For several years I had tried to write about my father, but had gotten nowhere, probably because the subject was too close to my life, and thus not so easy to force into another form, which of course is a prerequisite for literature. That is its sole law: everything has to submit to form. If any of literature's other elements are stronger than form, such as style, plot, theme, if any of these overtake form, the result suffers. That is why writers with a strong style often write bad books. That is also why writers with strong themes so often write bad books. Strong themes and styles have to be broken down before literature can come into being. It is this breaking down that is called "writing." Writing is more about destroying than creating. No one knew that better than Rimbaud. The remarkable thing about him was not that he arrived at this insight at such a disturbingly young age but that he applied it to life as well. For Rimbaud everything was about freedom, in writing as in life, and it was because freedom was paramount that he could put writing behind him, or perhaps even had to put writing behind him, because it too become a curb on him that had to be destroyed. Freedom is destruction plus movement. Another writer to realize this was Aksel Sandemose. His tragedy was that e was only able to perform the latter part in literature, not in life. He destroyed, and never moved on from what he had destroyed. Rimbaud went to Africa.
Thursday, January 03, 2013
From Karl Ove Knausgaard, My Struggle: Volume 1: