never played shitting games with my friends, for instance, nor did other current friends I ve asked I also never got my dick caught in a coke bottle where it got bitten by a beetle But the obsessions with girls, the fear of the father, the untamed woodsy play, the feeling of the bedroom as haven, the awkwardness, the forced groping of girls, the obsessive excitement over new sneakers, etc all were immediately translated into memories of my own childhood And that is one reason he is so powerful while writing about deeply personal experiences, his prose maintains a universal generic quality that instead of drawing the reader deeper and deeper into Knausgaard s world draws the reader deeper and deeper into his or her own world There is a freedom here for the reader, and an exhilaration, as buried worlds within the memory resurface and he or she floats along with the prose about someone else s life, while reliving his or her own This experience was particularly acute in this volume as nearly all of it was uninterrupted memory recall, relayed as if present, with very little adult commentary I could feel these memories opening up to Knausgaard as he wrote, as the very writing uncoveredandThe experience was one of reading memory direct, as a present experience unfolding as it occurred Without even apparently trying to, Knausgaard created the closest thing to an experience of childhood from the inside that an adult can hope to experience And this in turn, while being tremendously enjoyable, is also very useful to adults with young children as it s a reminder how sensitive and perceptive children can be, and how even the most throwaway and generic experiences from an adult perspective are intensely significant to children as they live them for the first time In the 3rd installment of his 6 Volume autobiographical romain fleuve, Karl Ove Knausg rd shifts back in time to his grade school years in an interesting read, however less gut wrenching than the first two books The narration here islinear although with significant forward leaps which were occasionally disconcerting than the other books, but still uses the typical KOK maniacally descriptive writing style This particular tome has a bit of ascatological focus which is sometimes int In the 3rd installment of his 6 Volume autobiographical romain fleuve, Karl Ove Knausg rd shifts back in time to his grade school years in an interesting read, however less gut wrenching than the first two books The narration here islinear although with significant forward leaps which were occasionally disconcerting than the other books, but still uses the typical KOK maniacally descriptive writing style This particular tome has a bit of ascatological focus which is sometimes interesting, but I could have passed on all the feces in the forest episodes Early in the book, as he tries to block the sound of his mother urinating in the bathroom next to his room, young Karl Ove sees a cat chasing a mouse outside page 52 I particularly appreciated how he connected sounds of the banality of using the toilet with the actions of the cat and mouseThe cat turned sharply and stared at the mouse, which still hadn t moved A jet of water from the tap splashed against the porcelain sink The cat jumped down from the wall, strolled over to the road, and lay down like a small lion Just as Mom pressed the handle and opened the door, a twitch went through the mouse, as though the sound had released an impulse in it, and hte next moment it set off on a desperate flight from the cat, which had obviously reckoned with this eventuality as it required nothan a fraction of a second to switch from resting to hunting But this time it was too late A sheet of white Eternit cladding left lying in the lawn was the mouse s salvation as it squeezed itself underneath a second before the cat arrived.I felt that most of the time I could relate to KOK s trials and tribulations growing up The swimming cap incident p 122 126 was highly realistic and reminded me a bit of passages from A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man which made the reading meaningful One technique he seemed to have borrowed from Joyce was occasionally using astaccato language for the younger Karl Ove even if the adult writer Karl Ove s tone is still dominant.What is most remarkable about the book is the insight it provides to readers on Vol 1 into the relationship between Karl Ove and his family, but particularly with his violent and erratic father including the abusive behavior and domestic terror he instilled his older brother Yngve leaves the family at 18 abruptly to fend for himself, fed up with the abuse , the origins of his alcoholism, and the impact that this has on the sensitive psychology of KOK Of particular note, is the passage around pages 137 144 about the pristine state of Grandma s house knowing how it winds up two decades later immediately following Dad s suicide by drinking The passage as they drive home resonated with me I loved traveling in a car at night, with the dashboard lit, the muted voices coming from the front seats, the gleam of street lamps as we passed beneath washing over us like breakers or waves of light, the long, completely dark stretches that cropped up intermittently, where all you saw, all that existed, was the tarmac lit up by the headlights and the countryside they illuminated at the bends Sudden treetops, sudden crags, sudden sea inlets It was always a particular pleasure to arrive at the house in the night as well, to hear footsteps on the gravel and the sharp slam of the car doors and the rattle of keys, to see the light in the hall come on, revealing the presence of all the familiar objects The shoes with the grommet as eyes and the tongue as a forehead, the chilly gaze from the white two holed electric sockets above the baseboard, the hat stand in the corner with its back turned p 144.I think it is seemingly actionless passages like this where he takes description to a poetic extreme that make his a truly great writer I alluded to the passage of time being somewhat uncomfortable above Perhaps, it is captured a bit in this phraseChildhood sometimes consisted of an infinity of such moments, all equally compactp 254 This reminded me about how he described angels observing passing time in A Time for Everything Further onWe were in midchildhood and time was suspended there That is, the moments raced along at breakneck speed while the days that contained them passed along almost unnoticed p 255 That is precisely how I felt growing up in terms of observing the time pass.One last quote that I enjoyed that might inspire me to swim again as it perfectly captures a particular aspect of that sport that I find both annoying and interestingI also liked the feeling of being encliused inside my self when I put on my swimming cap and goggles, not least during competitions, when I had a whole lane of my own waiting for me beneath the starting blocks, but often the thoughts waiting there, in swimming s atronaut like loneliness, became chaotic and sometimes almost panickedAnd I could see that the swimmers in the adjacent lanes were already way ahead, which I was told by the voice inside me intent on winning, and I started a discussion with it But even though this inner dialog, which carried on calmly while I was swimming and fighting for all I was worth, and therefore lent an almost panic stricken aura, a bit like a military HQ deep in an underground bunker with officers speaking in controlled tones while the battles raged overheadp 303 I could really relate to that, personally So, why only 4 stars Well, this volume was still less engaging anduneven writing wise than the first two while still being intriguing On to Vol 4 Fino s KOK Reviews Book 1Book 2Book 3Book 4Book 5Book 6A Time For Everything This is a farlinear experience there are only two contemporary interjections than the first two volumes, and the structure isconventional This, I think, is because we are dealing here nearly exclusively with early childhood, and there is a great amount of generalization associated with that time The feeling of that age is echoed in the writing, which takes on a different tenor here abrupt sentences, heightened sensory description K.O.K s father is as menacing as any father in This is a farlinear experience there are only two contemporary interjections than the first two volumes, and the structure isconventional This, I think, is because we are dealing here nearly exclusively with early childhood, and there is a great amount of generalization associated with that time The feeling of that age is echoed in the writing, which takes on a different tenor here abrupt sentences, heightened sensory description K.O.K s father is as menacing as any father in literature, and the absence of the mother in the text is turned on its head about halfway through.The best moments of all are the ones that anticipate what we have already read The unforgettable post alcoholism sequence in the grandmother s house in volume 1 returns vividly here when we see her house in perfect order and smelling wonderful It will be fascinating to go back and read all of these again.I interviewed Knausgaard for Publisher s Weekly last year one thing that he said that didn t make it into the piece is that the landscapes here are the same as in his great novel, A TIME FOR EVERYTHING This is because there is something archetypal, biblical, about early childhood Something to keep in mind, if the universality of this volume bothers you.Oddly enough, I think the book has almost as much in common with A Time For Everything This will be essay fodder.It is my least favorite of the 3 volumes so far, but it still is wonderful If I had read it on its own it would have been a strong 4 star rating, but as part of a whole, it s remarkable Move over robins, tulips, pastels, and jelly beans, the appearance of a fresh volume of My Struggle by Karl Ove Knausgaard now marks the coming of spring and will continue do so in 2015, 2016, and 2017 as the final three books in the series appear in English in the United States, translated from the Norwegian by Donald Bartlett, published by Archipelago Books in signature squarish hard covers Quick recap My Struggle is a six volume literary autobiography Comparisons to Proust s In Search of L Move over robins, tulips, pastels, and jelly beans, the appearance of a fresh volume of My Struggle by Karl Ove Knausgaard now marks the coming of spring and will continue do so in 2015, 2016, and 2017 as the final three books in the series appear in English in the United States, translated from the Norwegian by Donald Bartlett, published by Archipelago Books in signature squarish hard covers Quick recap My Struggle is a six volume literary autobiography Comparisons to Proust s In Search of Lost Time thanks to size and spirit are inexact and inevitable On a sentence level, My Struggle is easier reading than the Search Scene wise, the former includes no interminable stretches i.e., hundreds of consecutive pages in which haute bourgeois folks, gently derided by the narrator, chat about the Dreyfus Affair There are similarities, sure Marcel is a tad fey and Karl Ove is called out for being a bit of a nancy boy a jessie in Norwegian slang both narrators tend to wax ecstatically about unexpected encounters with the sublime the little phrase in Vinteuil s violin sonata in Swann s Way Roxy Music s More Than This in Book Three and there s the commonality of fulfilled ambition on the part of both writers to produce elevated literary art by tracing in text their wandering paths en route to life s core Proust s highest highs for me, in Sodom and Gomorrah, the central pages describing Marcel s Grandmother s death and Marcel s first sight of an airplane may be higher than those in My Struggle, but overall, as a child of the 1970s and 1980s, I find myself relatingto Karl Ove than to Marcel.My Struggle Book One began with the narrator author s current state as a father of a few kids, backtracked to his own childhood, spent much time dramatizing a postadolescent search for alcohol on New Year s Eve, focused a bit on the author s terrible teenage rock band, before committing to a heartbreaking, detailed description of cleaning up the literal and figurative mess after his alcoholic father s death Last spring for the Philadelphia Review of Books I contributed around 4,000 words about My Struggle Book Two A Man in Love It sabout the quotidian details of raising a family while trying to write specifically, it covers the time the author wrote A Time for Everything, an extraordinary retelling of the Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah stories and others, but set in Norway, focused on the interaction between humans and angels on Earth, a novel that wonderfully complements Book Two since both books share details and scenes heavily fictionalized in one yet not at all in the other Book Two offers some shocking scenes and plentiful straightforward insight into living, writing, and art More than Book One, which seemed to wobble a bit through its first half until it detailed the father s dissolution and death, Book Two seems to me an absolute masterpiece The current Book Three, Boyhood, is the prequel to Book One, and it too is masterly, albeit in a quieter way than Book Two.The first two volumes begin with description of life as a parent of young children before diving into the waters of the past, which in Knausgaard s hands are clear and refreshingly chilly Despite often moving associatively instead of linearly, things never get murky The point of view is always solid We re situated in a scene or an image that s explored and developed and then we move on, often crossing dozens of years in a centimeter sized space break Book Three maintains this steady episodic associative structure It s all over the place at the pace of youth But not once does the narrator discuss his wife or three children or his writing career This is 99% immersion in the activities of daily living of a sensitive kid growing up in the 70s, a mama s boy who lives under the shadow of a father who s always grabbing young Karl Ove by the ear or the arm and punishing him for the slightest thing We know this father from the first book We ve seen his sons clean up his mess But now the father is a lean handsome bearded teacher at the high school he s about thirty years old and drives fast he s involved in local politics, and he s a footie fan who forces his youngest son to watch with him and his older brother Yngve and punishes Karl Ove for refusing to consume the ritual soccer watching treats The alcoholism that will do the father in is still on the horizon, but mostly he s a dreadful presence in Book Three who never fails to trigger Karl Ove s tears.If I had a digital copy of Book Three I d search for and count the appearance of the words cry or tears since it seems that every few pages he s crying again That s the number one lingering image of Book Three at times it felt like an erotic novel in which climaxes are replaced by tears They come at the least insult to his fragile yet estimable conception of self Previous volumes I ve described as flinty, but youth is fluid, conceptions of self, friendships, the emerging ego, physicality, and desire are fluid, andoften than not, this fluidity emerges from our narrator s eyes.The kids call him a Jessie A femme boy He must be a cute kid since the preadolescent lasses he describes as objectively beautiful are attracted to him, and he takes an interest in clothes because he realizes doing so can help him talk to girls But his primary interests are dreaming about girls, playing soccer, listening to music, riding bikes, setting fires, swimming, skiing, reading as much as he can I loved the dense lists of what he read as a child the unremarkable activities and attractions of a young boy Like a magic trick that astounds thanks to a lack of gimmicks and props, sincere detailed divulgence makes these mundanities compelling Embarrassment lurks around every corner Arrogance and humility are in constant conflict The waterworks are always ready to flow And all the while there s the slightest awareness that the adult author is gathering early evidence of his mature conceptions of self, family, society, and art.One of the few times in the novel the narrator comes up out of the past and emerges into the present, he says I was so frightened of my father that even with the greatest effort of will I am unable to recreate the fear the feelings I had for him I have never felt since, nor indeed anything close.His footsteps on the stairs was he coming to see me The wild glare in his eyes The tightness around his mouth The lips that parted involuntarily And then his voice.Sitting here now, hearing it in my inner ear, I almost start crying.His fury struck like a wave, it washed through the rooms, lashed at me, lashed and lashed and lashed at me, and then it retreated Then it could be quiet for several weeks However, it wasn t quiet, for it could just as easily come in two minutes as two days There was no warning Suddenly, there he was, furious.It would be unfair to characterize this as the memoir of a man in his 40s looking back at his traumatized youth Paternal terror is part of it, sure, butso it s a dramatized compendium of small memories, the sensations of youth, that can t help but resonate with most readers, since regardless of sex, nationality, or age all readers were once children who at one point, for example, heard their parents piss Knausgaard compares his mother s hissing urination with his father s strong stream He describes having to wipe the floor after he pees He talks about shitting in the woods, standing up and letting one go and then analyzing it He has some money to buy some candy, is super psyched for his Lox and Nox, but on the way home two older girls take his candy and he cries forever He needs a cap for swimming class and the one his mother hands him is adorned with a little plastic flower He and friends throw large stones off overpasses at passing cars He votes for himself during a classroom election A little older, essentially serving as the climax in terms of its placement about two thirds of the way through Book Three, he works his penis into a bottle found in the woods and feels like something is slicing into him Turns out it s a black beetle with huge pincers I don t remember voting for myself in a classroom election, I certainly never forced my penis into a bottle, and I didn t have a domineering father, but for the most part I found myself thinking about relatability as I read I don t love the word all that much finding a novel relatable seems like the critical hallmark of weak students in undergrad English Lit classes But Knausgaard s extremely relatable material evoked my memories to the point of it seeming like pulling the proverbial rabbit from the hat on my head Karl Ove and a friend start a band they call Blood Clot and a rush of memories returns about a band I started in third grade called Blue Blood in which I played drums Chock Full of Nuts coffee cans, their openings covered in crayon scrawled construction paper secured by rubber bands, against which I d improvise idiosyncratic polyrhythms with Magic Markers Most scenes and details of Book Three serve as Proustian madeleines for the reader By so effectively immersing himself and the reader in a nearly plotless progression of text that s nevertheless compelling, he evokes his childhood in a way that evokes that of readers too It s like Knausgaard gets out of the way of retelling his childhood story, allowing readers room to remember their own stories That s a generous and difficult thing to do.Who I am to them I have no idea, probably a vague memory of someone they once knew in their childhood years, for they have done so much to one another in their lives since then, so much has happened and with such impact that the small incidents that took place in their childhoods have nogravity than the dust stirred up by a passing car, or the seeds of a withering dandelion dispersed by the breath of a small mouth And, oh, wasn t the latter a fine image, of how event after event is dispersed in the air above the little meadow of one s own history, only to fall between the blades of grass and vanish Knausgaard remembers this period of his life because his family moved as he entered the Norwegian equivalent of high school The kids he grew up with continued to affect each other through all the incidents of their teenage years and beyond But Karl Ove s boyhood ends there It s contained in time And it s contained in Book Three, event after event dispersed in the clean, crisp air of these pages.The official publication date isn t until late May, a few weeks from summer By then, after what s been one of the coldest, snowiest winters on record in Philadelphia, let s hope the preadolescent days of the year bring atmospheric refreshment on par with the sweetness and storms of Knausgaard s childhood If interested, here are my reviews of Books One, Two, Four, and Five Time never goes as fast as in your childhood an hour is never as short as it was then Everything is open, you run here, you run there, do one thing, then another, and suddenly the sun has gone down and you find yourself standing in the twilight with time like a barrier that has suddenly gone down in front of youKarl Ove Knausg rd, My Struggle Book Three Boyhood Island There is something mundane, yet otherworldly about Knausg rd s third book It exists on the island of Trom y, a large iTime never goes as fast as in your childhood an hour is never as short as it was then Everything is open, you run here, you run there, do one thing, then another, and suddenly the sun has gone down and you find yourself standing in the twilight with time like a barrier that has suddenly gone down in front of youKarl Ove Knausg rd, My Struggle Book Three Boyhood Island There is something mundane, yet otherworldly about Knausg rd s third book It exists on the island of Trom y, a large island relatively on the South Eastern tip of Norway His hard ass father teaches and his distracted mother works in a sanitarium He is surrounded by friends, family, an older brother, and anxiety and curiosity In many ways it is an honest look at middle childhood those awkward years that start just before puberty and end a couple years after puberty The magic of Knausg rd s quasi fictional memoir is his brutal openness He isn t afraid to write down his most awkward sexual experiences as a boy or young man He spends a lot of time discussing his weaknesses and his idiosyncrasies However, while Knausg rd himself might be the primary character and narrator, he is haunted by the shadow of his father You can see how the fear and anxiety created by this enormous father figure impacts both Karl Ove and his brother His father is both a storm that blows his boys or a maelstr m that constantly threatens to suck them in I think this characterization fits, because so many times as the boys sat in the house alone waiting for their father to arrive the tension felt like a ship anticipating a storm Darkness would descend and a hard madness would hit and then, just as fast, disappear The prose was beautiful, and in parts, seemed heavy enough to bleed the heavy, dark prose straight through the thick pages of the archipelago book In many ways the third volume of Karl Ove Knausgaard s fiercely debated memoir is the smallest in both its scope and in its physical size and the most banal thus far For a sequence of works which appear to be singlehandedly redefining the quality and value attached to banality in literature this no small feat This section of the monumental work, published in the UK as Boyhood Island, focuses on Knausgaard s life as a small child his first experiences at school, his trips to the remote fa In many ways the third volume of Karl Ove Knausgaard s fiercely debated memoir is the smallest in both its scope and in its physical size and the most banal thus far For a sequence of works which appear to be singlehandedly redefining the quality and value attached to banality in literature this no small feat This section of the monumental work, published in the UK as Boyhood Island, focuses on Knausgaard s life as a small child his first experiences at school, his trips to the remote farm where his grandparents live and his first time being in love In the shadow of these experiences lies the relationship with his father which, here, we find at its most visceral.Knausgaard s vulnerability by virtue of his youth coupled with the fact of his family s dependence on his father ensures that he exists in a state of permanent anxiety the subterranean drone of the unthinkable has weakened in Boyhood Island, the disturbing aural notes of the text which left the previous volumes perched on the abyss have been replaced by adirect current one of immediate danger, which equally permeates and infects every level of the text Every motion of his body and movement of his tongue, each word and action, carries with it a component of fear, a sense of danger at how his father might react This danger is a reflection of another the inherent danger of the practice of autobiography itself Daniel Fraser in The QuietusI had been warned by my Scandinavian friends on Instagram Book Three isformal, less intense It sstraightforward and less innovative in its form than the first two Well, I ll take this level offormal and less intense over anything else I ll read this year and run with it.My Goodreads friend Lee told us to prepare to relive childhood with this one and that is exactly what I did I did so with such fierceness and electricity that my own childhood memories kept resurfacing from page to page, seminal and luminous moments that I had not thought about for years.The feeling of living from hour to hour with such ultra sensitivity to everything is expressed here with no detour or shame or complacency The lasting effect, like a stamp branded into the skin, of a father s ebbing violence on a young boy s identity and emerging character is absolutely riveting The pages are suffused with the hot white light of a Norwegian island and the small victories and defeats that define a little boy s day and you will never want to leave If Karl Ove Knausgaard is Proust, which he isn t, then Book Three of My Struggle is Combray Evocation of childhood or adolescence is one of my favorite genres, be it film or novels or autobiography, and there are certainly tones here of Truffaut s The 400 Blows my favorite film, if you haven t seen it, get thee to a Netflixery , Spirit of the Beehive there s even a strangely familiar beekeeper scene in Book Three, almost as otherworldly as the one in Victor Erice s masterpiece , Ratcatcher r If Karl Ove Knausgaard is Proust, which he isn t, then Book Three of My Struggle is Combray Evocation of childhood or adolescence is one of my favorite genres, be it film or novels or autobiography, and there are certainly tones here of Truffaut s The 400 Blows my favorite film, if you haven t seen it, get thee to a Netflixery , Spirit of the Beehive there s even a strangely familiar beekeeper scene in Book Three, almost as otherworldly as the one in Victor Erice s masterpiece , Ratcatcher really no similarities to speak of, I just wanted to endorse Lynne Ramsay s fantastic film , and most especially Linklater s Boyhood, a movie I thought was pretty okay Book Three is, again, not Proust, not Danilo Ki s Garden, Ashes, it is not Nabokov s diamond refracted childhood remembrance of Speak, Memory, it hovers in the same orbit as Musil s Confusions of Young Torless, that might come close to something like an analog, but really it isn t, it isn t Jakob Von Gunten, it certainly isn t A Portrait of the Artist As A Young Man, but it is kind of something maybe like Dubliner s An Encounter no, not really any of these, but something all of its own, by itself something said in plainspoken language, naked and upfront, without subterfuge, with a keen eye toward self laceration, about what it was like for Karl Ove to be a boy Like the previous two volumes, nothing exceptional, nothing beyond what anyone might experience he was awkward, he was lonely, he was mocked, he loved his mother, he feared his cruel father who certainly was cold and cruel, but from what is written here, not radically abusive , played with his genitals, was fascinated by his excrement, found out eventually that girls were desirable, was rather mediocre at sports, fell in love with reading, was naive and arrogant at times and failed and faltered and cried and was hurt and kept growing up, growing through it, growing into his being There is a gentleness to this volume that wasn t as present in the previous two, necessary of evoking one s childhood, where time and regret don t yet hang like the pillory around our shoulders, when our selves have not yet had the chance to be twisted and grossly knotted into strange forms like bony trees by the progress of our growth in the wind, in the lashing rains of life passing A truly lovely image of a dandelion in the closing pages of this volume hallows the light and shadow painted landscape of this idyl, an idyl full of the shooting star brief happinesses of youth, its small triumphs, the miniature epic that is the world of our young selves uncovering the knowledge hidden everywhere and the blooming of consciousness opening up to the world, as much as it is steeped in sadness, embarrassment, fear, distress, and the nightmare specter that lives in dark windows that death casts even over our earliest, most innocent years A truly enjoyable book, made evenso by its relation to the preceding volumes It begins to fill out the empty spaces and corners of Karl Ove s psyche through which we have been wandering it adds a substructure to this life s recitation we are listening in on A family of four mother, father, and two boys move to the south coast of Norway, to a new house on a newly developed site It is the early s and the family s trajectory is upwardly mobile the future seems limitless In painstaking, sometimes self lacerating detail, Karl Ove Knausgaard paints a world familiar to anyone who can recall the intensity and novelty of childhood experience, one in which children and adults lead parallel lives that never meet Perhaps the most Proustian in the series, My Struggle Bookgives us Knausgaard s vivid, technicolor recollections of childhood, his emerging self understanding, and the multilayered nature of time s passing, memory, and existence I cannot think of another book I ve encountered that so perfectly captures the ache of adolescence Does it have something to do with the fact that Karl Ove and I both started jr high in the 1980s, giving a quite specific framework of references Likely But it goes far beyond that As a fellow jessie of the same generation, I can t but help project myself into much here The physical pain of longing the desire for recognition the crying My God, the crying I wondered at the time if it would I cannot think of another book I ve encountered that so perfectly captures the ache of adolescence Does it have something to do with the fact that Karl Ove and I both started jr high in the 1980s, giving a quite specific framework of references Likely But it goes far beyond that As a fellow jessie of the same generation, I can t but help project myself into much here The physical pain of longing the desire for recognition the crying My God, the crying I wondered at the time if it would ever stop And it has Looking back over the last 30 years, the tears, without fizz or bang, just dried themselves so much so that I cannot remember the last time I cried It s been years upon years This is not something to boast about, and I can t help missing the young boy that looked a lot like me He felt with precision Maybe this happens to everyone, I don t know But I do miss that boy, even if I can still sense him fleetingly when the house is quiet, I m up all night reading, and briefly untethered from the rapidly failing meat known as my body That boy could have cared less, yes But I couldn t care less now, and that s an evil I never wanted Is it too late to start again I don t know Ask me tomorrow The third book in the Knausgaard saga explores Karl Ove s boyhood The family moves to the largest island in southern Norway, Trom y, where Karl Ove s father teaches Norwegian in high school and his mother works with families experiencing trauma Finally we learn why Karl Ove was so terrified of his father The older brother Yngve now becomes the shadowy enigma we only glimpse but cannot see Yngve is the essence of the older brother a little dismissive of his younger sibling, but generally supp The third book in the Knausgaard saga explores Karl Ove s boyhood The family moves to the largest island in southern Norway, Trom y, where Karl Ove s father teaches Norwegian in high school and his mother works with families experiencing trauma Finally we learn why Karl Ove was so terrified of his father The older brother Yngve now becomes the shadowy enigma we only glimpse but cannot see Yngve is the essence of the older brother a little dismissive of his younger sibling, but generally supportive and friendly enough I yearn to seeof him, but suspect Karl Ove s penchant for self revelation did not extend to his brother.This is a remarkable piece of work TheI read theI want to read Fiction or nonfiction Of course it is both In a series this long and detailed one cannot have but used elements of both In order to ring true it must have recognizable motivations and actions, yet the detail feels new rather than remembered I found myself mesmerized by the thirteen year old Karl Ove The scene in which he takes the prettiest girl he s met to the forest by bicycle to kiss is positively painful and classic.The difference between the personalities of Karl Ove s parents is spelled out in a paragraph about driving styles Speed and anger went hand in hand Mom drove carefully, was considerate, never minded if the car in front was slow, she was patient and followed That was how she was at home as well She never got angry, always had time to help, didn t mind if things got broken, accidents happened, she liked to chat with us, she was interested in what we said, she often served food that was not absolutely necessary, such as waffles, buns, cocoa, and bread fresh out of the oven, while Dad on the other hand tried to purge our lives of anything that had no direct relevance to the situation in which we found ourselves we ate food because it was a necessity, and the time we spent eating had no value in itself when we watched TV we watched TV and were not allowed to talk or do anything else when we were in the garden we had to stay on the flagstones, they had been laid for precisely that purpose, while the lawn, big and inviting though it was, was not for walking, running, or lying on Dad always drove much too fast This revealing paragraph shows us two critical portraitures and Knausgaard s run on style which impels the reader forward We know immediately the difference in the two personalities, and in Karl Ove s as well On the day Karl Ove was reprimanded for embarrassing another boy, Edmund, for not being able to read, Karl Ove tells us I both understood and I didn t why his family was mean to him and kind to Edmund, whom they hardly knew He was learning two sets of behaviors and being confused by which to adopt By including this incident in his record we know that it became clearer to him at some later point.There is no mention of Knausgaard s overall direction with this third of the six books, though in the very last pages Karl Ove comes across a photograph in a history book of a naked woman starving to death The next page of the history book contains images of a mass grave with many strewn corpses Immediately readers minds go to the Holocaust with no further prompting The juxtaposition of the sunny warmth of impending summer and the stark brutality of the images jerks us from our reverie and places Karl Ove s boyhood in a larger context The years are passing but there are a few holes in the picture of a forty year old life We ve now had the beginning and the end, but early adulthood and a first marriage are still missing Is it literature I think so We have already gone somewhere though each volume leads only to another at this point A person with contradiction and depth is given life in these pages The detail is lush and ample and oh so readable, the story instructs us, and the context haunts us I look forward to seeing what Knausgaard wants us to understand, but he has already given us something very special indeed


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