Knut Hamsun Remembers America: Essays and Stories, 1885-1949

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
$32.00
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $33.78
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 15%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (10) from $33.78   
  • New (3) from $33.78   
  • Used (7) from $36.66   

Overview

When Americans remember him at all, they no doubt think of Knut Hamsun (1859–1952) as the author of Hunger or as the Norwegian who, along with Vidkun Quisling, betrayed his country by supporting the Nazis during World War II. Yet Hamsun, winner of the Nobel Prize in 1920 for his novel The Growth of the Soil, was and remains one of the most important and influential novelists of his time. Knut Hamsun Remembers America is a collection of thirteen essays and stories based largely on Hamsun’s experiences during the four years he spent in the United States when he was a young man. Most of these pieces have never been published before in an English translation, and none are readily available.

Hamsun’s feelings about America and American ways were complex. For the most part, they were more negative than positive, and they found expression in many of his writings—directly in his reminiscences and indirectly in his fiction. In On the Cultural Life of Modern America, his first major book, he portrayed the United States as a land of gross and greedy materialism, populated by illiterates who were utterly lacking in artistic originality or refinement. Although the pieces in this collection are not all anti-American, most of them emphasize the strangeness and unpleasantness, as the author saw it, of life in what he called Yankeeland.

Arranged chronologically, the pieces fall into three categories: Critical Reporting, Memory and Fantasy, and Mellow Reminiscence. The Critical Reporting section includes articles that appeared in Norwegian or Danish newspapers soon after each of Hamsun’s two visits to America and that give his views on a variety of American subjects, and includes an essay devoted to Mark Twain. Memory and Fantasy comprises narratives of life in America, most of which are presented as personal experiences but which actually are blends of fact and fiction. Mellow Reminiscence includes later and fonder recollections and impressions of the United States.

The pieces in this collection provide variations on a theme that runs through much of American history—European criticism of American ways. They give vivid, at times distorted, pictures of life as it was in the United States. They tell us something about the development of the worldview of a man who became a great writer, only to jeopardize his reputation by defending the Nazi oppressors of his own people. Knut Hamsun Remembers America will appeal to anyone interested in the history of American civilization or, more specifically, in the history of anti-Americanism.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826214560
  • Publisher: University of Missouri Press
  • Publication date: 4/21/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 168
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Nelson Current is the author or editor of many books, including Lincoln’s Loyalists: Union Soldiers from the Confederacy and Those Terrible Carpetbaggers. Currently a resident of Natick, Massachusetts, he is University Distinguished Professor, Emeritus, University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Hamsun's America 1
Critical Reporting (1885-1888)
The American Character 17
New York City 24
Yellow Thunder's Camp 35
Mark Twain 45
A Bonanza Farm 57
Robert Ingersoll 60
Memory and Fantasy (1897-1905)
Terror 67
On the Prairie 72
Zachaeus 80
Vagabond Days 91
A Woman's Victory 122
Mellow Reminiscence (1928, 1949)
Festina Lente 131
My First Time Abroad 139
Bibliographical Notes 151
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)