Growth of the Soil

( 12 )

Overview


A grand, sweeping saga of sacrifice and struggle, this epic tale recaptures the world of Norwegian homesteaders at the turn of the twentieth century. Isak and Inger, an idealistic young couple, reject modern society to raise their family on a back country farm. Isak's embrace of outdoor life reflects author Knut Hamsun's attitude of rugged individualism and his back-to-nature philosophy. Rich in symbolism, this moving tale of peasant life and the search for spiritual ...
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Growth of the Soil

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Overview


A grand, sweeping saga of sacrifice and struggle, this epic tale recaptures the world of Norwegian homesteaders at the turn of the twentieth century. Isak and Inger, an idealistic young couple, reject modern society to raise their family on a back country farm. Isak's embrace of outdoor life reflects author Knut Hamsun's attitude of rugged individualism and his back-to-nature philosophy. Rich in symbolism, this moving tale of peasant life and the search for spiritual fulfillment in nature continues to resonate with modern readers. 
First published in Norwegian in 1917, Growth of the Soil created an international sensation and led to the author's 1920 Nobel Prize in Literature. The New Yorker noted that "the list of those who loved [Hamsun's] sly, anarchic voice is long," naming Ernest Hemingway, Hermann Hesse, and André Gide as fans. "I am not usually lavish with my praise," remarked H. G. Wells, "but indeed the book impresses me as among the very greatest novels I have ever read."

Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1920. The story of an elemental existence in rural Norway.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Hamsun released this novel in 1917, three years before winning the Nobel Prize for Literature. It's the story of Isak, who raises his family deep in Norway's unspoiled country, and the bond the family builds with the land. This Penguin edition is the first new English translation since the novel was initially released 90 years ago.


—Michael Rogers
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781494711870
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Publication date: 12/17/2013
  • Pages: 364
  • Sales rank: 434,420
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Knut Hamsun (1859-1952) was a Norwegian author. He was praised by King Haakon VII of Norway as Norway's soul. In 1920, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for the epic, Growth of the Soil. He insisted that the main object of modern literature should be the intricacies of the human mind, that writers should describe the "whisper of blood, and the pleading of bone marrow". Hamsun's literary debut was the 1890 psychological novel, Hunger, which some critics consider to have been an inspiration for Franz Kafka's classic short story, A Hunger Artist. Hamsun's reputation was severely tarnished by his vehement advocacy of Nazi Germany both before World War II and after Germany occupied Norway in April, 1940. He lionized leading Nazis and in 1943, in the middle of the war, he mailed his Nobel medal to Joseph Goebbels. Later, he visited Hitler and in a eulogy for the German leader published on May 7, 1945 - one day before surrender of the German occupation forces in Norway - Hamsun proclaimed, "He was a warrior, a warrior for mankind, and a prophet of the gospel of justice for all nations." After the war, due to a finding that Hamsun was in mental decline, efforts to prosecute him for treason were dropped. Nearly 60 years after his death, a recent biographer told a reporter, "We can't help loving him, though we have hated him all these years. That's our Hamsun trauma. He's a ghost that won't stay in the grave." In 2009, the Queen of Norway presided over the gala launching of a year-long program of commemorations of the 150th anniversary of the author's birth. On August 4, 2009 a Knut Hamsun Center (Hamsunsenteret) was opened in Presteid, Hamaroy island.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 12 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2010

    Be warned.

    This book starts out like a simple, sturdy story, but be warned. If you open it before bed it will invade your dreams like a conquering tribe, and take up residence in your soul...

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2012

    Hamsuns objectivity make for a slow but deliberate read.

    Great book glorifying the role of the farmer in moder society. What sets this novel apart though is Hamsuns style. He approaches his characters with neither love nor scorn. The honesty in the writing makes this a truely unique and engaging story.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted April 23, 2011

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    Posted March 5, 2011

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