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'I didn't think about the readers'

27 June 2016

‘The first two books, I didn't think about the readers. I didn't think anyone was going to read it, and I was much freer. Then the reaction came, and it was more and more difficult physically to write about other people. I spared them. It is inhuman, if you push that direction you end up outside humanity.'

When he started A Death in the Family, he battled the constant sense of ‘this is stupid; this is so little and insignificant... It is always difficult, and I never know when I do something whether it is good or not, I have to give it to my editor and I have to trust him, even if I hate it...

I am not stupid, I know since people are reading it the way they are, there is something else in there that has literary quality and it is not related to the sentences but it is connected with the feeling of presence, I think, presence in the book. Closeness to yourself. But I don't think it's great literature, no, no, no.'

Karl Ove Knausgaard, author of A Death in the Family and Some Rain Must Fall, in the Bookseller