Download Knut Hamsun Remembers America: Essays and Stories, 1885-1949 by Richard Nelson Current PDF

By Richard Nelson Current

 When americans take into account him in any respect, they doubtless contemplate Knut Hamsun (1859–1952) because the writer of starvation or because the Norwegian who, in addition to Vidkun Quisling, betrayed his nation through helping the Nazis in the course of global warfare II. but Hamsun, winner of the Nobel Prize in 1920 for his novel the expansion of the Soil, used to be and is still essentially the most very important and influential novelists of his time. Knut Hamsun recollects the US is a suite of 13 essays and tales dependent mostly on Hamsun’s reports in the course of the 4 years he spent within the usa while he used to be a tender guy. each one of these items have by no means been released sooner than in an English translation, and none are simply available.Hamsun’s emotions approximately the US and American methods have been advanced. For the main half, they have been extra unfavorable than confident, and so they stumbled on expression in lots of of his writings—directly in his recollections and in some way in his fiction. In at the Cultural lifetime of smooth the United States, his first significant publication, he portrayed the USA as a land of gross and grasping materialism, populated through illiterates who have been totally missing in inventive originality or refinement. even if the items during this assortment should not all anti-American, such a lot of them emphasize the strangeness and unpleasantness, because the writer observed it, of existence in what he known as Yankeeland.Arranged chronologically, the items fall into 3 different types: severe Reporting, reminiscence and fable, and Mellow memory. The serious Reporting part comprises articles that seemed in Norwegian or Danish newspapers quickly after each one of Hamsun’s visits to the USA and that provide his perspectives on various American topics, and contains an essay dedicated to Mark Twain. reminiscence and delusion includes narratives of existence in the USA, such a lot of that are offered as own studies yet which truly are blends of truth and fiction. Mellow memory contains later and fonder memories and impressions of the United States.            The items during this assortment offer diversifications on a subject that runs via a lot of yank history—European feedback of yankee methods. they provide brilliant, now and then distorted, images of existence because it was once within the usa. They let us know anything in regards to the improvement of the worldview of a guy who turned a superb author, purely to jeopardize his popularity by means of protecting the Nazi oppressors of his personal humans. Knut Hamsun recalls the USA will attract somebody drawn to the background of yank civilization or, extra in particular, within the historical past of anti-Americanism. 

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The tribe consisted of Winnebagos, not Shawnees, and the chief was not the great Yellow Thunder (who had died in ) but his son of the same name. In his attitude toward the chief ’s son-in-law, Broad Shoulders, Hamsun shows his fascination with the conflict between nature and culture, a theme that was to reappear in some of his later writings. When I heard that an Indian tribe had camped not far from Briggsville, [Wisconsin,] the town where my teacher friend lived, I decided to go over to the camp and try to get into it.

In its details this reli- Y T’ C  gion had similarities and points of contact with other religions; thus its doctrine of atonement and punishment was, in many respects, old and familiar from Christianity. 2 So they were punished after they died. Throughout seven times3 they were denied the Great Spirit’s mercy. They could hear the noise of the hunt coming from where the blessed were,4 and they were excited by the cries of victory on the warpath. But all that was on the other side of a great mountain, and while they could catch the joyful sounds they were not allowed over there.

To New York come all kinds—speculators, fortune hunters, gamblers, murderers—all who know one “business” or another. They come to ply their old trades or to find new ones. Wild and feverish commotion ensues, with brilliant success or ruinous failure, for the temptations are irresistible, the consequences often amazing. Men set their sights high and defy all odds. New York is an enormous marketplace, a permanent fair, a bazaar without boundaries, where all the Union’s and all the world’s buyers and sellers meet.

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