That’s shorthand for what happens when a writer is stripped of his complexity and turned into a mawkish salesman for all that is meaningful and true in this messed-up-but-fundamentally-good world. For Wallace, it came in the form of This Is Water, the stocking stuffer for recent college graduates available at the checkout counter of your local bookstore, and the last scene in The End of the Tour, in which Jason Segel dances with abandon in a church. For Knausgaard, it will come at the hands of Alexander Payne, who in movies like Sideways and The Descendants proved himself to be an expert of turning the foibles of sad sacks into treacly Hollywood gold. With Payne set to direct the film version of “My Saga”— Knausgaard’s aimless article for The New York Times Magazine about an American road trip that is not to be confused with his monumental and far more interestingly titled novel My Struggle—we can expect the chain-smoking Norwegian to become a somber mascot for humanity. Unless Knausgaard is played by Willem Dafoe in freaky avant-garde mode, which we would endorse.