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Karl Ove Knausgaard and the writers who really do rock

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As fans in New York will discover this week, the Norwegian writer’s rock’n’roll reputation is matched by actual drumming in a bona fide band. It seems odd that more writers don’t do likewise

I knew that Karl Ove Knausgaard was officially the coolest kid on the literary block, his intense introspection matched only by his rugged good looks and a la mode facial hair. But it still seemed a little over-the-top last year when a copy of the latest volume of My Struggle arrived at the office packaged with a T-shirt bearing Knausgaard’s mugshot and the legend ALL OVE IT. Who did the publisher think he was, a rock star?

That was only the beginning. As his books have told us, “music was the rope” from which his ambitions as a writer hung; he was once a fierce young rock critic who improvised a drum kit from piles of books. But I didn’t know that these ambitions extended to drumming with a rock trio at college, and it certainly came as news that - as the Paris Review blog reveals - “the flimsy membrane that separates him from full-on rock stardom” is to be fully dissolved on Wednesday at the Norwegian-American literary festival.

All my life I worshipped her
Her golden voice, her beauty’s beat
How she made us feel, how she made me real
And the ground beneath her feet

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