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"Knausgård on Proust, Boyishness, and (Straight) Time"

Gunn, Olivia Noble. “Growing Up: Knausgård on Proust, Boyishness, and (Straight) Time.” Scandinavian Studies, vol. 92, no. 3, 2020, pp. 325–347.

This article takes a closer look at Knausgård's homage and disavowal of the goodnight kiss scene in Swann's Way before considering his reflections on pre- and peri-reproductive experience, which present readers with a straight model of time. It argues that the opening sequences of Book 1 of Min kamp constitute a portrait of growing up as heterosexualization, which means in this case that Knausgård is (too) good at putting away mother's kisses, even as he cannot rid himself of the shame that echoes through his life. In Reading Boyishly, Carol Mavor argues that Proust uses boyish memories to maintain an affective connection with the maternal, a reparative and shameless relationship to nostalgia: "By bowering within flown distant mother wings," Proust "inverted the restless hands of Father Time" (Mavor 2007, 368). Unlike Proust, Knausgård seeks to put away childish things, while also using them to engage in shameful reminiscence.

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