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Ferguson, Robert : Enigma - Life of Knut Hamsun

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The beginning of Robert Ferguson's introduction is arresting. 'If they've heard of him at all, people tend to know two things about Knut Hamsun: that he wrote Hunger, and that he met Hitler. Those who know a little more know that in Hunger, Mysteries and Pan, he produced novels that have had a decisive effect on European and American literature of the twentieth century. Ernest Hemingway tried to write like him; so did Henry Miller, who called him 'the Dickens of my generation'; 'never has the Nobel Prize been awarded to one worthier of it.' Thomas Mann wrote in 1929. Hermann Hesse called him 'my favourite author'. Russian writers like Andre Bely and Boris Pasternak read him keenly in their youth, and Andre Gide thought him arguable superior to Dostoevsky. They all read him - Kafka, Brecht, Gorky, Wells, Musil. Rebecca West described him as the possessor of 'qualities that belong to the very great - the completest omniscience about human nature'. And Isaac Bashevis Singer stated that Hamsun was quite simply 'the father of the modern school of literature in his every aspect - his subjectiveness, his fragmentariness, his use of flashbacks, his lyricism'. Singer, in his foreword to Hunger, goes on to say that 'The whole modern school of fiction in the twentieth century stems from Hamsun.' Yet in discussions of the history of modern literature, Hamsun's name is rarely mentioned. His reputation, which probably reached its height around 1929 with the world celebrations of his seventieth birthday, was in ruins by the end of the Second World War. Alone among the major European writers, he had supported Hitler. Brazenly alone, he had hailed he rise and bemoaned the fall of the epitome of spiritual tyranny in recent history.'

What a subject, and in this, the first biography, Robert Ferguson brilliantly gets the measure of this awkward, paradoxical writer, or, as he calls him 'a multiple paradox, a living riddle; a human question-mark'.
kategória: Könyv > Idegennyelvű könyvek > Angol nyelvű > Angol nyelvű irodalom >
kiadó: Hutchinson, 1987
cikkszám / ISBN: 9780091671303
kötés: kötve/papír (kiadói, eredeti védőborítóban)
oldalszám: 453
könyv nyelve: angol
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