7 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
- Publié sur Amazon.com
After reading Volume 1 of the six volume My Struggle, I could hardly wait for Volume 2. For once my enthusiasm was rewarded. The first third of Knausgaard's six book opus is extremely well done. Volume 2 is a distinctive work in form, in descriptive power, in insight into character, in sensibility, and in depth and breadth of vision. Also well translated by Don Bartlett.
I only hope that the difficulties of the form do not give this work too limited an audience. This book is not an easy read, but the effort made to comprehend it is very rewarding. Knausgaard switches quickly from scene to scene, goes back and forth in time, and zooms in and out on particular characters and motifs. You have to focus and pay close attention or you can easily get lost.
Coupled with that is his amazing descriptive power. The author has a telling eye for detail. Whether it is a meal, a walk through downtown Stockholm, the living area of someone's apartment, he gets it all right in precise, deftly realized detail. The reader feels that he is there. While the form is hardly "realistic" in the conventional sense, the description is as naturalistic as anything Zola or a writer of that stripe would have offered. It all seems accurate as well. Having been to Stockholm a number of times, this reviewer can vouch for the accuracy of the rendering of the locale where most of the book is set. The streets are accurately named and placed. I have shopped in the bookstore that Karl Ove frequents in the downtown shopping center, Stureplan, on Birger Jarlsgatan. It is all there.
But these things, as well done as they are, are mere parlor tricks compared to the feat Knausgaard has pulled off in portraying the characters psychologically. I don't think the title does the book justice. It is not just about a man in love, it is about a man growing into maturity, meeting and falling in love with (yes), the woman with whom he has three children, and taking more and more responsibility for himself as he actualizes himself as a father, husband and writer. Karl Ove and Linda, the wife, are imperfect human beings, but so lovingly and accurately rendered. We see playing out here exactly what Karl Ove tells us his struggle is: to connect meaningfully with the world and the people around him even while he has a strong tug in the other direction, towards introversion and self-involvement. And as the book progresses, Karl Ove realizes and helps us realize just what he is becoming as a responsible, although always imperfect human being.
Toward the end of the book, Karl Ove opines that in showing us himself and in our knowing him we can come to know ourselves and the world around us. As I said in reviewing Volume 1 of My Struggle, this reminds me of Montaigne, the Renaissance essayist. That is what he did, ever so expertly, and Knausgaard does it as well.
This is not Proust. We are not sitting around sipping tea and savoring the taste of madeleines. Nor are we in search of lost time or time past. We are at a New Year's dinner party, or in Pelikanen, here and now, the Stockholm bar and restaurant that Karl Ove and Geir, his pal, frequent, working out just who they and we are and who we and they want to be as we go down the road of life, into the future.
A bonus: Karl Ove throws in his insights on Dostoevsky, on the Norwegian poet Olav H. Hauge, on Holderlin and a host of other writers. It is rewarding and educational. I have added to my must read list. You will too.
This is an amazing achievement. I recommend it wholeheartedly.