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Liefde by Karl Ove Knausgård
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Liefde (original 2009; edition 2012)

by Karl Ove Knausgård, Marianne Molenaar

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2911738,609 (4.18)29
Member:FrankDeClerck
Title:Liefde
Authors:Karl Ove Knausgård
Other authors:Marianne Molenaar
Info:Breda De Geus 2012
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
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My Struggle: Book Two: A Man in Love by Karl-Ove Knausgaard (2009)

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» See also 29 mentions

English (8)  Dutch (4)  Swedish (2)  Norwegian (1)  Norwegian (Bokmål) (1)  German (1)  All languages (17)
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
Ah I just loved this book, even more than the first volume. Read it as my daughter was in the last stages of pregnancy and had a difficult delivery - so the descriptions of his wife's labor really resonated. It's amazing to me the way his writing moves from minute quotidian details to philosophical rumination, sometimes in a single page. The first book reminded me of Proust, this one somehow of Tolstoy. (Of course not as masterful as either, but he is a master in his own way, or at least of his own life.) ( )
  bobbieharv | Jul 22, 2014 |
I'm hooked on Karl Ove and I would be reading book 3 now ... if I only had it. If I only had a birthday coming up. ( )
  jphamilton | Jun 22, 2014 |
One of my favorite New Yorker cartoons (from many years ago) showed the stairs to a concert hall with a sandwich board announcing the concert of the day as "All the Georg Philipp Telemann you can stand."

Well, I am on page 200 and I have flipped through the remaining 373 pages and I have had all the Karl Ove Knausgård I can stand.

Not to say he isn't a good writer, he is. There are passages in this that I really like, especially when he is talking about something other than himself and his daily life. Unfortunately it's mostly all about him. ( )
  seeword | Mar 30, 2014 |
Whilst I'm not yet sure if I'll agree with it, I can't help but be entertained by this well-referenced hatchet=job from the Sunday Times:
http://www.theomnivore.com/adam-lively-on-my-struggle-by-karl-ove-knausgaard/
http://www.theomnivore.co.uk/Book/8899-A_Man_in_Love_My_Struggle_Volume_2/Defaul...
... It's not as if Knausgard has been unsuccessful or received a lot of poor reviews, so can't imagine he's much affected by it.

“Knausgaard, as he repeatedly tells us, wants to be Good. He cares deeply about the state of his soul. His interactions oscillate between histrionic self-laceration (“Wasn’t I a good father? SHIT. SHIT. SHIT.”) and maudlin consolation. (“You’re such a wonderful person,” Linda tells him. “If only you could see that.”) The matter is crystallised in a dialogue with Geir towards the end, where Geir tells him: “You’re an arch-Protestant.” Geir is right. This novel really does represent what is, to put it bluntly, most flesh-crawlingly repellent in the puritan imagination: a self-lacerating moral exhibitionism that reduces the world to a mirror for the individual’s precious “struggle”.”

And it’s the kind of thing that not just Joyce would have hated: it’s also precisely what turned Nietzsche against Christianity. But then the ideal reader of this novel is the kind of person who can feel depths of profundity stirring at the sight of the word “Nietzschean”, while having not a clue what it might mean. And the same goes for the reviewers and publicists who have used the term “Proustian”: anybody who thinks that what Proust was doing is even in the same universe as the histrionically attention-seeking Knausgaard has been reading a very strange translation of A La Recherche.”


31 July 2013
1 vote antonomasia | Oct 18, 2013 |
Part two of My Struggle focuses on Knausgaard's marriage to Linda and life with their small children. The author is very honest, detailing his frustrations with family life and how suffocating he finds it as he tries to also wants to continue his life as a writer. The contradictions of his feelings are explored as he brain dumps the whole thing onto paper. ( )
  rrmmff2000 | May 11, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
Knausgaard has a tremendous essayistic talent, and Book 2, like Book 1, is rich in reflections on everything from the sociology of death to the psychopathology of everyday life. As with all great writers, the ideas or theories are woven into the story, dramatized, and this is as true of the question of what gives meaning as of any other question in the book. Reflecting on the history of conceptions of life and death, Knausgaard asks: “What was man on this earth other than an insect among other insects, a life-form among other life-forms, which might just as well take the form of algae in a lake or fungi on the forest floor, roe in a fish’s stomach, rats in a nest or a cluster of mussels on a reef?” This lowering or leveling of human life is not simply a logical deduction, a search for rational balance, but an intensely emotional expression of fear, uncertainty and longing.
 
...crucially, "Everyday life, with its duties and routines, was something I endured, not a thing I enjoyed, nor something that was meaningful or made me happy … I always longed to be away from it, and always had done. So the life I led was not my own. I tried to make it mine, this was my struggle, because of course I wanted it, but I failed, the longing for something else undermined all my efforts."

It is this caveat that defines Knausgaard's artistic achievement, for without it, his world would merely subside back into narrative; the malaise would have been a question of practicalities, the need for a different story. Instead, he shows us, by the route of life, that there is no story, and in so doing he finds, at last, authenticity. For that alone, this deserves to be called perhaps the most significant literary enterprise of our times.
added by peterbrown | editThe Guardian, Rachel Cusk (Apr 12, 2013)
 

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Karl-Ove Knausgaardprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bartlett, DonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Sommaren har varit lång och den är inte slut än.
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Having left his first wife, Karl Ove Knausgaard moves to Stockholm, Sweden, where he leads a solitary existence. He strikes up a deep friendship with another exiled Norwegian, a Nietzschean intellectual and boxing fanatic named Geir. He also tracks down Linda, whom he met at a writers' workshop a few years earlier and who fascinated him deeply.… (more)

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