A Conversation with Karl Ove Knausgaard

Bob Blaisdell in the Los Angeles Review of Books:

What are you working on right now? 

I just published a novel in Norway two months ago. I’m now writing another novel which somehow is related, and I’ve started it, I’ve written a hundred pages or so, so I’m in the middle of the beginning of that, which is the hardest part. But that’s what I’m doing.

The middle of the beginning is the hardest part? Not the beginning but the middle of the beginning is the hardest? 

Yeah, yeah. That’s the hardest part. Before the novel decides itself and you just can follow it along. Before that happens, you have to make the space where it later will unfold, and the space, it seems when you are writing, is nothing in itself. The feeling is that nothing is leaving the page, it is flat and dull and all you want to do is to start again afresh. Once I did that, started again and again, and in the end I had 800 pages of beginnings. So now I tend to stick with it, no matter how bad it feels, trying to be patient, hoping for something to evolve. That’s hard work and you don’t know whether it’s going to be something or not, and it’s not good in itself. It’s just like building a scaffolding or something.

More here.