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Hunger by Knut Hamsun

Hunger (original 1890; edition 2012)

by Knut Hamsun

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3,095821,832 (4.06)1 / 211
Authors:Knut Hamsun
Info:CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2012), Paperback, 130 pages
Collections:Your library

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Hunger by Knut Hamsun (1890)


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English (71)  Norwegian (2)  Norwegian (Bokmål) (1)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  Catalan (1)  Portuguese (1)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  All languages (80)
Showing 1-5 of 71 (next | show all)
I read the Bly translation.

My edition had an intro by Paul Auster. It took me forever to get through the intro, the book was much more interesting. But between the intro and the afterword (by Bly) I ended up with a lot of questions:

1) Auster implies the Hamsun starved himself for art, and to have material to create his art. And when he was done, he left
2) Bly makes it clear that though this novel is based on his life, it is not an autobiography. Hamsun was starving on and off for 10 years, trying to make it as a writer. He did 2 stints working in the US, each of multiple years, during those 10 years. Bly suggests his unusual writing style (obvious in Norwegian, not in the translation) was caused by his time spent in the US. After Hunger was published, he was not hungry again.

So--did he starve on purpose as art? Or was he a 19th century "starving artist" trying to succeed at his chosen craft, taking other jobs as needed to live?

Anyway, this book does not read like a 19th century book at all. It feels much more mid 20th century, as there is not a plot exactly. He's not telling a story per se--he's telling about what it's like to be a struggling writer in Christiania, with no family help, friends as down as you, and what that is like. ( )
  Dreesie | Apr 12, 2016 |
In realtà ho letto questo libro 20 anni fa.. Di una crudezza esasperata mi lasciò estrefatto e profondamente impressionato
( )
  Edoxide | Apr 6, 2016 |
A stark portrait of hunger and its effects on the psyche, this book follows an unnamed narrator as he experiences periods of near starvation in 1890s Oslo (then known as Christiana). An author by trade, the young man struggles to write while falling in and out of starvation-induced madness. He is at turns homeless and penniless. The reader is treated to his inner life and the social consequences he suffers secondary to his impoverished status. The reader would be hard-pressed to find a more realistic portrayal of the psyche of one who knows hunger on a daily basis. ( )
  joyhclark | Mar 4, 2016 |
I really don't know what I think about this Norwegian classic by Nobel Laureate Knut Hamsun. Even my rating is a bit of a guess!

I found this very easy to read and the effects of extreme poverty on the main character were fascinating to behold. But I found this unnamed character very odd in places. I could understand to some extent his pride leading him to doing some things that could be seen as foolish but some of his pranks were bizarre. ( )
  leslie.98 | Feb 12, 2016 |
This book reminded me of Crime and Punishment. It is an easy read but hard to put down. It is a stream of consciousness narrative without much of a plot and an early example of post-modernism. While reading this book about someone who is truly hungry you can see how there is a fine line between reality and hallucination. I enjoyed it very much and I would recommend this book to those who like books about life in late 19th century in northern Europe. ( )
  eadieburke | Jan 19, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 71 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (147 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Knut Hamsunprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Auster, PaulIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Björkman, EdwinIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chong, W. H.Cover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lyngstad, SverreTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marken, Amy vanAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Polet, CoraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Worster, W. W.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Hunger ( [2001]IMDb)
Sult (1966IMDb)
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It was in those days when I wandered about hungry in Kristiania, that strange city which no one leaves before it has set his mark upon him. . .
Det var i den tid jeg gikk omkring og sultet i Kristiania, denne forunderlige by som ingen forlater før han har fått merker av den ....
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Norwegian title: Sult
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0486431681, Paperback)

This powerful, autobiographical novel by a Nobel Prize-winning author made literary history when it was first published in 1890. A modern classic about a penniless, unemployed young writer, the book paints an unforgettable portrait of a man driven to the edge of self-destruction by forces beyond his control.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:53 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

"Originally published in 1890, this classic of modern literature follows an impoverished Norwegian writer through the streets of Christiania (now Oslo) as he struggles on the edge of starvation. Existing on what little money he makes from selling the occasional article to the local paper, and down to pawning the clothes on his back, the young writer slowly loses control of his reason and begins to slip increasingly into bouts of madness, paranoia, and despair."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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Average: (4.06)
1 7
1.5 1
2 27
2.5 17
3 134
3.5 45
4 218
4.5 50
5 283


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An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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