Alex Clark in The Guardian:
There is, by now, no separating the Norwegian writer Karl Ove Knausgaard’s six-volume autobiographical novel My Struggle from all that has surrounded it: the repercussions within his own family, most notably prompted by his account of his father’s alcoholism and death, and by his second wife’s breakdown; by the title of the series itself, an overt appropriation of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf; and by the unprecedented spread of the books through countries and translations, far outstripping that of other contemporary Norwegian writers.
In the UK, where the first volume appeared in 2012 and its subsequent episodes in annual instalments, there has been a strange anticipatory tension derived from knowing that all the material was there, merely waiting to be put in a language we could understand; all six volumes of Min Kamp were published in Norwegian between 2009 and 2011, Knausgaard’s extraordinary writing speed adding to the mystique surrounding the project. It has been the reverse, in a sense, of the anxiety of viewers waiting for the next tranche of TV’s Game of Thrones, where the rushed writing of epsiodes has felt more like a cartoonish laying of tracks before a hurtling locomotive.
Such is Knausgaard’s literary celebrity that even a recent piece he wrote for the New Yorker about the negative effects of dog-owning on his creativity comes under scrutiny. Indignant dog-loving writers and fans of dog-loving writers immediately mobilised.