It would have been impossible to write "Min Kamp" in Norway

Author Karl Ove Knausgård. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Author Karl Ove Knausgård. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Karl Ove Knausgård, Norwegian author of the popular “Min Kamp” books, has revealed in an interview that he could not write in Norway, because it felt too close to the people in his story.

“There was so much going on with the book overall. Getting that type of input when you are trying to write the same book was completely impossible, because you are very disturbed and crazy with that kind of attention. So it was good to be here and actually refuse to follow what was happening.”

When “Min Kamp 1” (“My Struggle 1”) was released, Karl Ove Knausgård found he couldn’t write the rest of the story in Norway, because of all the fuss that was around him.
“It wouldn’t have worked. I had to keep away from Norway in every way possible. I did not read a Norwegian newspaper in a year, and closed my ears, to write undisturbed,” says Knausgård.
There was much uproar in Norway when the first book came out. The Roma people were offended, and stood up in the media to accuse the author of going too far.

When “Min Kamp 1” (“My Struggle 1”) was released, Karl Ove Knausgård found he couldn’t write the rest of the story in Norway, because of all the fuss that was around him.

“It wouldn’t have worked. I had to keep away from Norway in every way possible. I did not read a Norwegian newspaper in a year, and closed my ears, to write undisturbed,” says Knausgård.

There was much uproar in Norway when the first book came out. The Roma people were offended, and stood up in the media to accuse the author of going too far.

For the first volume Knausgård received the Brage Prize, the P2 listeners novel award and the Southern Literature Prize. He was also nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize as well.

“It was nice to sit in Sweden and write about Norway, everything was also much clearer regarding Norway when I was away from it,” he said to NRK.

It is easier to see things clearly at a distance, Knausgård believes.

“I lived in Bergen, and tried to write about Bergen, but it simply wasn’t possible. It felt almost incestuous to sit in Bergen and write about Bergen. It was almost impossible.”

For the same reason he found it also impossible to write about his home, Tromøya, while he was there.

Knausgård is considered Norway’s most controversial and possibly most prolific author. During Christmas time last year, Knausgård wrote 400 pages, and during the last eight month alone the author has written 1100 pages. His latest volume in the series – “Min kamp 6” – is a 3622-page journey through Knausgård’s childhood and adolescence, right up to today.

“I have used my life as raw material, as a pilot project. It isn’t that I think my life is so very precious, but that it is what I have. The important thing is that everything would be taken seriously.”

Source: NRK

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