Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Dissecting Karl Ove Knausgaard

Only a few pages in and I was already reading an excerpt from this book to Tim over lunch:
'...nothing I had previously experienced warned me about the invasion into your life that having children entails. The immense intimacy you have with them, the way in which your own temperament and mood are, so to speak, woven into theirs, such that your own worst sides are no longer something you can keep to yourself, hidden, but seem to take shape outside you, and are then hurled back. The same of course applies to your best sides.'

And then on the next page, more fabulous food for thought about the tortured existence of being a writer, and other creative souls could associate with this too I'm sure. He starts by talking about the happiness he experiences conversing with his young daughter:
'Even if the feeling of happiness this gives me is not exactly a whirlwind but closer to satisfaction or serenity, it is happiness all the same. Perhaps even, at certain moments, joy. And isn't that enough? Isn't it enough? Yes, if joy had been the goal it would have been enough. But joy is not my goal, never has been, what good is joy to me? The family is not my goal, either. If it had been, and I could have devoted all my energy to it, we would have had a fantastic time, of that I am sure. .... I do everything I have to do for the family; that is my duty. The only thing I have learned from life is to endure it, never to question it, and to burn up the longing generated by this in writing.'

I have always kept a diary my whole life. I've never really thought about why it has been important to me, but I guess it is for this very reason - to 'burn up the longing'. If someone were to read my diary they would no doubt conclude I'm a mad woman for the majority of pages are fueled by this longing. Writing a blog is different, it is me censored for the outside world, which is what makes the pages in Karl Ove's book so captivating - he bravely lays himself bare on the autopsy slab so we the reader can enjoy poking around in the darkest corners of his psyche. His writing gives me courage to keep pen to paper. 

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