The men and women who kill darlings with butcher knives

The calm and methodological tone of great writers, their pacing and wording that make pages and characters and events seamlessly flow forward. Who write the words the rest of us don’t find, those that we fear to write down, the ones at the core, that risk alienating and hurting, the ones that sting hearts and display our own weaknesses. The ones who have the voice of enough life, the ones that have worked through enough, anything, to be able to pick the perfect words. The men and women who punch holes in every balloon they come across, who kill darlings with butcher knives and hide from the outside world knowing that it is their internal world that is all that matter.

The ones who manage to keep a tone and a character with a firm hand through a story with all its events and shifting moods without losing the sense of identity. The ones I read and feel defeated and inspired by at the same time. The ones writing about my own life with better words. Who draw own lines in the sand where I put down my feet, carelessly stealing all the thoughts I wanted to put down and doing it with better words and with such ease and pose. Karl Ove Knausgård is one of them. He is from Norway and as I read the second part of his manic six part odyssey into his deeper inner self I find myself wanting to underline the entire novel. But since it is in Swedish I’ll treat you to two sections I underlined while recently reading Jonathan Franzéns autobiography The Discomfort Zone instead:

“I was a small and fundamentally ridiculous person.” p. 30

“My father, my rational ally, who by his own testimony had married my mother because “she was a good writer and I thought a good writer could do anything,” and who’d chafed against her romantic nature ever since, encouraged me to be a scientist and discouraged me from fancy writing.” p. 103

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