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A daily record of what I'm thinking about what I'm reading

To read about movies and TV shows I'm watching, visit my other blog: Elliot's Watching

Saturday, October 11, 2014

A scene in My Struggle that could be a movie or a play

I can imagine a play or movie made from various sections of Karol Ove Knausgaard's My Struggle, such as the section I read last night in Volume 2, A Man in Love: the New Year's Eve party, a group of six, KOK and his pregnant girlfriend (later wife) Linda, and two other couples, Geir, the Norwegian writer who has become his best friend during time in Stockholm and another writerly couple. KOK is now being very settled and domestic, prepares the entire dinner - lobster, mussels, champagne - and they all engage in discussion that, typically, veers off into some dangerous territory - everyone confessing to a moment of embarrassment sometime in their life - and what of course makes it funny is KOK's initial insistence that he can't recall anything, G's observation that KOK has made a career out of such memories (of course, and we're reading them - a bit of postmodern playfulness) - and we understand once again the brutal, fearless honesty of his writing. At the time described, he's working on an obscure topic, a novel set in the 17th (?) century about some people who claim to have seen angels - from hints elsewhere I'm guessing this was in fact his 2nd novel, after a rather long hiatus - not exactly writer's block but writer's frustration, nurtured by alcohol - which I think was received well; but, there must have been some moment - perhaps we will read about this in a later volume, at which he said the hell with it, no more research, no more remote settings in time and place, but I will reveal everything that I can about my own life, no matter how ordinary, and my own consciousness, as best as I can recollect and as best as I can translate into words, and let all else be damned. The harm and hurt he may have done to those closest to him is impossible to measure or fathom - but perhaps his wife and (someday) his children will appreciate his recognition of his own flaws, as well as those of others, and his genius in translating his life into fiction as few - who? Proust and who else? - have done.

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