Fictionalised misery memoirs are all the rage and two more have been added to the pile with Norwegian Karl Ove Knausgaard finishing his gargantuan six parter The Struggle, and French Edouard Louis on his third best-selling autobiographical novel about his tormented life, now adapted for the stage at the Edinburgh Festival.
Knausgaard, 6 December 1968 in Oslo, has become Norway’s most famous living writer on the strength of his epic trawl through the minutiae of his life, amounting to 3,500 pages over six volumes. The Telegraph critic remarks: ‘he recounts incidents in his life both dramatic and banal, and tells us what he thinks about them, and what he thinks about what he thinks about them, and as often as not, what he thinks about that, too.’ He says: “This novel has hurt everyone around me, it has hurt me, and in a few years, when they are old enough to read it, it will hurt my children. But if you want to describe reality as it is, for the individual […] you can’t be considerate.”
He’s a Sun Mercury in Sagittarius is trine a self-reliant Saturn in Aries, with Saturn opposition Mars widely square Venus – almost certainly pedantic from Sagittarius, hard-edged, angry, resentful, emotionally damaged and none too sensitive. His Venus is trine Pluto sextile Neptune which will give him creative talent but also make him a touch manipulative.
Édouard Louis, 30 October 1991 3.15pm Abbeville, France, had a tough start as a brilliant homosexual child in a small impoverished village in northern France. His family, and the people around him, he describes as brutish and brutalised — violent, racist, homophobic and culturally backward. His father would kill unwanted kittens by putting them in a bag and smashing them against a wall, and would regularly get into fights at the local bar when drunk. Some publishers rejected his first novel because they didn’t believe that modern France could harbour such horrors. It became a best seller. His second novel, History of Violence, is based on his experience of having been raped and nearly murdered by a casual lover.
He has a stark chart which fairly bears out his story with an 8th house Sun Mars in Scorpio on the focal point of a mini-Grand Trine to Uranus trine Jupiter; and also probably on the focal point of a T square to Saturn opposition a Leo Moon. That is one heavy chart.
His Neptune Uranus trine Jupiter Venus, sextile Pluto Mercury in the communication/publishing 9th house would give him talent, inspiration and determination to counter-balance the cruelty and madness which resides in his family. He said being gay saved him since it forced him to leave his peasant village home while 40 of his cousins (out of a population of 500) remain stuck there.
Apart from an afflicted Mars there’s not much similarity between the charts though Knausgaard’s time of birth would help.
Edward St Aubyn’s Patrick Melrose novels, recently televised, were also autobiographical about his abusive childhood – he’s also got an afflicted Mars trine Pluto, with Pluto trine Saturn. (See Post May 14 2018). Though why they decided to cleanse their souls in public views isn’t clear – all three have their Mercury in different signs – Sagittarius, Scorpio and Capricorn.