I like Knausgård. I liked his two novels. That is why I am recommending them.
Karl Ove Knausgård has insanely decided to tell us all his life. Or, at least, use it to write six novels. Six. Six independent stories, or that is what you might say after reading the first two, La muerte del padre and Un hombre enamorado –the only ones that have been translated so far– in which he narrates in detail his adolescence in Norway, his aspirations and first crushes, his relationship with his parents and how he feels later on about having to emigrate to a new country and a new city. He then explains what it is like to fall in love again in this new city, the beauty and the ugliness of everything, to be a father and a husband, a friend and a partner, while he tries to find work ethics and the inspiration needed to continue his career as a writer. The author does not spare any detail of his life, as insignificant as it may seem. Knausgård transforms those details into scenes where the narration tends to blend with existential digressions. About life, love and death, and about writing, the art.
Knausgård is right when he defines this crazy literary business as a “fight”. In his novels, the Norwegian author bares all his feelings and all his intimacy in order to try to understand his own existence. It is, of course, a metaphysical fight which takes along the author himself, his parents, his siblings, his friends, his wife Linda and his daughters. We are talking about long novels that one must tackle with tenacity. Nevertheless, Knausgård’s voice gets into your ears, voracity awakens your eyes and you are actually surprised to find yourself hooked on his pages as if nothing else exists but his grandmother’s pigsty, where his father died drunk, the scenes with Geir and his Swedish intellectual friends, or those moments when all he seems to need is solitude. And who is Knausgård? Well, it seems we are before a kind of man that is tough but insecure; a commendable guy. Strong but a weeper. There is something in him that belongs to all of us. And he is able to leave these pages for memento.
There are still four books left but, for now, I belong to the group who know they will read the next instalment.