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Hunger Paperback – Mar 1 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Fsg Adult; First Edition edition (March 1 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374525285
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374525286
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 1.8 x 21.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,764,281 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Something new is happening here, some new thought about the nature of art is being proposed in Hunger. An art that is indistinguishable from the life of the artist who makes it . . . an art that is the direct expression of the effort to express itself." --Paul Auster (from his introduction)

"The whole modern school of fiction in the twentieth century stems from Hamsun. They were all Hansun's disciples: Thomas Mann and Arthur Schnitzler . . . and even such American writers as Fitzgerald and Hemingway." --Isaac Bashevis Singer

"After reading Hunger, one can easily understand why Hamsun was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Hunger should appeal to any reader who is interested in a masterpiece by one of this century's great novelists." --James Goldwasser, Detroit News

About the Author

Knut Hamsun (1859-1952) was a Norwegian novelist, poet, and playwright. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1920. His other works include Pan, Women at the Pump, and Mysteries.


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All of this happened while I was walking around starving in Christiania-that strange city no one escapes from until it has left its mark on him.... Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 8 2003
Format: Paperback
As a Norwegian who has studied Hamsun, and every debate on his person, I would like to correct some of the facts presented by earlier reviewers.
As I would assume the Norwegian sources are a bit more correct than whatever sources you have, I hope this is helpfull.
"In real life he was ostracized by his countrymen and the literary community as a result of his radical individualism, and political/social views."
No, Hamsun was not ostracized from his countrymen before the war, he was actually looked upon as quita a hero. Which made his downfall much greater when he, during the war, supported the Nazi occupation forces. His social and political views were really not uncommon among his countrymen, nor actually by his fellow authors before the war, even though few were so extreme as he turned out to be.
"Yes, Hamsun was a convicted Nazi, friend of Hitler and Goebbels, an advocate of the "pure" race (Jews should be expelled from Europe, Blacks should be returned to Africa), and he applauded German invasion of Norway. Neddless to say, when WWII was over, he dearly paid the price: imprisonment, confiscation, and poverty."
Actually, he was no friend of Hitler. Were the reviewer found this "fact" beats the hell out of me. He met Hitler once, and those of us that actually pay attention to the history books know that this meeting was anything but succesfull. And Goebbels? That is simply preposterous!
Now Jews, Hamsun never uttered a word against the jews. He actually had several jew friends, and try to find Hamsun critisizing the jews once in all his works (including the articles he wrote for the Nazi occupational newspaper.)
Did Knut Hamsun go to jail? No, not exactly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 27 2002
Format: Paperback
Just finished reading 'Hunger', Hamsuns psychological study. I found the first two parts to be truly masterful, especially PArt II. Felt that Hamsun got a little side-tracked with the introduction of the woman in Part III and that the ending fell flat. Originally, the novel appeared as a "fragment", Part II only, and it does read as if later parts were added or forced onto the narrative. Overall a very compelling read especially considering it was written in 1890. Not quite Doestoevsky, Kafka, or Camus, but close.
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Format: Paperback
Relating to "Hunger" on anything but a gut level would be to read a strange, perhaps sometimes repetitive novel indeed.
But it would be my assumption that most fans of this novel have experienced, at least to some degree, the agony of the narrator and the special brand of isolation he experiences.
If any of us have had periods in our lives where we actually knew *no one at all*--in a quite literal sense, by some quirk of fate or circumstance, we know precisely what the main character is experiencing. His seeming determination to drive himself insane is a facade: he is actually a lonely man seeing the world through the filmy, pessimistic lens of a COMPLETELY lonely man. When one is bereft of any contact beyond the slightest acquaintances, the most minute events become magnified to an absurd proportion and if anyone could get inside our heads for a matter of more than five minutes they would realize that something was grotesquely, horribly wrong. Obsessive thought patterns often result from this kind of loneliness which is not only oppressive but all encompassing: it usually starts with social anxiety and blows up into a cartoonish nightmare of the most paltry sensations become gargantuan. His joy over even the slightest contact with another human being is pathetic indeed, but revelatory of his complete isolation. I would not agree that this is manic depression or anything of the sort, but Hamsun's masterful articulation of the oscillating moods which occur when a human being becomes neurosis itself and fears everything. Hamsun has accomplished in this novel what centuries of literature have been unable to do: to articulate the inarticulate. For anyone who has actually felt like a ghost, a phantasm, this is the book for you. (Or not for you, if you would prefer to simply move on and forget the horrendous experience.) A masterpiece.
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Format: Paperback
This compelling novel will strike a chord with anyone who, for whatever reason or turn of circumstance, has found themselves completely isolated in life, knowing no-one at all, suffering extremes of loneliness, virtually bereft of human interaction and discourse - stranded helplessly among people like a ghost doomed to wander in a phantom zone. Written in 1890, Knut Hamsun's novel "Hunger", is a disturbing journey into the mind and soul of a young writer. With no plot or characters (other than the young writer narrator) to speak of, the novel, written in the form of an interior monologue, recounts each moment-by-moment thought or impulse running through the young writer's mind. The reader observes in the interior monologue, the steady deterioration of the young writer's mental state as his thoughts swing erratically between extremes of elation and despair.
For the nameless young writer, clothes falling apart, existing precariously on the brink of starving to death, evicted from his room when rental payments lapsed, not knowing where his next mouthful of food will come from, pawning the vest off his back (but making rash, extravagant handouts as soon as he comes into any money), each day represents a vast desert of dead and empty time in which he wanders, lost, blown about the streets of the city like a paper in the wind, dogged by unremitting hunger - with brief periods of respite when his starvation is temporarily quelled with what little money he makes flogging the odd article to a local newspaper. In his drastically weakened state, on the verge of physical collapse, unable to eat without throwing up, only able to write in patches, the young writer begins to lose his reason, his irrational state of mind marked by wild impulses and violent mood swings as he slips into paranoia and despair.
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