On Writing the Personal Struggle

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For me, the act of writing is all about getting rid of self-criticism, and at the same time I have an almost religious belief in literature. These two kingdoms are impossible to unite. So what I do, apparently, is try to write great literature for four or five years, until the level of frustration becomes so high that it starts to tear down the wall between me and my text, or, differently put: I start not to care. All this pain, all these problems, just to write plain, simple prose!

In the latest issue of Tin House, Scott Esposito discusses writing, personal struggle, and Hitler with Karl Ove Knausgaard.


Lyz's writing has been published in the New York Times Motherlode, Jezebel, Aeon, Pacific Standard, and others. Her book on midwestern churches is forthcoming from Indiana University Press. She has her MFA from Lesley and skulks about on Twitter @lyzl. Lyz is a member of The Rumpus Advisory Board and a full-time staff writer for the Columbia Journalism Review. More from this author →