Read Açlık by Knut Hamsun Free Online
Book Title: Açlık|
The author of the book: Knut Hamsun
Date of issue: 1996
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 6.20 MB
Edition: Varlık Yayınları
Read full description of the books Açlık:I often catch myself staring, rather lovingly in fact, at my bookshelves. Each shelf is swelling nearly to the point of overflowing with books, each authors collection seemingly positioned at random - yet, somehow, the location of each work holds some secret form of order that is beyond even me. I'll caress each spine with my eyes, occasionally running a finger down it to feel a spark of retrospection and for a moment recall the times when I held a particular book during the course of absorbing it. I can often relate any major event in my life to the particular novel I was reading at the time, and vice versa, making my bookshelf an eternal, tangled web of my past. Perhaps this is why I never got into the electronic readers. I can understand their versatility and convenience, but there is a strange power felt while just holding a nice edition of a novel in your hands, especially after time has passed and you pick it back up just to feel its weight in your palms. Plus, I greatly enjoy scavenging through used book stores for old hardcovers and often traverse several stores before reading a novel I know I'll love just to be sure I have the edition that best suits me. One day I hope to have my own personal library; in my mind it looks much like the one from Beauty and the Beast a la Disney, but less cartoonish. Maybe it is an obsession, but literature fills a special place in my heart. It should, seeing as I owe a large sum of money back for furthering my education of it.
On the topic of obsession comes Hamsun's first novel, Hunger, published in 1890. As my eyes scanned each novel I had read in 2011, they stopped here and acknowledged this as my personal favorite novel I had read this past year. This book is a monumental achievement of psychological literature as it is a powerful examination of human consciousness. Hunger is a novel of a starving artist, meant in the most literal sense possible, who puts up with extreme hardship and hunger, suffering all for the pure sake of putting pen to paper. The reader is immersed in the nameless narrators consciousness, following him down the chilly streets of Christiana as he barely hangs on by a thread in pursuit of the next burst of genius to sell for small change in order to continue on. The reader is trapped in this unraveling mind, floating on his rantings and ravings that Hamsun details with eloquent precision, and watches as his moods shift and swing to and fro like a hinged door in a hellish hurricane.
I read this novel in a matter of two days, it is one that simply cannot be put down. I would set it aside and feel its pull begging me to transport myself back into the narrator and suffer his trials and tribulations with him. Although I read it perched on the side of a pool, my feet in the clear water and basking in the exquisit Michigan summer sun, I could not feel at ease as Hamsun projected the mania onto me. I felt much as the narrator felt, being drawn inside of him. He writes:
The dark had captured my brain and gave me not an
instant of peace. What if I myself became dissolved
into the dark, turned into it?
The novel moves in several parts, each taking place a few weeks after the previous and pitting the narrator in his most extreme moments of desperation. It will become quickly apparent that this narrator is no fool however, and is in fact quite brilliant. This brilliant mind weaves pages of lustrous prose and cutting insight to the world, and people, around him, yet we see him loose control and throw into a fit of anger and delirium and experience the occasional aberration of reality. It proposed the dilema, has he gone mad from hunger, or is he hungry because he has gone mad? Hamsun offers evidence to either side, yet leaves it up to you to draw conclusions. Hamsun intentionally conceives him out of contradictions, much like his hero Johan Nagel of his excellent sophomore novel Mysteries, showing him as brash but tender, kind yet callous, pathetic yet brave. He often comes into money but gives it all away to someone else while overcome with manic passions and seems to care little about his own lamentable conditions as if it were all some sort of game to him. He prays and speaks to God, trusting in his design, yet doubts his existence at the same time. This attention to the psychology of a frenzied, contradictory lead role has brought many comparions of Hamsun to Fyodor Dostoyevsky and his character Raskolnikov from Crime and Punishment. This is an apt comparison, although I felt Hamsun's narrator and the Underground man from Notes From Underground were more kindred spirits. This book could practically be a prequel to that novel of Dostoyevsky's.
This novel is one of Hamsun's most personal, as it draws heavily from his own life experiences. As Robert Bly's afterword describes, Hamsun spent most of his young life working hard labor for menial pay, and became very much an introvert from the lack of his peers whom he could converse about 'higher ideas' with. He spend much of this time hungry and exceedingly poor, and would go into fits of writing lofty incantations, yet, in the yellow morning, would see these pages as nothing but stanzas of gibberish and tear them up and toss the scraps into the street (if you caught the lifting of Ginsberg there, one thousand cool points are awarded to you. That's my favorite part). Perhaps Hamsun felt he was loosing grip on reality, much like his narrator. I read an essay of Hamsun once that said he was a wanderer, often moving to new places to get inspiration for novels and write in seclusion, and that he was highly popular with the female folk. The narrator seems an extension of Hamsun in this regard, as it is hinted that he is not a native of Chrisiana and has all across the map, and that even in his wretched state of malnutrition causing his ragged clothes to hang off him and his hair to fall out, he is still able to attract the affections of a local lady.
Hunger is not a novel you will ever forget. It sprouts deep roots within your heart and mind and will follow your thoughts wherever you go. If you are a first-time reader of the great Nobel laureate Knut Hamsun, this is a perfect introduction. Although I don't like to give such a one-sided depiction of a novel, this is one that I cannot find anything negative for to say. Upon completion, I declared that some day I will teach this novel, it is that good and there is enough material for countless discussions. This was my favorite novel that I read in 2011, and I hope you read it. It would be a damn shame not to.
How can you resist that mustache?
Read information about the authorAwarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1920 "for his monumental work, Growth of the Soil". He insisted that the intricacies of the human mind ought to be the main object of modern literature, to describe the "whisper of the blood, and the pleading of the bone marrow". Hamsun pursued his literary program, debuting in 1890 with the psychological novel Hunger.
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