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The fifth book of Knausgaard's powerful My Struggle series is written with tremendous force and sincerity. As a nineteen-year-old, Karl Ove moves to Bergen and invests all of himself in his writing. But his efforts get the opposite effect--he wants it so much that he gets writer's block. At the same time, he sees his friends, one-by-one, publish their debuts. He suspects tThe fifth book of Knausgaard's powerful My Struggle series is written with tremendous force and sincerity. As a nineteen-year-old, Karl Ove moves to Bergen and invests all of himself in his writing. But his efforts get the opposite effect--he wants it so much that he gets writer's block. At the same time, he sees his friends, one-by-one, publish their debuts. He suspects that he will never get anything published. Book Five is also a book about strong new friendships and a shattering love affair. Then one day Karl Ove reaches two crucial points in his life: his father dies, and shortly thereafter, he completes his first novel....

Title : My Struggle: Book 5
Author :
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ISBN : 9780374534189
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 646 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

My Struggle: Book 5 Reviews

  • Kevin Kelsey
    2018-11-26 14:07

    Posted at Heradas Review“What was consciousness other than the surface of the soul’s ocean?”Book five details Karl Ove’s life from around age nineteen to thirty-three, but in a lot of ways it feels like the closing chapter of My Struggle. Of course there is still one more book coming in the pipeline; whose english translation I hear has been delayed again, this time until “Fall 2018” due to it being twelve-hundred pages and requiring an additional translator in order to handle the extra page load. According to Knausgaard, the forthcoming sixth volume is supposed to be more about his friend’s and family’s reception to their portrayal in the first five books. That should be very interesting. This wouldn’t be a review of a My Struggle book if I didn’t mention how fascinatingly readable the prose was. I say fascinatingly readable because I have no idea why it is. I really can’t explain it, but his writing gets inside of me and latches onto something. He does such a fantastic job of relating the deep rooted sense of isolation we experience from, and along with the rest of humanity. We seem to keep two groups in our minds: the self (Us), and everyone else (Them). We are always alone even in company, because we can never truly verify that anyone else really exists.More than any of the others this book is all about Karl Ove coming to terms with the realities of being a writer. At 19-20 he is in love with the mythology of writing, but not so much with the actual act of writing. He loves the idea but not the reality. He takes criticism of his work very poorly, very personally. He sees himself as not having the depth of soul to truly write like his influences. He feels that there is a chasm between him and others; that he is living a duplicitous life; that he is an imposter and everyone else the genuine article. I think that this ties deeply into his ultimate reason for writing My Struggle: I think he’s trying to demolish the barrier between his private and public life in a way so destructive, it cannot be undone. I think he needs that barrier to break down.He states several times that he feels he is a separate person internally than who he is perceived to be externally. He’s able to alleviate this somewhat through heavy drinking, but heavy drinking causes him insurmountable other issues. When he drinks too much, he’s finally comfortable, but he does all kinds of things that bring him shame, and this adds to his compartmentalization of his true self from his public self. In writing this 3600 page, six volume highly personal memoir novel, he is forcing his internal and external, depth and surface selves to intermingle and become one. Since he feels trapped in this situation, to me it seems like a way for him to force himself out.The character of Karl Ove - I say character because he says over and over that he doesn’t remember much from the periods of time he’s covering, therefore there is definitely a percentage of events and memories that are invented - is the perfect anti-hero. He is often very abrasive to those around him, doing things that are terrible to those he loves, but we’re given so much of his internal thought process that we relate with the reasons for his actions. In a way, it’s more that he’s just very honest about his faults and shortcomings as well as his achievements. Usually when we tell our own stories, we leave out all of the rough edges, and paint ourselves in a much better light. Instead, he seems to be making an effort at self-mythologizing as objectively as he can. Worts and all. Really, we are all anti-heroes in our own stories when we’re honest about both the bad and the good that we’ve done. I think this is why the concept of an anti-hero is so broadly appealing in stories; it’s really just a well developed character. If a character doesn’t have a little darkness inside of them, they don’t feel real to us.In conclusion, I loved this book. It wove together the disparate threads from the previous four books very tightly. It was also the first to move almost entirely in a linear fashion, which was a big departure from the others. Finishing it makes me want to go back and reread book two, which was previously my least favorite, but I think the additional insight and perspective gained from reading five would make it much more interesting. The main narrative of book two chronologically lands right after the events of book five. I think that book five could be read before book two, and might even be best experienced in that order.Now begins the long wait for book six.

  • Lee
    2018-11-18 12:58

    You’ve heard about Karl Ove Knausgaard’s six-volume My Struggle series. If you've been avoiding the annual hype since 2012 but now for some weird reason think you're maybe KOK curious, these reviews of Books One, Two, Three, and Four will get you up to speed. OK. Now that you're all caught up: Book Five begins soon after Book Four ends, with a nineteen-year-old Karl Ove triumphantly copulating in a tent. He’s returning from travels, preparing to attend a writing academy in Bergen. He’s been in touch with an angelic girl (Ingvild) he met for a moment, flipped for, and expects to see once school starts. Other than writing and reading, he’s still deeply into music (“pop and indie”). He’s with his brother Yngve a good deal, acclimating to city life in an apartment alone, masturbating for the first time, ignorant of everything other than the distance between his abilities and his ambitions. The rise and fall of his affections for Ingvild, the all-encompassing, spirit-emboldening, perception-enhancing fizz of it (“inner joy finds an outer counterpart”) and resultant fumbling, drive the first part of Book Five. He’s cray cray for Ingvild but they can hardly talk, they’re too attracted, it’s terrible, it’s fantastic, he drinks too much, screws everything up, he dreams of Yngve kissing her, a dream that proves prophetic and sparks sibling misery until things end between Yngve and Ingvild, whereupon the brothers watch footie and make up for a while before a super-drunk Karl Ove beams a glass at his brother’s face. Other love stories follow. His experience of love varies with each woman: the first is idealized, lust-filled, impossible to realize; the second is comfortable, caring, normal, sane, stable, yet difficult to maintain; the third combines the others: it’s comfortable, caring, committed, but bonded by passion, idealization, and a sense of right-ness from the start. The opening rounds of this third big love elicit a signature Knausgaard statement, a hard-won declaration that may seem too simple or even unsophisticated out of context: “Life can be so fantastic. Living can be so fantastic.” Other interests make living fantastic: books, music, writing, drinking. So many titles are listed. (A review limited to lists of authors/books and bands/records mentioned might be ideal.) He’s filling himself with experience and culture, seeing what seeps out when he plays drums poorly in a band called Kafkatrakterne with his brother, when he writes poorly received stories and poems as the youngest member of the Writing Academy, when he opens himself to darkness via drink. At times, Karl Ove stands at the gates of hell, its mouth agape and ready to devour him. There’s a darkness in this volume that threatens to overtake Karl Ove’s life, the way we know from the end of Book One it enveloped his father. He characterizes it while out drinking with Yngve as “dancing in the realm of death.”The scenes in which he tightropes across the abyss, on the verge of blacked-out drunk, counterbalance ecstatic moments momentarily experienced via love and art. This conflict extends Book Five’s range in a way that makes it weightier than installments since Book Two. Of course, even when most endangered, passed out on someone’s roof in the rain in Iceland, or trying to climb up to a woman’s window only to fall on his back into a huge muddy puddle, he’s protected in part by the bright-shining horizon of his eventual achievements. We know he will write two well-received novels, have a family (he has four kids now), and write six volumes of autobiographical fiction that will rock Scandinavia before storming the UK and US. There’s a sense that everything in Book Five is gathering itself in preparation for literature, the knowledge and experience gained, the low points serving a higher, or at least a later, purpose. But he can’t achieve maturity without first suffering from immorality (stealing bikes, attempting to maim his brother) and self-inflicted harm (drinking to excess, slicing-up his face). The cover of the Archipelago Books edition makes sense since he’s spiraling, although it’s not necessarily a downward sort of spiral. It’s more of an involution that’s ultimately productive. All the love interests, the random drunken sexual exploits, the reading and early attempts at writing, the early failures at everything important to him, all the spiraling in general -- five or six years after school ends and he’s worked in mental institutions and a radio station -- expresses itself as a jetty, a bulwark against the metaphorical tides, when he focuses completely on writing his first proper novel: “It was a fantastic feeling. I had spent ten years writing without achieving anything, and then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, it was just flowing. And what I wrote was of such quality, compared with what I had produced earlier, that I was surprised every evening when I read through what I had written the night before. It was like having a head rush, or walking in your sleep, a state in which you are out of yourself, and what was curious about this particular experience was that it continued unabated.” (579)He has connections through his interests in books and music that help him get published. Once published, rave reviews appear on the cover of the newspaper, followed by interviews and a bit of celebrity. But the success comes at great personal cost. We know that the woman with whom he has three kids in Book Two is Linda, not Tonje, but the revelation of the devolution and end of his first marriage, particularly the time he spends in solitude on a small desolate island, is surprising and affecting. Book Five is surely not the first extended stretch of prose to describe the development of a young male writer who plays music, drinks to excess, and experiences what seems like every calibration along the spectrum of love. But this iteration will be read and taken seriously. Why? Because it’s not just about Karl Ove’s books and music and writing and drumming and drinking and carousing with alluring girls. It’s also about his family, his grandparents, his parents, his brother, his cousin, and his surroundings. Bergen is forever wet in this, drenched by what seems like constant pouring rain. Such liquidity syncs with Karl Ove’s malleable identity and position. There’s discussion of the porous borders between Dublin and its characters in Ulysses (“this arrogant brilliant young man [Stephen Dedalus] was perhaps first and foremost a place where things happened . . . the world flowed though him and the story, Augustin, Thomas Aquinas, Dante, Shakespeare, everything moved through him and the same was true of Bloom . . .”). Intertextuality may be this installment's most interesting aspect, how its curatorial content—the way Knausgaard names and discusses writers and novels, bands and albums—bonds with readers. “. . . I noticed a young guy with a shaved head and Adorno glasses, not least because he had a copy of Ole Robert Sunde’s Of Course She Had to Ring on the desk in front of him. This was a statement and a signal, a code for the initiated, of whom there were not many, and therefore particularly significant. He read Sunde, he had to be a writer himself.” (462)Intertextuality, for the most part, functions in Book Five as a sort of secret handshake. When he talks about two of my favorite novels—Thomas Bernhard’s Extinction and Thomas Mann’s Joseph and His Brothers—in a span of fifteen pages, or when he mentions listening to Tortoise, a band that sound-tracked the second half of the ‘90s for me, it strengthened the bond between writer and this reader. This can cut both ways, however, like when he talks about Smashing Pumpkins, who I never really came around on beyond one song (“1979”). But in general inclusion of this sort of thing unites more than it repels. Fans of Bjork, for example, will feel especially bonded with Karl Ove when he describes attending a party at her home in Iceland and vomiting in her toilet. The spiral jetty on the cover also works because Book Five concludes a long and winding journey through childhood and adolescence back to the territory of the first and second volumes. This volume returns to the death of the father, covered in detail in the second half of volume one, yet really only touched on here. Karl Ove (horrifically) slices his face in the first instance of a pathological and disturbing courtship ritual, but it’s not the same episode described in Book Two early on with Linda. And, by the end of Book Five, he’s once again being interviewed for articles about writers who have only written one book. He has the idea for A Time for Everything but only approaches it, writing preliminary notes and false-start drafts, not yet ready to abandon his second wife Linda and their child to write for weeks in his office until he’s finished. Something else about this reading experience I’ll mention although its significance is limited only to this reader: I received the advanced reading copy on the second day of January 2016, whereas previous volumes had arrived in March or April. A new volume of My Struggle had taken its place among robins and jelly beans as a rite of spring the past four years (2012 to 2015), but I couldn’t have been happier than to have started 2016 with 629 fresh pages of Knausgaard. (Read it in 50-page sittings, immersed, now planning a trip to Bergen one day.) Ending this volume means the arrival of Book Six, the final installment apparently featuring a 200-page essay on Hitler, may be less than a year away. I know from interviews that one aspect of this project, only signaled by the semi-ironic title at this point, is that Karl Ove as a boy, teen, and a young man shared tendencies with the young, artistically ambitious Adolf Hitler. In a different time and place, Karl Ove suggests he could have become a Hitler, or better yet, Hitler could’ve have written a completely compelling six-series autobiographical novel. That’s a pretty enormous stone to drop into the pool of five-volumes of prose. I look forward to seeing how this ripples back through the previous volumes and reevaluating -- if not completely re-reading -- the complete project as soon as possible next year.

  • Manny
    2018-12-01 17:07

    [from Min kamp 4]Looking at the other reviews here of volume 5, I see a good deal about the plot and some interesting notes on connections with Knausgård's real life. What's striking, given that the book is being sold as a novel, is how little people say about its qualities as a piece of literature. I am grateful to Björn, who pointed me to this interesting article by Jan Kjærstad. Kjærstad is uniquely well qualified to comment; he is one of the two or three greatest living Norwegian authors, knows everything about Scandinavian literature, and is referred to many times in the course of Knausgård's book. (view spoiler)[Kjærstad expresses frustration with the treatment Min kamp has received from other critics: in particular, he is astonished that most of Knausgård's readers are apparently willing to accept everything he tells us at face value. As he points out, Knausgård is hardly the first author to have written an "autobiographical" novel whose narrator shares their name and some of their life story. When Richard Powers, in Galatea 2.2, tells us that "Richard Powers" became involved in a daring project to create an artificial intelligence capable of appreciating literature, no one thinks that this is meant to be true; they are still less likely to believe J.M. Coetzee in Summertime, who describes reactions to "J.M. Coetzee's" death. But almost everyone takes Knausgård at his word, even when he says things that are extremely implausible. Kjærstad urges skepticism; for example, he has trouble believing Knausgård when he says that he rigidly wrote ten pages a day, though this sometimes meant finishing the last three of them in twenty minutes when he was due to pick up the kids at the daycare center. He wonders what's next. Will we believe someone who says he's written a novel in his sleep? (Wow! He's written a novel in a his sleep!) Rather than going down this road, Kjærstad urges people to look at the text and read it as though it's a normal piece of fiction.I was surprised to see how much my view of Min kamp changed when I attempted to follow Kjærstad's advice. I now found myself reading a clever satire about a young man called "Karl Ove Knausgård". "Karl Ove" is a remarkably unsympathetic character; a selfish, lazy and not overly bright alcoholic who apparently suffers from some kind of borderline personality disorder, he is obsessed with the idea of becoming a famous author, despite having very little literary talent. He suffers innumerable setbacks, but doggedly continues. Over and over again, he shows how utterly indifferent he is to everyone around him, in particular the women. He milks his newly divorced mother for a large sum of money that she cannot afford, and then casually throws it away; he plagiarizes Petra, one of his fellow students at the Writer's Academy, and then refuses to admit it when she discovers what he's done; he gets drunk and has random sex with women he meets at nightclubs, then rings them the day after and pathetically begs them not to tell his girlfriend. The most callous and shocking example is the way in which he appears to be revealing extremely private information about people close to him (his second wife's suicide attempts, her mother's secret drinking). His justification is that he will some day turn all this experience into a great novel.Min kamp is that novel; the author has achieved the impressive technical feat of making it at same time compulsively readable and almost laughably bad. "Karl Ove", the narrator, is a credible person with a uniquely memorable voice, and there are many powerful and moving passages. On the negative side, the constant listing of unnecessary details makes the book intolerably long - the original Norwegian edition, which I am reading, is about 3600 pages. But the most ingenious aspect is the intertwining of themes taken from other great works of literature. By volume 3, I was already startled by the fact that "Karl Ove" appeared to be borrowing heavily from Proust (the treatment of memory, the narrator's character, some of the sentence structures), Dostoyevsky (the dreadful Karamazov-like father) and Ursula K. Le Guin (the evil spirit pursuing the narrator, which can only be himself). All these authors, and their books, are explicitly referenced and discussed at length. Now, in volume 5, they are joined by Hamsun (the first section is rather explicitly modeled on Hunger and, in an interesting pairing, on Bret Easton Ellis's Less Than Zero) and then by Joyce and Dante; there is also a good deal of discussion of intertextuality, with references to Adorno and Kristeva. Volumes 3 to 5, one now realizes, are roughly patterned on Ulysses, with different sections written in different literary styles, while Volume 5 approximately follows the structure of The Divine Comedy, as "Karl Ove" progresses from the Hell of his year at the Writer's Academy to the Paradise of finally becoming a published author. Any remaining doubts that I could have been fantasizing all this were dispelled on page 516, when God appears (!) and speaks to "Karl Ove" in a dream; just before the end, I was also fascinated to see the snow-sliding otter from Le Guin's The Dispossessed making a brief guest appearance.To write a book which attempts to update and combine A la recherche du temps perdu, The Brothers Karamazov and A Wizard of Earthsea is already, to say the least, ambitious. To keep all these and then add Hamsun, Joyce and Dante is simply insane. The immediate result of "Karl Ove's" literary success is the destruction of his relationship with his kind and loving wife Tonje. It seems entirely logical that the last volume will describe the creation of Min kamp, show the pain and harm it inflicts on "Karl Ove's" new family, and compare his megalomaniac schemes with those of Hitler. It's all been planned: quite apart from the title itself, there are references to Nazism right at the beginning of the first volume, and the structure is cleverly arranged so that the end of volume 5 links back, à la Proust, to the end of volume 1.The bottom line: does it work? Once again, I find that the witty and clear-sighted author has anticipated me. I can do no better than end by quoting this characteristic passage; "Karl Ove" is ostensibly commenting on Sæterbakk's Det nye testamentet, but I strongly suspect that he really means his own book.Jeg skrev att romanen var som en kjempekuk, imponerende ved første øyekast, men for stor til at blodet klarte å løfte den opp och gjøre den funksjonsdyktig, den ble bare halvstiv. Tore lo så han skrek da jeg leste det.- Ska du skrive det i Morgenbladet? Ha ha ha! Den kan du ikke!- Men bilden er jo dekkende, det er akkurat den romanen er. Stor og ambitiøs, ja vel, men for stor og ambitiøs.I wrote that the novel was like a huge dick, impressive when you first saw it, but so big that there wasn't enough blood to lift it up and make it fully functional, it only became half erect. Tore screamed with laughter when he read it.- Are you going write that in Morgonbladet? Ha ha ha! You can't!- But the image is appropriate, that's exactly what the novel is. Big and ambitious, absolutely, but too big and ambitious.I can't improve on his analysis. Chapeau, Karl Ove. (hide spoiler)][to Min kamp 6]

  • Elyse
    2018-12-02 13:10

    "My Struggle: Book 5"..... is my first introduction to Karl Ove Knausgaard In the beginning of this book, we follow along while Karl Ove is traveling.From Bergen, Norway...he hitch hiked to Florence - to Athens-( met some Norwegian girls... and one very particular girl that he thinks he is madly in love with)...with hopes to meet her again when he gets back to Norway.Before he makes it back to Bergen....the big University town where he has been accepted at the Writing Academy---with the last of his money he buys a train ticket to Vienna.Karl Ove was hungry, - in need of food and money- and had to make some choices ...but he also knew his mom would wire him money to get back home.I related to this early part of the book. Karl Ove was aware of of "Tramp" style of temporary living...( wandering - filthy- hungry - no schedule to meet). The big difference between Karl Ove and "The Tramp", is he 'did' have a home to return to. Karl Ove had one hell of a miserable night - ( one I can relate to, as I, too, experienced a night like this once in Greece). It was night...Karl Ove had nothing but his zip up sleeping bag ( I didn't even have that)...it was raw chilly breezy. As he slept outside with ice-cold rain. He was stiff as a board. A night to remember....Moving on...Once at The Writing Academy...we meet his teachers and other students -- and the ongoing happenings in and out of the classroom......at the writing academy -- I felt I got to know Karl Ove more...( maybe even holes were being filled in for me from previous books) -- many strengths ... but also he revealed a part of him that could be jealous of others success - yet he owned it.. and let go of it. I liked his self-observation of ego.,.....I also began to respect Karl Ove's thinking process as a reader & a writer...( goals to write a novel)... but always a reader. .....I learned about his family more during his visits home from school: his mom- grandmother- brother. It's clear he has a strong tie to him family & is proud of his country. .....lots of visits - to meet friends for beer at the Cafe Opera. .....We follow his relationships with women - sexual journey - watch him grow - age up- fall in and out of love.......and always his connection with 'his writing'. "I've been thinking of writing about ugliness and trying to find the beauty in it, if you see what I mean. It's not true that a thing of beauty is exclusively beautiful or ugly things are only ugly. It's a lot more relative than that."....Over the course of a year at the academy, he learned there was literature and real literature....the true lofty variety, which stretched from Homer's epics and the Greek dramas through the course of history up to the present day....( he named dozens of present day authors including Stig Larsson)... .....It was fascinating gaining insight along 'with' Karl Ove*As for the more personal - results in Karl Ove's life ...( with his writing - family - and women)... I'm not here to give those details away.I have to say...this book 'does' have that "want-to-keep-reading"'irresistibility about it: no question!Here is the one question I would love another Knausgaard fan to answer for me...How old was Karl Ove in Book 1?I was surprise to see him only 19 at the start of BOOK 5... ( with little sexual experience to boot). It just surprised me - that's all. Was he 12 -- in book 1? ...or what? I'm sure one of my Goodreads friends will help me out... ( until I read series 1-4... then jump to 6)Thank You Archipelago Publishing, and Karl Ove Knausggard

  • Robin
    2018-11-12 17:59

    Karl Ove Knausgaard - a painfully open bookI had never heard of Knausgaard, a Norwegian author, best known for his 6-volume autobiography My Struggle. When it was recommended to me I was a little curious as to whether listening (I experienced this via audio format) to 21.5 hours about this guy was going to be worthwhile.After I was assured that it doesn't matter which book you read first, I set my need for reading 'in order' aside and started with this one, number 5. We begin when Karl Ove is 19, just about to start at the writing academy in Bergen. He is a young man, very inexperienced in life and love and the world, with a desire to write. He's also filled with insecurities, which hinder him socially. He leans on alcohol to relieve uncomfortable feelings.I listened as he told us of the people he met, the books he read, the music he listened to, the beers (the many beers) he drank, the (even more) cigarettes he rolled then smoked. The anguish and hell of love and heartbreak. The money he borrowed, the little jobs he took to pay bills. Conversations with his mother, time with his brother, complicated and painful emotions regarding his father. And the girls, oh the girls.It was strangely addictive, hearing of his life. Strange, because I wasn't really sure where it was going. Much of it seemed a little mundane - life is comprised of mundanities, punctuated by interesting moments here and there. Nevertheless, I was interested, for a couple reasons: 1) his absolute frankness and 2) his development as a writer. Reason 2 was so interesting in its arc - he begins as a young man in a creative writing course, receiving positive and negative feedback from his classmates. Then he writes on his own, short stories that would take months to write and then would be thrown away in disgust, and self doubt. Later, he painfully takes time to go away and write, but produces very little. And finally, almost magically, finds his stride and writes in dedicated rhythm, is appreciated, published, receives awards and recognition. Anyone who is interested in writing or a writer's process, will find this fascinating.Still, through all of this, he is a bit of a train wreck, personally. What a self destructive streak he has! But oh so human. And he doesn't try to make himself look better than he is, which makes me as a reader, sympathise and identify.Sometimes I felt I was trudging through too many mundanities. Sometimes I wondered why he would focus so heavily on certain things, such as yet another conversation in Cafe Opera, but then glide over something more important, such as an entire trip to Africa. But for the most part, I was very much engaged. The writing is conversational, casual, yet captures this part of his life in a dignified way. Silly aside: Perhaps a new drinking game could be made with this book - let's see how many times Karl Ove or his friends say "fantastic"... you'd be under the table in no time ;)

  • Darwin8u
    2018-12-10 14:12

    "...the silence of the living is quite different from the silence of the dead"- Karl Ove Knausgaard, My Struggle: Book 5 Book 5: Some Rain Must FallFirst, just a quick observation. I'm a little perplexed by the photo on the cover of the Archipelago English edition. Isn't that Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty? Wait. I've been there. How does a giant earthwork, counterclockwise coil shooting into the Great Salt Lake fit into this novel? Beautiful, certainly, but odd. Ok, back to the novel. Back to Knausgaard's strange, boring, brilliant, spiraling, frustrating 5th book in his 6 book übernovel. In many ways, it is fairly standard Künstlerroman. A young artist is trying to find his voice, to mark his own path, to open his eyes, open his mouth, find that literary rhythm. The amazing thing is after 5 books, I still care about Knausgaard, even after he has exposed, again and again, an often irritating and destructive side. I'm not sure if my affection is because he resembles in some ways my own brother, or because there is something warm and attractive about his strange sense of brutal honesty (as brutally honest as a fictional biography can get). I'm not sure being his brother or mother would be a job I'd volunteer for. He is fairly aware of his indulgent side, but this is one guy you might want to remove sharp items from once he starts to drink.In the novel I was most interested in his relationship with family and his relationship with women (oh, and the scenes at the clinic are amazingly strange). I think the technique he uses to explore these relationships can be described as an inversion. What is inside of Knausgaard gets put outside. Things most rational and sane people would not expose to the world, he exposes. At the same time he chews inwardly on the outside. He brings in as almost an emotional experience the water, the weather, the cold, the ground, birds, geography. Knausgaard describes this fascination after he writes a poem:Two leather chairsin the windnoise from a townYou have left.The girl disappearsinto the girl.He follows the poem with a line that perhaps hints at some of his larger themes, "ever since I was small I had been fascinated by the relationship between the inside and the outside, when what was supposed to be inside was outside, and vice versa." Knausgaard struggles throughout most of this book to find his voice between the inside and the outside. He literally struggles with friends and family and other writers to speak. He struggles to write. He wants to write literature buy seems destined to write nonfiction. Insecurities, distractions, women, school, and his own competitiveness seem to constantly pull at his desire to be a writer. He seems trapped in the Hamlet paralysis. Caught between to be or not to be. Between the sky and the not sky. And like a levy breaking, one day it opens up. He finds his voice. He is able to catch the fire, to hold the flame. All those clichés about writing seem to find form in the text. In this way his writing is a pharmakon (a means of producing something). In this way, writing for Knausgaard is both a cure and a poison, a blessing and a curse. Like his constant struggle with drinking too much alcohol -- which allows him to speak but also inspires him to commit horrible and often destructive acts, Knausgaard seems through-out most of the novel to be at the cliff-edge of writing. He is afraid at both his need for the drug and afraid of what will be released when he finds his voice and lets go. But, this wouldn't be a novel about the development of a writer, if he didn't, in the end, jump.

  • Jennopenny
    2018-12-06 16:03

    Oh Knausgård, this is, in my opinion the best part in your "My Struggle" series. A very strong five stars to this one.How I loved it.I want to, as always, write that it doesn't matter in which order you read the books in this series. They are made to be read independently from each other, the books are not in chronological order but by different parts of Karl Ove's life, and different overarching themes.I read them out of order, started with part one and read until part four, then six and jumped back to this one, part five.It makes no difference in which order you read, since all the books connect in some ways, and you get to know Karl Ove more and more as you do read.If for some reason, you're reading this, and want to read Karl Ove Knausgård's series in chronological order, here is how to do it:- Start with part threeBoyhood IslandThis part goes through Karl Ove's childhood, growing up in a small town in Norway.- Part four follows the events of part three pretty much. It's all about Karl Ove moving to north Norway after being done with school to teach at the same time he's trying to write and find his voice.- Then, here is where it's get tricky, read about 450 pages (depending in which language you're reading in) in part five. Stop when you get to Karl Ove's father dying and go back to read part one.The first part is all about Karl Ove's relationship with his father and dealing with his death.- Once finished with that - read the last pages of part five which the ending of that part connects perfectly with part two.- End with part six, which is a long epilogue (my edition was 1125 pages) about what happened when he started to publish the books in this series. How he handles his relationships and media. Friends and family saying that he got things wrong and what to sue him if he publishes. How he didn't know what he started when he started to write and this phenomena that these books and his life has become. But as I wrote, you can read this in any other you like.But let's get back to this part.Why is this my favorite book in the series?Well I hate to pick favorites but this just was more than amazing. I enjoyed, loved the other parts too. Which should be obvious now that I read all of the 3933 pages (the total number of pages in the translation I read) else I wouldn't gotten past passed part one.But I'm picking favorites, so this is my absolute favorite closely followed by part two.Karl Ove is 19 and moves to Bergen to start Skrivarakademin, a writing school for a year. He's the youngest student in the class and he starts out really ambitious. He moved away from home, has his own apartment and lives in a new town. He hangs out with his older brother Yngve, who takes him out to meet his friends and get drunk together.Their sibling relationship change pretty much during the years when this book set. Karl Ove falls in love. Gets drunk. Is poor, because he spends all the money he gets fast. He writes and tries to write. When his classmates start to criticizes his work, he tries to shrug it off but inside he's hurting. He stops showing up at class. He's trying constantly to write but he's never happy with anything. At times he doesn't write at all.He does random jobs. Starts to study literature at the university. Writes reviews for books in some magazines. Works with mentally ill people. Procrastinates. Does military service. Works for a radio station. Travels. Messes up and breaks up. Falls in love again. Gets married. And so much more.As he drinks, he blackouts. Loses time. Makes stupid mistakes. Is unfaithful. Regrets everything as soon as he wakes up the next day. If he remembers it. He claims to be two different people - one when he's sober and one when he's drunk. Drunk Karl Ove can't stop drinking, gets into trouble and talks to everyone. Sober Karl Ove is fine with spending time alone, doesn't need to talk and wants to focus on his writing.Yngve worries about Karl Ove's drinking several times throughout the book and tells him he has to stop. Karl Ove can't just have one drink, he always has to have plenty.There are moments when he's drinking or making bad choices, where I just want to yell at him. What are you doing Karl Ove?! Why did you do that?! What where you thinking?! Get your act together!At the same time I understand him. He is about my age as this book is set, going through a lot of things in life, and even though him and I have experienced our early twenties totally different - I can still understand him. His lack of self confidence, his fears and all that he want to block out. His way to in a way or another torture himself, if that is by thinking himself down or physically harming himself.All the parts of this series has made me love and hate Karl Ove, and that why I have kept on reading to the very end. He's not a good person at times, sometimes often, and he writes it all down. I sigh at him while reading. Karl Ove all will get better, I want to say. You have no idea what happiness you will experience later in your life. You have no idea how many people will pick your book up and read them. And love them as much as I have. Also hate them, but don't bother with those.Part five, started out slow but as soon as I got into it I just didn't want to put it down. I knew what would happen in some parts, because of reading the other parts, but it didn't feel like I've been spoiled in any way. I read and waited patience until he went to Iceland. Until he met Espen ( Espen Stueland) and Tore ( Tore Renberg), his good friends and both also writes who where published before Knausgård was.I waited for Tonje, Knausgård's first wife. Oh Tonje. I feel for you. But what a woman you are.What I feel that Karl Ove does perfectly in this is to show how much love there is between him and the people around him. Mostly between him and Yngve. As I read, it's very clear to me that that is a loving relationship. Even if there has been some hard turns in their relationship, here and there.Also Tonje. I know that Karl Ove messes things up, is unavailable for her and unfaithful, and that she just has the most patience with him. What I read though is also the love he has for her.His relationship with Espen and Tore also. His jealousy as they get published before him, being younger than he is, but also his support and them supporting him. How come I read part five last?Well I just couldn't handle this series to end and I knew that I would cry my eyes out as I reached the last sentence in part six. Which I also surely did. So I saved part five for last so that that last sentence wasn't the last in the series for me. Also saving it until I needed it, which was recently and knowing I would really enjoy it and even love it. I loved it so much.Sometimes when I hear in the bookshop where I work people who didn't enjoy Knausgård and found, whatever part they read, to be slow and boring. I don't agree but I understand them. The books in this series aren't exactly page turners. There are some parts in each book that drag on and are (a bit) too long, but they should be there. Life isn't always action packed. Sometimes it's about having coffee and a cigarette and reflect upon life. That might be two pages, or as in part six, ~350 pages, long drawn out thoughts and scenes, but that's just how life is. That's how I see it. Not all that Knausgård writes is fun to read, but sometimes I laugh. Sometimes I want to close my eyes and not read on what will happen next. I want to yell at him. I have cried several times while reading this book and the others in the series. I have sighed. I have felt so much while reading this.Karl Ove, thanks for the struggle. I have enjoyed myself so much while reading. I'm sorry for thinking your writing wasn't for me because your series is my favorite series of all time and I doubt that any other series will ever top it. I know I will return to your books in the years to come. I know I will dog ear more pages, underline sentences and parts I love. I know I will reread a couple of pages here and there and just feel happy and sad at the same time as I re-experience them.Thank you Karl Ove. You have been a big part of my reading life the last year and a half. I have recommended, and still recommend anyone who will listen to me, to pick up your books. I wish there was more and I will read what you have written before and what you will write in the future with pleasure. I'm so happy to have these books in my life.Tack så himla mycket.

  • Matt
    2018-11-21 13:44

    [continued from here]At 12%. Karl Ove Knausgård. Here we go again! I started the fifth book right on schedule this time, but had to pay almost the same price for the Kindle version as for the hardcover. With my luck the paperback will come out any day now, and the price for the Kindle will drop too. Aargh! Or better Ååååååååå! (to paraphrase from Manny’s review) The letter Å, by the way, is pronounced similar to aw in the English “law” and caused some trouble one time: Members of my family live in Norway, in a town called Ås, and when they moved to Canada for a year the passport scanner at the Canadian airport refused to do its work. Apparently Å wasn’t in its character set. It took several hours, and a call back to Norway, to convince the officials to let the family in. Ååååååååå!                                        ·•●•·At 33%. Karl Ove recites the entire poem Todesfuge by Paul Celan to his girlfriend, instead of actually talking with her. A peculiar guy at 19. In my German edition of the book the original poem is printed, of course. I wonder how the Norwegian version sounds to Norwegian ears? I found this other poem "ER" by Immanuel Weissglas (a school friend of Celan) which was written before Todesfuge. This poem really sounds like the basis on which Celan has build his fugue. In other news: The recently published critical edition of Hitler’s Mein Kampf (which I added to GR), has been combined with the other editions of this infamous book, even though I added a librarian note saying not to do this for obvious reasons. In my opinion a high rating of a critical edition usually means a low rating of the original work, and vice versa, so the average rating and rating histogram will lose all validity (what’s left of it anyway). But apparently keeping the two works speperated would have been a violation of the holy rules and regulations of GR and who am I to argue that. At least I won’t spend any more of my precious time on fixing glitches in the GR database. He he he.                                        ·•●•·At 50% Knausgård is talking and talking and then he talks some more. This narrative seems like an endless stream and it suits the mood in Bergen nicely where all it ever does is rain, it seems. He studies literature. But talking about is not his main focus. Only sometimes, for brief moments, when the cloud cover ruptures, he mentions his own writing. What seems more important is telling us how often and how hard he gets drunk. His name is not in any book yet, not as the author anyway. But he discovers it in the novel called Ut by Else Karin Bukkøy; at least I’m fairly sure it’s this book he mentions in his novel. The description of the cover fits, but I didn’t find a blurb or anything. Just a cover. And it’s not on Goodreads either (as if!). Quite obscure.                                        ·•●•·At 78%. Tonje enters Knausgård’s life. But the individual stories in his “Struggle” volumes are not told in a linear fashion. Far from it. So at this point we already know a great deal about Tonje and their relationship from books one and two. I wonder if the books would make an entirely different impression if they were told chronologically. Probably so, even though we would end up with the exact same amount of information. But the overall impression would be different, I’m sure. In other words: How we build up our world view also depends on the order in which we receive information. Somewhat crazy, if you think about it.                                        ·•●•·At 94%. Oh no! KOK starts cleaning his father’s house again! Enough said.                                        ·•●•·At 100%. Five down, still one to go. The book deserves its stars for the last quarter which is really great. But perhaps this is only because the other three quarters where kind of straining. A clever construction … if it was intentional.After two thirds of the whole novel series (based on the page count of the original Norwegian hardcovers) I’m still here, poor fool, with all my lore and stand no wiser than before. I don’t believe all his stories in the book (and the other four I read so far) to be entirely true, because if they were, and I were a shrink, I could easily diagnose Mr Knausgård with several psychological disorders, and have him admitted to an institution, maybe one of those he mentioned in this book. For instance this scene in which he, his girlfriend Tonje, and his brother Yngve are sitting in a bar and Tonje and Yngve start talking to each other and enjoying themselves while Karl Ove drinks and gets jealous? This scene show strong indications for acute alcohol intoxication (F10), delusional jealousy (F22), and intentional self-harm (X84). This guy really should stop drinking!Or maybe it’s all made up? This whole thing is a hoax, some fabrication of his mind. In this case, one might speak of pathological lying (there is no ICD-10 code for this, it falls under the code F69 “unspecified personality disorder”), if it weren’t for the word NOVEL on the cover of the books.Knausgård is first and foremost a novelist, and novelists tend to take the truth (of their own biography in this case) and then bend and twist it to their needs until it fits their purpose. I guess taking Min Kamp at face value is not the way to go.[to be continued here]This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

  • Gary
    2018-12-06 16:56

    "What's genuine in the book is that I try to understand who I am." In a recent interview, Karl Ove Knausgård said he wrote Book 5 of his My Struggle series in just eight weeks, which is particularly impressive considering the depth of his 626-page autobiographical novel. Knausgård has a rare talent for finding the sublime in the mundane, and when measured by qualities like honesty, authenticity, and transparency, Book 5 is Knausgård at his unfiltered best. Highly recommended, especially for anyone who hasn't yet discovered the pleasure of reading Knausgård.

  • Geoff
    2018-11-29 15:55

    “The world is... the natural setting of, and field for, all my thoughts and all my explicit perceptions. Truth does not inhabit only the inner man, or more accurately, there is no inner man, man is in the world, and only in the world does he know himself. ”― Maurice Merleau-Ponty(This quote will have to serve as a review for now. I'll probably write more later. If you want a thorough write-up of the book, go read Lee's fantastic review.)

  • Stephen P
    2018-11-24 18:56

    A complex man spoken in such simple, open sentences, paragraphs. Yet unable to commit himself to anything or anyone in life, therefore unable to form a life. There was no self inside, only a vicious facsimile of his father and his emotional tortures; a man he could and would never be able to win with. Much of his time was spent humiliating himself internally and externally, and fearing it. Getting drunk allowed all he repressed out.The ongoing ache and repetitive groan wore thin. The writing without plot sought to emulate the writers the protagonist admired. These Norwegian post modern authors, i.e; Tor Ulven, whose ability to create tone, mood, not through description-the writing about-but the writing itself, the language. From this grew a tale of tragedy. A man seeking and searching, lost in his own self hatred doused in alcohol leaving him alienated and self destructed. This would be a fine endeavor if the writing achieved an apt tone, mode, revealing through its language and texture rather than the ongoing whine of loss and defeat. What was attempted through description spoke about these landscapes, objects, lighting, and seemed tacked on. At times tasted of the spoiled soured flavor when writing is added to show how well the author can write; which he can.This came as a shock to me. I loved books number one and two. A big fan. However it has been a while and I decided to skip numbers three and four jumping to number five where the setting was his college campus, the world of academics, great books, new authors to discover, the heightened talk of literature. If read in order the book’s style and structure may have made more sense?I do add stars for the early campus parts taking me back the many years to what it was like being on campus. We shared the same self consciousness, the retreat from self criticism, the orderly play of the Groucho Marx game where he wouldn’t join any club who would have someone like him as a member. It was great writing or great self identification or both. In the end for it to carry on for over six hundred and forty pages with little insight or change, little widening of perspective minus the other qualities he sought from the authors he read leads tragedy thinned to an ongoing whine.The first two books stood out for me as a different type of literature where the protagonist was faithfully honest about himself. The author making himself a character in his own novel. It is fiction or so I presume (with an effort). He is in this work true to his own formula of taking the reader through the events of his daily life. A difference that struck me is that in Book Two he is speaking of marriage, fatherhood, some questions about his masculinity, finding time to write and protecting that time, and his reaction to the world of publishing and awards. The issues impinge on each other, often times butting heads, other times stilettos are unsheathed. It was a rich read in many ways. In this work the daily life of a student, budding writer, academic, by nature is drier. So, he may well have portrayed his daily life as in this project he has set out to do. However, I believe the lines needed to be sharpened, the stilettos honed and any sense of sentimentality sliced away. The book for me would have had a gritted texture if the word, thought,-responsibility-would have surfaced, been questioned, been explored, rather than perfunctory references.Will I read the next installment of this project? At this point I don’t think so. This was a six hundred and forty six page commitment. I could have been reading…well… I could have been reading the mentioned, Tor Ulven and his book Replacement. By coincidence it is what I am reading now. In the first ten pages it accomplishes what Knausgard talked about, the kind of writer he wants to become.

  • Marcello S
    2018-12-09 19:04

    Mantiene decisamente le aspettative. [78/100]Pensieri sparsi:1. Mannaggia, già finito. E adesso che faccio?!2. Nell'ultimo periodo ero impantanato su una media di 20 pagine a settimana. Poi è arrivato Knausgård e non c'ho più capito niente.4. Normale seguito del quarto volume, verso la fine si incontra col primo (vedi alcune pagine quasi fotocopia) ed è il prequel abbastanza indispensabile del secondo. Per me è senza dubbio uno tra i capitoli migliori. E accadono, inaspettatamente, un sacco di cose.5. Premio della critica al tentativo del buon Karl Ove di spacciarsi come un ventenne/trentenne sfigato, depresso e inconcludente risultando nel mio immaginario del tutto l'opposto.6. Non saprei dire se beve davvero quanto dice ma faccio che mi fido e una gara di medie a chi perde paga la eviterei.7. Ingvild, Gunvold, Tonje.8. Dalla ricerca dell'amore che ti salva la vita vengono fuori momenti tipicamente knausgardiani come questo:Subito dopo ci sedemmo, ognuno con la propria media. Il locale era pieno, l’atmosfera era carica, erano le ultime cene di Natale tra colleghi e amici, intorno a noi c’erano uomini in abiti anni ottanta e donne dai vestiti con le spalle imbottite e le scollature profonde, che brindavano e ridevano. Eravamo soltanto noi a rimanere in silenzio.Avrei potuto dirle che era una stella, una luce, il mio sole. Avrei potuto dirle che mi mancava a tal punto da star male. Avrei potuto dirle che non avevo mai provato una cosa simile in tutta la mia vita, e io di cose ne avevo provate tante. Avrei potuto dirle che volevo stare per sempre con lei. Invece non dissi niente.9. O come questo:Rimase in piedi a guardarmi mentre la musica inondava la stanza. Aveva in sé un che di onirico e di eterno, come se riguardasse ciò che continuava inarrestabile senza finire mai.“Non è bello?” chiese.“Sì,” risposi. “Bellissimo”.Qualcosa in me sapeva che sarebbe andato tutto bene se mi fossi alzato e l’avessi abbracciata. Che mi avrebbe corrisposto e che l’unica cosa che sognavo sarebbe diventata realtà.Ma non trovai il coraggio.10. O questo:Il pensiero di lei era semplice, leggero, aderiva come il cielo a tutto, invece quello di avvicinarmi a lei era pesante. E se mi stavo sbagliando? Se mi avesse detto di no? Se avesse riso di me? Che cosa ti sei messo in testa? Chi ti credi di essere? Io dovrei mettermi con te? Sei solo un povero scemo.Ma quella sera dovevo.Quella sera dovevo.11. Poi ci sono i momenti tristoni, anche questi abbastanza tipici, come questo: La nebbia si muoveva a banchi sopra gli abeti fitti, di colore verde scuro, quasi nero, lungo il fianco della collina sul lato opposto del laghetto. Erano le nove, la mamma mi chiese se potevo spargere degli aghi di pino sul tratto di strada vicino al cancello. Era una vecchia usanza. Ci andai sotto la pioggia, coprii la ghiaia con gli aghi di pino, alzai lo sguardo verso la casa, le finestre che splendevano in quella mattina grigia. Piansi. Non per la morte e per quanto c’era di freddo, ma per la vita e per quanto c’era di caldo. Piansi per la bontà che esisteva. Piansi per la luce che trapelava nella nebbia, piansi per i vivi che erano presenti nella casa del morto e pensai, non posso sciupare la mia esistenza.12. Altri così tormentati che Raskolnikov se la passava meglio, come questo:Quando mi svegliai, ero all’inferno. Fuori era completamente buio. (...) Il pensiero di quello che avevo fatto, la colpa, la vergogna e l’angoscia, era così grande che non esisteva altro. Era senza fondo. Ero paralizzato, non ero in grado di muovermi, ero lì sdraiato al buio e sapevo che l’unico modo per uscirne era la morte. Non mi ero mosso da quando mi ero svegliato, era come se le tenebre mi schiacciassero, sentivo un dolore tale che volevo gridare, invece rimasi perfettamente immobile e in silenzio, dal soggiorno arrivavano i suoni della televisione e poi lei attraversò la stanza e si fermò davanti alla porta aperta.13. O questo:Non scrissi niente, pescavo, dormivo e leggevo. Ero dilaniato, non era una sensazione di passaggio, ma nel profondo era quello che sentivo perché il mio stato d’animo non migliorava, non cambiava, ogni giorno mi svegliavo provando una disperazione che non conosceva limiti. Si trattava di resistere. Era l’unica cosa su cui focalizzavo la mia attenzione. Dovevo resistere.

  • Sini
    2018-11-28 14:50

    De vorige vier delen van Knausgards autobiografische cyclus "Mijn Strijd" heb ik werkelijk verslonden, vooral deel 3 "Zoon" omdat dit zo fraai de intensiteit oproept van de kindertijd en de herinnering daaraan. En ook dit 5e en voorlaatste deel beviel mij prima, al vond ik dan m.n. "Zoon" net nog wat sterker. Dit deel draait om de veertien jaar dat Karl Ove in Bergen doorbracht, een periode waarvan hij zich naar eigen zeggen verbazend weinig herinnert. Toch vult hij ruim 600 bladzijden, met wat kennelijk geen letterlijke herinneringen zijn maar reconstructies met behulp van zijn verbeeldingskracht. En op die manier poogt Karl Ove dan greep te krijgen op een belangrijke periode in zijn leven: een periode vol dronkenschappen, getormenteerde liefdes, worstelingen met de chaos in zijn hoofd, zelfhaat en onverbloemde afkeer van zijn bijna nijpende verlegenheid en faalangst, alsook zijn even moeizame als fascinerende ontwikkeling tot lezer en schrijver. Opmerkelijk is daarbij ook hoe hij weer uitkomt bij gebeurtenissen die in deel 1 en 2 centraal stonden, m.n. de dood van zijn vader waar hij nu op geheel andere wijze over vertelt. Even opmerkelijk is dat hij ook hier, net als in "Liefde" en "Nacht", vertelt over een eigen roman waarin de hoofdpersoon iets heeft met een 13-jarige leerling. Die hoofdpersoon is verzonnen, de affaire met een 13- jarige is verre van autobiografisch, maar toch correspondeert de troebele binnenwereld van dat personage met 'iets' duisters in Karl Ove zelf, iets wat hij zelf ook niet helemaal begrijpt maar waar hij zich toch zeer voor schaamt. Maar hij komt er ook in dit deel weer op terug, op een andere manier dan in de andere delen, maar ook nu zonder tot een afgeronde conclusie te komen. Zoals hij ook de dood van zijn vader, die een enorme impact voor hem heeft, opnieuw en op andere wijze vertelt maar daarbij geen nieuw en verlossend inzicht krijgt.Spannend aan dit soort passages vind ik dat ze tegelijk overexpliciet en raadselachtig zijn: Knausgard is aan de ene kant erg expliciet over wat hij heeft meegemaakt en gevoeld, en tegelijk lijken die passages vaak te draaien rondom een raadsel dat hijzelf ook niet kan en wil verklaren. Deze passages illustreren m.i. daarnaast hoe enorm obsessief Karl Ove ronddwaalt in zijn eigen gekwelde hoofd. Elke pagina opnieuw worstelt hij op genadeloze en obsessieve wijze met zijn eigen angsten en frustraties. Bovendien hunkert hij als een bezetene naar ervaringsintensiteiten die het alledaagse leven gewoon niet biedt: de ultieme dronkenschap, de totale passie, en vooral de ongeremde intensiteit die alleen het schrijven hem kan bieden. Dingen gewoon beleven is zinloos voor Karl Ove: belevenissen zijn pas echt belevenissen zodra ze zijn getransformeerd in grote literatuur. Hij leeft eigenlijk alleen maar echt ten volle als hij zich totaal kan onderdompelen in het schrijven. Elke dag opnieuw hunkert Karl Ove naar het onmogelijke, het onbereikbare, het ultieme. Wat hij naar zijn eigen gevoel meestal ook schrijvend niet weet te bereiken, want hij loopt voortdurend vast, vindt zijn eigen schrijfsels maar inferieur, en vindt zichzelf een totale loser in vergelijking met vriende die volgens hem wel schrijven kunnen. Maar toch blijft hij gaan, en gaan, en gaan, wat veel kwellingen oplevert, echter ook de nodige momenten van ultieme vreugde als er TOCH eens een regel of zin is gelukt. Maar tussen alle kwellingen en vreugdemomenten door helpt hij met zijn obsessie wel vriendschappen en een huwelijk helemaal om zeep.Ik hou wel van die compromisloze overgave, moet ik bekennen. Allicht zou een beetje zelfrelativering gezonder zijn, maar ik heb wel bewondering voor iemand die zo enorm tot het gaatje gaat en elk compromis schuwt. Iemand dus die gaat voor het ultieme en voor geen cent minder. Dat zie je aan de genadeloze wijze waarop hij zichzelf en zijn dierbaren beschrijft: hij gaat daarbij door tot op het bot, en schuwt geen enkel pijnlijk detail, schrijft gewoon dwars door alle schaamte en taboes heen, simpelweg omdat hij voor het ultieme gaat en alles daaraan opoffert. Je ziet het ook aan de vele passages waarin Karl Ove beschrijft hoe hij hunkert, hunkert en hunkert, zich vertwijfeld afvragend WAARNAAR hij hunkert en WAAROM. Dat is natuurlijk een kwelling, maar zonder die hunkering zou hij terugvallen in een gemiddeld bestaan, dus hunkert hij naar de hunkering, hoe pijnlijk die vaak ook is. En je ziet het ook aan de m.i. soms prachtige passages over zijn leeservaringen, zijn ontdekking van grote auteurs als Hamsun en Dante en Borges of Celan: auteurs waarin hij zich totaal onderdompelt, omdat ze hem een uitzonderlijke esthetische sensatie bieden die hij ook echt MAXIMAAL wil doorvoelen. Bovendien zoeken deze schrijvers natuurlijk eveneens naar Het Ultieme: het zijn dus inspirerende gidsen voor Karl Ove, die met intense bewondering en overgave moeten worden bestudeerd. Om niet te zeggen: doorleefd. Voor mij is "Mijn Strijd" vooral het zelfportret van een rusteloze zoeker, van een kunstzinnige ziel die compromisloos en obsessief hunkert naar ultieme grenservaringen. Naar een intensiteit die in het dagelijks leven niet voorhanden is, maar waar je soms glimpen van opvangt als je dit dagelijks leven transformeert in literatuur. Zelf ben ik een brave burger vol zelfironie, maar ik word niettemin toch gefascineerd door deze obsessiviteit en hunkering. Vooral omdat deze vaak zo duidelijk doorklinkt in Knausgards stijl: zijn lange tastende zinnen, zijn vertwijfelde uitroepen (het is de enige schrijver die zo vaak hartenkreten als 'Ooooooo' opschrijft), de wijze waarop hij doordraaft en doordraaft en doordraaft over de meest onbenullige details. Dus ben ik ook heel benieuwd naar deel 6, het laatste deel, dat in ieder geval nog veel meer van dit soort hunkering zal bevatten en misschien zelfs een bevredigende climax.

  • Leo
    2018-11-15 13:58

    Eu não saberia dizer com certeza se Karl Ove é descritivo em excesso, se os detalhes cotidianos em "Minha Luta" são supervalorizados, ou se as inseguranças do escritor em formação desafiam os limites da paciência de quem encara “A descoberta da escrita”. Agora, se a questão for a honestidade de Knausgård com a própria trajetória, disso eu saio 100% convencido: o cara é implacável consigo mesmo. Mais um volume de autoquestionamento brutal.

  • Hakan T
    2018-12-08 13:48

    Kavgam serisinin 5. cildi de şaşırtmadı, yine mükemmeldi. Bu ciltte 19-33 yaş arası Bergen'de geçirdiği yılları, özellikle de yazar olma mücadelesini anlatıyor Knausgaard. Yine benzersiz bir açık kalplilikle, kendini hem özel hayatında, hem de yazarlık serüveninde acımasızca eleştirerek. Yazarlığın, yaratıcılığın çok acı verici bir süreç olduğunu, büyük emek getirdiğini, öncelikle çok okumak gerektirdiğini de bir kez daha anlıyorsunuz. 19 yaşında kabul edildiği, gözde bir yazarlık kursunda çektiği sıkıntılardan, girdiği çeşitli zorlu işlerde yaşadıklarına, edebiyat dünyasının içindeki dinamiklerden, başarıya (ilk romanının basılması ve ödül alması) uzanan süreç samimi bir şekilde anlatılıyor. Okumaya, yazmaya merakı olanlar için yine çok ilginç pencereler açıyor Knausgaard bu kitabında. Tabii bu dönemdeki özel hayatını da, kendisini pek bırakmayan özgüven eksikliğini, aşklarını, başarısızlıklarını, kıskançlıklarını, ailesiyle ilişkilerini, ilk evliliğini, aldatmalarını da etkileyici ama süslü olmayan üslubuyla, kendisini ne acındırarak ne de yücelterek ortaya döküyor. Fonda şehirleri ve kırsalıyla Norveç tasvirleri de kitabın değerini pekiştiriyor. Herkesin kendisinden bulabileceği şeylerle dolu bu kitap. Ben çok sevdim, Kavgam serisinin 6. ve son cildinin İngilizce çevirisinin basılmasını merakla bekleyeceğim. Türkçe çevirileri zaten biraz geriden geliyor. İngilice çevirileri müthiş, umarım Monokl'un yayınladığı Türkçe çevirileri de öyledir.

  • Justin Evans
    2018-11-11 13:54

    Airport literature for high-brows, and sometimes that's what you want. I enjoyed this one more than the first four, which is not to say it's better, but on the other hand, it's airport literature, so perhaps that is precisely to say it's better, but better for me. Four stars for how much I enjoyed it then, and two for quality. Basically, I'd much rather read about young KOK's days at university, hanging out with Jon Fosse and talking about Tor Ulven than another 80000000 pages about how his father wasn't the nicest guy, and the father's absence from this volume made that possible. Is there any literary merit to this volume? Not really. Some striking scenes, but it's mostly kitsch. It's also impressive that he can remember any of this stuff, given how much booze and drugs he claims to have been taking. Which is a snide way of saying he must be making some of it up, or have written it down, or something. But KOK is as good as anyone I've ever read on the bizarre experience of becoming an intellectual. On the one hand, you're pumped up with your own self-importance, because you're reading (e.g.,) Foucault while listening to Cecil Taylor and those around you aren't, but you're also terrified, because that's your first real jazz album and your first book of philosophy and what happens if that's not really the cool thing anymore, the cool thing now is to read Deleuze while listening to John Zorn? This volume lays out that to-and-fro between overwhelming self-importance and overwhelming self-doubt with almost Tolstoyan brilliance.

  • Lidija
    2018-11-14 15:58

    ah, karl ove. i wanted to like you. you come from a long, amazing tradition of scandinavian authors, the ones i stayed up all night to read in college - sigrid undset, knut hamsun, kjartan flogstad, william heinesen, tarje vesaas, strindberg, halldor laxness, selma lagerlof... but i then i remembered you are a product of our times, of our 21st century incessant social media belly-gazing, of our reality shows, of our mass existential crisis turned public.i liked your first book. there was pain there. there was something to write about. the second one, was it a struggle? sure, inasmuch daily life is a struggle to keep your head above water. the third and fourth volumes i dozed through, ok, but your reviews were so good, they must have just come at me at a bad time, right?not this one. 600 pages for a 50 page story, at best. i couldn't wait for it - your relentless boredom - to end. there's a moment at which one of the endless stream of characters (better yet, passers-by) shouts "karl ove can't write, but he sure is goodlooking!" and i found myself wanting to clap. i got tired of your ennui. and i was incredulous that a grown man - not a 15 year old - would in all seriousness take these 600 pages to a publisher and assume they would be published, just because you seem complicated and smoke cigarettes during interviews. "the struggle"? the struggle is ours, having to slog through the pages of your life. through every little detail, no matter how insignificant it is (hint: it's insignificant)to quote you: "there was no such color in what i wrote, no such hypnotic or evocative mood, in fact there was no mood at all, and that was the heart of the problem, i assumed, the very reason i wrote so badly and immaturely."thanks for calling it. the comparison to hamsun is laughable. hamsun was a disciplined writer, a master at character development, efficient, concise. and brilliant. as for "le recherche du temps perdu", well, the only "temps perdu" was my own. and sorry, i think i will give your million page ode to hitler, i.e. volume 6, a pass. first of all, because i have lost family members in concentration camps. second, because i assume it's another failed attempt of yours to be hamsun-like. hamsun's writing has retained its value despite his political affiliations. yours hangs on you being shocking and controversial. translation: you're on borrowed time.

  • Tena
    2018-11-11 15:06

    You either love or hate the My Struggle books. Reading hundreds of pages about a man drinking coffee, smoking, taking long walks and occasionally sitting down to write (largely to his grave disappointment) might seem like the most tedious thing you could possibly do, but it is everything but. Once you get sucked into the world of Karl Ove, it becomes impossible to leave. Let us not forget that this is still fiction and he should not be taken at face value, and when you read it like that it all falls into place. Karl Ove the writer does not particularly like Karl Ove the protagonist, who was during his Bergen years more often than not insufferable. The contempt he has for his main character/himself, the strained relationships with people around him, the constant shadow of his father looming over him... It is mundane but never boring, it is a cliche of early twenties that never feels forced and oversimplified. The most important books I have read over the past few years. Now on to waiting for the English translation of the sixth instalment...

  • Greg
    2018-12-07 16:55

    The best so far: this one made me laugh, cry, cringe, want to stop reading then a paragraph later declare I must read all volumes again, celebrate with the author when his first novel is published, mourn with him at the end of relationships and at deaths, hurt with him at those betrayals in life we all experience. And, Karl Ove, I'm proud of you: in this volume, unlike volume 4, you own up to self-pleasure! Yes, it's convenient and sorta like eating and sleeping! Perfectly natural. Anyway, I've digressed as usual, so back to the book. This volume is sensationally, brutally honest: on one hand I can't wait to read the final volume (coming out in English in 2018) but on the other hand I feel like Knausgard has hypnotized me into a "gotta read more Knausgard" freak so I'll probably wind up buying the set when it comes out. This is absolutely great literature to be revisited often.

  • Eddie Watkins
    2018-11-17 14:43

    Far from my favorite so far - too scattered/episodic with a profusion of characters in name only. But while these qualities diminished my reading pleasure, I can see how they perfectly mirror the frame of mind of Karl Ove's everyman as he negotiates his third decade, which made it interesting to ponder how such an outwardly shallow borderline fuck-up all the while harbored the human depths later revealed in his novels. And my pleasures did increase toward the end as he matured and settled into more of a life groove. It's still remarkable to me how he manages to totally inhabit as if in the moment each period of his life. That for me is the key to the books' riches.

  • Ken
    2018-12-09 16:56

    Probably my favorite since the first in the His Struggle series. I attribute it to the fact that so much narrative is spent on Karl Ove's literary apprenticeship--specifically his literary readings, attempts to become a writer, and friendships with like-minded sorts. That's always interesting to me because I like to read about reading and I like to read about writing, so if you're going to navel gaze as only KOK can do (read: in style), this is the way you want to do it.By this point, though, a lot of his writing is becoming recursive. I think his father has died for the third time now. That said, there seems to be more nature description in this 600-pager. Norway is a perfect setting for that. Well. Better than Poughkeepsie, anyway.One interesting excerpt comes on p. 571 when Karl Ove writes of his protagonist's first book-in-the-making, "To publish it as it was now would have been a terrible mistake, the storyline lacked a motivating force. A young man returns to his hometown, rents a room, meets some old friends, and his whole life takes a turn for the better, a series of protracted memories, in itself absolutely fine, but why tell them? There was no narrative engine. I had to make one. But how?"It seems his autobiographical hero has yet to figure out what Karl Ove himself DOES figure. The solution? No solution. Just keep writing, even if it's about returning to your hometown, renting this room and that, meeting old and new friends, until your life takes a turn for the better (read: publication and translation and unfathomable literary success). Build it and they will come, in other words. Fjord of Dreams, I believe.And so, one to go. 2017, I'm more than sure...

  • Marc
    2018-11-18 19:44

    I find myself developing a kind of doting-mother response to this series. I'm reading along and my mind is saying: "Oh, Karl Ove, please curtail your drinking. Remember what happened last time?" And he doesn't. I mean, he doesn't remember what happened last time because that's how much he drinks from time to time. And the aftermath rarely bodes well for him (regrets over sexual relations, fits of violence/anger, etc.). This volume really delves into his becoming a writer--the self-doubt, the success, the search for ideas, bouts with writer's block, trying to juggle relationships/marriage with a single-minded devotion to writing, and so on. There are long stretches of waiting: jobs that bring in enough to live on, rough drafts, band practice... Thus far in the series, Knausgård has managed to somehow charm me through the banality of his everyday life; that magic seemed to fade a bit in this volume. Reading the first half or so in smaller doses between too many other reads may have broken up the longer reading continuity from which his writing benefits. I found the last third much more engrossing, possibly because he covers more emotional content, as well as some older periods of his life. The narrative does start to cross over or rehash portions of earlier books in the series. Admittedly, I've never quite understood the choice in chronology, but that may be hard to discern until I've read all six books. But let's be real--I'm not likely to remember the books well enough to suss out some sort of underlying structure.------------------------------------------------WORDS I LEARNED WHILE READING THIS BOOKaxolotl | retroussé | funicular | osteal

  • Allan
    2018-11-12 16:43

    The fifth of the six book series, which I've followed over the last number of years, and probably my favourite of the lot. Once again Knausgaard goes into his life in minute detail, this time as he begins a writing course in Bergen as a 19 year old, and the book brings us past his debut novel to the death of his father, the event that featured so prominently in the first of the series.Warts n all once again, the self doubt and anxiety faced by Knausgaard is always prominent. I think this one stood out for me above the rest because of the time of his life being covered - the closest to a coming of age novel in the set.

  • Leo Robertson
    2018-11-12 13:47

    Damn it feels good to be a bastard

  • Faith
    2018-11-14 13:52

    Ännu om Knausgård...Detta är boken Knausgårds, alltså Karl Oves, destruktiva Bergen-år, som Bokbabbel kallade dem. Som 19-åring, efter året i Nord-Norge, flyttar Karl Ove till Bergen. Där ska livet börja, han ska gå på Skrivekunstakademien, bli författare. Men lätt blir det inte. Han känner just ingen förutom Yngve, brodern han älskar men känner sig underlägsen, och Skrivekunstakademiet blir mest kritik. Så det blir 10 år av att inte kunna skriva. Istället blir det lite jobb här och där, lite studier i lit.vet., lite i konsthistoria, otaliga skrivförsök, drickande...Men författare ska han bli. Det har varit klart redan länge. Fastän han inte förmår skriva så som han vill, är det något som finns i honom. Något som är en del av honom. De flesta skulle väl ha gett upp efter 10 år, men Karl Ove ska trots allt alltid ha sitt skrivbord, åka än hit än dit för att skriva. Och det är ju nånting där hela tiden. Det är väl vara de egna höga kraven och det alltför stora allvaret som står i vägen. Och till sist kommer ju den stora inspirationen som leder till den första stora romanen. På något sätt ät det det boken, faktikst hela trilogin som jag tycker att bok tre till fem består av, kulminerar i, det är ju det han har strävat till. På så sätt blir denna bok berättelsen om pojken som blir man. Den lilla gråtmilda pojken från Tromöya blir författare efter om och men.I något skede när jag läste denhär boken kom jag osökt att tänka på Harry Potter. Jag var så inne i Knausgårds värld efter att ha läst flera av böckerna på rad. Det började bli en stor läsupplevelse. För mej är och förblir Harry Potter den största av de stora upplevelserna, jag växte ju upp med Harry och vad kan bli starkare än det. Knausgård ger samma jag vill ha mera, går omkring och tänker på huvudpersonen-känsla. Förutom sättet att skriva på gör ju redan omfånget av berättelsen att man dras med i den. Varken Kanusgård eller Karl Ove skulle gilla denhär Harry Potter-jämförelsen, men vid närmare eftertanke ligger det faktiskt något i den, något mer än det yttre, förmågan att dra in läsaren. I grund och botten är det ju fråga om liknande berättelser. Båda är bildungsromaner och berättelser om en liten osäker pojke som var ingenting men under resans gång blir något stort och övervinner sig själv. En universell berättelse. Och Karl Ove och Harry har definitivt gemensamma karaktärsdrag och känslor. Främst osäkerheten helt enkelt, den som är så dominerande och sympatisk, både hos Karl Ove och Harry. Med tanke på bildungsromanen och berättelsen om resan från pojke till man borde berättelsen sluta här. Men då borde den också ha börjat med tredje boken. För att få till ett Harry Potter-aktigt slut borde romanen faktiskt ha slutat med att romanen ges ut och blir en succé i samma väva som pappan dör. Som ett avslutat kapitel, friheten som hägrar. Karl Ove som står där med sitt livs kärlek, nu har han allt. Men nu är detta ju inte den berättelsen. Den stora kärleken är inte den stora kärleken. Inte kallar Karl Ove nånsin Tonje sitt livs kärlek, men älskar henne gör han. Allt slutar ju i ett litet mörker. Allt blir ödelagt (det betyder ju bara förstört på svenska, men jag tycker det starkare ödelagt passar bättre). Otrohet och mörkret i Karl Oves sinne ödelägger förhållandet, det som började så fint med det nyförälskade paret i snöfallet. Så det slutar med att Karl Ove sätter sig på tåget till Stockholm. I och för sig ett bra slut. Allt är ödelagt men han är i alla fall på väg mot något, något stort. Han har idén till sin nästa stora roman och allt kommer att kulminera i det stora romanprojektet som kommer att skriva in hans namn i litteraturhistorien, trots att det hela är lite tvivelaktigt och största delen av den enorma uppmärksamheten han får är ju inte litterär. Men nu är det ju så att det inte kan sluta där, för dom första två böckerna skrevs och det går inte att sluta före man började även om man kan börja i slutet. Cirkeln måste slutas. Så nu väntar jag på att få hugga in på de tusen sidor som den sjätte boken består av. Men det lär dröja några månader på grund av reservationskön på biblioteket. Och här tror jag faktiskt att det är bra att ta en paus, få lite avstånd. För detta var nog slutet på den Knausgård jag älskar, den Karl Ove jag mött i de tre senaste böckerna med början på Tromöya.Men nästa etapp är Tonjes version. Det ser jag fram emot och återkommer till. Jag tycker ju inte att Knausgård hänger ut Tonje så mycket, förutom då detaljerna om förhållandet och de tråkiga detaljerna om slutet. Hon är hela tiden lite frånvarande i berättelsen, eller egentligen är det ju Karl Ove som är frånvarande från henne. Älskar henne men behöver henne inte. Det blir upprepat många gånger. Jag tror att vad Tonje har att säga är att, ja Karl Ove var faktiskt jobbig att leva med, men förhållandet innehöll faktiskt mycket mer än det Karl Ove beskriver. Problemet är ju att det inte verkar så betydelsefullt som det borde ha varit, som det kanske (säkert) ändå var. Tonjes dokumentär är fin och rörande. Den handlar inte alls om vad som är hennes version, utan om hur hon upplevde publiceringen. Problematiken med att få sitt liv offentliggjort. Tonje blir ju uthängd på ett sätt som är något omoraliskt, även om det inte blir så mycket detaljer om hennes ord och tankar, och det är ju något omoraliskt. Men historien kunde ju inte berättas utan henne, och skildringen av henne är ju stundvis mycket vacker och definitivt respektfull. Det Tonje främst är kritisk mot är att Karl Ove tyckte att hon inte skulle läsa boken om Linda (den andra boken) för att det skulle såra henne, och att hon upplevs/framställs som ett offer när förhållandet tar slut i femte boken. Jag tänkte aldrig på henne direkt som ett offer, även om det kanske blev nån stackars Tonje-tanke när Karl Ove inte brydde sig tillräckligt. Men det jag tänkte när jag läste båda beskrivningarna om hur Karl Ove går på tåget för att resa till Stockholm var att Tonje i berättelsen blir stående utan Karl Ove ser från tåget hur hon går från perrongen utan att vända sig om, utan att se tillbaka. Det gör henne mindre till ett offer.Jag undrar om Knausgård kommer att skriva om mötet med Tonje som skildras i dokumentären i bok sex, antagligen. Det blir ju intressant. Det är intressant att han både i e-mailen till Tonje som läses opp i dokumentäre och under mötet låter likadan som i boken, samma stil.Intressant att få en glimt av någon annans version också. För det är ju ett faktum att böckerna är Knausgård version och bara hans, andra människor kan uppleva och beskriva samma händelser på helt andra sätt. Det skulle faktiskt vara intressant att höra Yngves version. Om honom framkommer det ju inget kritiskt, negativt eller kontroversiellt. Bara motsatsen. Men jag undrar hur han upplever beskrivningen av sig själv. Den är ju fin. Beskrivningen av förhållandet mellan Karl Ove och Yngve är nog något av det finaste i böckerna. Karl Ove älskar verkligen sin bror. Alltid Yngve, Yngve, fina Yngve. I denhär femte boken blir det faktiskt lite extremt, då förhållandet problematiseras i och med att Karl Ove i början av sin tid i Bergen hänger sig på Yngve, höjer honom till skyarna och får mindervärdeskomplex. Det hela kulminerar i två väldigt extrema händelser som speglar problematiken: när Karl Ove kastar ett glas på Yngve och när han får ett anfall av svartsjuka i början av förhållandet med Tonje. Men med tiden normaliseras väl förhållandet och de blir mera jämlikar. I alla böckerna är det klart att Karl Ove älskar Yngve, till och med behöver honom, fastän han förstås också om Yngve säger att han inte "trenger" honom. Men hur upplevde Yngve det? För honom var det antagligen inte lika extremt. Ja, dessa resonemang gäller ju inte boken mera, de är utanför bokens värld, och där finns ju ingen Tonjes version eller andra intervjuer. Jag tror Knausgård böcker förblir bättre läsupplevelser om man ser dem som fiktiva verk, en fiktiv värld. Men det är ju förstås omöjligt att bortse från verkligheten, receptionen och publiciteten. På sätt och vis är det ju en del av böckerna. Men det fina med dem är faktiskt berättelsen som man dras med i. Där och då fanns receptionen inte, även om den snabbt drog ut mig ur Knausgårds värld efter att jag läst ut boken.

  • Santiago González
    2018-11-24 20:00

    Lo sé, es solo literatura del yo (pero me gusta)Es tan fácil de leer, tan llevadero, que asusta. Las 700 páginas se te pasan volando. Te bajás de a 100 por día casi sin darte cuenta. Su escritura fluye como la vida misma.Si ya leíste los cuatro anteriores y te gustaron, este no te va a defraudar. Tiene para mí el mejor final de todos los de la saga. Es tremendo.Acompaña las estaciones de la vida. Este "Tiene que llover" habla de la última expansión de ciclo rutinario en el que se ha convertido nuestra vida: el casamiento y los primeros pasos en la profesión y el oficio. Tal vez los últimos interesantes antes del nacimiento de los hijos donde todo, creo, se desplaza. En un giro copermicano, uno queda descentrado de su vida. Creo que no hace falta leerlos en orden aunque es recomendable. Pero si nunca leyeron a Kanusgard y esta saga, este quinto tomo puede ser una buena puerta de entrada.Le puse cinco estrellitas porque lo acabo de terminar y estoy remanija. Quizás con el paso del tiempo la euforia baje. Pero quedé enganchadísimo como adicto a la próxima dosis; la sexta y la última. Como dicen en España: "¡Qué no decaiga!"

  • Roman Helinski
    2018-12-04 12:43

    (zoals verschenen op tirade.nu)Al dagen wil ik schrijven over Karl Ove Knausgård. Over ‘Schrijver’, zijn laatst vertaalde boek. De andere delen uit de serie las ik met interesse, maar ik vond ze niet perse goed, te wijdlopig, onrustig. ‘Schrijver’ maakte grote indruk. Maar alles wat ik de afgelopen dagen op papier zette over het boek, was niet goed genoeg. Ik wiste versie na versie, en besloot het er maar bij te laten zitten. Maar mijn drang om over het boek te schrijven verdween niet, zat me dwars zoals een kiwipitje dat achter een kies is blijven haken. Het moest eruit. Als ik dan per se iets over ‘Schrijver’ wilde publiceren, laat het dan in godsnaam maar gaan over de invloed die het boek op mij heeft uitgeoefend.karlIk koop het boek op een sneeuwdag. Het ligt al maanden in de schappen, maar ik kom er nu pas aan toe. Op de achterkant staat dat Karl Ove zijn periode aan de schrijversvakschool beschrijft, zijn wording tot schrijver. Lezen hoe schrijvers zijn gevormd, voelt vaak toch alsof ik over mezelf lees. Zelfs wanneer de vorming heel anders tot stand is gekomen dan bij mij, herken ik zaken, zie onderliggende gelijkenissen. Ik neem het boek mee naar de hipste koffietent van Utrecht, waar het zo druk is dat ik er op de grond moet zitten. De ruiten zijn beslagen, net als mijn brilglazen zodra ik er binnenstap. Weinig dingen zijn zo fijn als een roman kopen en er meteen in gaan lezen. Ik hou het lijvige boek voor mijn gezicht, om me ervan te vergewissen dat iedereen ziet wat ik lees. Knausgård is sexy. Een hipster-meisje vraagt al snel: ‘En, is het echt zo goed?’‘Dat is een ingewikkelde vraag,’ antwoord ik. De boeken van Knausgård jaag ik er in grote vaart doorheen. Iets in zijn werk dwingt tot haast, de schijnbare afwezigheid van urgentie nodigt uit tot het overslaan van stukken. Je komt ermee weg als lezer, eigenlijk zou dat niet moeten mogen. Ik neem me voor Schrijver rustiger te lezen, ook al maant mijn nieuwsgierigheid me geregeld vaart te maken, vooruit te kijken. Ik wil weten of Karl Ove het meisje krijgt, of zijn nieuwste verhaal eindelijk wel zal worden gepubliceerd en of broer Yngve en hij het goedmaken na een vreselijke ruzie.Buiten ligt een laag sneeuw op de straten, tegen het vriespunt is het. Het past bij het kille van het boek. Karl Ove klimt dronken op balkons van niet ter zake doende meisjes, bezig zijn liefdesgeluk af te breken, de destructieve lul. Wanneer ik de koffiezaak verlaat, zonder een bevredigend antwoord te hebben kunnen geven aan het hipster-meisje, waan ik me in de studentenstad Bergen, ergens in de winter van ’99, tijdens één van die avonden waarop het maar niet donker wil worden. Sommige goede boeken doen dat met mij. Ze halen me naar hun tijd en even zie ik de mensen om me heen door de bril van de hoofdpersoon. Soms voel ik me zelfs de hoofdpersoon, maar dat vind ik een stuk moeilijker om toe te geven, want dat is raar.In alle ernst vermoed ik wanneer ik halverwege Schrijver ben de hand van de duivel, zo’n vernietigend pact dat vroeger nog wel eens werd gesloten: Knausgård heeft het talent gekregen om wervelend en onstuimig te schrijven over het donkerste in zijn ziel, tot op het bot te gaan en dan nog te schrapen over de bodem. De duivel biedt hem bovendien een wereldwijd podium. Wat Knausgård daarvoor in ruil moet doen? Zonder verfraaiingen verhalen over zijn menselijkheid. Ik voel me geregeld onthutst en mistroostig terwijl ik Schrijver lees. Overal wordt Karl Ove’s werk te licht bevonden. Pijnlijk aan de oppervlakte blijft het. Literatuur moet het persoonlijke blootleggen en daardoor een universele uitdrukkingskracht krijgen, dat weten we allemaal. De jonge Karl Ove snapt er geen zak van.In drie dagen lees ik het boek uit, dat had drie keer zo snel gekund als ik mezelf niet tot traagheid had gemaand. Ik ben er beduusd van, waan me een Noor op de rand van een depressie, de grauwe luchten boven de stad helpen niet. De ochtend nadat ik Schrijver definitief dicht heb geslagen, ontwaak ik met de mededeling dat mijn eigen roman die ik in de lente publiceerde, niet op de longlist voor de Libris Literatuurprijs is geplaatst. Mijn veelbesproken debuut is voor niets genomineerd, ook niet voor debuutprijzen. Wat vervolgens met me gebeurt past niet bij me: ik hoor mijn zelfvertrouwen kraken. De chronische twijfel waarover ik drie dagen achter elkaar heb gelezen, spitst me op zijn drietand en sleurt me mee omlaag. Is mijn roman eigenlijk wel zo goed als ik denk? Als ik gevoelig zou zijn voor verslavingen, zou ik deze avond meer dan één glas whisky drinken om het benauwende gevoel weg te spoelen.De volgende morgen constateer ik dat de onzekerheid is achtergebleven in de nacht, daar lijkt het tenminste sterk op. Dat ik toch even zo aan het twijfelen ben geslagen, is een bewijs van de kracht van goede literatuur en een duivelsbewijs van het ontembare talent van Karl Ove Knausgård .

  • Bruno
    2018-12-03 13:06

    Più leggo Knausgård e più mi chiedo quanto effettivamente sia vero e autobiografico e quanto sia frutto della creazione narrativa. Anche nell'apertura di questo quinto volume, Knausgård torna a ripeterci che i quattordici anni passati a Bergen (1988 - 2002) non sono altro che una serie di flash confusi nella sua mente e quello che resta è soltanto un insieme di ricordi di incidenti e sentimenti; eppure sforna un altro mattone di più di 600 pagine, dove molte delle nottate di bagordi sono descritte fin nei minimi dettagli. Ci sono poi tutti quegli aneddoti bizzarri che fanno storcere il naso e non si può fare a meno di chiedersi se veramente (view spoiler)[ si sia masturbato utilizzando un libro di storia dell'arte come stimolante?! (hide spoiler)] o se davvero (view spoiler)[ Yngve gli abbia rubato la ragazza di cui era innamorato (hide spoiler)], per non parlare dell'incontro con Björk! Molto probabilmente, però, il fatto che molti eventi mi sembrino inverosimili è semplicemente dovuto alla mia vita noiosa.Some Rain Must Fall, come già detto, racconta degli anni universitari di Karl Ove a Bergen, città che per percentuali di precipitazioni sembra rubare il primato che si suole attribuire al Regno Unito. Se Knausgård è sopravvissuto ai fiumi di alcol assunti negli anni, non capisco proprio come non sia morto di polmonite o reumatismi cronici. Questo libro trasuda umidità da ogni pagina. Tra un ettolitro di birra e l'altro Karl Ove trova il tempo di frequentare l'Accademia di Scrittura dove abbiamo l'occasione di conoscere più da vicino alcuni degli scrittori norvegesi contemporanei più famosi, tra cui Jon Fosse, insegnante del corso frequentato da Knausgård. Si parla tantissimo di letteratura norvegese, da Tor Ulven, Jan Kjærstad, Kjartan Fløgstad, Eldrid Lunden a Ole Robert Sunde e Stig Sæterbakken. Si parla di british pop, di innamoramenti fugaci e altri più duraturi, di rifiuti, di infinite stesure di romanzi, di ispirazioni e nuovi rifiuti, di competizioni, di amicizie e tradimenti, di viaggi, di lavori saltuari, di band fallimentari, di follie sotto l'effetto dell'alcol, di pentimenti e nuovi inizi. Ormai a un passo dalla fine, la curiosità mi logora.

  • Kobe Bryant
    2018-11-22 13:11

    I dont know why I keep reading these books

  • Bill Magee
    2018-11-22 15:44

    My Struggle: Book Five is the best My Struggle since My Struggle: Book Two!