Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Quote: William Deresiewicz

"With its subject and size, [Karl Ove Knausgaard's] My Struggle has invariably drawn comparisons to [Marcel] Proust’s [À laRecherche [du temps perdu], the great prose epic of the self remembered—comparisons the book itself does much to invite. But here are some things that the Recherche contains that Min Kamp does not: wit, satire, comedy, verbal and symbolic complexity, psychological penetration, sociological reach, the ability to render complicated situations, a genuine engagement with the subtleties of memory, the power to convey the slow unfolding of the self. And here is something that Proust did that Knausgaard did not: he took his time. The Recherche, only fractionally longer than Min Kamp, was labored at for thirteen years. About a page a day of finished prose appears to be the speed limit for a sustained work of competent literary fiction. You want to write shit? Write fast."
-- William Deresiewicz, "Why Has My Struggle Been Anointed a Literary Masterpiece," The Nation, June 24, 2014.

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