Tag Archives: Boyhood Island

Knausgaard on Memory

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Memory is not a reliable quantity in life. And it isn’t for the simple reason that memory doesn’t prioritise the truth. It is never the demand for truth that determines whether memory recalls an action accurately or not. It is self interest which does. Memory is pragmatic, it is sly and artful but not in any hostile or malicious way; on the contrary it does everything it can to keep its host satisfied.  Sometimes something pushes a memory into the great void of oblivion, something distorts it beyond recognition, something misunderstands it totally, something, and this something is as good as nothing, recalls with sharpness, clarity and accuracy. That which is remembered accurately is never given to you to determine.

Karl Ove Knausgaard Boyhood Island  (Harvill Secker 2014) p.10.

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Boyhood Island – Karl Ove Knausgaard

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The third volume of Knausgaard’s My Struggle is out, to predictable controversy. “A masterpiece for the age of the selfie,” says Anthony Cummins  (The Observer, Sunday 23/14); John Crace subjects it to one of his masterly take-offs – “Writing about writing. Writing about not writing. Who cares which when the bandwagon’s rolling?” (The Guardian, 24/3/14), and Hari Kunzru muses on how hard it is to get a grip on how compelling the books are “because much of it appears painfully banal.”(The Guardian (8/3/14)

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