RWP was born in Manchester, in the north of England, in the late 1950s, so he is very old. He really liked the north of England, which by 1965 was hip and had three TV channels, and where he went to a coed school. His parents, for reasons best known to themselves, then yanked him away, to Belfast and then Dublin, which had one TV channel that started up at 6 pm with the Angelus (Catholic call to prayer). He also had to go to an all boys school, where he realized he really missed girls. This probably let him focus on schoolwork, though, and at age 19, after he had finished college, he set off for America, where he still resides. He has a bachelors degree in biochemistry and a Ph.D. from Harvard in biophysics, and has lived also in Mainz, Germany, Setauket NY, and Richland WA. He currently divides his time between Nebraska, Rosslyn VA, and Florida.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Norwegian Blue?

Karl Ove Knausgård is a Norwegian novelist. His magnum opus is a six-volume piece of 'autographical fiction', called Min Kamp (My Struggle). Pro-tip: if you're going to name your autobiography the Norwegian cognate of Mein Kampf, probably best to avoid spending a couple of hundred pages on the subject of Hitler, as Knausgård did. This, in particular, is unfortunate:
I wrote that there must be some good aspects in what Hitler did, otherwise so many people would not have followed him.

One initially wonders how, living in Norway one's whole life, it is possible to accumulate material for a six-volume autobiography. This is readily explained by the Times, which notes that he spent 100 pages recounting how as a lad he hid beer-bottles in the snow for a party, and another 50 pages in another volume describing how much he disliked another party, this one in Sweden. And yet apparently 10% of all Norwegians have read his books.

For my part, I refuse to believe this is not a Lake Wobegon joke.

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