Recorded at the Lensic Theater in Santa Fe, New Mexico on April 27, 2016.
Karl Ove Knausgaard is a Norwegian author whose books include A Time for Everything and Out of the World as well as his six volume, 3,600 page autobiographical novel, My Struggle. Dubbed “a Norwegian Marcel Proust,” Knausgaard begins his story in Book One almost ten years after his father has drunk himself to death. Reflecting on this time while embarking on a new novel, the author breaks down his own life story to its most elemental occurrences. Long passages reflecting on art, literature and music are interspersed with everyday details in the life of an ordinary Scandinavian.
Translated into English by Don Bartlett, Books Two through Five (with translation of Six forthcoming) continue Knausgaard’s epic, with deep introspection on love, family, friends, childhood and coming of age. Reflecting on the history of notions 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 was a Lannan Literary event.
In this episode, he is joined in conversation with Zadie Smith. The companion Reading episode may be found here.
You may learn more about this event on the Lannan website; you may also listen to the audio recording of this event there.