Karl Ove Knausgård - Min kamp

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halfway through vol. 1.

a very interesting Macrocosm and a very boring microcosm. the contradiction between those two is what makes the novel remarkable, after all.

anyone else read it?

nostormo, Tuesday, 4 March 2014 21:43 (four years ago) Permalink

or: the most readable experimental novel ever written?

nostormo, Tuesday, 4 March 2014 21:49 (four years ago) Permalink

Not sure what you're getting at with that macro/microcosm distinction. I've read Vol. 1. Reposting my thoughts from one of the "currently reading" threads: "First half is about his high-school years, second half deals with his dad's death from alcoholism. Both halves pretty great. His ersatz-Proustian tic of recounting mundane activities in minute detail sometimes seems almost OCD, but the fastidious style pays dividends by capturing subtle emotional nuances in its fine mesh."

o. nate, Tuesday, 4 March 2014 22:22 (four years ago) Permalink

i think he is anti-proust:
where proust dig as deep as possible, Knausgård stays on the surface.

interesting macrocosm because of the the simple yet original idea of describing the banal everyday life as they are (the boring microcosm), without any decoration or technique whatsoever, as simple as possible. like modern art - everyone can do it,yes, but only he did.

nostormo, Tuesday, 4 March 2014 22:34 (four years ago) Permalink

When is this going to be on HBO?

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 4 March 2014 22:53 (four years ago) Permalink

never. too anti dramatic

nostormo, Tuesday, 4 March 2014 22:55 (four years ago) Permalink

There is an article in that awful paper - can't even face linking to that thrash anymore - where he talks about how basically, you know, you should write without any sense of shame.

I mean, will someone give this guy a medal?

I'll wait till he is dead. Might turn into a masterpiece then.

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 4 March 2014 22:56 (four years ago) Permalink

funny, because it's not as provocative as he think it is.

nostormo, Tuesday, 4 March 2014 23:00 (four years ago) Permalink

I read the first, have just started the second. I still can't tell whether he has such an eye for the telling detail that he can identify way more of them than anyone else, or whether that means he has no eye for the telling detail whatsoever. So many things are mentioned or half-described in passing, and then disappear having had no consequence. Maybe I'm missing it, or maybe they'll all be knitted together in volume six.

The first book *is* great though. It's not quite a two-halves book either, there are long digressions on e.g. life in Stockholm which don't seem to belong to either half. They're the most boring bits. The second book starts with one of these, a boring though still perceptive episode of parenthood. It makes for an unpromising opening though, it's going to take an effort to heave myself into this volume.

Ismael Klata, Tuesday, 4 March 2014 23:38 (four years ago) Permalink

So much great stuff on being an adolescent. His band playing its first gig at the shopping mall is delightfully embarrassing.

Ismael Klata, Tuesday, 4 March 2014 23:41 (four years ago) Permalink

still, it's like a study on detachment: everything has the feeling of indifferent, and it seems like he wasn't a "thinker" till after his teenage years, when he and everything around him is either shallow or very repressed. or is it just the Norwegian way of living?

nostormo, Wednesday, 5 March 2014 00:04 (four years ago) Permalink

Might be a Norwegian thing. Repression is kind of what we're about. We make up for it by getting far too drunk.

Re: seeing himself as provocative. When reading recent interviews, you probably have to keep in mind that his books were a HUGE deal here, with lots of discussion about whether writing them was immoral etc. Some of the people he wrote about didn't appreciate it. I cannot go into details, because I avoided those discussion and articles.

Øystein, Wednesday, 5 March 2014 07:56 (four years ago) Permalink

'it seems like he wasn't a "thinker" till after his teenage years'

hm.

♛ LIL UNIT ♛ (thomp), Wednesday, 5 March 2014 08:45 (four years ago) Permalink

got the first one of these for a pound at the weekend. that's all i have to add, unfortunately.

♛ LIL UNIT ♛ (thomp), Wednesday, 5 March 2014 08:46 (four years ago) Permalink

I've almost finished the second volume. Still can't quite articulate what I find so great about it. There is something bracing about the relentless, horrific mundanity of, eg, cleaning the dad's house in book I. As IK sez, book II opens with the most stupefyingly detailed account of a children's party imaginable, yet I found it engrossing. Suppose I don't find it very hard to identify with a guy who grew up in the 80s trying to make his hair look like Ian McCulloch's and discussing ideal LFC back 4s. Or the 30-something househusbandry. Wonder if I would find it quite so acute if it were written by some guy in Hackney.

Stevie T, Wednesday, 5 March 2014 08:53 (four years ago) Permalink

How does it compare to Javier Mariás in terms of, idk what to call it, hyper-extension of event and time?

♛ LIL UNIT ♛ (thomp), Wednesday, 5 March 2014 11:04 (four years ago) Permalink

marias is more boring

max, Wednesday, 5 March 2014 12:30 (four years ago) Permalink

disagree

just sayin, Wednesday, 5 March 2014 12:33 (four years ago) Permalink

i've only read 2 marias books & 1 knausgard

just sayin, Wednesday, 5 March 2014 12:35 (four years ago) Permalink

There is an article in that awful paper - can't even face linking to that thrash anymore - where he talks about how basically, you know, you should write without any sense of shame.

I'm nearly finished volume 1 now. Puzzled by this shame thing, because he seems to be just about as straight and moral and well-adjusted as a writer-type is likely to be. It's easy to write without shame when you don't have all that much to be ashamed of.

I dread to think of the books that will come out influenced by this.

It is pretty much impossible to imagine this being written by a woman.

Eyeball Kicks, Wednesday, 5 March 2014 12:54 (four years ago) Permalink

i cannot believe that any of us, no matter how straight and moral, don't have a gajillion instances of personal inward shame

landschlubber (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 5 March 2014 13:10 (four years ago) Permalink

This Paris Review interview is pretty good on shame: http://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2013/12/26/completely-without-dignity-an-interview-with-karl-ove-knausgaard/

Was talking to the Pinefox about Knausgaard a few weeks ago and it occurred to me that nearest UK equivalent, to the first volume at least, and with a lot more playfulness, is Paul Morley's Nothing. The bit where Morley spends a long night considering suicide because of his school trousers is totally Knausgaardian.

Stevie T, Wednesday, 5 March 2014 13:21 (four years ago) Permalink

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2013/dec/05/zadie-smith-man-vs-corpse/

This is a good read about Knausgaard and another chronicler of the everyday who I'm fairly sure I like a bit more, although I've only read bits and pieces of Min Kamp. What the fuck is with that title btw

Treeship, Wednesday, 5 March 2014 14:01 (four years ago) Permalink

trolling for pageviews iirc

re tao lin (and re 'this written by a woman') i think i have seen the sheila heti comparison more often?

♛ LIL UNIT ♛ (thomp), Wednesday, 5 March 2014 14:18 (four years ago) Permalink

yeah I put it "on pause" - let's see if I ever get back to it. I liked the idea and somehow I relate so much to it, it's just a shame that it's such a drag to get through it.

= my status on the archipelago thread. Hasn't changed in teh last 12 months

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Wednesday, 5 March 2014 14:34 (four years ago) Permalink

Knausgaard makes Tao Lin look like the hollowed out peanut shell that he is

waterbabies (waterface), Wednesday, 5 March 2014 15:01 (four years ago) Permalink

waterface: opinions 4 u

♛ LIL UNIT ♛ (thomp), Wednesday, 5 March 2014 15:21 (four years ago) Permalink

Read the first page of My Struggle Book 1 and then Taipei and tell me I'm wrong

waterbabies (waterface), Wednesday, 5 March 2014 15:25 (four years ago) Permalink

IF YOU DARE

max, Wednesday, 5 March 2014 15:27 (four years ago) Permalink

Explanation of what happens when you die v. lame ass party in NYC

waterbabies (waterface), Wednesday, 5 March 2014 15:28 (four years ago) Permalink

Go ahead, prove it. Work it out, show your work

waterbabies (waterface), Wednesday, 5 March 2014 15:28 (four years ago) Permalink

i feel like whether a book signposts it is about something important on its first page is not a great algorithm for determining literary value

♛ LIL UNIT ♛ (thomp), Wednesday, 5 March 2014 18:11 (four years ago) Permalink

^ gets it

james franco, Wednesday, 5 March 2014 19:22 (four years ago) Permalink

I never said it was a determination of total value. Saying it's a starting point

waterbabies (waterface), Wednesday, 5 March 2014 19:48 (four years ago) Permalink

Go ahead guys

waterbabies (waterface), Wednesday, 5 March 2014 19:49 (four years ago) Permalink

I'm willing to say I'm wrong! I just don't see it

waterbabies (waterface), Wednesday, 5 March 2014 19:50 (four years ago) Permalink

You can criticize Taipei for a lot of things, but lack of meditations on what happens when you die isn't one of them.

Treeship, Wednesday, 5 March 2014 20:04 (four years ago) Permalink

The whole book is basically premised on the main character's fear that he went wrong somehow, fell out of sync with the universe, and is continuing down a path that is somehow not "really" his life.

Treeship, Wednesday, 5 March 2014 20:07 (four years ago) Permalink

ok

waterbabies (waterface), Wednesday, 5 March 2014 20:31 (four years ago) Permalink

but the first few pages of My Struggle are masterful, and I'm not seeing that with Taipei. Can you point to a particular page or section I should check out

waterbabies (waterface), Wednesday, 5 March 2014 20:32 (four years ago) Permalink

i'm just going to mention tao lin on a bunch of threads about southern rock or brutalist architecture or artisan cheese and see if you show up to sidetrack them and all

♛ LIL UNIT ♛ (thomp), Wednesday, 5 March 2014 21:09 (four years ago) Permalink

"sidetrack"

waterbabies (waterface), Wednesday, 5 March 2014 21:27 (four years ago) Permalink

And I didn't bring up Tao Lin, Treeship did

waterbabies (waterface), Wednesday, 5 March 2014 21:28 (four years ago) Permalink

Zadie Smith did actually

Treeship, Thursday, 6 March 2014 01:32 (four years ago) Permalink

Think i might download vol 1 of the knausgaard for my iphone

Treeship, Thursday, 6 March 2014 01:33 (four years ago) Permalink

duh

waterbabies (waterface), Thursday, 6 March 2014 01:50 (four years ago) Permalink

;-)

Treeship, Thursday, 6 March 2014 02:12 (four years ago) Permalink

The only bit I really liked in vol.1 was when they visited this poet:

Scandinavia doesn’t have a tradition of tell-all memoirs, but it does have diarists. Olav H. Hauge, the Norwegian poet, wrote a three-thousand-page diary which was published after his death, when you were about twenty-six. Did you have a strong reaction to it?

Yes, I did. I read it very intensely over a short period of time, during a kind of crisis in my life. I was obsessed with it. And it was very strange because he wrote his diaries from 1916, or something, until 1990, so it covers his whole life. And he was basically only on his farm. Nothing happens in his life at all. And he really writes about nothing. Nothing is going on there except for him thinking, and harvesting apples.

And I really wanted to read his diary.

I think I will read the whole cycle but in one go. In no hurry and its very very easy to read..

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 6 March 2014 11:33 (four years ago) Permalink

I'm about halfway through the second volume: at times, the lack of a predetermined plan for the work really shows, but I appreciate the unpredictability of the work's narrative rhythms, as well as Knausgaard's willingness to be essayistic in the vein of someone like Musil (even if Knausgaard's ideas about society are not especially exciting), and the first volume's later sections dealing with Karl Ove's return to the site of his father's death were extraordinarily moving.

one way street, Thursday, 6 March 2014 15:41 (four years ago) Permalink

I'm also fond of this reading by Knausgaard, if only because of a superstitious belief in the interest of the grain of the writer's voice: http://youtu.be/1ODhM41VOYg

one way street, Thursday, 6 March 2014 15:58 (four years ago) Permalink

all right then, thanks for the clarification. i learnt something new tonight.

it's the distortion, stupid! (alex in mainhattan), Tuesday, 3 November 2015 21:31 (three years ago) Permalink

what would the I Love Books equivalent of the michael jackson popcorn gif be? something tamer...

scott seward, Tuesday, 3 November 2015 21:37 (three years ago) Permalink

I think it's more the context than the grammar doing the work here tbh, it sort of depends on understanding "read his books" as meaning "generally, on my own initiative" as opposed to on commission for this review. Sort of like saying "I've never traveled in Europe" at the beginning of a travel article about Rome or something. It can be sort of elegant to write minimally and let context do the rest of the work, rather than "Prior to getting assigned to write this review, I had never read his books"

on entre O.K. on sort K.O. (man alive), Tuesday, 3 November 2015 21:38 (three years ago) Permalink

maybe a gif of dame margaret smith eating toffee really slowly...

scott seward, Tuesday, 3 November 2015 21:38 (three years ago) Permalink

thanks, i get the gist but how far does context go? one page, ten pages, hundred pages? it's only in the third paragraph after many sentences that he admits that he finally read the book in question. i never reached that point in the review.

it's the distortion, stupid! (alex in mainhattan), Tuesday, 3 November 2015 22:01 (three years ago) Permalink

Thanks for the link Scott will look at it later! There is def a theme to his newspaper/lit. rev pieces - the piece I linked on Brevik, his appreciation of controversial writers like MH or Handke, which all goes back to his writing on Hitler (covered in that LARB piece) as well.

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 3 November 2015 22:57 (three years ago) Permalink

I think it's more the context than the grammar doing the work here tbh, it sort of depends on understanding "read his books" as meaning "generally, on my own initiative" as opposed to on commission for this review. Sort of like saying "I've never traveled in Europe" at the beginning of a travel article about Rome or something. It can be sort of elegant to write minimally and let context do the rest of the work, rather than "Prior to getting assigned to write this review, I had never read his books"

― on entre O.K. on sort K.O. (man alive), Tuesday, November 3, 2015 9:38 PM (Yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

yeah this usage of present perfect is kinda shibboleth-y and points to a particular kind of university education i think. its deployment here however is probably more to do with the translator than it is knausgaard -- who knows how you indicate this sort of thing in norwegian, though

hey the review actually kinda makes me want to read houllebecq for the first time in a while, though i feel like it would mostly infuriate me

♛ LIL UNIT ♛ (thomp), Wednesday, 4 November 2015 02:56 (three years ago) Permalink

http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/vanishing-point

acceptance speech for the Welt Literaturpreis, November 6th, berlin.

Karl Rove Knausgård (jim in glasgow), Tuesday, 17 November 2015 22:20 (three years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

new times piece is soooo goooooooood

bloat laureate (schlump), Friday, 1 January 2016 09:06 (two years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

excerpt from book 5 in the new yorker

http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/at-the-writing-academy

uncle tenderlegdrop (jim in glasgow), Friday, 11 March 2016 19:56 (two years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

Just finished book 4. Waiting for book 5 to come out in paperback before I buy it.

Don Van Gorp, midwest regional VP, marketing (誤訳侮辱), Thursday, 5 May 2016 01:54 (two years ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

thoughts after listening to him reading from vs naipaul's the enigma of arrival on the new yorker podcast - http://www.newyorker.com/podcast/fiction/karl-ove-knausgaard-reads-v-s-naipaul

1. this is a brilliant story, i need to read the book.
2. knausgaard is a good voice actor and also maybe should read children's bedtime stories.

one of the best new yorker podcasts imo.

japanese mage (LocalGarda), Wednesday, 1 June 2016 20:51 (two years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

I'm somewhat biased by being friends with two of the writers, but I've been enjoying this series of letters on My Struggle, which has covered the first volume so far, and will continue through book 5 by the end of the summer: http://post45.research.yale.edu/2016/06/the-slow-burn-volume-2-an-introduction/

one way street, Friday, 17 June 2016 15:33 (two years ago) Permalink

i still have uh a ways to go w/ karl's struggle and the gradual slumping of his press has been giving me the slightest of misgivings

so i found this reassuring even if it does imply that the middle books would still be kinda meh

http://quarterlyconversation.com/the-struggle-against-language

j., Friday, 17 June 2016 23:01 (two years ago) Permalink

ten months pass...

started the second one recently, a year or more since finishing the first. i am generally enjoying the mixture of feelings i have towards him, as i go on. in book 1 i often thought "what an idiot" and occasionally enjoyed the long, tedious descriptions of things. it felt sort of sub-musil or like a trashy airport novel for people who enjoy literature. in book 2 after 100 pages or so i'm finding myself laughing at his juvenile, petty, pretentious anger, about his kids or swedish parents or his life, but not to the point that it makes me ridicule him. it's like a mixture of boorishness, sensitivity, sexism, and alternative thinking. as a writer he's almost impossible to pin down. there are so many feelings at war with each other - it can be trite or bad-tempered one second, and profound the next.

overall good page-turners, but still feel like airport or holiday reading.

Bein' Sean Bean (LocalGarda), Monday, 8 May 2017 22:46 (one year ago) Permalink

the stuff about him being a parent in this liberal swedish milieu and being a small c conservative and basically finding it awful but having no choice but to be around because of his kids is the funniest stuff in the books so far for me and I've read the first 3. there's this really funny bit - well for some reason it jumped out at me as particularly funny - where people are talking about immigration and he intentionally says nothing because one of the guys there works in refugee settlement and his views on immigration have previously made people think he's a racist

-_- (jim in vancouver), Monday, 8 May 2017 23:18 (one year ago) Permalink

also his view of childrearing - he is a house husband because he can't justify not being one - his wife needs to go out to work, he's a writer and can work from home - but basically finds it unfulfilling and emasculating because he is really, despite his extreme sensitivity, someone who prescribes to traditional gender roles

-_- (jim in vancouver), Monday, 8 May 2017 23:20 (one year ago) Permalink

the mixture of profundity and basic misanthropy makes for a fairly amusing read. p sexist tho throughout.

Bein' Sean Bean (LocalGarda), Friday, 12 May 2017 11:57 (one year ago) Permalink

As far as I know, I own all of this dude’s works that’ve been published in book form in English. If you’re a My Struggle superfan, check out A Time for Everything, which is different from My Struggle, but there’s a connection there that might be interesting to you.

Here’s a link: https://archipelagobooks.org/book/a-time-for-everything/

the ghost of markers, Friday, 12 May 2017 17:28 (one year ago) Permalink

There’s also some more books of his coming out in the future listed on that website here: https://archipelagobooks.org/book_author/knausgaard-karl/

the ghost of markers, Friday, 12 May 2017 17:29 (one year ago) Permalink

the mixture of profundity and basic misanthropy makes for a fairly amusing read. p sexist tho throughout.

― Bein' Sean Bean (LocalGarda), Friday, May 12, 2017 4:57 AM (nine hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

oh it's very sexist. i mean, it's very candid, so, i think most men being extremely candid would come across somewhat sexist. but he really takes the cake, i feel completely chaste compared to his constant lechery.

the saving grace for me is that in writing this autobiographical account of being a drunk, sometimes pretentious, chauvinistic, male writer he doesn't ever really try to do the male writer thing and elevate himself by romanticizing himself as a struggling artist, or charming rogue, or whatever. his frailty, banality, and weakness is constantly apparent. you're often laughing at him and rarely with him.

-_- (jim in vancouver), Friday, 12 May 2017 21:08 (one year ago) Permalink

I got tired of the guy 3/4 of the way through Book 1. Not really interested in checking out more by him tbh

Well bissogled trotters (Michael B), Friday, 12 May 2017 21:11 (one year ago) Permalink

his frailty, banality, and weakness is constantly apparent. you're often laughing at him and rarely with him.

― -_- (jim in vancouver), Friday, May 12, 2017 5:08 PM (one hour ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

do you think this is a central part of the project? like, is the book a masochistic deconstruction of the heroic male author archetype?

Treeship, Friday, 12 May 2017 22:37 (one year ago) Permalink

i think knausgaard would have no interest in that in the abstract, or like from a point of principle. but it is that in effect.

the central conceit is his relationship with his abusive father and his desire to not be like him and perhaps part of that is the openness and nakedness of this book. contrasts greatly with his father who remains an enigma throughout.

-_- (jim in vancouver), Friday, 12 May 2017 22:42 (one year ago) Permalink

I got tired of the guy 3/4 of the way through Book 1. Not really interested in checking out more by him tbh

i found book one sporadically engaging, mostly a bit bemusing, even with the melancholy. book 2 has a lot more intellectual heft. both are page-turners imo. maybe his approach is building through me as i go too.

Bein' Sean Bean (LocalGarda), Saturday, 13 May 2017 01:47 (one year ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

the scene in book 2 where his wife gives birth was incredibly powerful imo, don't think i've ever read somebody detail childbirth from a viewer's perspective like that, it was extremely moving.

book 2 is so much better than the first one. he does like some shit indie music tho.

Bein' Sean Bean (LocalGarda), Monday, 29 May 2017 14:44 (one year ago) Permalink

he does like some shit indie music tho.

like what?

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Monday, 29 May 2017 15:39 (one year ago) Permalink

the cardigans just emerged in book 2. and i mean, i guess damon albarn's mali album might not be shit, idk, but just seems the kind of lame thoughtless indie-fan purchase of the time. i realise he does like some good things as well, i think, based on his interviews.

Bein' Sean Bean (LocalGarda), Monday, 29 May 2017 15:45 (one year ago) Permalink

wtf Lovefool is the best song ever

flopson, Monday, 29 May 2017 15:49 (one year ago) Permalink

i dunno if it's diff in diff parts of the world but that record is one of the most irritating i can remember - the earlier stuff was fine i guess but that era is basically like texas or the stereophonics in my mind.

Bein' Sean Bean (LocalGarda), Monday, 29 May 2017 15:54 (one year ago) Permalink

i really do not know what to make of this guy. he is so bloody talkative. i get bored after one page. how can someone take himself so seriously. "min kamp" reminds me of rousseau's confessions which are unsupportable as well. on the other hand he thinks "engführung" by paul celan is the best poem in the world. paul celan and knausgard, that is about the largest distance you can have between two authors. weird guy.

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Monday, 29 May 2017 16:11 (one year ago) Permalink

"boring" is definitely the right word but i dunno, the tediousness is kind of key to the whole experience. i'm a bit torn about him, parts of it are weaker than others. i find myself tearing through the books tho, there's something addictive about them, in a sort of trashy way.

Bein' Sean Bean (LocalGarda), Monday, 29 May 2017 16:14 (one year ago) Permalink

two months pass...

Pretty good interview. Anyone read/is planning to read his new book?

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 22 August 2017 21:46 (one year ago) Permalink

ranked:

part 2
part 5
part 3
part 1
part 4

part 6 - waiting for translation.

nostormo, Sunday, 27 August 2017 16:08 (one year ago) Permalink

hmm, that's a conundrum. i've read 1-3. do i push through struggle through 4 in order to get to 5 and the promise of learning about how his trip to the grocery store goes in 6?

ultimately i think i will, because for the most part i just really enjoy reading him describe his non-adventures. and it helps me to see someone who is about as successful as one can be, at least in terms of his career and standing among peers, feel like utter shit so much of the time.

Karl Malone, Sunday, 27 August 2017 16:30 (one year ago) Permalink

Not strictly related but interesting profile of Gunnhild Øyehaug in the NYer. Somehow I'd never heard of her.

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Monday, 28 August 2017 10:28 (one year ago) Permalink

five months pass...
six months pass...

Reading Part 6 now. i will really miss those books.
The most important novels in the last 20 years i think.
part 6 is more meditative than the rest, and i think it makes it just a little weaker.
part 2 and 5 are the best imo.
1 is the worst (though it is great on it's own regardless).
He kinda learned to write them along the way.

nostormo, Saturday, 8 September 2018 14:32 (three months ago) Permalink

Hate this series (gave up after vol.2) but mildly interested in just picking this last book -- I think 'meditative' could really work for me.

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 8 September 2018 18:43 (three months ago) Permalink

1 >>>> 3

Uhura Mazda (lukas), Monday, 10 September 2018 00:37 (three months ago) Permalink

One is my fave so far, only read first 3.

( ͡☉ ͜ʖ ͡☉) (jim in vancouver), Monday, 10 September 2018 02:59 (three months ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

He cancelled his U.S "tour" due to family crisis.

nostormo, Monday, 24 September 2018 05:52 (two months ago) Permalink

one month passes...

https://www.lrb.co.uk/v40/n21/fredric-jameson/itemised

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 1 November 2018 17:04 (one month ago) Permalink

nice

( ͡☉ ͜ʖ ͡☉) (jim in vancouver), Thursday, 1 November 2018 18:59 (one month ago) Permalink

lol at Q3, pffft at the answer to Q5, he shd have done the whole thing Q&A style

mark s, Thursday, 1 November 2018 19:03 (one month ago) Permalink

when jameson said

But all of this – the essay or essays scattered throughout this enormous final volume, where it might be argued that he ought at least to be allowed to draw a few conclusions – is not to be judged on the basis of its interest (some of it is interesting, some jejune or embarrassing, some simply conventional) but rather on generic (I won’t say aesthetic) grounds; and this, however much you are willing to sacrifice on the altar of heterogeneity, is a value I also personally prize. But these essays are not narrative, they are opinion – that doxa the Greeks so sharply distinguished from episteme or ‘knowledge’. I am willing to argue that this opposition has its literary and formal version, and that there is, in fact, something we may call narrative truth. Knausgaard’s accounts of his own opinions are not the narrative of someone thinking, arguing, discovering plausible or pernicious ideas; they are simply a collection of his own personal thoughts, which he might better have projected in a truly rhetorical and literary form, i.e. the essay. There have been remarkable essays in which an author effectively tells the story of his own opinions. Here, however, we already know what Knausgaard is doing, and where the flaw lies: he is itemising them. He has already discovered and thought them through; now he is listing them for us, no matter how elaborate the entries.

i felt that

( ͡☉ ͜ʖ ͡☉) (jim in vancouver), Thursday, 1 November 2018 21:05 (one month ago) Permalink

this was really good, thanks for linking to it. i especially liked the section discussing the pronouns, subjectivity/objectivity, the perceived "you" of the books, etc, ending with this:

I believe that this is a unique and as yet untheorised human relationship: not new certainly, but unnamed, and not subsumed under any of our pronominal categories – not ‘I-you’, or ‘them-us’ or ‘we’, but a peculiar absent presence of an otherness which is neither the big Other nor the crowd of eyes; and its shame is permanent, its openness an ever possible vulnerability to some unknown consciousness which is not an entity and can never really be reached by us in any active way. Knausgaard’s achievement is to have foregrounded this immeasurably strange relationship which is there all the time but to which we so rarely attend directly.

to me that gets to the heart of what i have enjoyed about these books (having only read the first three so far): they place the reader in a strange relationship with the author, intimate but distant all the same (the style of itemization contributes to that, i think) that i find kind of addicting

Karl Malone, Thursday, 1 November 2018 21:42 (one month ago) Permalink

i haven't read any knausgaard so this may be totally unfair but this piece does nothing to correct my general view: that everything jameson writes could be cut be at least a third and lose nothing substantive

stylistically it is somewhat less tiresome than i generally find him: is he doing a thing where he writes "in the style" of the object critiqued?

mark s, Friday, 2 November 2018 11:50 (one month ago) Permalink

ha I don't think so.

I read this a week ago (as I was about to board a plane) and didn't much like it, and I am usually ok with his book reviewing but it sounded like he was reproducing the 'this isn't very good but I can't stop reading it and I can't explain it at all to you' reaction this has sometimes gotten -- that's how I see this weird Q&A (why is it stop-and-start?)

Except he has an in-the-end explanation of how the book isn't that good, which he seems to take ages to arrive at.

xyzzzz__, Sunday, 11 November 2018 10:18 (one month ago) Permalink


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