Shades and nuances

The ambiguous art of Knausgaard
by
August 2021, no. 434
Buy this book

In the Land of the Cyclops by Karl Ove Knausgaard

Harvill Secker, $39.99 hb, 304 pp

Shades and nuances

The ambiguous art of Knausgaard
by
August 2021, no. 434
Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgaard at the Edinburgh International Book Festival (photograph by GL Portrait/Alamy)
Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgaard at the Edinburgh International Book Festival (photograph by GL Portrait/Alamy)

Once, during a teaching exchange in Germany, I found myself learning as much from my students as I was trying to teach them. This is not unusual. Delivering my thoughts to others, and then having them modified during discussions, helps me to understand what I want to say. By the end of the class, I begin to see what I probably should have known from the start.

On this particular occasion, I was teaching essay writing. My students kept insisting that the German tradition was different from mine, an Anglo-American one that says you should assert all your main points early on, and then support them through a careful staging of the argument. In contrast, they had been taught to allow the argument to evolve in the piece itself – to be discovered by the very act of writing. Wasn’t it rather crude to pretend you knew it all at the beginning?

Kári Gíslason reviews 'In the Land of the Cyclops' by Karl Ove Knausgaard

In the Land of the Cyclops

by Karl Ove Knausgaard

Harvill Secker, $39.99 hb, 304 pp

Buy this book

From the New Issue

You May Also Like

Leave a comment

If you are an ABR subscriber, you will need to sign in to post a comment.

If you have forgotten your sign in details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to ABR Comments. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.