kortina.nyc / notes
21 Jan 2024 | by kortina

Knausgaard // The Wolves of Eternity

I never read Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle – maybe just some sort of knee-jerk reaction to the popularity of the book. But a friend I trust recently recommended The Wolves of Eternity, so I gave it a shot.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say I recommend this book, but I didn’t abandon it either ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The main thing that struck me when I read this book was a feeling of zeitgeist – there were so many metaphors, details, mundane thoughts (isn’t weird that radiation causes cancer yet we use it to treat cancer as well?) – that felt familiar, like things I myself had thought or read. I suppose this isn’t SO remarkable, but it happened quite a few times in this book for me.

Notes and quotes…

There’s a passage earlier in the book about how color only exists in the mind, not in the world. Here, when he ruminates on how there’s not explanation of death, when he suddenly jumps to thinking “I tried telling myself red didn’t exist,” I can’t help thinking he is thinking the same thing about death.

4542 Why do we die?

Well, Dad died because he was driving too fast on a slushy road, the car skidded unfortunately, and unfortunately went over the kerb and ended up in the water.

There’s always some explanation.

Every single death has its own explanation.

But not death as a whole. That has no explanation.

I stood in front of the headstone that had his name on it and looked across for a moment at the river that came gliding by, wide and calm after the rapids further upstream. The trees in the background were so still it was almost scary.

Syvert Løyning


A car engine sounded, and as I turned round I saw a red Toyota pull up behind my moped and could just about see the faces of an old man and an old woman through the windscreen.

I tried telling myself that red didn’t exist, but it seemed so incomprehensible, seeing the red Toyota standing out so brightly in the grey surroundings.

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