Posts Tagged: my struggle

VISIBLE: Women Writers of Color: Faith Adiele

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Faith Adiele discusses what it means to be a good literary citizen, the importance of decolonizing travel writing, and how she wants to change the way Black stories are being told. ...more

The Rumpus Interview with Mila Jaroniec

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Mila Jaroniec talks about her debut novel Plastic Vodka Bottle Sleepover,” writing autofiction, the surprising similarity between selling sex toys and selling books, and the impact of having a baby on editing. ...more

The Sacred and the Profane in Knausgaard

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Is it possible to separate Knausgaard the author from Knausgaard the protagonist? At the New Republic, Tess Crain asks this question, taking a look at the series from a woman’s point of view. By her estimation, Volume 5, just out in English, explains some of Knausgaard’s problematic views on women by framing him as “a man of God”:

…what makes My Struggle so upsetting to a female reader is also exactly what may redeem it: Sex and souls are separate.

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Where Are All The “Good” Guys?

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For Electric Literature, Liesl Schillinger reflects on his struggles to find examples of “good” men in contemporary fiction, and shares his joy in finding one in Lauren Groff‘s Fates and Furies. Further, he argues that despite the self-deprecating narrator in Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle, the six-volume epic captures an “everyman” whose goodwill helps him to succeed:

There is room in the reading world for fiction about every kind of person on earth, whatever their sexual or gender identity or preference; whatever their deficit or surfeit of ability, whatever their weakness or strength of personality; whatever their luck, good or ill… But when I remember my troubled male friend, who asked me not so long ago, during a dark moment, to recommend a novel about a man who succeeded, I am so glad that I can now give him a title.

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Which Norwegian Author Is Your Favorite Beatle?

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I think of the four elder statesmen of Norwegian letters as a bit like the Beatles: Per Petterson is the solid, always dependable Ringo; Dag Solstad is John, the experimentalist, the ideas man; Karl Ove Knausgaard is Paul, the cute one; and Fosse is George, the quiet one, mystical, spiritual, probably the best craftsman of them all.

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The Joy of Knausgaard

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For Flavorwire, Jonathon Sturgeon works to define “contemporary” literature and wonders where Karl Knausgaard’s My Struggle fits into the mix. What he ultimately argues is that contemporary literature is often “project based,” and that Knausgaard’s self-exploratory novel is the most definitive example of this kind of work in recent times:

Not only does the title My Struggle claim for Knausgaard the agency to define his own project, it also points to the audacity of its own belatedness.

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Stranger than Fiction

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The death of the novel has been argued and rebutted and argued again. Drawing from David Shields‘s book of literary criticism, Reality Hunger: A Manifesto, Alexander Nazaryan wonders whether the essay might do a better job:

Reality Hunger argues that to survive, the novel must become less like itself, to just stop with the whole plot-character-theme business…If you have something to say, say it plainly, without all the juvenile disguises of the novel.

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The New Proust

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I’m a Proustian in that sense, I believe in memories outside of consciousness, and this is just a way to find them. Writing is a way to get access to them. The thing you feel if you smell something, or hear something, if you hear music from the ’80s, and then you are back there with your whole body for maybe ten seconds, and it is very good.

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Struggling with Titles

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Karl Ove Knausgaard has been making waves with his six-part book My Struggle. The popular series shares a title with another famous book, Mein Kampf, Hitler’s treatise written from his prison cell. The New Yorker explores the reasoning behind Knausgaard’s choice of title:

Knausgaard sometimes speaks in interviews and public appearances of an irony inherent in the name of the book; where Hitler is all ideology and rigid perfection in “Mein Kampf,” Knausgaard’s struggle as a middle-class dad is quotidian, messy, faintly ridiculous.

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The Writer’s Writer

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Karl Ove Knausgaard, the handsome Norwegian writer, is traveling through the U.S. giving talks and readings and interviews. It’s as good a time as any to start reading his 6-part autobiography, My Struggle, especially if you are a writer. As the New York Times reports, Knausgaard’s American counterparts are all raving about this writer—Jeffrey Eugenides, Lorin Stein, Sheila Heti, Zadie Smith, and others are caught up in the brilliance of Knausgaard:

Why has My Struggle so excited the literary world?

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