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Price: $5.99 FREE for Members
Type: eBook
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Page Count: 240
Format: pdf
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0374525285
ISBN-13: 9780374525286
User Rating: 3.6667 out of 5 Stars! (3 Votes)

Free Hunger epub

Ebook Knut Hamsun epub

"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
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Norwegian

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Free Hunger pdf
| 1 out of 5 Stars!

Please read this amazing novel by Knut Hamsun, but consider purchasing the Sverre Lyngstad translation instead. Robert Bly is a poet with strong opinions, and in many cases his translation of Hamsun's work has little or nothing to do with the orginial. By all means purchase and read Bly's original writings, but if you really want to gain insight into Hamsun's fascinating and idiosynchratic world view, you will be disappointed with this translation.

| 5 out of 5 Stars!

This is my second reading of this groundbreaking psychonovel, in the new (and highly commendable) Lyngstad translation. Penguin has published "Hunger" in its Twentieth Century Classics line even though it dates from 1890. I hope this was deliberate, since Hamsun was definitely ahead of his time.

"Hunger" shows a man reduced by his condition to a point where physiological and mental impulses blow him around like a paper in the wind. He entertains grandiose ideas but can't sustain them for more than a few moments. He engages in pointless antics and gives way to spur-of-the-moment impulses. Though he wails and cries, it's clear he enjoys his degradation. He may be the genius he thinks he is, but could equally well be a charlatan. His contacts with other people are minimal and glancing, and only add to his degraded state. You see life as lived from the bottom, in an atmosphere where desperation acts as a kind of drug.

The book is essentially plotless, and is structured almost symphonically, in four parts (or "movements"). I can imagine a bunch of modern creative-writing types, with their Perfectly Plausible Plots and insistence on the Show-Don't-Tell rule, tearing "Hunger" to pieces. No matter: the rambling, the violent mood swings, and the violation of fictional protocols actually give it strength. Next to most of the novels of its time, "Hunger" must have felt like a blow to the face. A sometimes painful but often exhilarating blow.

| 5 out of 5 Stars!

"Hunger" is one of those books that most young men probably dream of writing, and which they occasionally manage to pull off. The unnamed narrator stumbles about Christiania (now Oslo), a penniless man of letters, pawning his waistcoat (vest) for a kroner and a half, munching the odd bit of bread, but basically hovering in half-starvation and scheming about brilliant articles that he'll write which will not only enable him to buy food and pay the rent but which will also make his name as one of the best young writers of, etc. etc.

It probably sounds awful. It isn't. It's a masterpiece, if only because there's a curious gap between the experience and the telling of it. The narrator is entirely without self-pity. He never whinges - he curses, he daydreams, he fantasises, but he is always aware of his folly even when he's in the midst of it. This is what gives the book its incredible readability. Everything is portrayed in a crisp, early-morning light, everything is vividly _there_, there's no Holden Caulfield-type nostalgia or sentimental reverie. (During the 1960s, it was made into an incredible film - remarkable for a book which is mostly interior monologue.)

"Hunger" remains a classic not because it was influential or important in the history of the novel, but because it still seems so readable and so true. Hamsun wrote some other books that I'm told are equally good, then declined into mistiness and didacticism, and ended up as a Nazi sympathiser. No matter. This was written in the late 1800s, and is still painfully fresh today, like a shaving cut.

I assume this is Sverre Lyngstad's translation, since he wrote the introduction. I first read the Robert Bly version, but Lyngstad is careful to point out that Bly made hundreds of errors, both great and small. Lyngstad's will be the definitive English version for some time to come.

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