Newfoundland Reacts to NYT Magazine Diss

Karl Ove Knausgaard's astonishment at local obesity just one of several questionable final-edit choices.

After you read the travel piece “My Saga, Part 1” in this weekend’s New York Times Magazine by Karl Ove Knausgaard, consider clicking over to Canadian daily newspaper the St. John’s Telegram.

Understandably, folks in that Canadian province are going to be less than thrilled with passages like this one (bolding is ours), involving the St. Anthony outpost of restaurant chain Jungle Jim’s:

Several TVs were on with the sound muted, showing a hockey game between Sweden and Russia, a semifinal for the World Junior Championship. Everyone in the place, except the waiter, was fat, some of them so fat that I kept having to look at them. I had never seen people that fat before. The strange thing was that none of them looked as if they were trying to hide their enormous girth; quite the opposite, several people were wearing tight T-shirts with their big bellies sticking out proudly.

So Who is this Knausgaard fellow, who presently calls Sweden home? Per the New York Times footnote, the title of the two-part series (concluding in the March 15 issue) echos this Norwegian-descended vagabond’s six-volume (!) autobiographical novel My Struggle. Volume Four is set to arrive in English this April.

This was definitely a killer assignment. As the article author, he was tasked by the magazine with starting in Newfoundland, where the Vikings once settled, and driving south into the U.S. and then westwards to Minnesota, the settling choice of a great many Norwegian-American immigrants.

While the Telegram piece is actually fairly civil, opting for itemization over outrage, the reader comments that have begun to come in are not.
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