Double moral interpretation of Knausgård

In his recently published book on autofiction and reality literature, Danish literary scholar Poul Behrendt polices against theories of "author's death", which he believes have "reduced the humanities to a branch of the Faculty of Social Sciences". Against these theories he puts above all Karl Ove Knausgård, who "by virtue of a new basic discourse in the first person" stands in a "special position in contemporary literature" (p. 10 in the book).

Knausgård's new approach is basically astonishingly simple: The technique is well known from stories in the third person and goes by the name «free indirect thought reproduction». In direct rendering, one can say: "Everything is fine", he thinks. In indirect rendering: He thinks everything is fine. And finally in free indirect discourse: "Everything is fine." In the last example, one can say that the narrator belly through the third person, but we do not know for sure who is thinking, the third person or the narrator. The phrase can be “at one and the same time a disguised first-person and a character-independent third-person discourse,” as Behrendt. . .



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