N°88 Knut HamsunNú Ninja Helga Mjöll
Born in 1859 in Norway, Knud Pedersen (most famously known as Knut Hamsun) is deemed to be one of the most influential and cutting-edge literary stylists of the past hundred years. The Norwegian writer’s career spanned over 70 years, publishing more than 20 novels alongside a collection of poetry, short stories, plays and more. It was in 1920 when he was awarded the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature.
Hamsun is best known for his techniques of stream of consciousness and interior monologue in psychological literature. He believed the main objective of modern literature was to focus on the human mind, meaning he objected to realism and naturalism in his writings. He believed that the objective of modernist literature should focus on the intricacies of the human mind. Meaning writers should describe the “whisper of blood” and the “pleading of bone marrow”. Hamsun also drew a lot on his Norwegian background, in particular Norwegian new realism, in his later works portraying life in rural Norway.
In his early life, Hamsun grew up in poverty and was beaten by his uncle. However, after escaping his small town, he ended up working a multitude of jobs to get any form of income. For a while he worked as a store clerk, peddler, shoemaker’s apprentice, and an elementary school teacher. It was when he was 17 that he began his writing career. His first published book was Den Gaadefulde: En Kjærlighedshistorie fra Nordland (The Enigmatic Man: A Love Story from Northern Norway) released in 1877 based on his past experiences of his many jobs. To this day, the most notable novel is Hunger (Sult) released in 1890.
Aside from his writing career, Hamsun had some controversies relating to his political sympathies. During World War Two, he publicly voiced his support behind the Germany war effort. He even met with high ranking officers, including Adolf Hitler himself. After the war however, Hamsun was detained by police in 1945 for treason, ultimately he was tried in Grimstad and fined. Hamsun’s support of the Germans caused a lot of grief to his fellow Norwegians, as a result, they have tried to separate the world renowned writer from his Nazi beleifs. In 1952 Knut Hamsun passed away in Grimstad at the age of 92.
- Sult (1890)
- Pan (1894)
- Victoria. En kjærlighedshistorie (1898)
- Sværmere (1904)
- Den sidste Glæde (1912)
- Segelfoss By 1 (1915)
- Markens Grøde 2 Volumes (1917)
- Siste Kapitel (1923)
- Ringen sluttet (1936)
- Paa gjengrodde Stier (1949)
- Ved Rigets Port (1895)
- Livets Spil (1896)
- Aftenrøde. Slutningspil (1898)
- Munken Vendt. Brigantine’s Saga I (1902)
- Dronning Tamara (1903)
- Livet i Vold (1910)