Dept of Urban Legend:
21 July 2014
¶ At Pacific Standard, Casy Cep reviews her correspondence with Daniel Bloom, an American gadfly currently living in Taiwan. The object of their correspondence, as yet not absolutely resolved, was to demonstrate that the publicity story that accompanied the English translation of Min Kamp — that Karl Ove Knausgaard’s epic autobiography was so popular that all discussion of it in the Norwegian workplace had to be prohibited in order to get anything done — was, to put it mildly, an exaggeration, tipping into patent untruth, that ought never to have been reprinted by reputable newspapers and magazines. In the course of her piece, however, Cep repeats another unfounded myth, all the more meretricious for being about the book itself.
And what did it matter? I’d long decided Bloom was a more interesting story than Knausgaard, whose own work documented every inch of his own life.
Knausgaard is in fact far too good a writer to waste his time on such a documentary project. We don’t understand why it is so fashionable to deny — as the author himself seems inclined to do — Knausgaard’s artistry.