Knut Pedersen Hamsun
Nobel Prize in Literature-1920
Nobel Committee in its citation stated that the prize was given
"for his monumental work 'Growth
of the Soil' "
Born: 04/08/1859 in Lom, Gudbrandsdalen,
Died: 19/02/1952 near Crimstad, Norway
Language: Nynorsk ( Norwegian)
is considered as one of the most influential & innovative literary
stylists during the period 1890-1990. He was a novelist, dramatist and
poet. He influenced writers such as Franz Kafka, Thomas Mann, Maxim
Gorky, Herman Hesse and Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway stated that "
Hamsun taught me to write". Many of his works have been adopted to
Hamsun objected to realism and
naturalism. The main goal of a writer should be to explore the
intricacies of human mind and behaviour in what he called whisper
of the blood and pleadings of the bone marrow. He initiated the
technique of stream of consciousness & interior monologue, use
of flashbacks, fragmentation & lyricism in literature and took
writing to a new level of absorption by the readers.
Hamsun was born in a poor family
and at the age of nine, was separated from his parents to live with
his uncle who needed him for his work. Life was very difficult as
apart from strenuous work, the uncle used to beat and starve him which
led to later day nervous problems.
At the age of 17, he became apprentice
to a rope maker. At this period, he also took to writing. One business
man Erasmus Zahl financially helped him and this was
instrumental in advancing his literary aspirations. In his novels,
Pan & Dreamer, Zahl appears in the shape of character Mack.
He Published his first book about it: Den
Gaadefulde: En Kjærlighedshistorie fra Nordland (The
Enigmatic Man: A Love Story from Northern Norway, 1877)
followed by his second novel Bjørger (1878).During
his life time, he has written more than 20 novels, collection of poems
& several essays.
Landmark: During World War II, Hamsun
supported German war-effort on several occasions and met Hitler. In
1940 he wrote that "the Germans are fighting for us". After Hitler's
death, he published a short obituary in which he described him as "a
preacher of the gospel of justice for all nations."
He was detained by police on June 14, 1945, for the commission of acts
of treason, and was committed to a hospital in Grimstad (Grimstad
sykehus) "due to his advanced age", according to Einar Kringlen (a
professor and M.D.) In 1947 he was tried in Grimstad, and fined
Norway's supreme court reduced from Norwegian kroner 575 000 to 325
Thomas Mann described
him "as a descendant of Fyodor
Dostoyevsky and Friedrich
a fan of his love stories. H.
G. Wells praised Markens
for which Hamsun was awarded the Nobel
Prize in Literature.
Ny Jord -
I Æventyrland. Oplevet og drømt i Kaukasien-
Markens Grøde 1--
Growth of the Soil
Konerne ved Vandposten I--
The Women at the Pump
Det vilde Kor (Poems)--
The Wild Choir
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