October 22, 2019

Karl Ove Knausgaard to contribute to the future library


Karl Ove Knausgaard, Norwegian author of the six-volume My Struggle saga, has become the sixth author to sign onto the Future Library project.

The project, brain-child of Scottish artist Katie Paterson, has already signed on Margaret Atwood, David Mitchell, and Han Kang among others. The idea was to plant one-thousand spruce trees (which did indeed take place in 2014) to be harvested after over 100 years in order to print the books that the contributing authors will submit.

Much like the time capsules you may or may not have buried in elementary school (to have never unearthed, right?) Only in this case, the idea is to definitely unearth the books and read them, cheerily celebrating the near-miss with armageddon that we presumably just survived.

Knausgaard, for his part, won’t reveal what his manuscript contains. (Wild guess: male protagonist waxing eloquent about the nature of life/his moral failures while his partner gets palpably more and more sick of him in the margins?)

His take on the Future Library project, as quoted by the Guardian:

“You can’t really afford to think about readers anyway when you’re writing, you have to be free of those thoughts,” he said. But he added: “If I wanted to write now about the people who surround me … you should think it would be possible to push the limit of honesty 100% because they won’t read it. But there’s no difference, really. You have the same obligations.”

Honestly, same! (Nobody’s reading these blog posts, right?)

The work will remain unseen until 2114—so just after I’m slated to finish My Struggle.



Athena Bryan is an editor at Melville House.