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Confessions of a Troubled Parrhesiast Writing as a Mode of Truth-Telling about Self in Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle

Author:

Olli Pyyhtinen

Universidad de Tampere, FI
About Olli

Olli Pyythinen es profesor asociado del programa New Social Research de la Universidad de Tampere, Finlandia. Su investigación mezcla la teoria social, la filosofía, los estudios de ciencia y tecnología, la sociología económica y el estudio del arte. Es autor, por ejemplo, The Simmelian Legacy [‘El legado simmeliano’] (2018), More-than-Human Sociology [‘Sociología más que humana’] (2015) y Simmel and the Social [‘Simmel y lo social’] (2010), así como coator de Disruptive Tourism and its Untidy Guests [‘Turismo disruptivo y sus huéspedes descuidados’] (2014). 

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Abstract

The article examines the six-volume autobiographical novel cycle My Struggle by the contemporary Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgaard as a case of parrh?sia, that is, telling the truth about oneself. The novel poses writing as a problem, in terms of truth. By exploring through My Struggle the preconditions, consequences, and difficulty of speaking the truth and how the practice may contravene social norms, the paper tries to get at the role that secrecy and truthfulness play in and for social relationships. In exposing his innermost thoughts, feelings, and desires and revealing family secrets for everyone to see and read about them, Knausgaard exceeded rules that govern sociality and felt obliged to be inconsiderate to others, on whom the parrhesiast practice nevertheless always depends. Ultimately, the novel is a freedom experiment that fails, transcending the boundary between art and life, literature and the social.

How to Cite: Pyyhtinen, O., 2019. Confessions of a Troubled Parrhesiast Writing as a Mode of Truth-Telling about Self in Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle. Digithum, (24). DOI: http://doi.org/10.7238/d.v0i24.3167
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Published on 25 Jul 2019.
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