Readings — From the April 2013 issue

Limhamnsfältet

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By Karl Ove Knausgaard, from My Struggle, Book Two: A Man in Love, the second volume of his six-volume autobiographical novel, to be published next month by Archipelago Books. Translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett.

The idea was to get as close as possible to my life, so I wrote about Linda and John sleeping in the adjacent room, Vanja and Heidi, who were at the nursery, the view from the window and the music I was listening to. The next day I went to the rented cabin, I wrote more there, some ultramodernistic-style passages about faces and the patterns that exist in all big systems, sand heaps, clouds, economies, traffic, occasionally went into the garden to smoke and watch the birds flying hither and thither in the sky, it was February and there was no one around in the enormous allotment compound, just row upon row of small, well-kept doll’s houses in small gardens, so perfect they looked like living rooms. In the evening a huge flock of crows flew over, there must have been several hundred, a dark cloud of flapping wings drifting past and flying on. Night fell, and apart from what was lit up by the light streaming out the open door at the other end of the garden, everything around me was dark. So still was I, where I sat, that a hedgehog shuffled by, half a meter from my feet.

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