The Only Place Where We Can Be Sure Of Meeting


And the terrible thought that arises from this is that everyone has such disabilities. Their inner, private, secret black holes which they expend so much energy on trying to hide. And that the world is full of inner cripples bumping into one another. Yes, behind all the attractive and less attractive, though at least normal and non-frightening faces we confront. Not psychologically or spiritually or psychically, but in a conscious manner, physiognomically. Defects in thoughts, consciousness, memory, perception and comprehension…

Why do you think normality is so sought after if not for this very reason? It’s the only place where we can be sure of meeting. But even there we don’t meet. Arne Næss once described how, when he knew was going to meet an ordinary, normal person, he would make a supreme effort to be ordinary and normal while this normal person, from his side, presumably exerted himself to the utmost to reach Næss. Yet they would never meet, according to Næss, the chasm that existed between them could not be bridged. Formally, yes, but not in reality.

— Karl Ove Knausgaard, A Man in Love: My Struggle Book 2, page 430


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