Friday, July 18, 2014

How serious a writer is Karl Ove Knausgaard?

Oh, I could cut off my head with the bitterness and shame that I have allowed myself to be lured, not just once but time after time. If I have learned one thing over these years that seems to be immensely important, particularly in an era such as ours, overflowing with mediocrity, it is the following:

Don't believe you are anybody.
Don't fucking believe you are somebody.
Because you are not. You're just a smug, mediocre little shit.
Do not believe you are anything special. Do not believe that you're worth anything, because you aren't. You're just a little shit.
So keep your head down and work, you little shit. Then, at least, you'll get something out of it. Shut your mouth, keep your head down, work, and know that you're not worth a shit.
This, more or less, was what I had learned.
This was the sum of all my experience.
This was the only worthwhile thought I'd ever had.

Above is an excerpt from Karl Ove Knausgaard's MY STRUGGLE BOOK 2, which I've been reading over the past week: a novel, indeed, of high quality, apparently a simple and unpretentious narrative, with thoughts and insights, lived-out feelings and experiences, actions and analyses, touching the essence and truth of human life as it should be lived. I have not only loved the book. The reading experience is going to stay with me, and I feel it will have a long-term impact on my life as well as on my writing.

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