The Sad Reminders Book Club

edited February 2014 in General Discussion

Ok, here's the first item: Karl Ove Knausgaard's "My Struggle". I mention it because there are some striking parallels to Benji and MK's new direction in general. Knausgaard is a Norwegian novelist who started a massive project some years ago: Six volumes of autobiographical writing. He's hailed as the most prominent figure in a new literary movement of writers. They all share the opinion that's there no need for more and more fictional stories, they rather write about their own lives. They say no to any embellishment and have a rather large output - Knausgaard is said to write 20 pages a day. There's a quite longish piece about him in The New Yorker. Notice the first sentence:

"Walter Benjamin, in his great essay 'The Storyteller', written in the nineteen-thirties, argues that classic storytelling is structured around death." Does that ring a bell? Further on, they quote a passage that might easily fit into a MK song:

"When Karl tells us about how much he liked playing the guitar, and how much he liked the equipment, he lists all of it:

'I also loved all the accessories guitar-playing involved, the fuzz box, the chorus pedal, the leads, the plugs, the plectrums, and the small packets of strings, the bottleneck, the capo, the lined guitar case and all its small compartments. I loved the brand names: Gibson, Fender, Hagstrøm, Rickenbacker, Marshall, Music Man, Vox, and Roland.'"

Here's a link to the full article:

http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/books/2012/08/13/120813crbo_books_wood

Comments

  • wikkid smaat call there. very interesting...

    as a matter of fact, i just listened to Benji last night for the first time and thought to myself - damn, this is like reading a memoir... something i could do a couple of times at most, but not like albums that i crave over and over for months and years... we'll see where it goes and how it settles...

  • Posts: 959

    If there's going to be a Book Club,with some musical connection,I can highly recommend the Willy Vlautin(of Richmond Fontaine fame)follow up to the brilliant Lean on Pete called The Free.

  • edited February 2014 Posts: 1

    That's a coincidence - just received "My Struggle" in the post. Saw it in a few "Best of" end of year lists..Really enjoying it so far - swallowed the first 50 pages...

  • Posts: 68

    Ran across this from "The Wes Anderson Collection" coffee table book and it somehow reminded me of ATL/Benji:

    [Regarding the movie Bottle Rocket which, while being Anderson's first film, caught many an eye...]

    "A friend of mine once said that it felt like the third or fourth picture from a director who'd had a couple of big successes and felt confident enough to put away the oil paints and doodle in a notebook."

  • So, has anybody read "A Song of Shadows" by John Connolly? Seems to be the 13th item in a series of crime novels about a PI named Charlie Parker. I wonder why Mark is so enthusiastic about it. Looks rather pulpish to me... Any opinions?

  • I can't imagine it being good, read the extract you can get on the kindle...

    That being said, I'm currently tackling Infinite Jest...any (spoilerfree) tips for a first time reader?

  • Posts: 1,177

    Almost done with City on Fire, set mostly in 1976-77 NYC. Guy got two million for his first novel, 900 plus pages. Anyone else read it?

  • Donald: I quit Infinite Jest after like 200 pages. Found it way too pretentious. Anyway, here's a little gadget that might be helpful for fighting your way through it:

    http://www.unendlicherspass.de/infinite-atlas-interaktive-karte-zu-unendlicher-spass/

    This page has a lot of information on IJ, but the rest of it is almost entirely in German.

  • edited January 2016 Posts: 432

    @bromberg71 said:
    Donald: I quit Infinite Jest after like 200 pages. Found it way too pretentious. Anyway, here's a little gadget that might be helpful for fighting your way through it:

    http://www.unendlicherspass.de/infinite-atlas-interaktive-karte-zu-unendlicher-spass/

    This page has a lot of information on IJ, but the rest of it is almost entirely in German.

    Thank you, I'm german so that's perfect (although I'm reading it in english).
    Have you read other stuff by David Foster Wallace before?

  • Haha, another lurking German here! ;-)
    Nee, sonst hab ich noch nichts von ihm gelesen.
    (For you non-German-speaking guys: "Nope, I haven't read anything else by him.")

  • Posts: 28

    also reading infinite jest currently and think its pretty awesome. been on a david foster wallace kick for a while now and really enjoy his short stories. was working at a used book store and picked up copies of girl with curious hair and oblivion stories which are recommended if you're into him. wallace gives a lot of praise to the works of don delillo who wrote white noise and underworld which are also pretty good.

  • I'd also definitely recommend some of the short stories or his essays on various topics. A supposedly fun thing I'll never do again is just great, too. And maybe a better place to start than Infinite Jest, Herr bromberg71. :smile:

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