Literary Birthday – 4 August – Knut Hamsun

Knut Hamsun was born 4 August 1859, and died 19 February 1952.

Seven Quotes

  1. There is nothing like being left alone again, to walk peacefully with oneself in the woods. To boil one’s coffee and fill one’s pipe, and to think idly and slowly as one does it.
  2. [One’s writing]must have a hectic, anguished vehemence, so that it rushes past like a gust of air, and it must have a latent, roistering tenderness so that it creeps and steals one’s mind; it must be able to ring out like a sea-shanty in a tremendous hour, in the time of the tempest, and it must be able to sigh like one who, in tearful mood, sobs in his inmost heart.
  3. Love is every bit as violent and dangerous as murder.
  4. The writer must be able to revel and roll in the abundance of words; he must know not only the direct but also the secret power of a word. There are overtones and undertones to a word, and lateral echoes, too.
  5. In old age we are like a batch of letters that someone has sent. We are no longer in the past, we have arrived.
  6. Truth is neither objectivity nor the balanced view; truth is a selfless subjectivity.
  7. There are emergent, bizarre mental stories, distorted feelings, quite strange disturbances in the life of the will, for example, remarkable nervous activities of which science can only posit the existence.

Knut Hamsun was a Norwegian author. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1920. He published more than 20 novels, a collection of poetry, some short stories and plays, a travelogue, and some essays over a period of 70 years. His works include Hunger, Mysteries, and Victoria.

Source for Image

Anders Beer Wilse, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons


by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 4th August 2014