Written by Knut Hamsun
Knut Hamsun (August 4, 1859 鈥?February 19, 1952) was a Norwegian author, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1920. He was praised by King Haakon VII of Norway as Norway's soul.
Hamsun's work spans more than 70 years and shows variation with regard to the subject, perspective and environment. He published more than 20 novels, a collection of poetry, some short stories and plays, a travelogue, and some essays.
The young Hamsun objected to realism and naturalism. He argued that the main object of modern literature should be the intricacies of the human mind, that writers should describe the "whisper of blood, and the pleading of bone marrow". Hamsun is considered the "leader of the Neo-Romantic revolt at the turn of the century", with works such as Hunger (1890), Mysteries (1892), Pan (1894), and Victoria (1898). His later works鈥攊n particular his "Nordland novels"鈥攚ere influenced by the Norwegian new realism, portraying everyday life in rural Norway and often employing local dialect, irony, and humour. The epic work Growth of the Soil (1917) earned him the Nobel Prize.
Hamsun is considered to be "one of the most influential and innovative literary stylists of the past hundred years" (ca. 1890鈥?990). He pioneered psychological literature with techniques of stream of consciousness and interior monologue, and influenced authors such as Thomas Mann, Franz Kafka, Maxim Gorky, Stefan Zweig, Henry Miller, Hermann Hesse, and Ernest Hemingway. Isaac Bashevis Singer called Hamsun "the father of the modern school of literature in his every aspect鈥攈is subjectiveness, his fragmentariness, his use of flashbacks, his lyricism. The whole modern school of fiction in the twentieth century stems from Hamsun". Ernest Hemingway stated that "Hamsun taught me to write".
On August 4, 2009, the Knut Hamsun Centre was opened in Hamar酶y. Since 1916, several of Hamsun's works have been adapted into motion pictures.
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