Dancing in the Dark (My Struggle, Book 4) by Karl Ove Knausgaard

By Karl Ove Knausgaard

At eighteen years, outdated Karl Ove strikes to a tiny fisherman's village within the a ways north of the arctic circle to paintings as a faculty instructor. no real interest in the activity itself, his goal is to avoid wasting up adequate funds to shuttle whereas discovering the gap and time to begin his writing occupation. at the beginning every little thing appears high-quality. He writes his first few brief tales, reveals himself permitted through the hospitable locals, and gets flattering consciousness from a number of appealing neighborhood girls.

But because the darkness of the lengthy arctic nights begin to devour the panorama, Karl Ove's existence takes a darker flip. His writing repeats itself, his consuming escalates to a couple hectic blackouts, his makes an attempt at wasting his virginity result in humiliation and disgrace, and to his misery, he additionally develops romantic emotions in the direction of certainly one of his scholars. alongside the best way, there are flashbacks to his highschool years and the roots of his present difficulties. Ever current is the lengthy shadow solid through his father, whose personal sharply expanding alcohol intake serves as an ominous backdrop to the author's way of life.

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Sample text

As a consistent idler I decided to do nothing at all, particularly because there was in fact nothing that could be done beyond commending myself to the care of the Almighty. And so the fatal day came, in April, I believe, 1922. We all took our seats in the largest hall in the school, each on a separate bench so as to prevent cheating, and in deathly silence we were given the topic for our Polish essay. I wrote a lot and was quite pleased with myself. The real tragedy began the following day, when a sheet of paper appeared on my desk bearing a Latin text that was to be translated.

And solemn. These were the kinds of leaps I made between clownishness and gravity, between playing the fool and real suffering. And all the while I was unable to cope with the whole Polish farce, with that disequilibrium of ours. It was an ocean in which I was drowning; yet I also carried it within myself. From Rabka I made a brief excursion to Zakopane; one evening, entering Trzaska's or Karpowicz's, at a table in the depths of the restaurant I spotted a familiar face: Boy-Zeleriski! 44 Polish Memories I didn't know him personally, but I knew who he was: a writer, representing intelligence, talent, Europe.

The lady engineers and lady lawyers who visit from Poland still appear rather formal alongside the Argentinians with their easy ways, and their manner of expressing themselves is still marked by a mania for titles, though these are now bourgeois and bureaucratic rather than noble in character. When certain customs are on the wane, they succumb to a kind of sclerosis; they lose their living core, and what remains is merely the stiffness of "pure form," as Witkiewicz would have put it. Now, I found myself fascinated by this formalism.

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