Norway fact of the day, the Norwegian century continues

by on March 13, 2014 at 12:31 pm in Books | Permalink

…companies have introduced “Knausgaard-free days” in order to keep people’s minds on work.

By Adrian Wooldridge, a longer Economist profile of Knausgaard is here.

RR March 13, 2014 at 3:56 pm

The total silence in the comments section makes me wonder whether we are observing “knausgaard-free” comments.

Kristian March 13, 2014 at 4:31 pm

I work at a Norwegian company of 150+ employees and haven’t talked about Knausgaard there since book 6 a couple of years ago, or something like that. Pretty Knausgaard-free without being company policy. Perhaps its different if you work at his publisher’s.

Roy March 13, 2014 at 5:17 pm

This guy has an awesome publicist,

Back in the nineties one of the central Asian ex Soviet Republics was broadcasting a telenovela and it was so popular that the government ordered it broadcast 5 hours a day to get it over with because it was destroying productivity. I think it was Los ricos tambien lloran, which might be better than Knausgaard, and I say this as one of the few people commenting here who admires the books.

Erik Køie March 13, 2014 at 11:22 pm

Knausgaard really has a lot to say about what it is to be a man in the 21st century. A human too, but especially a man. It’s all too rare for men to think of themselves as sexed beings; his books might actually be some of the first about men as men. Also, he’s almost never boring.

Undset and Knausgaard compared March 13, 2014 at 11:57 pm

In the last year I have read 800 pages of Undset and 50 pages of Knausgaard. The lesser Norwegian writer was good, his prose was sort of a dreamy Platonic idealization of how a real-life Greg-heavy Brady Bunch episode would sound if shifted into a different decade and different culture and if described by someone very aware of things like average-dude levels of testosterone and average-female sexual disappointment and above-average IQ points sifting like early afternoon high-tide water through the late-afternoon beach sand of everyday far-from-God secular tasks. Next year I plan to read 800 more pages of Undset and 50 more of Knausgaard. (this comment was not a pastiche of either, by the way).

Steve Sailer March 14, 2014 at 4:59 am

So, the not-yet-translated sixth volume of his autobiography is mostly about Hitler? Anybody know what insights into Hitler Knausgaard comes up with?

I’m reminded of the first volume of Peter O’Toole’s autobiography. The actor didn’t think his childhood during WWII was all that interesting, so he devoted a third of his memoir to a portrait of his raffish father and a third to the man who kept ordering bombs dropped on his neighborhood, Hitler. Not surprisingly, O’Toole had some pretty interesting insights into what made Hitler tick.

Erik Køie March 14, 2014 at 11:11 am

Roughly a third of the 1200 pages of volume 6 concern Hitler. It’s an essay called the Name and the Word located between autobiographical parts (the first detailing the process of writing the first volume and the lawsuit surrounding it, the second part mainly detailing his wife’s psychotic breakdown and hospitalization), and it’s very Freudian, the way most of the book is. But it’s not just about Hitler; the first 50 or more pages are a history of names in literature, and then follows an incredibly long, word-by-word analysis of a poem (about the Shoah) by Célan.

Erik Køie March 14, 2014 at 11:12 am

That was supposed to be in reply to Steve Sailer, 4.59 am.

Steve Sailer March 14, 2014 at 11:16 pm

Thanks.

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