Reality Hunger: On Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle
William Pierce's long essay about Karl Ove Knausgaard is remarkable—it is searching, very intelligent, compellingly readable, and offers insights into Knausgaard's work that no other commentator has yet achieved, or dared. It also displays, as if in homage, a very Knausgaardian virtue: a kind of systematic, relentless patience that is fundamentally philosophical in nature. I learned a great deal from it.
It seems that in the last few years, nearly everyone in the literary world has had their say about My Struggle, Karl Ove Knausgaard's novelistic Leviathan. But no account that I'm aware of is as careful or as thoughtful as William Pierce's. Pierce goes beyond the by-now-familiar talking points to tease out what is original and significant in Knausgaard's work. Even as one of the dissenters from the Knausgaard phenomenon, I truly learned from this book.
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