Knausgaard’s penchant for turning autobiography into fiction becomes a dangerous ouroboros, as the novel devours his everyday life (which in turn provides fodder for this later text). But perhaps most notable about Book Six is a 400-page examination of Hitler, Nazism, and the nature of evil, which draws parallels between Mein Kampf and My Struggle: 'Not only were the words on its pages transformed into real life, but what happened there, in real life, stains each and every word.' This uncomfortable comparison simultaneously explodes the purview of what fiction can do while zeroing in on the unique concerns of his narrator. Perhaps the most compelling of this epic’s installments, and an undeniably impressive literary accomplishment.
This is structurally the most slovenly book of the series, yet it caps a remarkable achievement. For nearly 3,500 pages, Knausgaard has confessed, complained, reminisced, spouted off, made himself look ridiculous, and considered what it means to be candid, giving his life artistic shape while fighting against artifice. The book’s very existence has prompted eye-rolls; many of its pages do as well. But his all-in temperament richly rewards anybody who takes first-person writing seriously. A fittingly bulky end to a radical feat of oversharing.
The second section, a ranging, 400-page interpolated passage on Hitler's Mein Kampf, explores questions of 'we' and 'I' in Nazi Germany. This section boasts intriguing parallels to the overall work, but, with its extended dives into subjects such as the poetry of Paul Celan and the notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, doesn't always move briskly. The third section is an extraordinary coda, as Knausgaard depicts the release of books two through four and his wife Linda's bout with bipolar disorder ... As Knausgaard keeps a journal of his last days writing his book while caring for his family and trying to sell a home, the rationale for his project comes into brilliant focus. This volume is a thrilling conclusion to Knausgaard's epic series.