My Struggle Volume 3, by Karl Ove Knausgaard
My review of the latest instalment of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle has been published at Music & Literature:
In his emphasis on everyday objects, Knausgaard is like a man in the dark fumbling around for physical reference points as he tries to find his way to the light switch. The flatness of his style is paradoxically infused with the very “uncontrollable longing” for the past that compels the undertaking, present in its very absence. Given the impossibility of reliable recollection, the listing of physical coordinates—kitchen utensils and clothing, the innumerable family meals whose constituent parts are so pedantically itemized—is a way of anchoring his writing in the real, minimizing the inevitable distortions and transfigurations of literary style. Yet rather than a naïve quest for transparency, the underlying premise of this approach seems to be a deep mistrust, perhaps even a sense of shame towards writing. Like ripping off a band-aid, Knausgaard approaches narrative writing as a necessary evil, the more tolerable if performed quickly and unceremoniously.
Read the full review here: http://www.musicandliterature.org/reviews/2014/5/27/karl-ove-knausgaards-my-struggle-vol-3