Friday, December 23, 2005

Knut Hamsun's Hunger

Knut Hamsun's Hunger is the best book of fiction I have read all this year (I didn't read much, but whatever!). It is a harrowing, hallucinatory and often quite absurdly funny journey into the psyche of a young struggling writer who is slowly losing grips on his own mind.

There is a comprehensive article on the life and works of Hamsun in the latest New Yorker. Hamsun led a very interesting life. After being awarded the Nobel prize in literature, he very curiously became a Nazi supporter and remained one till the very end when he was eventually declared insane. It begs belief as to how could someone who wrote something like Hunger be like that. The article clarifies some of the things and clears many misconceptions about his life. The full piece here.

This slightly older article by James Wood in the London Review of Books is also worth reading.

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