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The epic novel of man and nature that won its author the Nobel Prize in Literature-the first new English translation since the novel's original publication ninety years ago When it was first published in 1917, Growth of the Soil was immediately recognized as a masterpiece. Ninety years later it remains a transporting literary experience. In the story of Isak, who leaves his village to clear a homestead and raise a family amid the untilled tracts of the Norwegian back country, Knut Hamsun evokes the elemental bond between humans and the land. Newly translated by the acclaimed Hamsun scholar Sverre Lyngstad, Hamsun's novel is a work of preternatural calm, stern beauty, and biblical power-and the crowning achievement of one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. .
When it was first published in 1917, "Growth of the Soil" was immediately recognized as a masterpiece. Ninety years later it remains a transporting literary experience. In the story of Isak, who leaves his village to clear a homestead and raise a family amid the untilled tracts of the Norwegian back country, Knut Hamsun evokes the elemental bond between humans and the land.
The story of a Norwegian artist who wanders the streets of Christiana (now Oslo), struggling on the edge of starvation while trying to sell his articles to the local newspaper. The hunger overtakes body and mind and drives him into madness.
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One of the first modernist novelsFirst published in Norway in 1890, Hunger probes into the depths of consciousness with frightening and gripping power. Like the works of Dostoyevsky, it marks an extraordinary break with Western literary and humanistic traditions.For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Mysteries is a classic of European literature, one of the seminal novels of the twentieth century. It is the story of Johan Nagel, a strange young man who arrives to spend a summer in a small Norwegian coastal town. His presence acts as a catalyst for the hidden impulses, concealed thoughts and darker instincts of the local people. Cursed with the ability to understand the human soul, especially his own, Nagel can foresee, but cannot prevent, his own self-destruction.
Between "Hunger" and "Growth of the Soil" lies the time generally allotted to a generation, but at first glance the two books seem much farther apart. One expresses the passionate revolt of a homeless wanderer against the conventional routine of modern life. The other celebrates a root-fast existence bounded in every direction by monotonous chores. The issuance of two such books from the same pen suggests to the superficial view a complete reversal of position. The truth, however, is that Hamsun stands today where he has always stood. His objective is the same. If he has changed, it is only in the intensity of his feeling and the mode of his attack. What, above all, he hates and combats is the artificial uselessness of existence which to him has become embodied in the life of the city as opposed to that of the country. Problems do not enter into the novels of Hamsun in the same manner as they did into the plays of Ibsen. Hamsun would seem to take life as it is, not with any pretense at its complete acceptability, but without hope or avowed intention of making it over. If his tolerance be never free from satire, his satire is on the other hand always easily tolerant. One might almost suspect him of viewing life as something static against which all fight would be futile. Even life's worst brutalities are related with an offhandedness of manner that makes you look for the joke that must be at the bottom of them. The word reform would seem to be strangely eliminated from his dictionary, or, if present, it might be found defined as a humorous conception of something intrinsically unachievable.
One of Knut Hamsun's most famous works, "Pan" is the story of Lieutenant Thomas Glahn, an ex-military man who lives alone in the woods with his faithful dog Aesop. Glahn's life changes when he meets Edvarda, a merchant's daughter, whom he quickly falls in love with. She, however, is not entirely faithful to him, which affects him profoundly. "Pan" is a fascinating study in the psychological impact of unrequited love and helped to win the Nobel Prize in Literature for Hamsun.
Knut Hamsun Newly translated from the Norwegian by Oliver Stallybrass Victoria is generally regarded as one of Knut Hamsun's three or four greatest works. First published in 1898, the novel is a simple, touching idyl of young love. But its simplicity is deceptive, for the story is imbued with a passionate lyricism and that brooding melancholy that seems to pervade so much of Hamsun's work and to surround his characters. One senses the epic in even this short work. The star-crossed young lovers are Johannes, the miller's son, and Victoria, the daughter of the lord of the manor. Their moment of ecstasy is as brief and transitory as their dreams, and they prove perversely cruel to each other, she out of filial loyalty and he out of resentment of her rejection. Apart from one another, they lead strangely incomplete lives, and yet they stoically resist what must in the end prove irresistible, for Victoria cannot live without Johannes. There is about Victoria an unsophisticated wisdom that makes it completely fresh. The grim realist of Hunger and Growth of the Soil shows himself as much a romantic who believes in exalting man. Hamsun not only seeks but finds loveliness in sorrow, and the closing pages of Victoria-a dying girl's letter of love-are as beautiful and moving as one is likely to find in modern literature. Oliver Stallybrass has prepared a new translation of Victoria, which has long been out of print and unavailable in this country.
When it first appeared in 1898, this fourth novel by celebrated Norwegian writer Knut Hamsun captured instant acclaim for its poetic, psychologically intense portrayal of love's predicament in a class-bound society. Set in a coastal village of late nineteenth-century Norway, Victoria follows two doomed lovers through their thwarted lifelong romance. Johannes, the son of a miller, finds inspiration for his writing in his passionate devotion to Victoria, an impoverished aristocrat constrained by family loyalty. Separated by class barriers and social pressure, the fated pair parts ways, only to realize--too late--the grave misfortune of their lost opportunity. Elegantly rendered in this brand-new translation by Sverre Lyngstad, Victoria's haunting lyricism and emotional depth remain as timeless as ever. First time in Penguin Classics .
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