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From the author of the monumental My Struggle series, Karl Ove Knausgaard, one of the masters of contemporary literature and a genius of observation and introspection, comes the first in a new autobiographical quartet based on the four seasons.

28 August. Now, as I write this, you know nothing about anything, about what awaits you, the kind of world you will be born into. And I know nothing about you...

I want to show you our world as it is now: the door, the floor, the water tap and the sink, the garden chair close to the wall beneath the kitchen window, the sun, the water, the trees. You will come to see it in your own way, you will experience things for yourself and live a life of your own, so of course it is primarily for my own sake that I am doing this: showing you the world, little one, makes my life worth living.

Autumn begins with a letter Karl Ove Knausgaard writes to his unborn daughter, showing her what to expect of the world. He writes one short piece per day, describing the material and natural world with the precision and mesmerising intensity that have become his trademark. He describes with acute sensitivity daily life with his wife and children in rural Sweden, drawing upon memories of his own childhood to give an inimitably tender perspective on the precious and unique bond between parent and child. The sun, wasps, jellyfish, eyes, lice—the stuff of everyday life is the fodder for his art. Nothing is too small or too vast to escape his attention.

This beautifully illustrated book is a personal encyclopaedia on everything from chewing gum to the stars. Through close observation of the objects and phenomena around him, Knausgaard shows us how vast, unknowable and wondrous the world is.

224 pages, Hardcover

First published September 1, 2015

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About the author

Karl Ove Knausgård

60 books5,833 followers
Nominated to the 2004 Nordic Council’s Literature Prize & awarded the 2004 Norwegian Critics’ Prize.

Karl Ove Knausgård (b. 1968) made his literary debut in 1998 with the widely acclaimed novel Out of the World, which was a great critical and commercial success and won him, as the first debut novel ever, The Norwegian Critics' Prize. He then went on to write six autobiographical novels, titled My Struggle (Min Kamp), which have become a publication phenomenon in his native Norway as well as the world over.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 813 reviews
Profile Image for Adam Dalva.
Author 8 books1,551 followers
September 28, 2017
I loved this work, a huge departure from the maximalist, inward-peering sprawl of MY STRUGGLE, whose quality has been sadly lost in the Sturm und Drang that has surrounded Knausgaard’s rise to fame. He has always been an extraordinarily good line-level writer (except for his notoriously horrendous dialogue, which is totally absent here). The concept lets him hone in on his strength of observation: these are the first 90 or so entries in a string of 1-2 page descriptions for his unborn daughter. The other 3 collections are still to come. He wrote one essay a day for a year, and each is on one word. My 8 favorites are “Apples,” “Teeth,” “Piss,” “Adders,” “Beds,” Tin Cans,” “Flies,” and “Ambulances.”

I’ve seen some complaints about this concept being basically a writing exercise, blown out, but what writing ISN’T a writing exercise, blown out? As an experiment, I taught my favorites to my Rutgers students this week, then asked them to each choose a subject of their own and write a quick Knausgaardy essay. I say without exaggeration that it led to the best student writing I’ve ever seen, which is particularly remarkable this early in a semester. I think this is testament to the power of the concept. Because there is a beautiful turn in many of these essays toward the personal – look at this amazing ending to “Adders” (mild spoilers), which comes after a fairly simple, general description of their deafness:

“The adder winds its way, emerges from the stunted woods onto the upper part of a pebble beach, a hundred metres or so above the sea, where it encounters a large slab of stone and remains there. A man and a boy come walking, and because of the pebbles, it doesn’t notice them. The man stops, points out the adder to the boy, bends down and throes a rock, which strikes the adder’s middle. It slinks away, is struck by another rock, and another. It writhes and wriggles as little by little it is covered in rocks. But there are spaces between the rocks, and it slithers through them. When the head pokes out from the pile, the man is standing only a yard away, and the stone that strikes its flat head crushes it.

More than forty years have passed since that happened. I still wish he hadn’t done it, and I still don’t understand why he did, but he seemed to hate it more than any other thing. I had never seen him like that before, and never saw him like that again.”

Readers of MY STRUGGLE, familiar with the father, will likely thrill at the way he leaks into the text here. This book, with its deep, borderline repetitive obsession with the primordial, also has a great deal in common with the hugely underread A TIME FOR EVERYTHING. There are differences, of course – the translator is a poet, and as Knausgaard said in an interview in Brooklyn last week, the work is infused with her poetic language. But the exclamations, the pivots into sensual (in the literal sense) experience or memory, the eye – it’s all here, condensed, approachable. It is all very Lydia Davis.

This is why I take great issue with Kevin Kelsey’s review of this, why I’ve spent a bit of extra time. The subject matter here leaves a lot to be desired? The subject matter is life itself.
Profile Image for Ilse.
456 reviews2,942 followers
September 11, 2019
Labial lyricism and the art of perception

’Maybe you take notice…maybe not, in the course of a life we gaze into thousands of eyes, most of them slipping by unperceived, but then suddenly there is something there, in those very eyes, something you want and which you would do almost anything to be close to. What is it? For it isn’t the pupils you are seeing then, not the irises nor the whites of the eyes. It is the soul, the archaic light of the soul they eyes are filled with, and to gaze into the eyes of the one you love when is at its most powerful belongs among the highest joys.’


Reading lately in a book review of a dear friend that the book in question didn’t mention kitchen sinks but that fairly everything else was included, I was slightly pleased and amused imaging Karl Ove Knausgård clairvoyantly anticipated this by remedying that disgraceful omission, as in Autumn, which also could be called a book about everything, he writes in a letter to his then still unborn fourth child Anne:

‘I want to show you the world as it is now: the door, the floor, the water tap and the sink, the garden chair close to the wall beneath the kitchen window, the sun, the water, the trees.’

Which I thought quite ambitious.

In 60 essayette-esque vignettes, 3 or 4 pages each, and 3 letters addressed to his unborn daughter Anne, Knausgård contemplates on everyday objects, animals, natural phenomena, parts of the human body, and sentiments, intertwining his meditations with intimate tableaux of domestic life, Writing them he wants ‘to show the world to his daughter’, acknowledging however ‘it is primarily for his own sake he is doing this, as showing her the world, makes his life worth living’ and reminds him to pay unadulterated attention to what might have become overly obvious and so easily overlooked in life:

'The blood flowing through the veins, the grass growing in the soil, the trees, oh the trees swaying in the wind – these astounding things are so easy to lose sight of. That is why I am writing this book for you. I want to show you the world, as it is all around us, all the time. Only be doing so will I myself be able to glimpse it.'

And so, musing on buttons, badgers, the sun, bees, blood, pain, faces, flies, lice, rubber boots, churches and many other lexicon-like entries, Knausgård seems to try to recapture some sense of wonder to the world and share his thoughts on the mystifying truth of existence with the reader by juxtaposing and connecting everyday profanity with key personal experiences like his epiphany at the first sight of a Munch painting at 17, a technique which in the best moments brings a quality of lightness in relation to weighty themes like nostalgia, forgiveness, pain and loneliness.


Knausgårds observing gaze, ostensibly bearing his unborn daughter in mind, wanders through everyday life like a child’s gaze, expressing a sense of quirky curiosity in the world which is refreshing and in spurs infectiously eye-opening and enlightening, often through ending his vignettes with a closing twist one doesn’t see coming. At times he movingly succeeds in transporting the spark of wonder on this reader, at times he fails to do so, stooping over to triviality. Musing on the colours and texture of vomit, in the first paragraphs of this entry Knausgård comes almost across like an eloquent potty-mouthed child amusing himself blurting out on bodily fluids, but the moment he almost lost me, the tone abruptly shifts, catching me by surprise by tenderly wording the overwhelming love one can feel as a parent for a sick child: ‘I loved her, and the force of that love allows nothing to stand in its way, neither the ugly, nor the unpleasant, nor the disgusting, nor the horrific’.


In some respects, Knausgård’s view on life reminded me of the Dutch author A.F.Th. van der Heijden, who wrote a widely spun out cycle of seven volumes (De Tandeloze Tijd/The Toothless Time, translated into German not into English) thematising and illustrating the ‘vastness of life’, by stopping the time through ‘living in broadness’, slowing time down by broadening the moment in memory, coagulating time. In Autumn – I have not read My Struggle so cannot compare – Knausgård often writes in a tender and mild tone, his prose exuding a midlife calm which I can only admire. Maybe some observations strike merely by their commonness, but there are wonderfully phrased gemlike insights galore to marvel on and reading the wholeness of the collection eventually felt like shrouding myself in an elucidating philosophical fragrance – a philosophical touch which Caterina’s review so astutely and beautifully points out - inviting this reader to look at her own daily life and environment with more open senses and mind.
Profile Image for Vit Babenco.
1,423 reviews3,375 followers
May 2, 2023
Faithfully, page by page, Karl Ove Knausgård keeps gormandizing trivia of living…
…there’s no reason to be cautious or anxious about anything, life is so robust, it seems to come cascading, blind and green, and at times it is frightening, because we too are alive, but we live in what amounts to a controlled environment, which makes us fear whatever is blind, wild, chaotic, stretching towards the sun, but most often also beautiful, in a deeper way than the purely visual, for the soil smells of rot and darkness, teems with scuttling beetles and convulsing worms, the flower stalks are juicy, their petals brim with scents, and the air, cold and sharp, warm and humid, filled with sunrays or rain, lies against skin, accustomed to the indoors, like a soothing compress of hereness.

The diary consists of brief observations. I’ll try to compare some of his observations with mine…
Apples – I don’t like apples…
Wasps – Once, in my childhood I destroyed a wasp nest and have been stung by wasps repeatedly…
Plastic Bags – Torn plastic bags litter all the world and they are an eyesore of the modern times…
The Sun – Let it shine…
Teeth – As a child I used to keep my milk teeth just for luck in a matchbox then one day I, disgusted, threw them away.
Porpoises – In our shallow muddy river there are no dolphins…
Petrol – It stinks…
Frogs – I was surprised seeing frog’s spawn first time and I used to catch tadpoles in all stages of the development…
Churches – They were exploded or turned into warehouses, now they are restored once again.
Of all the things we do, pissing is one of the most routine. At the time of writing this I have been alive for roughly 16,500 days. If we assume that I have pissed on average five times on each of these days, the total number of times that I have pissed comes to about 75,000.

Magnificent! Wait… What does it have to do with Autumn as a season?
I tell you nothing about my micturating habits however…
On and on it goes, on and on ad nauseam.
Unavoidably I remembered Revenge of the Lawn and The Tokyo-Montana Express by Richard Brautigan – in his miniatures he managed to turn every infinitesimal detail into an enchanting poetical vision, while Karl Ove Knausgård writes as if a bookkeeper makes an inventory of the unsold goods. And in addition he becomes shamelessly narcissistic and writes not about admiring the trifles of the world but about his admirable ways of admiring the trifles of the world.
…for once the shame was gone, I could indulge in the vague yet distinct sensation I had had in my sleep: oh God, how delicious it is to pee yourself.

Many happy returns of this accidental bliss, dignified author!
Profile Image for Kevin Kelsey.
405 reviews2,196 followers
September 28, 2018
While we’re all anxiously awaiting the sixth and final edition of My Struggle to be translated and published in English sometime in 2018, Knausgaard appears to have moved on to writing short essays about everyday objects and concepts (piss, apples, forgiveness, toilets, eyes, vomit, etc) The essays often start describing these things anyway, but the interesting part of this book really has less to do with the objects or concepts themselves, and more to do with how Knausgaard decides to describe them; what sort of memories they conjure up in him, and the different types of associations that he draws from them. His prose is fantastic as always -- although slightly different with a different translator, I’m finding -- but the subject matter here leaves a lot to be desired.

In addition to these sixty or so extremely short essays, there are a handful of gorgeous scenic paintings by Vanessa Baird, and three short letters to his unborn daughter, which are all quite endearing.

Since this is Knausgaard we’re talking about, this is of course, only the first edition of a four part series, and contains only his writing through the autumn months (September, October, November) of 2013. But realistically, these are writing exercises laid bare, and I find it a little odd that they are being published in the first place. Although maybe it makes sense.

I think a large part of Knausgaard’s mystique comes down to our fascination with him as an individual and as a writer. We romanticize the idea of writers a little bit don’t we? The way that they see things, and how it differs from our own perceptions? We enjoy prying into their private lives, and since Knausgaard is best known for his autobiographical writing, which was primarily focused on his youth, relationships, failings, and his path toward eventually becoming a writer, it seems to be an invasion into his privacy that he facilitated and welcomed himself. So why not read what are ostensibly just his writing exercises?


Oh God, Don Bartlett, hurry up with the translating, I need that sixth book of My Struggle, like yesterday.

Autumn is nothing fantastic but it is interesting at times, and the essays here are so short that I was able to breeze through them while out and about, waiting in line, or waiting on friends here and there.
Profile Image for Darwin8u.
1,559 reviews8,686 followers
September 19, 2017
"the form should shape the text but not be conspicuous in itself, what matters are the emotions and thoughts it evokes, while the text itself, to those who discern it, should be as cold and clear as glass."
-- Karl Ove Knausgård, Autumn


Knausgård has published a beautiful (both the HB Penguin press printing and the writing) book. Obviously, one of four. Why start in Autumn? Why not. I'm not sure if this was an idea that came to him one summer and so the obvious time to start was the beginning of the next season. Who knows. But the structure is relatively (and seductively) simple. Knausgård writes every day for three months on a variety of subjects, for example:

August Sander

These subjects range from specific items or people to general abstractions. These vignettes are the subject. The organizational principle is Knausgård's desire to transmit information, knowledge, a sense of place and understanding to his unborn daughter (his fourth child?). Therefore, each month (September, October, November) also begins with a "Letter to an Unborn Daughter". He wants to show his embryonic child the world as it is now. He wants to describe the beauty, the banality, the NOW. Like his previous "novels" Knausgård world centers on his family. But where his My Struggle cycle began with his father's death and was primarily concerned with history (fictionalized or not), his Seasons cycle (at least so far) seems to be grounded in the present or the future. It is interesting that this cycle starts with the promise of a birth. It is a deft flip and the tone of the book reflects that change.

So far (obviously, I've only read this one) it isn't quite as strong as My Struggle, but it is also nice all by itself. The short 500 - 1000 word chapters focused on one subject remind me a bit of a blogger or my hit-and-miss attempts to complete 750 words at 750words.com. It seems like an writing exercise done by someone who knows how to write.
Profile Image for Lee Klein .
799 reviews852 followers
April 4, 2018
Probably a better introduction to Knausgaard than My Struggle: Book One, especially for those with shorter attention spans or daily subway rides, and certainly easier reading than A Time for Everything. Like his excellent and comparatively very much under-read exchange of letters with another writer about the World Cup in Brazil, Home and Away: Writing the Beautiful Game, this squirms with life. Squirmy perceptions of life all around the author are contained by the overall volume with the seasonal title, sections named for each month, and each section preceded by an explicit letter to his unborn fourth child, a daughter to whom it seems like all the chapters are addressed, although it's really specifically just those letters introducing each month. In no way is this a book about autumn; it's not his take on Keats's "To Autumn" and seasons of mist and mellow fruitfulness, close bosom friend of the maturing sun-type stuff. It's not even really about the chapter titles: apples, plastic bags, frogs, beekeeping, blood, daguerrotype, jellyfish, labia, badgers, Van Gogh, faces, Flaubert, vomit, toilet bowls, chimneys, silence, drums, or eyes (that's a random selection of about 20% of the short bits in this). It's more about how the author's perception when turned on anything eeks out an essence that relates to an amphibian-type permeability between this and that, between the personal and the social sphere (a great bit about how the Thermos can be used anywhere except in someone else's house since it's an extension of one's home and using it in someone else's sitting room is a sort of incursion), between inside of the body and outside it (the mouth, the labia, the anus), between heaven and earth (lightning), between the present and the past, between reality and its representation in art. And yet some reviews on here call this pointless! It's filled with points, with several "points" per page, all sorts of calmly, elegantly presented insights and impressions of the world. (All the one- and two-star reviews on here make me love this project more since it confounds or seems "blase" to readers with underdeveloped associative intelligence.) I don't think knowledge of the author's history is necessary but it helped me see the world he effortlessly evokes. Feels less like a "creative writing exercise" as some on here have said than meditations like those in Kafka's Blue Octavo Notebooks, or Roland Barthes's Mythologies (short essays on wrestling, for example), mixed with autobiographical bits about the author's family in Sweden, growing up in Norway, raising a family of three kids with a fourth on the way. A great read for me that really hits the literary sweet spot in that it's about the experience of existence, like Life: A User's Manual it's simply about life, and its arbitrary yet totally organic structure barely contains its vitality, that is, lets the life in each section brim over the edges and conceal the light yet not loose structure. The prose is a little tighter than in "My Struggle," a little more carefully composed but not in any way does it feel overworked -- it always feels natural to me, casual yet attentive, loose yet not sloppy, and each section for the most part nails its ending. At times I did sense that the translator was someone else but the same KOK spirit was still conveyed. Excited for Winter to come in January 2018 and then "Spring" and "Summer." The overall project, in a single volume, or a paperback boxed set, could prove to be My Struggle's equal, yet in many ways its opposite.
Profile Image for holden.
441 reviews10 followers
November 3, 2020
Karl Ove Knausgård: Dobår dån, želiš li då čuješ mojå råzmišljånja nå temu meduzå, flåšå, såmoće, klozetskih šoljå, mokråće, termoså, jåbukå, dågerotipije, i tåko dalje?

Ja: Naravno Karl Ove, sve kako ti kažeš!

Karl Ove Knausgård: I, koju ocenu ćeš mi dåti?

Ja: Peticu, naravno.

Karl Ove Knausgård: Hvålå lepo, håhåhåhåhå.
Profile Image for Jenny (Reading Envy).
3,876 reviews3,049 followers
October 19, 2017
Karl Ove Knausgard is always playing with form and autobiography. I saw one blurb that described this as a "personal encyclopedia." It comes closest to Annie Dillard in Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, where she writes about the seasons and other observations that come from a mind that takes the time to observe. I feel they are kindred spirits in some ways, but Karl takes more pleasure from bodily fluids than Annie ever would.

This is the first of a cycle of similar writings, and because of the place and time he is in while he writes, he addresses some letters to his unborn daughter. There are sections named after the months in the autumn, but not everything necessarily relates to autumn except he's having those thoughts during that time. It made me want to wander the autumn leaves of Norway, crunching on thin-skinned apples and watching the repeated sunrise.

My two favorites were "Autumn Leaves" and "Silence," and I wasn't too keen on "Piss" or "Vomit," but that's me. I'll keep reading this series because they are much quicker than My Struggle, but I'd also like to get back to that.
Profile Image for Ammar.
447 reviews217 followers
August 22, 2017
Out today August 22nd 2017

Karl in this series of letters to his daughter who is in utero ; describes mundane topics and items. He is the king of transforming mundane topics into interesting prose.

The letters range from apples, bottles, autumn leaves, vomit, flies, toilet bowels, drums, blood, and lime: among other topics

Can't wait to read Winter, Summer, and Spring.
Profile Image for Kuszma.
2,191 reviews152 followers
March 29, 2023
Talán ilyen lehet az eretnekké válás kozmikus pillanata. Hogy van egy író, akit nagyra becsülünk. Akivel kapcsolatban mernénk használni a "XXI. századi klasszikus" kifejezést. Akivel kapcsolatban meg mernénk reszkírozni, hogy igen, irodalmi iskolát teremtett. Aztán elkezdjük olvasni egy könyvét. Mondjuk azt a passzust, amiben a gumicsizmájáról elmélkedik. Pislogunk, keressük a mögöttes tartalmat, először visszarettenünk a szentségtörő kételytől, de végül kibukik belőlünk a kérdés: "De pajtás. Most tényleg. Te a gumicsizmádról beszélsz nekem? Miért beszélsz nekem a gumicsizmádról?"


Valahol amúgy törvényszerű, hogy Knausgård eljutott ide. Eddig arról írt, ami vele történik. Innen csak egy lépcsőfok, hogy arról írjon, miken gondolkodik. Mi jut eszébe a létezés apró-cseprő elemeiről. A borzokról. A kéményekről. A szeméremajkakról. Számíthat rá, hogy elolvassuk, hisz ő Knausgård. Abban is bízhat, hogy mivel mondatai jók, pontosak, erősek, a szöveg nehézkedési ereje átránt minket a peremen, és nem kezdünk el gondolkodni a jelentésükön. Nem kezd el marcangolni a gondolat, miszerint "hm, lehet, hogy valaki baromi nagy író, és közben nem olyan baromi nagy gondolkodó?" Hát, azt hiszem, lehet.

Az alaphelyzet amúgy az, hogy Knausgård a meg sem született lányának írta mindezt. Neki üzenné, hogy milyen a világ. Aminél giccsesebb írói szándékot nehéz elképzelni. De ez másodlagos, giccses írói szándékokból nagyon nagy művek szoktak születni. Azonban az a helyzet, hogy ez a kötet megjelent, sőt, le is lett fordítva magyarra, holott a szerző meg nem született gyermeke aligha a magyar olvasóközönség soraiban lelhető fel. Már csak életkori okokból sem. Ez olvasói szempontból érdekes problémát vet fel: nekem Knausgård jövőbeli lányával kéne azonosulnom? Ha igen, melyik életszakaszában? Lehet, pont ez volt a baj. Hogy én nem tudtam az azonosulás aktusát elvégezni. Következésképp a szöveg nem a személyesség terét nyitotta meg nekem az íróval, hanem a lanyha hümmögését.

A "lanyha hümmögés tere", nem is rossz kép. Ködös, nedves fennsíkként képzelem el, ahol az érdektelennek ítélt könyvek kóborolnak, és a gumicsizmájukkal kapcsolatos gondolataikkal traktálják egymást.
Profile Image for Helly.
194 reviews3,374 followers
July 23, 2020
A sweet meditative essence looms over the novel that starts as a series of letters written by a father to his unborn child. He speaks of mundane, regular life in a new light. The way he talks about bees is hypnotic- and his descriptive passages of the human body is enlightening. He paints a picture of the natural world as a marvel, as he introduces :

"These astounding things, which you will soon encounter and see for yourself, are so easy to lose sight of, and there are almost as many ways of doing that as there are people. That is why I am writing this book for you. I want to show you the world, as it is, all around us, all the time."

The cacophony of the world finds a melody in Knausgard's writing, and this is a beautiful book to drift off to. Note how he talks about the basic components of the earth :

“Water and air, rain and clouds, they too have been here for ever, but they are such an integral part of life that their ancientness is never apparent in our thoughts or emotions, contrary to lightning and thunder, which only occur now and then, during brief intervals which we are at once familiar with and foreign to, just as we are at once familiar with and foreign to ourselves and the world we are a part of.”

Once you read this book, you cease to look at the world with the same eyes. Opening a door, sitting on a bed, writing this on a laptop- all feel like conscious acts now that I have let this book into my life.

Would HIGHLY recommend, even for beginners!
Profile Image for Ken.
Author 3 books925 followers
September 17, 2017
What if you met with good ole Karl Ove for a coffee (and, in his case, a cigarette) every day? Over the course of time, you might discuss any number of mundane things. Together and written up, his thoughts would resemble Pictures at an Exhibition. Call it Autumn, then, and market it, too, because Karl Ove is famous enough to sell such truck (whereas most are not).

Just how hum is this drum? A roll call, for example purposes (I'll dispose with the quotation marks for titles because it will slow me down): Apples, Wasps, Plastic Bags, The Sun, Teeth, Petrol, Frogs, Churches, Frames, Lightning, Chewing Gum, Adders, Mouth, Fever, Rubber Boots, Jellyfish, War, Beds, Fingers, Badgers, Bottles, Cars, Loneliness, Lice, Van Gogh, The Migration of Birds, Oil Tankers, Tin Cans, Faces, Pain, Dawn, Flaubert, Flies, Forgiveness, Buttons, Thermos Flasks, August Sander, Chimneys, Birds of Prey, Drums, and Eyes. Also in the book (and maybe because I cut him off when he tried to verbalize his thoughts, not in our coffee discussions): Piss, Labia, Vomit, and Toilet Bowls.

The formula gets familiar: Karl starts with description and then moves on to musings, sometimes wandering from topic a bit, other times hewing close to the bone. Each is 2-3 pages long. I don't think one wanders to a fourth page. It's like Montaigne Lite.

Clearly for this to work, you have to be attuned to KOK's voice. In my case, this was simple, as I've read all but the last in his sprawling work, My Struggle, which maximizes the minutiae of his life in a most artful way. Thus, when Karl alludes to his father in Autumn, it has added resonance for me.

I know Karl well, after all. I even let him smoke, as long as we are outdoors chatting in the crisp Scandinavian air and as long as he's willing to humor me by waxing eloquent on the most mundane of matters, right down to the porcelain wonder of his shiny white toilet bowl, of all things.

A two-day gulp, a four-star read, and a great way to celebrate the approaching autumnal equinox.
Profile Image for Bezimena knjizevna zadruga.
198 reviews110 followers
November 25, 2020
Otišavši daleko i visoko iznad književnosti, Karl Uve je uplovio u mirne vode pisanja koje više ne traži ništa epohalno, zapravo ne traži ništa uopšte, no nastavlja demistifikaciju života na način na koji je Borba ogolila modernu prozu.

A tamo daleko i visoko iznad svega, i dalje prepušten sebi, ispušta vulkan radovanja životu na njegov način, nepodnošljivo uvezan za podrazumevajuće istine koje promiču i na koje nikada ne biste potrošili ni atom svojih misli da nije njega. Ples pčelara ispred košnice, pulsiranje crvenog krvotoka kroz sivi sistem, mehanizam žvakanja gume, vrisak sreće u udaru groma, lepotu osećaja u boravku u gumenim čizmama, bes oca koji ubija uvek slepu i melanholičnu zmiju i čije prisustvo ne iščezava ni posle šest tomova, tu je otac, večno je tu.

Esejistika kao rosa čiste metafizike, spremljene za dolazeću ćerku i armiju čitalaca koji dobijaju priliku da i nadalje prate život najvećeg frajera među piscima.

Neljudski je gunđati na bilo kakve nedostatke u tekstu koji se ovoliko raduje životu, koji toliko podseća na njegove osnovne elemente, koji obnavlja stara i proširuje nova znanja, koji umiruje svojom nepretencioznošću. Knausgora valja čuvati.

Jesenja knjiga, da, baš kao ovaj novembar, za večita listanja, za imanje u kućnoj kolekciji, za instagram efekte na divan dizajn korice gospodina Jakovljevića, za poklanjanje, za šta god hoćete.
Profile Image for Hakan.
662 reviews453 followers
May 17, 2018
Knausgaard’ın Kavgam serisinin 6. ve son kitabının İngilizce veya Türkçe çevirisinin yayınlanmasını beklerken yeni bir kitabı olan bunu görünce düşünmeden almıştım. Eser, eşinin dördüncü çocuklarına hamile kalmasının sonrasında yazarın doğacak çocuğuna dünyayı anlatan, tanıtan kısa metinlerden oluşuyor. Sonbaharla başlayan bu seri dört mevsimi içeren dört kitaptan oluşuyormuş. Bu metinlerde, elmadan düğmeye, çişten kusmaya, sessizlikten Flaubert’e kadar geniş konular, nesneler ele alınmış. Bana biraz zorlama geldi. Tabii ara ara Knausgaard’a has kıvılcımlar çakılmıyor değil. Özellikle kitabın gözler başlıklı son metninin final cümlesi müthişti. Ama bu yazdıklarını basmak yerine sadece kızı için saklasaymış daha iyi edermiş...
Profile Image for Marc.
3,066 reviews1,084 followers
September 20, 2022
This is something quite different than My Struggle I-VI, the 6-part autobiography with which Knausgard broke through, and yet it is not all that different. Reading "My struggle" was really a battle, thousands of pages long, sometimes annoying by the endless description of banalities, by the degrading ego-focus and the dramatic self-chastisement, but it was also a tremendous read by enjoying the wonder of life in its smallest things, being intrigued by the complexity of human persons and their relationships, etc., in short, "My Struggle" was a wonderful drawing of the 'universe' that is the person Karl Ove Knausgard.

This booklet, the first of 4, consists of ultra short musings, almost thumbnails and miniatures of a few pages in length. And yet it is vintage Knausgard: the wonder about the small things in life (teeth, knots, flies,…), feeling guilty about your own deficits (his mania to chew gum), the reality of dirty things like vomit, the wonders of nature (dawn, bird migration, lightning) and so on. And most of all, again, the enormous enjoyment of the 'now', of living in the moment, the grace of being allowed to be in this life.

Knausgard wrote this for his still unborn daughter Anne: “I want to show you the world as it is, around us, all the time. Only by doing that I get an eye for it myself.” Not all the pieces are evenly inspired, and I missed the raw side that was so prominent in “My struggle”, although I notice that his father pops up again a number of times. But most of the pieces are gems in which Knausgard exposes the wonder of existence. I am curious what he has in store in the following parts.
Profile Image for Maria Roxana.
540 reviews
December 1, 2019
”A privi adânc în ochii celui pe care-l iubești când iubirea e la apogeul ei e una dintre cele mai mari bucurii ale vieții.”

”Ce anume face ca viața să merite trăită?
Niciun copil nu își pune această întrebare. Pentru copii, viața e de la sine înțeleasă. Nu e nimic de discutat aici: n-are nici o importanță dacă e bună sau rea. Și asta deoarece copiii nu văd lumea, n-o observă, n-o contemplă, încât nu fac diferența între ea și propria lor ființă. Abia atunci când se întâmplă acest lucru, când apare o distanță între ce sunt ei și ce este lumea, abia atunci se pune întrebarea: ce face ca viața să merite trăită?

Lumea se exprimă, dar noi n-o ascultăm, și, fiindcă nu mai suntem cufundați în ea, n-o mai trăim ca pe o parte din noi, e ca și cum ne-ar scăpa.”

”Părinții dau copilului viață, copilul dă părintelui speranță. Asta e tranzacția.
Sună oare a povară?
Nu e. Speranța nu are vreo pretenție.”
Profile Image for Carolyn Marie  Castagna.
274 reviews5,756 followers
November 20, 2020
A beautiful book written by a father to his unborn daughter. He verges on philosophical thought, contemplating the miracles of everyday things. This book made me look at myself and my own experience in a completely different way. It made me ask myself questions. Who exactly do I hope to be, and do I appreciate the simple miracle of sight or sound or life itself? I try very hard to take notice of "the little things," and in that I feel grounded and safe.
Being a very cerebral person, my favorite kinds of books are the ones that really make me think. (About myself, others, life, the world...)
This one did just that!
November 14, 2022
Čekajući da se hajp oko tetralogije "Godišnja doba" u potpunosti slegne, odlučio sam da se napokon otisnem u ovu avanturu i pročitam prvi deo ovog serijala - U jesen. Za one koji nisu upoznati, u šta čisto sumnjam, ove knjižice je Knausgor posvetio svojoj nerođenoj ćerki, sa ciljem da je što pažljivije pripremi za život, detaljno je upoznavši sa kompleksnim svetom i svim njegovim sitnicama sa kojima se svako od nas susreće skoro svakog dana.

Očekuje vas zbirka eseja, satkana od najbanalnijih, pa sve do veoma bitnih stvari koje čine deo naše svakodnevne rutine. Verovatno ćete pomisliti čitajući ovaj prikaz sledeće: šta, pobogu, ima zanimljivo da se kaže o žabama, pčelama, zubima, njivama, krevetima, sumraku ili gromu? To je zapravo čar ove knjige!

Knausgor piše o sitnicama na koje previše ne obraćamo pažnju, jer smo preokupirani poslom i razmišljanjem o novcu, što nas često ometa da spoznamo istinsku lepotu življenja, skrivenu u najjednostavnijim stvarima, detaljno opisanih u ovih dvesta i kusur strana. Nije izmislio toplu vodu napisavši ove, zli jezici bi verovatno rekli "banalne eseje", ali je definitivno zadao domaći zadatak mnogim piscima zbog zanimljivog načina na koji je pisao o njima. Ovo jeste zbirka eseja, ali je lišena sirovosti i ravnog tona kojim većina školaraca čita svoje sastave pred celim odeljenjem. Samim tim možete osetiti srdačan ton prilikom obraćanja, posvećenost, svu onu ljubav koju je Knausgor uneo u ovo delo, pisano specijalno za jednu osobu, čijem se dolasku primetno raduje, što se posebno vidi u delovima gde pokušava da je podjednako impresionira čak i sa nesavršenostima ovog sveta, veličajući time život, predstavivši ga kao najvredniju nagradu koju smo dobili na poklon.

I za sam kraj, ono što je takođe neophodno da saznate pre čitanja: ovo nije samo knjiga o sitnicima koje čine život, već je i savršen priručnik o roditeljstvu, jer je Knausgor, pored pisanja, i u toj ulozi podjednako uspešan bez ikakve sumnje.
Profile Image for Caterina.
235 reviews89 followers
February 16, 2018
The overall experience was almost pure pleasure of a very Knausgaardian kind — sixty poetic micro-ruminations on random topics, full of the oddity of the ordinary, the unrepeatable event that returns in dreams, the humor of everyday humiliation, the sudden painful or shameful memory, the drive to analyze and that wondrous moment when analysis fails. This seems to me to be a new way to do philosophy, and maybe theology as well. As with the My Struggle series, it resonated with my own memories. I also loved the atmospheric and occasionally weird, dreamlike paintings contributed by artist Vanessa Baird.

Here is a taste from Apples (couldn’t help but notice the Genesis-like theme of the initial story … also a perfect September topic, though most of the topics aren’t really seasonal)

I have always been drawn towards the hidden and the secret. To bite a piece of the peel from the top of an orange in order to work one’s thumb in between the peel and the flesh of the orange, and feel the bitter taste spurting into one’s mouth for a brief second, and then to loosen piece after piece, sometimes, if the peel is thin, in tiny scraps, other times, when the peel is thick and loosely connected to the flesh, in one long piece, also has a ritual aspect to it. It is almost as if the first one is the temple colonnade and moving slowly towards the innermost room, but there the teeth pierce the thin, shiny membrane and the fruit juice runs into the mouth and fills it with sweetness. Both the labor involved and the fruit’s secretive nature, by which I mean its inaccessibility, increase the value of the pleasure one experiences. The apple is an exception to this. No work, no secret, just straight into pleasure, the almost explosive release of the apple’s sharp, fresh, and tart yet always sweet taste into the mouth, which may cause the nerves to twinge and maybe also the facial muscles to contract, as if the distance between man and fruit is just big enough for this shock on a miniature scale to never quite disappear, regardless of how many apples one has eaten in one’s life. . . . Against secrecy stands openness, against work stands freedom. Last Sunday, we went to the beach about ten kilometres from here, it was one of those early autumn days which summer had stretched into and saturated almost completely with its warmth and calm, yet the tourists had gone home long ago and the beach lay deserted. I took the children for a walk in the forest, which grows all the way down to the edge of the sand, and which for the most part consists of deciduous trees, with the occasional red-trunked pine. The air was warm and still, the sun hung heavy with light on the faintly dark blue sky. We followed a path in between the trees, and there, in the middle of the wood, stood an apple tree laden with apples. The children were as astonished as I was, apple trees are supposed to grow in gardens, not wild out in the forest. Can we eat them, they asked. I said yes, go ahead, take as many as you want. In a sudden glimpse, as full of joy as it was of sorrow, I understood what freedom was.

My favorite topics were Apples, Wasps, Plastic Bags, Porpoises, Frogs, Lightning, Chewing Gum, Adders, Bottles, Experience, Lice, Oil Tankers, Flies, August Sanders, Chimneys, Birds of Prey, Silence, Drums, and Eyes. And I loved the letters he wrote each month to his yet-to-be-born daughter Anne, the inspiration for the book. The middle of the book didn't seem as strong as the beginning and end.


[Disclaimer: My book turned out to be defective; three chapters, the November letter and presumably at least one painting, were missing entirely, while some chapters were repeated. I look forward to finding an intact copy.]
Profile Image for Matt.
752 reviews522 followers
October 2, 2017

Karl Ove Knausgård’s seasonal cycle starts here – in autumn. And why not? For the Norwegian the reason was obviously his fourth child. Daughter Anna is still sojourning in her mother’s womb, but she already gets mail from her father. For each of the three autumn months, a letter to Anna and twenty essays are deposited here. These are all rather short, only one or two pages, so you can confidently speak of essayslets. The topics can hardly be defined exactly. On a higher level it’s about how we experience the world, both internally and externally. It’s about our senses, bodily functions, things that go in and come out of our bodies, and how we build up an internal world view from the external, perceptible reality. The author goes a step further, and transforms his view of the world into words and sentences, which we then read (digest) and incorporate into our own — writing and reading: a funny business indeed.

Knausgård reflects on his roles as a man, husband, son, writer, and, above all, as a father. In some places he slips a little into some kind of religious/mystical mode, which is not entirely unusual for the Norwegian. The style is not dissimilar to that of Min Kamp, but lacks the depth of the latter, particularly in regard to the final volume 6.

Om Høsten is an enjoyable read; not very demanding, but also not something to read while your TV is on. Whoever is refraining from Knausgård’s “monster work” Min Kamp, will get a tasty appetizer here.

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Profile Image for Ivan Jovanovic (Valahiru).
196 reviews6 followers
March 26, 2021
Ovu knjigu sam dugo imao u planu. Biću iskren, prvo me privukla fenomenalna naslovna. Doprineli su i brojni pozitivni utisci i vaše preporuke.

U jesen je prvi od četiri toma koje Karl Uve Knausgor piše svojoj ćerki čije rodjenje očekuje. Knjiga je sastavljena od kratkih delova, eseja, i misli o stvarima i pojavama.

Fascinantno je sve što Knausgor primećuje i spominje u pričama. Pisac proučava mnogima neuočljive, sitne detalje i daje im život uz svoje opise. Kada malo bolje razmislim, svestan sam i sam pojedinih detalja, stvari i činjenica, ali na njih nikada nisam obraćao preteranu pažnju. Telo ose zaista izgleda poput žuto-crnog viteza u oklopu, a benzin nema boju, ali se na asfaltu ili šljunku ipak presijava i rastače u spektar kraljevskih boja.
Da li ste ikada obratili pažnju na svakodnevne stvari koje srećemo u životu, poput jabuka, zuba, žvaka, klozetskih šolja, termosa, svitanja ili tišine?
Fascinantno, zar ne? Knausgor piše toliko slikovito, a ipak i prosto, da možete da zamislite scenu u glavi, zamislite sumrak i dete koje maže krišku džema u kuhinji, dok devojčica u sobi igra The Sims. Mami iz nas dosta sećanja i pomešanih osećanja. Bilo da su setna, srećna ili strašna, on uspeva da ih izvuče na površinu. Mnogi misle da piše o banalnim stvarima, svakodnevnim sitnicama, ali je zapravo u tome čar. Podstiče nas na razmišljanje i fascinira u toliko toga. Bar mene jeste.
Bilo je i priča koje su mi se manje dopadale, neću poreći. Ipak, sve su bile bitne, sve su mi pružile odredjen doživljaj i podstakle me na razmišljanje, makar kratkotrajno. Kada bi me pitali šta je tako specijalno u ovoj knjizi, ne bih vam mogao dati odgovor. Jedino vam mogu preporučiti da je kupite ili pozajmite i proverite i sami.
Profile Image for Evgeniya.
116 reviews42 followers
March 10, 2019
Мисля си от известно време какви са точните думи и откъде да ги изнамеря, за да опиша колко прекрасна е тази книга и колко съм влюбена в Кнаусгор. Може би няма да се получи в крайна сметка, а пък може и все още да съм твърде развълнувана, за да мога да се отдалеча от тази прекрасност и да опиша нейното преживявяане. Освен това, нека да си призная и истината: тя е, че изобщо и не искам да се отдалечавам. Не помня откога не съм се чувствала толкова погълната от нещо, което чета; толкова, че да усетя книгата като неотделима от нещата извън нея и от мислите си.

"Есен" няма недостатъци: за мен това е чисто и просто ултимативното съчетание между идеен проект, към който съм любопитна; писане, което ме очарова със своята нежност и рафинираност; теми, които отварят огромни пространства за себе си в ума ми; но изключително и най-вече - досега до усещането на Кнаусгор за света в нюансите на една суровост и една мека светлина, внимателното вглеждане в самата механика на този свят, "раздробяването" ѝ на малки части плътен реализъм, в който именно парадоксално и безкрайно вълнуващо всичко е метафизика. Няма сюжет извън това, извън тази брутална и съвършено чиста откровеност на Кнаусгор, но повече и не е нужно.

"Есен" е животът като във филм на Линклейтър, само че по-хубаво дори и от това. :-)
Profile Image for Benji.
121 reviews40 followers
November 5, 2017
Being up front, this was a just a tiny bit, well, boring. Knausgard writes well - and some passages really do sparkle with the appreciation he has for the smallest and largest things in life - but honestly, the rest fell a bit flat. Too many 'meh' chapters. Being honest, I don't really what to know his thoughts on the labia.
Profile Image for Lauren .
1,713 reviews2,308 followers
November 6, 2017
Letters are nothing but dead signs, and books are their coffins. Not a sound has issued from this text while you have been reading it. - From "Silence"

Framed by a series of letters to his unborn daughter, Knausgaard uses the space to interpret the everyday of objects, processes, and relationships. Observational short essays, woven with memory and contemplation, and a true work of life itself, both the beauty and the hardships.

I was drawn to this book by my desire to read more translated literature, an interest in "cutting my teeth" on Knausgaard, and (yeah) the cover and title. I completely underestimated the experience. Subtle and sublime. (Yes, even when describing urination, or the shape and design of a toilet!)

"The Sun", "Fever", "Pain", "Adder", "Silence", "Eyes"
Profile Image for Hulyacln.
790 reviews373 followers
February 13, 2019
‘Hayatı yaşamaya değer kılan ne?’ diye sordu Knausgaard ve anne karnında yerine alışmaya çalışan canlıya dönerek ekledi:
‘Sana dünyayı göstermek ufaklık,hayatımı yaşamaya değer kılıyor.’
28 Ağustos’ta yazmaya başlıyor Knausgaard, aklına gelenleri, anımsamaya çalıştıklarını, bildiğini sandıklarını, yanıldıklarını. Belli bir sıralama gözetmeden akıp giden bölümlerde okur şunu hissediyor: Renkler değişiyor. Yavaş yavaş. Her güne atılan bir düğüm olarak düşünebilirsiniz bunu. Sizden olanı beklerken, duvara bir çentik atmıyor; elinize kalem alıyorsunuz.
Sonbahar’ı okurken altını çizdiğim cümleler (ki sayıları azımsanmayacak kadar çok), yazar ile girdiğim diyaloglar, yüksek sesle tekrarladığım yerler oldu. Kitabın bu denli içine çekilmemin sebepleri var elbet: öncelikle genelde unutulan/işlenmeyen/annelik kavramının gölgesinde bırakılan babalık yaklaşımı. Bir kadının annelik öncesi ve sonrası bakış açısı ile sıkça karşılaşıyor ancak bunun sanki karşı tarafındaymış gibi gösterilen sese ise pek kulak vermiyoruz. Yazar önce baba kimliği ile yakalıyor.
Diğer bir sebep ise belirsizlikten, sınırlandıran çerçevelere; kurbağalardan yalnızlığa uzanan o ‘her şeyin bize olan içkinliği’.. Gözünüzün önünde kanat çırpan bir kuşu da, ailenizdeki o karanlık/ inilmez kuyuları da en yalın haliyle sunması. Yine değişen renklere dönüyor ve şunu görüyoruz: parlak-sönük farketmeksizin ortaya çıkan muazzam ahenk.
Ve bir de farkındalığa ulaşma ile birlikte yazma arzusu uyandırması. Yazar bu uyandırmayı gürültülü, sarsan, yerle bir eden kelimeler ile değil; bir elma üzerinden yapıyor örneğin. Annenizin düğme kutusuyla, geçmişi bugünün yanına koyuyor.
Dört kitaptan oluşan bu yolculuğa çıkarken beklentim oldukça yüksekti (yazarın daha önce kitabını okumamama rağmen), beklediklerimden fazlası bulmak ise ayrı bir keyifti.
Norveççe’den çeviride (ki aslından çeviri görünce daha bir mutluluk oluyorum) Haydar Şahin yer almakta. Gönlümü fetheden kapak ve kitap içi resimleri ise Vanessa Bird çalışmaları..
Profile Image for Kamil.
213 reviews1,130 followers
November 19, 2016
2 stars means it's ok and I feel it's a perfect rating for Autumn by literary celebrity Karl Ove Knausgaard. You'll find here fragments about peeing, vomiting, different types of animals, elements of clothing, elements of buildings..., all being used as a tool to deliver Knausgaard philosophy of what world is - living vs dying, temporary vs permanent etc and what matters in life, - love, family etc... sounds nice but a bit trivial? This is exactly what this book was for me, nice, easy to read, sometimes a bit charming, sometimes so banal that made me laugh and brought in mind Coelho and Murakami...

This book was a sensation before it was even publish, of course due to mind-blowing popularity of his magnum opus My Struggle series, that I haven't read an hope it's better than this one as I already have 4 instalments on my shelves.
Profile Image for Tsvetelina Mareva.
251 reviews77 followers
March 18, 2021
Прекрасен Кнаусгор! Знам, че шансът е малък, но все пак се надявам да го видим на български. Аз продължавам със "Зима".

Тук има няколко преведени откъса от мен. Преводът е от немското издание.



Profile Image for Iulia D..
200 reviews48 followers
March 21, 2021
Patru stele pentru o colectie de povestiri-eseuri care m-au pus pe gânduri de cele mai multe ori, m-au întristat sau m-au amuzat pe alocuri, m-au surprins prin avalanşa de emoţii pe care a surprins-o si a redat-o KOK! Şi cred cã este un om realmente sensibil şi atent la tot si toate dacã poate scrie atât de firesc despre/de la vasul de toaletã (banalul wc din fiecare baie, pe care KOK îl vede ca lebãda! de ceramicã din fiecare casã), la vestitul tablou al lui Munch si pînã la felul cum suntem atraşi irezistibil de strãlucirea din ochii omului pe care-l iubim. O sã-i citesc toate "Anotimpurile", aşa o sã am senzaţia cã îl cunosc puţin pe KOK şi sunt mai pregãtitã pentru "Lupta mea".
Profile Image for Larnacouer  de SH.
709 reviews157 followers
December 1, 2021
Bi’ tık kat kaçırdı sanki ya. Kızıma yazdım alt metnini pek yemedim ben; üç sayfa çiş demeci, kusmuk, sinekler falan. Ben de bazen canım sıkılınca uçan kuşa sallıyorum instadan üç takipçim var zaten ya gülüyorlar ya da görüldü atıyorlar. Ama Karl Ove olunca kitap oluyor, dillere çevriliyor, milyonlara ulaşıyor işte. Vay be.
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