Dancing in the Dark: My Struggle By Karl Ove Knausgaard
Like Richard Linklater’s film Boyhood this is a hymn to human life
Dancing in the Dark: My Struggle
Karl Ove Knausgaard translated by Don Bartlett
This is the fourth novel of a six-volume sequence that has garnered rave reviews. In this installment 18-year-old Karl Ove goes to the wilds of northern Norway to teach and drink and think about sex. He wants to write and has a batch of books with him, including Jack Kerouac’s On the Road. The sense of possibility articulated by Kerouac is captured heartbreakingly in Dancing in the Dark: “Everything hurts, but nothing is as good . . . life, that which is now so vast and so all-embracing, will inexorably dwindle and shrink until it is a manageable entity which doesn’t hurt so much, but nor is it so good.” Most lives are remembered in a sparse number of memories compared to the amount of time lived. Here Knausgaard restores the detail, and a sense of the density, depth and span of our own lives. Like Richard Linklater’s film Boyhood this is a hymn to human life. And, like life, one can only marvel at its existence.