Knausgård’s Strange Approach to Hitler

This week the final part of Karl Ove Knausgård’s autobiography, Min Kamp VI is to be published in German as Kämpfen. In this novel there is a long essay on Hitler and Nazism. It has been criticized in Scandinavia, by myself and others, because Knausgård wishes to portray Hitler as an ordinary man, at the same time withholding important facts.[i]

Let me start by saying how much I appreciate reading Knausgård when he describes his own life. There is a nerve and energetic presence even on the greyest and most ordinary of days, when he writes about his daily doings in Malmö, Sweden, in the years 2009 to 2011, as a father of three small children and with a life companion at his side who is strongly affected by his writing: it is tremendous reading. But I really don’t like the way he writes about Hitler and Nazism in the more than 400 pages long essay, inserted in the middle of the novel. Weiterlesen