I Finished My Struggle by Karl Ove Knausgarrd

I loved it, for so many reasons.

Here are a few:

“As your perspective of the world increases not only is the pain it inflicts on you less but also its meaning.  Understanding the world requires you to take a certain distance from it.  Things that are too small to see with the naked eye, such as molecules and atoms, we magnify.  Things that are too large, such as cloud formations, river deltas, constellations, we reduce.  At length we bring it within the scope of our sense and we stabilize it with fixer.  When it has been fixed we call it knowledge.    Throughout our childhood and teenage years, we strive to attain the correct distance to objects and phenomena.  We read, we learn, we experience, we make adjustments.  Then one day we reach the point where all the necessary distances have been set, all the necessary systems have been put in place.  That is when time begins to pick up speed.  It no longer meets any obstacles, everything is set, time races through our lives, the days pass by in a flash and before we know what is happening we are forty, fifty, sixty…Meaning requires content, content requires time, time requires resistance. Knowledge is distance, knowledge is stasis and the enemy of meaning.” (page 15)

“In recent years the feeling that the world was small and that I grasped everything in it had grown stronger and stronger in me, despite my common sense telling me that actually the reverse was true: the world was boundless and unfathomable, the number of events infinite, the present time an open door that stood flapping in the wind of history.  But that is not how it felt.  It felt as if the world were known, fully, explored and charted, that it could no longer move in unpredicted directions, that nothing new or surprising could happen.  I understood myself, I understood my surroundings, I understood society around me, and if any phenomenon should appear mysterious I knew how to deal with it.” (page 216)

“Feelings are like water, they always adapt to their surroundings.  Not even the worst grief leaves traces; when it feels so overwhelming and lasts for such a long time, it is not because the feelings have set, they can’t do that, they stand still, the way water in a forest mere stands still.” (page 255)

“…at the time I actually regarded myself as a sound judge of character.  I had a gift, or so I had deluded myself into thinking, it was something I was good at.  Understanding others.  While I myself was more of a mystery. How stupid can you get.” (page 410-411)

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