Knut Hamsun

Hunger

A true classic of modern literature – and a forerunner of the psychologically driven fiction of Kafka, Camus and Sarramago

Hunger is the story of a Norwegian artist who wanders the streets of Christiania (now Oslo), struggling on the brink of starvation while trying to sell his articles to the local newspaper. As hunger overtakes his body and his mind the writer slides inexorably into paranoia and despair. The descent into madness is recounted by the unnamed narrator in increasingly urgent and disjointed prose as he loses his grip on his body and on reality itself.
At the end of the novel – for reasons that remain unclear – he suddenly decides to sign up as a crewman aboard a ship and leave the city behind. Arising from Hamsun’s belief that literature ought to be about the mysterious workings of the human mind – an attempt, as he wrote, to describe «the whisper of the blood and the pleading of the bone marrow» – Hunger is a landmark work that pointed the way towards a new kind of novel.

Knut Hamsun

Hamsun knut

Knut Hamsun, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1920, is the most prominent literary figure in Norway since Ibsen. From his experimental novels of the 1890s to the broader narrative sweep of his later works from the interwar period, his contribution to the development of the modern European novel was uniquely important.

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Other titles

A selection of novels:
Den Gaadefulde 1877
Bjørger 1878
Sult (Hunger) 1890
Mysterier (Mysteries) 1892
Redaktør Lynge 1893
Ny Jord (Shallow Soil) 1893
Pan 1894
Victoria 1898
Sværmere (Dreamers) 1904
Under Høststjærnen (Under the Autumn Star) 1906
Benoni 1908
Rosa 1908
En Vandrer spiller med Sordin (A Wanderer Plays on Muted Strings) 1909 Den siste Glæde (The Last Joy) 1912 Børn av Tiden (Children of the Age) 1913
Seglfoss By (Segelfoss Town) 1915
Markens Grøde (Growth of the Soil) 1917
Konerne ved Vandposten (The Women at the Pump) 1920
Siste Kapitel (The Last Chapter) 1923 Landstrykere (Wayfarers) 1927
August 1930
Men Livet lever (The Road Leads On) 1933
Ringen sluttet (The Ring is Closed) 1936

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Awards

Nobel Prize for Literature in 1920

Edited November 20, 2019 by Gyldendal Agency