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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

Friday, June 5, 2015

Not with a whimper but a bang: The end of Volume 4 of My Struggle

Volume 4 of Karl Ove Knausgaard's My Struggle ends not with a whimper but a bang - yes, he does at last have successful sexual intercourse and loses his virginity - and i doins so gains in self-confidence, self-esteem, lack of shame. I mean it's hardly a meaningful or lasting relationship - he has sex with a woman he meets at a rock festival - but she's a few years older than he and she seems to be gentle and to offer him guidance and everything works. And he spends the weekend engaging with her multiple times - and it all feels in some ways like a crude and unsatisfactory ending to this section of his life story - they as expected drink an incredible amount of red win, and his final sexual act with her, literally as she's puking outside one of the flaps of the tent, is quite crude - and yet - is the ending really about this crudity and his first successful sex? I think the key point at the end of this volume is not this fling but the young woman he'd met through a cousin at a bar or club, whose boyfriend fell asleep at the table, and to whom KOK was immediately and powerfully attracted, with whom he engaged in some witty (kinda) banter about driving too fast, with whom he carried on a brief correspondence once he went back to his teaching job in the far north - it seems that this woman has the potential to be his first true love relation and one suspects she will appear in volume 5 and will be his first wife - at least I think that. It's surprising that, after he leaves his teaching job, he doesn't immediately try to look up this young woman w/ whom he's so taken. Her absence in his life at that point is a key element in the narrative, but there's a hint of the idea that he had to get the virginity monkey off his back to free himself to pursue a serious love relationship, which is really what he wants - not more of these drunken, near-blackout, hook-ups.

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