That Norwegian autobio novel…


3600 pages?  Six parts?  About child care and groceries?  With “meditations on art, death, music and ambition”?   You know the book I mean.  I haven’t read it and probably never will, but I wonder: Does anyone think that if a woman had written this autobiographical novel it would ever have been published?  

Reviewed widely, but it was today’s piece in the NYT (“His Peers’ Views Are in the Details”) that caused me to mull.   You might also want to take a look at the review in the New Yorker, from last August.  Or not.  Read it here.

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  1. I read the first two volumes. K’s no Proust, but I do find his descriptions of everyday life compelling. I was interested to read Lethem’s comments–that this might be something writers would want to copy.
    On the other hand, the recent excerpt from the third volume, in the New Yorker, didn’t make me want to read the rest.
    Re a woman writing the same kind of thing, no, I don’t think it would be such a sensation–but what I love best are his descriptions of child care.

  2. This is my favorite: “Soon I will be forty, and when I’m forty, it won’t be long before I’m fifty. And when I’m fifty, it won’t be long before I’m sixty. And when I’m sixty, it won’t be long before I’m seventy. And that will be that.”
    NO…then he will be eighty, and if he’s lucky…or not…he’ll be ninety…..and on
    and on…

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