Karl Ove Knausgård Interview: Writing After ‘My Struggle’

“I was tired of introspection, tired of psychology,” says Knausgård, who started writing a letter to his unborn daughter, not knowing it would become a four volume book project following the seasons. Thus Knausgård moved his attention from the inner world to the outer, which resulted in four volumes of short essays on such things as a toothbrush, sunglasses and a pail mixed with diary entries about his family and everyday life. Knausgård describes how he wanted to tell his story without ‘using himself’: “In this book I’m not the main thing; my relations are,” he says, pointing especially to volume three, ‘On Spring’ which he also reads two parts from on stage. The breakdown of his wife is the centre of the narrative – “a total inferno,” in Knausgård’s own words, that he nonetheless had to be included because it’s a part of life.

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