Karl and Linda

Today I listened to Slate's Audio Book Club podcast on My Struggle, by Karl Ove Knausgaard. It's really good and I'm now an Audio Book Club convert. Among the many topics they mentioned was Linda, the mother of Karl Ove Knausgaard's children and the woman with whom he is in love in the second book. She looks like this: Linda Knausgaard

I had almost forgotten that I was reading about real people. Knausgaard writes about her depression, as well as the way she behaves when she's pregnant:

One evening she gouged the dining room table she had been given by her mother, part of a smal suite she had paid a fortune for, because I had not shown enough interest in the letter Linda had shown to the maternity department.

In the next paragraph he describes a woman at the maternity class:

I saw a woman sobbing on a bench - her husband was ten minutes later - and I thought, I am not alone. When he did finally arrive she pummeled his stomach with her fists while he, as carefully as he could, tried to get her out of this state and into a more controlled and dignified one.

He seems sympathetic to the crazies in his wife but unable to really adjust to them. Mostly it appears he thinks these behaviours are just an exageration of how he seems to feel about how all other people behave: erratically, without reason.

The panel on the Audio Book Club discussed an article asking how we would respond to the novel if it had been written by a woman, whether the domestic details would be as interesting, or considered as original. There's a lot to say about this, but I would be interested in Knausgaard-level insights into my gendered behaviours. I would like to hear what my crazies are. Or maybe I wouldn't, and for that reason I am very curious about how Linda reacted to this book.