Karl Ove Knausgård: On ‘Madame Bovary’
“I love this meeting between the romantic concept of life and life itself.”
“This controlled perfection, that I usually don’t like, elevates it.” Karl Ove Knausgård – author of ‘My Struggle’ – here shares his love of the classic novel ‘Madame Bovary’ by Gustave Flaubert, which he has read three times at different stages of his life.
Knausgård is drawn to the novel’s recurring theme of imperfection: “I love this meeting between the romantic concept of life and life itself.” Moreover, he feels that Flaubert’s realistic style is no less than superb: “In ‘Madame Bovary’ he concentrates this huge reality into one person and it’s just fantastic. In my opinion, it’s the best novel ever written.”
Karl Ove Knausgård (b. 1968) is a Norwegian author, internationally recognized for his prizewinning novel ‘My Struggle’. The novel, in which the author describes his own life, not least portraying his father who died of alcohol abuse and its consequences for the author himself, is in six volumes spanning over 3,000 pages. He is also the author of a four-volume series following the seasons – ‘On Spring’, ‘On Summer’, ‘On Fall’ and ‘On Winter’ (2015-16).
‘Madame Bovary’ is the debut novel of French writer Gustave Flaubert (b. 1821- d. 1880), published in 1856. The plot centres on Emma Bovary, a doctor’s wife who – bored with provincial middle-class life – has adulterous affairs and lives beyond her means, finally meeting her downfall. The novel is considered one of the greatest within the genre of Realism and its author had to go to trial due to the sensational content.
Karl Ove Knausgård was interviewed by Kasper Bech Dyg in connection with the Louisiana Literature festival at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark, in August 2016.
Camera: Anders Lindved
Produced and edited by: Kasper Bech Dyg
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2017
Supported by Nordea-fonden