“Writing is drawing the essence of what we know out of the shadows.”

Knausgaard croppedThe passage continues: “That is what writing is about. Not what happens there, not what actions are played out there, but the there itself.”  This book, the autobiography of Norwegian novelist Karl Ove Knausgaard, reminds me of Proust.  He describes things in great detail — including his faults and his family’s problems. He is very controversial in Europe, where people are less likely to air their feelings, failings, and loneliness.  “In every man, of course, a demon lies hidden,” Dostoyevsky wrote. Demons abound here.  And yet, it’s one of the most compelling, provoking, engaging books I’ve read in years.

Karl Ove Knausgaard My Struggle (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013), 192.

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