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"Winter has almost no self-confidence after the triumph of summer and autumn's resolute clean up that followed, for what is winter, with its snowfalls and its icing of the waters, other than a cheap conjurer?"
- Karl Ove Knausgård, Winter
I'm definitely a Knausgård fan. I love his observations. I love his energy. I love his prose. He isn't always perfect, but he is constantly pushing and exploring. This book is book 2 in his Årstidsencyklopedien (Seasonal Encyclopedia) Series. Winter or Om vinteren. His first book in the series was Autumn or Om høsten. The structure of these books is relatively (and seductively) simple. Knausgård writes every day for three months on a variety of subjects that relate to the season and month he is writing about, for example, in Winter he writes about:
The First Snow
This is just a sample of the mini-essays. He writes about 20 essays a month. So, 20 for December, 20 for January, 2o for February. He also includes 3 essays at the beginning of each month; two letters to an unborn daughter, and one letter to a newborn daughter. Essentially, these letters are open letters to his unborn, and in late January, newborn daughter. His fourth child. These essays are interesting, not always directly related to the seasons, but generally dealing with people, objects, animals, and concepts that interest him. And like Montaigne's essays, the subject is often just the starting point. His curiousity and thoughfulness allow these subjects to open and spin a bit. They are sometimes uneven, and some of them fall flat, but here is a guy that will, over the course of a year, write four books with about 240+ essays on various subjects. Not too shabby.
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