Sep 24, s. Growth of the Soil, Nobel laureate Knut Hamsuns novel widely regarded as his masterpiece, is that novel. Powerful in its sublime simplicity, Growth is the life and times of Isak, following him as he cuts his legacy from the untamed wilds of Norway. He was also reported to be one of the few people to ever talk down to Hitler, causing Hitler to dismiss him and bury himself away in rage for several days when Hamsun insisted upon releasing Norwegian prisoners of war who were sentenced to death by firing squad. Hamsun was a massive literary inspiration to many of his contemporaries, being highly praised by authors such as Hemingway, Hesse and even Bukowski, and his luckily novels do not reflect this unflattering political alignment. This novel was however issued in field editions to German soldiers during WWII, which is understandable as the novel exudes a deep love for ones homeland.
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At nine Knut was separated from his family and lived with his uncle Hans Olsen, who needed help with the post office he ran. Olsen used to beat and starve his nephew, and Hamsun later stated that his chronic nervous difficulties were due to the way his uncle treated him.
He asked businessman Erasmus Zahl to give him significant monetary support, and Zahl agreed. Hamsun later used Zahl as a model for the character Mack appearing in his novels Pan , Dreamers , Benoni and Rosa It was inspired from the experiences and struggles he endured from his jobs. This book was published under the pseudonym Knud Pedersen Hamsund. To many, the novel presages the writings of Franz Kafka and other twentieth-century novelists with its internal monologue and bizarre logic.
A theme to which Hamsun often returned is that of the perpetual wanderer, an itinerant stranger often the narrator who shows up and insinuates himself into the life of small rural communities. For this reason, he has been linked with the spiritual movement known as pantheism "There is no God," he once wrote. Hamsun saw mankind and nature united in a strong, sometimes mystical bond. This connection between the characters and their natural environment is exemplified in the novels Pan, A Wanderer Plays on Muted Strings, and the epic Growth of the Soil , "his monumental work" credited with securing him the Nobel Prize in literature in He courted and met with high-ranking Nazi officers, including Adolf Hitler.
At the trial Hamsun had pleaded ignorance. Deeper explanations involve his contradictory personality, his distaste for hoi polloi , his inferiority complex, a profound distress at the spread of indiscipline, antipathy toward the interwar democracy, and especially his anglophobia.
Isaac Bashevis Singer was a fan of his modern subjectivism, use of flashbacks, his use of fragmentation, and his lyricism. In , to mark the year anniversary of his birth, a new volume edition of his complete works was published, including short stories, poetry, plays, and articles not included in the edition.
Hamsun pioneered psychological literature with techniques of stream of consciousness and interior monologue , as found in material by, for example, Joyce , Proust , Mansfield and Woolf.
Growth of the Soil
Book One[ edit ] The novel begins by following the story of Isak, a Norwegian man, who finally settled upon a patch of land which he deemed fit for farming. He began creating earthen sheds in which he housed several goats obtained from the village yonder. Isak asked passing by Lapps , nomadic indigenous people, to tell women that he is in need of help on his farm. Inger had her first child which was a son named Eleseus. She then had another son named Sivert. The Lensmand [b] Geissler came by their farm one day informing them that they were on States land and assisting them in purchasing it. They named the farm Sellanraa.