Friday, January 7, 2022

Week 4: Searches

Recently, I reviewed a collection of essays by Norwegian writer Karl Ove Knausgaard for Australian Book Review. A common idea in the essays is that art is at its best when it is searching. This view connects, I think, to something we find in Knausgaard's memoir series My Struggle, namely the tendency in the memoirs to suspend conclusions or findings and maintain an anticipatory tone. The Norwegian and Swedish settings of these memoirs is always coming into being, too, while the other writing that Knausgaard mentions in his autobiographical story are presented as exercises and therefore places of refuge from the busyness and difficulties of family life. Writing is somewhere to go and be. It is an active place rather than a point of completeness.

I find this, as well, in my own writing; the pleasure of finishing a project is also the pleasure of being able to begin another one. For me, these beginnings have tended to overlap with something incomplete in earlier work. All writing involves selection, and so there are always omissions, and sometimes these seem to demand that you go back and make up for that omission in a seperate work. Writing is a series of encounters with experience and with other attempts to represent it, your own attempts and those by other writers.


This week, The Sorrow Stone was included in a list of the 'most anticipated novels of 2022' in the Fairfax group of newspapers, while Sydney Morning Herald and Age books editor Jason Steger also highlighted the book in his 'Booklist' newsletter. He wrote that, "If you liked the setting of Hannah Kent’s first novel, Burial Rites, for example, then the chances are you’ll want to read Kári Gíslason’s The Sorrow Stone, which is set in medieval Iceland and Norway, in the days of the Vikings, and follows the fortunes of Disa and her son as they flee a crime of revenge."

At Newell Beach, near Port Douglas, Jan 2022