Karl Ove Knausgaard on What Makes Life Worth Living

The Guardian has posted extracts from Karl Ove Knausgaard‘s recent book, Autumn, a collection of essays that examine everyday objects and experiences. The Norwegian writer is best known for his multi-volume autobiographical work, My Struggle, which was praised for its bracing honesty and its almost compulsively readable prose. Autumn, which is addressed to Knausgaard’s unborn daughter, is intended as the first part of a seasonal quartet. Here, the author speculates on how children perceive the world around them:

“What makes life worth living?

No child asks itself that question. To children life is self-evident. Life goes without saying: whether it is good or bad makes no difference. This is because children don’t see the world, don’t observe the world, don’t contemplate the world, but are so deeply immersed in the world that they don’t distinguish between it and their own selves. Not until that happens, until a distance appears between what they are and what the world is, does the question arise: what makes life worth living?”

— Karl Ove Knausgaard, Autumn (trans. Ingvild Burkey)

Visit The Guardian website for the full extract.

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