Karl Ove Knausgaard Concludes his Autofiction Epic

James Camp at Bookforum:

Book Six brings My Struggle, after 3,600 pages, to an end. And so it has been subtitled, ominously—“The End.” Here, the writer who writes (and writes) about himself must write about that experience, too, and we duly find out what dinner-table conversation was like at the home of that very determined Norwegian who, between 2007 and 2011, got up at 4:30 am every weekday, sat down to his desktop computer in Malmö, Sweden, and for a few hours did his best to mention in print all that was unmentionable about his life, stopping only when his three small children woke up and demanded he make them breakfast. Book Six tells this story: the struggle behind the Struggle. No one will be shocked to discover that all the prizes and praise have only brought Karl Ove more pain. There’s also the small problem of having linked his name for all time with you-know-who. “Turns out he’s read Mein Kampf,” as his then-wife, Linda Boström, tells him of a new friend. “Hitler’s, that is.” She met her friend at the Malmö mental hospital. She went there voluntarily not long after reading Book Two, among whose radical aesthetic moves was a scene recalling the time Karl Ove got drunk and tried to cheat on her. “It’s always struck me that I was a sailor’s wife,” she tells him. “But now it’s the other way around. Now I’m the sailor.”

more here.