Through Karl Ove Knausgård’s autobiographical novel My Struggle and its ac-count of his search for meaning in his everyday life this paper examines the significance of and conditions for creating meaning in contemporary society. This is done against the backdrop of the general postmodern experience as being one of lacking any kind of coherent systems of meaning the individual can rely on and encouraging superficial and one-dimensional ways of life. The examination takes the form of an explorative conversation between My Struggle and various theoretical perspectives which illuminate and add to the analytical points extracted from the novel. The analysis is divided into three parts which focus on the interplay between the experience of everyday life as meaningless, the various fictitious worlds we use to escape it, and how and where meaning might be created. All three parts depart from the personal experiences and reflections of Knausgård as he investigates his everyday life in search of the meaning he finds is missing from it.
Through the analysis it becomes evident how the experience of lacking meaning in everyday life hinders the individual’s ability to be present in this life and encourages displacing one’s consciousness into fictitious distractions or blurring oneself and one’s life in fictitious social images. In the extreme cases this lack of meaning might motivate the individual to seek out a direct confrontation with death through creating or participating in wars and con-flicts. The conditions of creating meaning, that this analysis arrives at, are also sombering as the very nature of everyday life and contemporary society as well as the fictitious worlds we use to distance ourselves from our lives all act as hindrances to creating meaning in these lives. However, as Knausgård demonstrates meaning can be found in everyday life if we manage to break through these hindrances. By giving up distracting fictitious worlds to focus on the world we inhabit, transcending the fictitious social images and the dis-tance they create between us, as well as accepting the struggle-like nature of everyday life we might be able to find meaning in the struggle that we share and in the intimate community, that might be created by being honest about the character of everyday life.
|Uddannelser||Socialvidenskab, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat|
|Udgivelsesdato||2 jul. 2018|