Knausgaard on writing

Inadvertent by Karl Ove Knausgård

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This essay cuts to the heart of what writing is with the clarity of a diamond. Knausgaard talks about his failures and successes in trying to write authentically without artifice or pretension. His method involves stripping away all hindrances to capturing the truth of a moment or an experience. He also writes eloquently about the ways that culture and common beliefs shape the way we see the world, literally constructing the world we inhabit. He touches on how science, for example, colours the way we see the world, but stumbles in helping us to answer the big philosophical questions that children naturally ask, but adults learn to stop wondering about. What is the world? How did it come into existence? What is the meaning of our time here on earth? I plan to keep reading as much Knausgaard as I can get my hands on. A modern-day Proust who writes with the unashamed honesty of a Sartre or Beauvoir.

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Filed under Lovers of Philosophy

2 responses to “Knausgaard on writing

  1. Hi Warren, I started reading “A Death in the Family” about five years ago but didn’t persist with it but hearing your passion for Knausgaard makes me want to give him another chance. Of all his books, where would recommend I start? With Death in the Family again, or another?


    • Hi Karen, I thought Death in the Family was great writing, though a little bleak at times for sure! Really enjoyed his essay Inadvertent, which explains his many ups and downs as a writer before he found clarity. There’s still a lot of his work I’m yet to read but I do find his writing really speaks honestly, and disarmingly, to what it is to be human.

      Liked by 1 person

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