The mysterious Knut Hamsun.

Knut Hamsun was a true enemy of the modern world. Disgust for the bourgeoisie, and also to industrial society was one of the brightest featu...

Knut Hamsun was a true enemy of the modern world. Disgust for the bourgeoisie, and also to industrial society was one of the brightest features of his creativity; also, to the present with her capitalism and urbanism, to a money power to which he opposed the lyrical realism. But it would be a mistake to see in him only romantic or country singer that creates odes of the earth, "which won't tell lies".

So, in the nature Hamsun sees hope. But only in the wild nature - so wild as far as those can be animals and the person. And his manner of the narration inherited from ancestral oral traditions is such manner in which the landscape and lifeless objects don't carry out a decor role, but interact with acts, feelings and thoughts of characters. This interaction can be tracked accurately in the novel "Sir" - the big composition about love, which ennobles the hidden communication of soul and nature - two embodiments of the same reality.
"I am a realist in the highest sense of this word, - Knut Hamsun said, - I show depths of a human soul". He always tried to describe "completely unconscious life of soul" and therefore, arguing on feelings, he first of all speaks about internal wealth, about wonderful complexity of soul's life. Undoubtedly, it has made him stranger in the modern world where all that moves people, leaves exclusively from the outside. The abyss separates Hamsun from a modern narcissism. Being nonconformist indifferent to honors, he leaves house in his birthday not to draw upon himself public curiosity. He was captivated by quiet small streets of towns. Henry Miller describes him as "the tramp, the turncoat, the incorrigible rebel, the strict enemy and the aristocrat on spirit".
His characters are induced to actions not by indignation by social inequality and not an active political position, but internal tension, complexity of their exclusive nature. They are allocated from lump, though it is difficult to call them "the heroes". Hamsun's characters belong to one circle of people, but all of them became victims of the present which has generated more disappointments, than freedoms. These people full of experiences and often lonely, shipped in a contradiction.
Knut Hamsun had heavy life, full of adventures since fourteen years. He was influenced by sufferings and deprivationswhich have brought him into promising America where he entirely could estimate the new world which only began to gain its features.
Hamsun was born in 1859 and has died in the 1952. He lived nearly 100 years. He remained germanophile of an era of Bismarck during all the life. In 1945 at the age of 86 years he has shared Ezra Pound's destiny: he was supposed to pay a penalty, which has made him beggar then he was thrown into a mental hospital for "collaboration".
Hamsun wasn't a politician. He was a musician of the word. "Language, - he said, - has to correspond to all dins of music". Hamsun always looked for words, "which vibrate" and expressions, "which can wound my soul so that she will begin to cry from such accuracy". He didn't write "simply", he wrote with a heavy heart. Writing forced his life to continue!

Alain de Benoist

Article from the “Ecole Nouvelle” magazine


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