Karl Ove Knausgard quotes

  • National identity is a motion. It's something you're inside, you don't get what's happening, you can't see it from above. And that's where you have to write. You can't see what's happening now or what's going to happen, so you just dive into it and write.
    -- Karl Ove Knausgard

    #Writing #Identity #National Identity

  • I think that the best literature has a core that you can't lock to a time or place but that can generate lots of meanings and translations.
    -- Karl Ove Knausgard

    #Thinking #Locks #Literature

  • I've always been a fast reader. Now I had to do it slowly, discussing each sentence. And every time I wanted to change something I had to come up with an intelligent defense I could be pretty sure that they would turn my suggestion down, as they had so many aspects to keep in mind. However, if I argued well, I could have a chance. I had to think of every comma, every word.
    -- Karl Ove Knausgard

    #Intelligent #Thinking #Mind

  • Shame tells you when you've gone too far. Then you try if it's okay to go too far. And it might be so that shame was right. You can never, never know that.
    -- Karl Ove Knausgard

    #Trying #Gone #Might

  • Shameless actually good since it gives a kind of freedom. We consider the old, functionless shame destructive. Today, if you have a strong sense of shame you also have a strong desire to overcome it. And that's when you can write.
    -- Karl Ove Knausgard

    #Strong #Writing #Giving

  • In modern novels I try to not let myself get away and to be here, and that's why I write about my life and myself. But even when I do that there's an element of disappearing to a place that's not me. It's "the selflessness of writing". It seldom happens, but when it does it's worth quite a lot.
    -- Karl Ove Knausgard

    #Writing #Trying #Doe

  • When I look back at what I've written and try to explain it, it doesn't help, but it helps to be in a process of writing. It's the same thing with reading - you lose yourself when you read as well. When I was younger I used literature that way, it was just escapism, a tool to run away from things.
    -- Karl Ove Knausgard

    #Running #Reading #Writing

  • A problem with my novels is that they, from the start, have been infantile and incredibly childish. There are childishness, stupidity, lack of wisdom, fantasies. At the same time, that's where my creativity can be found. If I tried to control it and make it more mature, it wouldn't be good at all. It'd be uninteresting, without any vivacity.
    -- Karl Ove Knausgard

    #Creativity #Stupidity #Fantasy

  • We live in the best of worlds. But still, it's like we've lost something on the way to here: a sense of life. I can't know for sure, I might be the only one who's lost it. Maybe everybody else is living the now, thinking they're having it well. Anyhow, that motivated me to write the books.
    -- Karl Ove Knausgard

    #Book #Writing #Thinking

  • The way we deny death says something about how we live our lives, doesn't it? At least in Sweden or Scandinavia, you don't have to search further back in time than maybe three generations to find another way to relate to death. People then had a different, closer relationship with death; at least it was like that in the countryside.
    -- Karl Ove Knausgard

    #People #Different #Three

  • I never read the translation before publication. The most important things for me is that the emotion is captured in such a way that the feelings that are in the original are there, much more than the details, if they are right or wrong.
    -- Karl Ove Knausgard

    #Feelings #Important #Details

  • For me, personally, it is very important that the days are exactly the same, so I have routines. I do the same thing every day.
    -- Karl Ove Knausgard

    #Important

  • The strange thing about writing is that it's so easy to write a novel. It is really easy. But it's getting there to the point where it's easy that's hard. The hard part is to get there.
    -- Karl Ove Knausgard

    #Writing #Strange #Easy

  • You don't think when you play music, you just try to play and be in it. It is the same for me when the writing is going really well. It's the same kind of feeling. I'm just in it. It's not the words, it's not the sentences, I'm not aware of it. Then it's good.
    -- Karl Ove Knausgard

    #Writing #Thinking #Play

  • If you are disappearing from yourself, but you're still writing, then there is a kind of activity of thinking going on, which in my world is similar to what's going on in music.
    -- Karl Ove Knausgard

    #Writing #Thinking #World

  • I'm not interested in the words or the meaning of the words. I'm interested in disappearing in it completely, to not be aware of yourself at all. That's the way music works for me. It's purely emotional. It goes straight to the heart. There are no explanations. That's just it.
    -- Karl Ove Knausgard

    #Heart #Emotional #Way

  • I think there are a lot of similarities between writing and music. Music is much more direct and much more emotional and that's the level I want to be at when I'm writing. Writing is much more intellectual and indirect and abstract, in a way.
    -- Karl Ove Knausgard

    #Writing #Emotional #Thinking

  • I try to write about small insignificant things. I try to find out if it's possible to say anything about them. And I almost always do if I sit down and write about something. There is something in that thing that I can write about. It's very much like a rehearsal. An exercise, in a way.
    -- Karl Ove Knausgard

    #Writing #Exercise #Say Anything

  • The tree was so old, and stood there so alone, that his childish heart had been filled with compassion; if no one else on the farm gave it a thought, he would at least do his best to, even though he suspected that his child's words and child's deeds didn't make much difference. It had stood there before he was born, and would be standing there after he was dead, but perhaps, even so, it was pleased that he stroked its bark every time he passed, and sometimes, when he was sure he wasn't observed, even pressed his cheek against it.
    -- Karl Ove Knausgard

    #Children #Heart #Compassion

  • And it's a disquieting thought that not even the past is done with, even that continues to change, as if in reality there is only one time, for everything, one time for every purpose under heaven. One single second, one single landscape, in which what happens activates and deactivates what has already happened in endless chain reactions, like the processes that take place in the brain, perhaps, where cells suddenly bloom and die away, all according to the way the winds of consciousness are blowing.
    -- Karl Ove Knausgard

    #Past #Reality #Wind

  • As a person, I'm polite - I want to please.
    -- Karl Ove Knausgard

    #Want #Polite #Please

  • I have a longing for fiction - to try to believe in it and to disappear into it.
    -- Karl Ove Knausgard

    #Believe #Trying #Fiction

  • Saying what you believe others want to hear is, of course, a form of lying.
    -- Karl Ove Knausgard

    #Lying #Believe #Want