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Min kamp 3 by Karl Ove Knausgård
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Min kamp 3 (original 2010; edition 2012)

by Karl Ove Knausgård

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230750,307 (4.07)8
Member:westing
Title:Min kamp 3
Authors:Karl Ove Knausgård
Info:Pocketförlaget, 2012
Collections:Your library
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My Struggle: Book Three by Karl Ove Knausgård (2010)

  1. 00
    Twee wegen by Per Petterson (rrmmff2000)
    rrmmff2000: Utterly different in style, but both highly evocative accounts of the struggle towards adulthood in semi-rural Norway
  2. 00
    Black Swan Green by David Mitchell (petterw, julienne_preacher)
    petterw: En annen glitrende oppvekstroman
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Showing 4 of 4
The third book in the Knausgaard saga explores Karl Ove’s boyhood. The family moves to the largest island in southern Norway, Tromøy, where Karl Ove's father teaches Norwegian in high school and his mother works with families experiencing trauma. Finally we learn why Karl Ove was so terrified of his father. The older brother Yngve now becomes the shadowy enigma we only glimpse but cannot see. Yngve is the essence of the older brother—a little dismissive of his younger sibling, but generally supportive and friendly enough. I yearn to see more of him, but suspect Karl Ove’s penchant for self-revelation did not extend to his brother.

This is a remarkable piece of work. The more I read the more I want to read. Fiction or nonfiction? Of course it is both. In a series this long and detailed one cannot have but used elements of both. In order to ring true it must have recognizable motivations and actions, yet the detail feels new rather than remembered. I found myself mesmerized by the thirteen-year-old Karl Ove. The scene in which he takes “the prettiest girl” he’s met to the forest by bicycle to kiss is positively painful—and classic.

The difference between the personalities of Karl Ove’s parents is spelled out in a paragraph about driving styles:”Speed and anger went hand in hand. Mom drove carefully, was considerate, never minded if the car in front was slow, she was patient and followed. That was how she was at home as well. She never got angry, always had time to help, didn’t mind if things got broken, accidents happened, she liked to chat with us, she was interested in what we said, she often served food that was not absolutely necessary, such as waffles, buns, cocoa, and bread fresh out of the oven, while Dad on the other hand tried to purge our lives of anything that had no direct relevance to the situation in which we found ourselves: we ate food because it was a necessity, and the time we spent eating had no value in itself; when we watched TV we watched TV and were not allowed to talk or do anything else; when we were in the garden we had to stay on the flagstones, they had been laid for precisely that purpose, while the lawn, big and inviting though it was, was not for walking, running, or lying on...[Dad always drove much too fast.]”
This revealing paragraph shows us two critical portraitures and Knausgaard’s run-on style which impels the reader forward. We know immediately the difference in the two personalities, and in Karl Ove’s as well. On the day Karl Ove was reprimanded for embarrassing another boy, Edmund, for not being able to read, Karl Ove tells us “I both understood and I didn’t”—why his family was mean to him and kind to Edmund, whom they hardly knew. He was learning two sets of behaviors and being confused by which to adopt. By including this incident in his record we know that it became clearer to him at some later point.

There is no mention of Knausgaard’s overall direction with this third of the six books, though in the very last pages Karl Ove comes across a photograph in a history book of a naked woman starving to death. The next page of the history book contains images of a mass grave with many strewn corpses. Immediately readers' minds go to the Holocaust with no further prompting. The juxtaposition of the sunny warmth of impending summer and the stark brutality of the images jerks us from our reverie and places Karl Ove's boyhood in a larger context. The years are passing but there are a few holes in the picture of a forty-year old life. We’ve now had the beginning and the end, but early adulthood and a first marriage are still missing.

Is it literature? I think so. We have already “gone somewhere” though each volume leads only to another at this point. A person with contradiction and depth is given life in these pages. The detail is lush and ample and oh-so-readable, the story instructs us, and the context haunts us. I look forward to seeing what Knausgaard wants us to understand, but he has already given us something very special indeed.



( )
  bowedbookshelf | Apr 17, 2015 |
Now I can't wait for the fourth volume to be translated; and I dread the day when there are no more! I still can't put into words what I find so fascinating about these books. He is so open, so self-aware, with such an attention to detail, down to the colors of people's clothes when he was a little boy (I guess maybe that's why they are technically called autobiographical novels). And yet so dense when it comes to other people's feelings. I began to wonder, actually, if he has some form of Asperger's.

But the writing is hypnotic, never boring, even though the self he is so honestly describing is at times so obnoxious! ( )
  bobbieharv | Aug 23, 2014 |
The third part of the "My Struggle" series takes in Karl Ove's childhood years in primary school, living in a small community on and around an island off the south coast of Norway. The by now familiar confessional style focuses on his time at school and among his family, particularly his relationship with his domineering father. ( )
  rrmmff2000 | Apr 6, 2014 |
Litteratursiden.dk (Jen Henrik Holm) : "Den altid velskrivende Knausgård fortæller i bind tre om barndommens tabte land og om forholdet til den mægtige, straffende fader. Men de lange, beskrivende passager kvæler indimellem fortællingen.

Beretningen begynder i 1969, hvor den unge familien Knausgård ankommer til en lille ø i det sydligste Norge. Således sætter Knausgård scenen for beretningen om sine syv første leveår.

Efter bind et og to, der begge havde den voksne Knausgård i hovedrollen, og hvor henholdsvis faderens død og familielivet med børn udgjorde fortællingens centrale omdrejningspunkter, er det nu barnet Karl Ove, der låner ordet til fortællingen om barndom og opvækst i 1970’erne. Barndomsskildringen bliver fortalt nogenlunde kronologisk, og kun enkelte gange bryder den voksne Knausgård ind og knytter en kommentar til handlingen i bind tre, der mere end sine to forgængere minder om en roman i traditionel forstand.

Knausgård beretter med stor detaljerigdom og mange levende sanseindtryk, der fører læseren ind i barnets verden. Vi hører om kammeraterne, deres udflugter i den omgivende skov, hvor de med barnets og særligt drenges umiddelbare nysgerrighed bare må undersøger alt selv det ulækre, såsom da Knausgård og hans ven Geir skider i skoven og derefter opsøger ekskrementerne for at se deres forvandling. Vi kommer med til fodboldkampene, skarnstregerne og den begyndende interesse for piger og litteratur.

Men ingen barndom uden trolde, og i Karl Oves beretning fremstår en særlig styg en af slagsen: Den konstant rugende og latent voldelige far, der med korporlig afstraffelse og hånlige bemærkninger bekæmper et hvert tilløb til brud på det ordentlige og mandhaftige, hvilket ikke giver så få konflikter, da Karl Ove er meget grådlabil. Særlig stærk er de scener, hvor faren frustreres over sine kejtede forsøg på at nå ind til den afvisende Karl Ove, der nærer frygt og had for den udefra set respektable og agtede mand.

Knausgård skriver fantastisk, men de detaljerige, beskrivende passager bliver efter min mening for omstændige og tempoet for dvælende, når hver en farve, lugt etc. partout skal med i hver dagligdags foreteelse. Til tider bliver ’Min kamp 3’ selv lidt af en kamp at komme igennem. Der er for langt mellem de far-søn-konflikter, der driver læsningen fremad, og jeg savner den spruttende, essayistiske Knausgård, der nådeløst hudfletter sin samtid og omgivelser. Måske han kommer tilbage i bind fire?"
  bek.randersbib | Mar 19, 2011 |
Showing 4 of 4
We might wonder why, right now, we as readers are able to see Knausgaard pretty well. If “My Struggle” — which is arguably most engrossing when it describes the care of children in what feels like minute-to-minute detail — were written from the point of view of a woman, would it be the literary sensation it is? I don’t think it would be. But this points to blindnesses outside the book, not in it. That cultural norms are obtuse about men and women in such different ways is an essential part of Knausgaard’s predicament; he changes diapers, he cooks dinner, he is said to be pretty good-looking, he doesn’t talk about sex all that much — he often feels perceived as too feminine. This runs deep. One of his very few childhood memories of his mother involves her buying him a swim cap with flowers on it, and one of the most hilarious moments in the novel so far comes at a party when Knausgaard realizes no one expects him to be the guy to break down the door behind which his own pregnant wife is trapped. The female mirror of “My Struggle” would arguably not be a woman’s detailed domestic diary — we are all too comfortable seeing that situation as wholly normal, and therefore not seeing it at all — but instead a kind of virago story. Perhaps the vardoger that preceded “My Struggle” is that work by another Norwegian great, Henrik Ibsen — “A Doll’s House.”
 

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Knausgård, Karl Oveprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bartlett, DonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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En mild och mulen dag i augusti 1969, på en smal väg längs ut på en sörlandsö, mellan hagar och bergknallar, ängar och skogsdungar uppför och nerför små backar och skarpa kurvor, ibland med träd på ömse sidor, som i en tunnel, ibland med havet rakt fram, kom en buss körande.
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"A family of four--mother, father and two boys--move to the South Coast of Norway to a new house on a newly developed site. It is the early 1970s and the family's trajectory, upwardly mobile: the future seems limitless. In painstaking, sometimes self-lacerating detail, Knausgaard paints a world familiar to anyone who can recall the intensity and novelty of childhood experience, one in which children and adults lead parallel lives that never meet. Perhaps the most Proustian in the series, Book Three gives us Knausgaard's vivid, technicolor recollections of childhood, his emerging self-understanding, and the multilayered nature of time's passing, memory, and existence."--Amazon.com… (more)

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