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(Årstidsencyklopedien #1)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  4,725 ratings  ·  604 reviews
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. A
Hardcover, Colour Illustrations, 224 pages
Published August 22nd 2017 by Penguin Press (first published September 1st 2015)
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Richard Koerner Yes. I just read it in English. I got the copy from my local library.

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Adam Dalva
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Mar 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone enjoying, looking forward or back to midlife
Recommended to Ilse by: Caterina
Shelves: 2018, reviewed, nordics
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 th
Kevin Kelsey
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2017
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 ...more
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 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 t
Vit Babenco
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
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
Lee Klein
Aug 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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 season ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
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 an
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
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.
Jul 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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 doi
Aug 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-books-i-own
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
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 ...more

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 e
Jun 03, 2019 rated it liked it
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 re ...more
Nov 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-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. ...more
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 litera
The mini-essays in this collection vary so wildly in tone – from nostalgic to didactic – and quality that it’s hard to make generalizations about the whole. Some of the most obvious subjects (“Twilight,” “Autumn Leaves,” “Dawn”) evoke the most poetic reflections, while the more off-the-wall topics (“Buttons,” “Toilet Bowls”) elicit tedious history/biology lessons or superfluous commentary. There’s too much about orifices and bodily fluids, and for all this presents itself as a primer to an unbor ...more
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, s ...more
Oh, you have an *opinion* on chimneys? Do tell!
Sep 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Not at all delightful. Different- almost every page I wonder how could someone have these kind of thoughts :)
Sep 11, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
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 is the first volume in Karl Ove Knausgård's Årstidsencyklopedie
Jerrie (redwritinghood)
Sep 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Meditations on the mundane and some nice artwork in this book. Knausgaard looks closely at the things we take for granted everyday and turns them into something grand. This collection of short essays are divided by month (September, October and November) and each section starts with a letter addressed to his unborn daughter. A lovely idea and a lovely little book.
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, audiobook
102nd book for 2019.

A series of short, evocative meditations that impinge on Knausgård's life with his family in rural Norway—on teeth, vomit, piss, apples, adders, vulvas, badgers, wasps, eyes, forgiveness—written to/for his unborn daughter.


Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Nov 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
You know how a camera can zoom in on a small object or a faraway object and you can see everything about the object? That’s what Karl Ove Knausgaard does. He chooses objects—-randomly, it seems—-and closes in on them—-wasps, chewing gum, the sun, porpoises—-and just looks at them. And looks. And looks. And you suddenly see the object and it seems like something you have just seen for the first time.

Now I can’t wait to read Winter.
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Anything Knausgaard writes between now and the day he dies will forever be compared to his "My Struggle" books, and found wanting. This, obviously, is not as good as those (almost nothing is, to be fair) but it's still good. ...more
M. Sarki
Nov 27, 2017 rated it liked it

…Shame relates to reality as it ought to be, not reality as it is.

Having listened and watched Karl Ove Knausgård brilliantly interview favorite contemporaries such as Claire-Louise Bennett and Tomas Espedal, and having read his first two volumes of My Struggle before my throwing in the towel, I was expecting something more revealing and confessional in these letters to his unborn daughter. It felt hollow to me and the words not as carefully placed and evol
John Hatley
Mar 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a brilliant little "encyclopaedia" that includes thoughts (the word "thought" sounds so much better and more accurate that "article") on a universe of things - against a general background of autumn - from the button to plastic bags to churches to the human eye, and nearly everything in between. It is unobtrusively laced with letters from the author to his unborn child. Each thought either encourages us to see and think about things in ways we never thought of them before, or at the very ...more
“I don’t think it is the child’s helplessness we are defenceless against, that isn’t what goes straight to the heart, but rather its innocence. For one knows how much pain the world will inflict, one knows how complicated and difficult life will become and how the child will develop a whole series of defence mechanisms, avoidance strategies and methods of self-preservation in that intricate interaction with one’s social environment that a full life entails, for better or worse. None of this is p
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book was rough to get through. I was expecting so much more from this book since I enjoyed the first book in My Struggle so much, but this book really left me feeling bored throughout most it.
Jul 29, 2017 added it
A transparent time capsule, a carefully build encyclopedia of meaning and objects, written by a father to his unborn baby girl. Knausgaard is such a gentle writer, reading him is like sailing in a boat, rocking every once in a while, feeling the current of words and style. An enjoyable, touching collection of essays, written one per day, on everyday objects and experience - telephones, snakes, chewing gum, cars, forgiveness.
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Goodreads Librari...: Page count of ISBN 9780399563300 2 15 Sep 04, 2018 05:49AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Please add translator and illustrator 3 19 Oct 20, 2017 10:43AM  

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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 S

Other books in the series

Årstidsencyklopedien (4 books)
  • Winter (Seasons Quartet, #2)
  • Spring
  • Summer

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