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. But his book is not all that ironic or clever. In fact, its directness and sincerity—to the point of frequent, unembarrassed cliché—contributes to the almost shocking immediacy of the voice. “My Struggle” makes no apologies. Knausgaard does not protect himself from the charge of narcissism by turning to self-deprecation or rationalization or literary tricks.