“If you’re a fan of fiction, you cannot have failed to noticed the enormous success of authors such as Jo Nesbø and Haruki Murakami, alongside perennial favorites like Isabelle Allande and Paulo Coelho. And what do these authors have in common? They do not write in English.”
Scott Esposito (The Paris Review) talks to Don Bartlett about translating Knausgaard’s multi-volume memoir, My Struggle, into English
When did you first encounter My Struggle?
I went to a panel discussion in London with three Norwegian writers, led by someone I knew was clued up on Norwegian literature. Afterward, I talked to Karl Ove and asked him what he was working on. He said he had just written five—I think it was five—novels. I asked him what about. He said, with a laugh, Myself.
What were your impressions of his work up to that point?
I had read one of his novels, his second—it’s called A Time for Everything in English—and had been very impressed. He had made biblical tales a riveting read. The second part of A Time for Everything is interesting even though it is hard to see what the connection is with the first part. Knausgaard can write about anything and keep you interested, even when you think what he is describing is bizarre. I like the fluency of his writing, the shape of the sentences, the intensity. His concentration is such that you don’t doubt he knows where he’s going. (more…)