Karl Ove Knausgaard. Drawing by E. Wagele
Norwegian reveals himself in his novel, “My Struggle”.
In “My Struggle, Book I,” Knausgaard remembers his life, including plentiful descriptions of places and things. The blurb on his book compares him to Proust. The following italicized sections are from this book.
Why is Knausgaard a 4-Romantic (and a feeling type)?
In a TV interview with Charlie Rose, Knausgaard said he experiences self-hatred and shame. He mentioned crying a lot in “My Struggle”, especially in the days after his father died, being envious of other writers, and feeling like a fraud.
His best friend, the author Geir Angell Øygarden, said of Karl Ove, “He is one of the few people I know that has gotten everything he wants in life. Yet it has not brought contentment. You can see this guy with all this force, all this talent, everything, and he just suffers.”
Page 204 – I was moved to tears [by Constable’s art]. So great was the impression some of the pictures made on me. Others left me cold. That was my only parameter with art, the feelings it aroused. The feeling of inexhaustibility. The feeling of beauty. The feeling of presence. All compressed into such acute moments that sometimes they could be difficult to endure. And quite inexplicable.
Page 157 – You seem to do a lot of brooding. You should live more, she said. I’m doing my best, I said.
Page 321 – I could endure any amount of loneliness and humiliation, I was a bottomless pit, just bring it on, there were days when I could receive, I am a well, I am the well of the failed, the wretched, the pitiful, the pathetic, the embarrassing, the cheerless, and the ignominious. Come on! Piss on me!
Page 72 – Drinking was good for me; it set things in motion. And I was thrust into something, a feeling of… not infinity exactly, but of, well, something unlimited. Something I could go into deeper and deeper.
Why is Knausgaard’s stronger wing probably the 5-Observer?
Most 5’s become upset at the idea of appearing stupid, so feeling relaxed and free enough to be stupid is like a wonderful dream:
Page 143 – [At a friend’s house, watching a movie.] And even though the sky was overcast and grey, the light over the countryside shimmered and was perfectly white. I remember thinking all I wanted to do was to sit right there, in a newly built house, in a circle of light in the middle of a forest and be as stupid as I liked.
Why is Knausgaard an introvert?
Page 178 – I was against war and authorities, hierarchies, and all forms of hardness, I didn’t want to do any sucking up at school, I wanted my intellect to develop more organically… the unequal distribution of the world’s resources enraged me. I thought… a person’s inner qualities were worth more than their outer appearance. I was… for depth and against superficiality, for good and against evil, for the soft and against the hard.
Page 246 – Had I ever initiated a conversation with a stranger? No, never. And there was no evidence to suggest I ever would.
- Please see wagele.com for The Happy Introvert and Elizabeth’s other books, essays, famous types, and cartoons.