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Wanderers

Knut Hamsun

9781465549693
pages
Library of Alexandria
Overview
Under the Autumn Star The line of Hamsun’s artistic evolution is easily traceable through certain stages which, however, are not separated by sharp breaks. It is impossible to say that one stage ended and the next one began in a certain year. Instead they overlap like tiles on a roof. Their respective characters are strikingly symbolized by the titles of the dramatic trilogy which Hamsun produced between 1895 and 1898—At the Gate of the Kingdom, The Game of Life, and Sunset Glow. Hunger opened the first period and Pan marked its climax, but it came to an end only with the eight-act drama of Vendt the Monk in 1902, and traces of it are to be found in everything that Hamsun ever wrote. Lieutenant Glahn might survive the passions and defiances of his youth and lapse into the more or less wistful resignation of Knut Pedersen from the Northlands, but the cautious, puzzled Knut has moments when he shows not only the Glahn limp but the Glahn fire. Just when the second stage found clear expression is a little hard to tell, but its most characteristic products are undoubtedly the two volumes now offered to the American public, and it persists more or less until 1912, when The Last Joy appeared, although the first signs of Hamsun’s final and greatest development showed themselves as early as 1904, when Dreamers was published. The difference between the second and the third stages lies chiefly in a maturity and tolerance of vision that restores the narrator’s sense of humour and eliminates his own personality from the story he has to tell