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Ari Iacarino (Co-Founder/Ridj-it)
I’ve been on a Russian Classics reading whirl the past two years, and that was inspired by reading a six-book series named “My Struggle” by Norwegian essayist Karl Ove Knausgaard. He is the definition of a masterful writer in that almost everything he discusses is of the most mundane nature; shopping at a grocery store, dealing with crying children, and the awkwardness of just being alive. Yet at the same time his wordsmithing brings an aesthetic so realistic to the mind that you feel you are living in Kristiansand or Bergen, throwing glass bottles around, being hit by an abusive father, eating weird spreads and drinking beer throughout dark winter months. His use of quality inspires me with Ridj-it in that even our most mundane processes should be thoughtful, meaningful, and beautiful (although many are not), because in a lifetime generally dominated by mediocrity, you can choose to be a beacon of light, or be another startup trying to just collect a bunch of services together into one platform or another referral company.
There’s room for that, and you can make a bunch of money appealing to the most basic desires and thoughts of the populace and market. However, reading pieces like My Struggle remind me that in the one life we have to live, I’d rather work to make something new, something that brings quality in the form of access to nature, human experience and relationships, and the potential for satisfying the insatiable sense of adventure that only a book can fulfill sometimes. I’m still very much trapped between being an educator and entrepreneur where one purpose that has kept me going has been my desire to expand consciousness both personally and for the people around me.
A New York Times bestseller, My Struggle: Book One introduces American readers to the audacious, addictive, and profoundly surprising international literary sensation that is the provocative and brilliant six-volume autobiographical novel by Karl Ove Knausgaard. It has already been anointed a Proustian masterpiece and is the rare work of dazzling literary originality that is intensely, irresistibly readable. Unafraid of the big issues―death, love, art, fear―and yet committed to the intimate details of life as it is lived, My Struggle is an essential work of contemporary literature.