• The tree was so old, and stood there so alone, that his childish heart had been filled with compassion; if no one else on the farm gave it a thought, he would at least do his best to, even though he suspected that his child's words and child's deeds didn't make much difference. It had stood there before he was born, and would be standing there after he was dead, but perhaps, even so, it was pleased that he stroked its bark every time he passed, and sometimes, when he was sure he wasn't observed, even pressed his cheek against it

    Karl Ove Knausgård
  • I had always liked staying the night with other families, having your own room with a freshly made bed, full of unfamiliar objects, with a towel and a washcloth nicely laid out, and from there straight into the heart of family life, despite there always being, no matter whom I visited, an uncomfortable side, because even though people always try to keep existing tensions in the background whenever guests are present, the tensions are still noticeable, and you can never know if it is your presence that has caused them or whether they are just there and indeed your presence is helping to suppress them. A third possibility is, of course, that all these tensions were just tensions that lived their own lives in my head

    Karl Ove Knausgård
  • Until I moved to Stockhold I had felt there was a continuity to my life, as if it stretched unbroken from childhood up to the present, held together by new connections, in a complex and ingenious pattern in which every phenomenon I saw was capable of evoking a memory which unleashed small landslides of feeling in me, some with a known source, others without. The people I encountered came from towns I had been to, they knew other people I had met, it was a network, and it was a tight mesh. But when I moved to Stockholm this flaring up of memories became rarer and rarer, and one day it ceased altogether. That is, I could still remember; what happened was that the memories no longer stirred anything in me. No longing, no wish to return, nothing. Just the memory, and a barely perceptible hint of an aversion to anything that was connected with it

    Karl Ove Knausgård
  • There is a sort of light surrounding Abel, something pure and strong radiates from him no matter where he is or what he's doing. Sometimes Cain thinks he possesses a soul without shadows. That's what people want to be close to. But if so, it's not like a child's, for a child's soul is delicate, its flickering flame needs no more than the opening of a door onto the world to blow it out. Nothing can destroy Abel's light. In his presence one never feels wicked, only foolish. That darkness which in solitude can seem so powerful, occasionally even intoxicating, seems risible in his company

    Karl Ove Knausgård
  • You know too little and it doesn't exist. You know too much and it doesn't exist. Writing is drawing the essence of what we know out of the shadows. That is what writing is about. Not what happens there, not what actions are played out there, but the THERE itself. There, that is writing's location and aim. But how to get there?

    Karl Ove Knausgård
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