These entries tend to work best when even the most mundane personal detail is included. At some point, one gets tired of marking individual entries with a mental thumbs up or thumbs down. Around the point of the telephone entry I began to concentrate on the methodology. It also feels like watching someone very unhappy programmatically trying to survive. Has he exhausted the strategy? By Spring , the project has broken with its original form and is now framed as a straightforward autobiographical novel at least, it features a married Norwegian writer with four kids.
Spring chronicles the family as child protection services come to the house after the wife takes too many sleeping pills, following a long period of severe depression. The shift in form prompts the reader to wonder what kind of work she has been reading.
To some extent it is a diary project, but when read as a diary most of its strengths are obscured. It even lacks the thrill of disclosure. A sense of melancholy and privacy — understandable after the revelations of My Struggle — form a dense steam around the author and his thoughts. Renounce everything I believe in, in the hope of making him like me? When Knausgaard is waiting to be visited by child protection services, he starts to think of his home differently.
On one level, Spring investigates the mystery of the unhappiness of a family living an ordinary, blessed life, with four healthy children and more than enough money. What could there be to be sad about? Then as now, I was engaged in a kind of meteorology of the mind because my own existence in a sense depended on it. The most interesting moments in Spring , however, are the ones that feel off-track. Consider the sensory awareness in this moment:.
Every object in here, such as the two large bars of soap that lay on the shelf beneath the changing table, ready to be grabbed by whoever was in the bath, one light blue, almost turquoise, the other sand-coloured, still with the brandname etched on the surface, or the little stack of folded flannels next to them, appeared to rest in itself, as if independently of the light, which was so discreet and so evenly distributed throughout the room that it seemed invisible, and yet it was the light that made everything stand out.
The plastic bottles of shampoo and conditioner, white with green caps, the blue plastic bag bulging with nappies, the toothbrushes in the cup on the sink, red, white, yellow, blue, green, blue. All these objects were not just lying there, they made up the room. Just after this, Knausgaard uses the lavatory and discovers blood when he wipes.
Another light-obsessed moment seems like a clue.
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Knausgaard describes being in Sydney with his wife, a few years earlier, and discussing having a fourth child — the child to whom the quartet is addressed. Standing on the waterfront he feels unmoored from the present and imagines himself in the Bergen of the past, and, of all possible things, remembers:. Once when I was a child, I entered the living room of the house where I grew up, the television set was turned on, no one else was there, and I glanced at the screen, where a headless person was walking up a staircase … [It] must have been a Sunday, since I was home.
That it happened in broad daylight made it that much worse, it was as if there were no safe places left. If you are afraid of the dark, you seek the light. But what do you do when even the light is filled with terrors? Why was the child Knausgaard so affected by that image? Why does it return to him as an adult? Although there are many interesting moments in Spring , the reader basically wants out, as the characters do. Life had been good for a long time, there had been a turnaround, and we were even expecting a child.
What would become you already existed inside her belly.
A new life. In the middle of a wonderful summer. With three delightful, suntanned children running around. In a magnificent garden. How could she turn away from all that? We feel strongly in this passage that he is talking about himself, and to himself. With Summer , a feeling of recovery arrives.
The passage describes an evening spent with a woman he loved, a fight they had, and then a feeling of moving past the fight as they sit on a bench at the end of a pier. He experiences the beauty of what they see as a sign of their togetherness. Within two days, they have broken up. In a June diary entry, we read about Knausgaard visiting Kiefer to choose the illustrations.
Comedy, which has been largely absent in the quartet, returns. Kiefer, wearing a pressed blue wool suit, rides a bike down his hallway and asks Knausgaard if he likes to fly helicopters, adding that he should really try it. Kiefer, Knausgaard writes, is known for dramatic gestures, for buying horses to entertain his children, for drying flowers wherever he goes, never throwing one away. Knausgaard ends with a take on what is central to Kiefer as an artist, and, in doing so, offers another take on himself:. Everything was about his work, his paintings, his artworks. And where did they come from, what had given rise to this possession, this obstinate blindness to everything else?
The My Struggle cycle of novels has been heralded as a masterpiece wherever it has appeared, and the first volume was awarded the prestigious Brage Prize. Vanessa Baird was born in Oslo, where she now lives and works.source site
Season of Desire: Complete Edition
Toggle navigation. New to eBooks. How many copies would you like to buy? Autumn by Karl Ove Knausgaard.
Seasons Quartet Series by Sadie Matthews
Add to Cart Add to Cart. Add to Wishlist Add to Wishlist. The world feels repainted. Now, as I write this, you know nothing about anything, about what awaits you, the kind of world you will be born into. And I know nothing about you I want to show you our world as it is now: the door, the floor, the water tap and the sink, the garden chair close to the wall beneath the kitchen window, the sun, the water, the trees.
You will come to see it in your own way, you will experience things for yourself and live a life of your own, so of course it is primarily for my own sake that I am doing this: showing you the world, little one, makes my life worth living.
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