I have previously posted in admiring amazement about the slow television phenomenon in Norway. There seems to be the last place on earth where life goes with that 19th century rhythm that allowed those old novels to be written and read. Does anybody have time to read Tolstoy or Stendhal anymore? But the day has 24 hours as it had 150 years ago. In the accounting of our days we have traded the hours of reading Madame Bovary for other activities and I am afraid that if we were to sit down and write on a paper exactly the terms of the trade we would be ashamed.
But anyway, in this Facebook times, there are still the Scandinavians. Take this guy, for example, Karl Ove Knausgaard and his autobiographic work:
Mr Knausgaard is the author of one of the most idiosyncratic literary works of recent years: a six-volume, 3,500-page autobiography called “My Struggle”, after Hitler’s “Mein Kampf”. It starts with a portrait of his father’s alcohol-soaked death, ends with a meditation on Hitler and takes the author through the cycle of his life. Mr Knausgaard is now 45.
The books have nevertheless received almost universally favourable reviews, especially the first two volumes, and were, even before the final book’s publication, one of the greatest publishing phenomena in Norway ever. In a country of fewer than five million people, the “Min Kamp”-series have sold over 450,000 books.