You can’t start a fire without a spark*

I am about to start Karl Ove Knausgaard IV, Dancing In The Dark (words I will forever associate with Bruce Springsteen), and according to blurb, it charts his life post-school, his attempts to lose his virginity (probably a time he said I wanna change my clothes, my hair, my face**), then becoming a teacher and falling in love with a thirteen year old girl. This is recalled by his friend, Geir, in a previous book (that covers a later time in his life. Come on, keep up), and while it’s not consummated, it’s bound to still make awkward reading. One of the covers features a picture of him as a very young man, and I can see how many a student would swoon, especially in the confined space of school. My daughter’s French teacher is in his late twenties and more importantly, a suave, cultured and French island in a sea of battered sausage-eating, uncooked-pastry-skinned Scots, and the girls love him. And I must admit, he makes parents’ evening more entertaining for the mums, too. If my daughter read those words she emancipate herself from me citing cruel and unusual embarrassment.However, there was a law in the UK pre-1999 that the massive majority school teachers would be utterly unfanciable, so kids today don’t know they’re born. Even the young teachers back then would have an air of train spotter about them, and dress and act twenty years older than their age. Zero Frenchmen. Zero Sidney Poitiers. Just Sister Claire patrolling the rows of assembly with an old margarine tub, in which to place confiscated jewellery and duffel coats steaming in radiators.

Anyway, enough about me. While so far no one can accuse Karl of skirting about the truth, he has been brutal about himself and others, especially when it comes to the idiocy of falling in love, this falling in love with a teenager is a tad taboo, and I might prefer a little skirting. I may need some deep breaths and steadying cups of tea.

And it’s making me think about how much of his life is in these books, how he has laid himself so bare to the whole reading world. And how some people crave to have this level of information about celebrities, and no one asked for it from a moody Norwegian geezer. But I’m much happier to read about said moody geezer then any celebrity.


*The management do not accept responsibility for and ear-worms incurred during the reading of this blog piece.

**And if you’re thinking ‘Is that the video when Courtney Cox gets on stage and dances with him?’ Yes. Yes it is.