IN THE LAND OF THE CYCLOPS
KARL OVE KNAUSGAARD
Translated by Martin Aitken
320pp. Harvill Secker. 20 [pounds sterling].
"Every time I see a woman", Karl Ove Knausgaard said in an interview in 2014, "I think, How would it be to have sex with her? ... We are told, This is wrong ... but it's not like that. I am just describing life." Whether or not you see this as a radical act of taboo-busting, it's typical of Knausgaard's approach: "say it, you know. As it is". Hence his magnum opus, the six-book, 4,000-page autofictional project My Struggle (Min Kamp, in the original Norwegian), which mined his family life in such close detail that several family members on his father's side attempted to block publication of...