*My Struggle*, volume two

by on April 29, 2013 at 3:21 pm in Books | Permalink

It arrives at my house today, by Karl O. Knausgaard.  Last year I read volume one and found it to be the equal of the great continental novels of the early part of the 20th century.  Here is Rachel Cusk at The Guardian on volume two; “…this deserves to be called perhaps the most significant literary enterprise of our times.”  That is not an exaggeration.  Here is related coverage from Literary Saloon.

1 Andrew April 29, 2013 at 3:58 pm

It’s just like science fiction, except–it’s the exact opposite.

2 Zach April 29, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Volume One was remarkable and perhaps the best recommendation I have ever received from this blog.

I pre-ordered Volume Two months ago although Amazon seems to have lost track of that fact. I wasn’t expecting it to be available for several more weeks!

3 tt April 29, 2013 at 4:04 pm

The unexamined life may not be worth living, but the overexamined life sure wastes a lot of it

4 Mikael April 29, 2013 at 4:56 pm

It’s pretty good, isn’t it? I’m currently on vol. 5 and it’s still good.

5 derek April 29, 2013 at 7:22 pm


An interview with the author. A great interviewer by the way, worth perusing the episodes.

6 Michael G Heller April 30, 2013 at 1:01 am

Extract — “that was what she dreamt about, for us to be one happy, contented family. All I ever dreamt about was for her to do her half of the housework”.

When – if ever – he plucks up the courage to be on his own he might develop a more interesting anger, like Thomas Bernhard, and he might also learn to love instead of hate his daily routines.

7 Ray Lopez April 30, 2013 at 2:00 am

Thanks for giving me an excuse not to read the book, now that you summarized it in one line. It seemed to me to be like a up-to-date Proust “Remembrance of Things Past”, or perhaps those modern novels that spend a book describing a single passing minute in a day, or the workings of a pencil (wait, that’s Milt Friedman’s famous essay, no?)

8 Steve Sailer April 30, 2013 at 2:00 am

“‘My Struggle’ … the equal of the great continental novels of the early part of the 20th century.”

Well, I think you are over-rating “My Struggle.” But surely we can agree that “Table Talk” was a weak sequel to “My Struggle,” completely lacking in plot.

9 Ray Lopez April 30, 2013 at 2:02 am

You’re a fan of Hitler I see. Can you name the book that Hitler wrote that was not published until the 1960s?

10 Yog Sothoth April 30, 2013 at 7:36 am

Yeah how is this book supposed to do a German translation with that title?

11 Steve Sailer April 30, 2013 at 6:49 pm

It’s a joke about Knausgaard’s obnoxious, attention-whoring choice of a title for his book.

12 Phil Goetz April 30, 2013 at 11:43 am

I notice that Hitler’s book “Mein Kampf” has zero reviews on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&field-author=Adolf-%28Author%29%20Hitler&search-alias=books), and “Table Talk” isn’t even in stock.

I find it bizarre that people are fascinated with Hitler, and fascinated with evil, and pretend that they’re interested in preventing someone like Hitler from coming to power again, yet no one reads what he wrote. Which proves that they would rather have another world war than read something unpleasant. Or be suspected of liking Hitler.

(I guess I shouldn’t find this surprising, since about a billion people believe that God Almighty dictated one book containing all the wisdom humans need, yet never read it.)

I also find it bizarre that Hitler was elected /after/ publishing Mein Kampf. The book drips with contempt for the German people, and it implies what Hitler was going to do. It even explains that Hitler planned to destroy the Jews because he believed the Germans were so stupid and herd-like that the only way they could be united was through hate. Politicians today are desperate to avoid saying what they really think, because they think voters are rational and will hold it against them. Hitler would probably have said, It doesn’t matter what you say; people don’t read, those who do, don’t think; those few who think will assume you’re talking about somebody else. And he proved himself right.

13 tt April 30, 2013 at 11:50 am

amazon must be filtering/censoring those reviews

14 Urso April 30, 2013 at 2:54 pm

Amazon might be *required* to filter/censor those reviews by certain gov’ts.

15 Andy April 30, 2013 at 2:52 pm

Great book, big buuuummmmer. Not sure if I’m up to Vol 2. just yet. The dead parent house cleaning was interminable, much like I imagine the real thing is. I’ve moved on to Alice Munro stories, also a great recommendation.

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