Karl Ove Knausgaard Talks Brain Surgery in NYTimes Magazine

By Dianna Dilworth Comment


Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgaard, known for his autobiographical essays called My Struggles, writes about his experience watching brain surgery in the latest issue of The New York Times Magazine.

After reading British neurosurgeon Henry Marsh’s book, Do No Harm, Knausgaard reached out to Marsh to see if he could witness a brain surgery operation. Marsh invited Knausgaard to join him in Albania to do so. Here is an expert from the piece:

The skull, now laid bare, was yellow-white, with thin stripes of blood trickling in all directions. Xhumari brought out a shiny metal instrument, shaped like a baton or a large soldering iron, with a bit at the end. He placed the bit against the crown and started to drill. A hard, buzzing sound rose faintly through the operating room. A small pile of finely ground bone formed around the bit as blood flowed down over the hard skull. When the drill had gone through the bone, Xhumari pulled it out; the result looked like the hole for a screw in a piece of plastic furniture. Xhumari made two more holes just like it. Then he took up another instrument, also made of shiny metal, and inserted the tip into the first hole. I realized that this was the saw.