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Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Great Writing, Terrible Beliefs

“In old age we are like a batch of letters that someone has sent. We are no longer in the past, we have arrived.” – Knut Hamsun


Born in Norway on this date in 1859, Hamsun started writing at an early age and became one of the most influential writers of the 20th century.   But his legacy is offset by his belief in Nazism and support for Hitler during the German occupation of his country.

A pioneer in the use of psychological literature and what would become known as “interior dialogue,” he influenced many of the other major writers during the first half of the century while producing more than 20 novels and many other literary works of his own.


His epic Growth of the Soil is considered his “masterpiece” work and key to his receiving the Nobel Prize. But many of his other novels, led by Mysteries, Wayfarers, Pan and Dreamers, may be better known today because of their adaptations into feature films or television series.


Although considered one of Norway’s greatest writers, ultimately he was arrested for treason and lived out his final years (he died in 1952) in disgrace.   



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