First published in Norway in 1890, Hunger probes the depths of consciousness with frightening and gripping power. Contemptuous of novels of his time and what he saw as their stereotypical plots and empty characters, Knut Hamsun embarked on “an attempt to describe the strange, peculiar life of the mind, the mysteries of the nerves in a starving body.
It was during the time I wandered about and starved in Christiania: Christiania, this singular city, from which no man departs without carrying away the traces of his sojourn there.
I was lying awake in my attic and I heard a clock below strike six. It was already broad daylight, and people had begun to go up and down the stairs. By the door where the wall of the room was papered with old numbers of the Morgenbladet, I could distinguish clearly a notice from the Director of Lighthouses, and a little to the left of that an inflated advertisement of Fabian Olsens’ new-baked bread.
Norwegian writer Knut Hamsun (1859–1952), winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1920, was a man both brilliant and controversial. Hamsun’s work spans more than 70 years. Find out more about Knut Hamsun…