Book Review | Is this now Linda Boström Knausgård’s view of her alliance with Karl Ove? – The battle for memory is fought in the shadow of electrotherapy

The dimension of autofiction is constantly humming in the background of the novel.


Linda Boström Knausgård: Child of October (Oktoberbarn). Petri Stenman, Finland. Like. 190 s.

Sometimes the book is so dense and bitter that it is not known whether it is better to read it in small pieces or to swallow it all at once. Swedish Linda Boström Knausgårdin (b. 1972) an autofictional novel The child of October is just that.

The protagonist Linda is for periods in the psychiatry ward, where she received electrotherapy. The treatment is used to relieve depression. Its side effects, memory problems, are October child key material.

The novel clears space for lost memories and tries to locate what one can know. Even when memories no longer hold up to reality, and when they form the cause-and-effect relationships typical of magical thinking, they create the subject.

And that subject is endangered because it doesn’t work by default. She’s sick.

October child underlying is a feminist tradition of confession literature, such as Sylvia Plathin and New Zealander Janet Framen novels about electrotherapy and time spent in a mental hospital. The self depicted in these books is at the mercy of external forces as well October child Linda.

“They drove so much electricity into my brain that they were sure I couldn’t write this anymore,” the narrator says in his next job. Not only disease but its treatment threatens the existence of a particular mind. The child of October is also a divorce novel where the narrator has to tell his family to himself again.

Linda starts as a caregiver encouraged before long to write to reach himself beyond the level of immediate stimuli: “Most often, words lead me to the right.”

October child the writing subject is completely intuitive and corporeal: there is none makes sense the reason he was just the author. In that sense, the text on the writing of Boström Knausgård is reminiscent Marguerite Durasin similar: writing is a matter of course, it always and in spite of everything.

From this squeezes the narrator, whose self is on the blade of a knife, and whose metaphor the child-Linda, described by the cover, emerges: a pioneer does not have to be a child when he is a comrade.

The novel contains the same a critical one-fleece-over-the-nest view than previous literature from psychiatric wards:

“It was important that no one was scared before this gentle treatment, but I had still seen sleeping many times, and more than electricity I was afraid of the idea that I would soon lie there as one among others, unaware of what was happening to me.”

The disease-stricken self puts me to sleep and wakes up to shiver the lost memories. It is very prone to damage.

The text does not actually suggest a novel as the goal of building memory. The end result of the process is something other than this translated, designed and printed object in my hand. However, the text is blurry and bubbling, like traces of the process it thus pretends to be.

The dimension of autofiction humming in the background constantly. Is this now Linda’s view of her union Karl Ove Knausgårdin with?

Digging feels insignificant. The novel is, on the one hand, a sleek autofiction, nothing miraculous, and, on the other hand, its self is temporary, built for this purpose. There is a lot of material for gossip.

Boström Knausgård is an intensely punctual author. Translator Petri Stenman has beautifully brought to Finnish the true tone of the novel, illuminated by black humor: “Sometimes I only dream of war to feel invincible.”

The intersection of illness and maternity does not connect but separates. It is so difficult that in a few days, and I have hated October child that considered it a great work.

I’m not quite sure if only that same precipitate will remain at the bottom as in the tradition of confessional literature: a social perspective and a fragile survival, so far.

What The child of October in the end suggest? At least the tension between the upset of the mind, artistry, and motherhood remains swaying in the draft of the window opened on the last pages of the work.

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