A short Knut Hamsun biography:

1859 Knut is born August 4th in Gudbrandsdalen Norway. His parents are Peder Pedersen (1825-1907) and Tora Pedersen born Olsen (1830-1919) He is baptised in Garmo church.
1862 Moves with his family to Hamsund in Hamarøy, northern Norway.
1868-1873 Several stays with his uncle Hans Olsen and Olsen’s housekeeper. Knut’s sister Sophia Marie, born in 1864, stays from birth on with the uncle.
1873-1874 Knut finishes school. Moves to Lom. Confirmation in Lom church October 4th. - Works as a shophand in the shop of his godfather Torsten Hesthagen. Returns to Hamarøy and is employed as a salesman at merchant Walsøe on Tranøy.
1875 Travelling salesman in northern Norway.
1876 Apprentice as shoemaker in Bodø.
1877 His first book "Den gaadefulde" (The Enigmatic) is published in Tromsø at M. Urdal's publishing house, printed at G.Kjeldseth's printing works. - Works as a police officer in Bø, Vesterålen. Reads Bjørnson's peasant stories. Stops policework and starts teaching at the Kretsskole in Bø.
1878 "Et gjensyn" (A Reunion) and "Bjørger" (Bjoerger) are published.
1879 Knut Pedersen leaves Bø,Vesterålen. K. Zahl on Kjerringøy helps financially and Knut moves to Hardanger to become an author. Travels in autumn to the publisher Frederik Hegel in Copenhagen with the peasant story "Frida", which is refused.- Visits in December Bjørnson on Aulestad.- Moves to Kristiania, Tomtegaten 11, where he suffers distress the winter through.
1880-1881 Employment at the road works at Toten.- Reads Strindberg and the french naturalists. Gives talk on literature at Gjøvik.
1882-1883 Travels in January to USA. Works one year as a salesman in Elroy and harvesting on a farm in North Dakota.
1884-1885 Becomes secretary to Kristofer Janson in Minneapolis.- Meets Mark Twain.- Reads Nietzsche and all modern literature available.- Is taken ill in autumn and returns to Norway.- Moves late autumn to Auerdal in Valdres for convalescence.- Publishes smaller works. - After years of experimenting with his signature, he takes the name Hamsun.
1886 Hamsun returns in winter to Kristiania. Again he suffers distress. Meets Arne Garborg, who doesn't encourage him. During summer he is on tour lecturing. - Returns in August to USA.
1887 Works a couple of months as a tram conductor in Chicago, works later on a farm and as a journalist and lecturer in Minneapolis.
1888 Leaves in summer USA and moves to Copenhagen. Meets Erik and Amalie Skram and the Brandes brothers. - November: The first chapters of "Sult" (Hunger) are published anonymous in the magazine "Ny Jord" in Copenhagen.
1889 January: Lectures at the student club in Copenhagen on the cultural life of modern America.- Travels to Valdres and Kristiania. Publishes "Fra det moderne Amerikas Aandsliv" (Cultural life of modern America) and "Lars Oftedal " - Works on "Sult".
1890 Back in Copenhagen. "Sult" is published as a book under his own name.- Travels to Lillesand , where he writes "Smaabyliv" (Village Life) and "Fra det ubeviste sjeleliv" (On the Unconscious).
1891 January-November: Lectures in different Norwegian towns.- "Hunger" is published in German by S. Fischer, Berlin. Lives in Sarpsborg and Kristiansund.
1892 Leaves Kristiansund.- Travels to Copenhagen. In autumn "Mysterier" (Mysteries) is published.- Lives different places.
1893 "Redaktør Lynge" (Editor Lynge)  is published in spring. Travels to Paris.- In autumn "Ny Jord" (Shallow Soil).
1894 Meets Strindberg in Paris.- During summer travels to Kristiansand. "Pan" is published in autumn.- Back to Paris. Meets from time to time with Verlaine, Gauguin, Herman Bang, Johan Bojer, Albert Langen.
1895 The play "Ved rikets port" (At the Gate of the Kingdom)  is published.- Travels in summer to Faaberg, Kristiania and Ljan, where he works on the play "Livets spil” (The Game of Life).
1896 Meets Edvard Munch, who makes an etching of him. - Travels to Munich where he is a guest of his German publisher Albert Langen. Meets Bjørnson.-In summer back to Norway. Writes short stories for Simplicissimus. Lives in Auerdal at Frydenlund’s and other places in Valdres.- In autumn to Kristiania.- October 28th first performance of "Ved rigets port" in Christiania Theater.- December 4th first performance of "Livets spil" in Christiania Theater.
1897 Lives mostly in Ms. Hammer’s boarding house in Ljan.- January 30th lecture "Om overvurdering av diktere og diktning" (On the Overrating of Poets and Poetry) - Meets Bergljot Goepfert, born Bech.- Collection of short stories "Siesta" (The Ring, Just an ordinary fly of average size).
1898 Hamsun marries Bergljot on May 13th.- They settle in Auerdal.- First performance of "Aftenrøde" (Sunset) October 10th in Christiania Theater.- "Victoria" is published.- Mr. and Ms. Hamsun move to Helsinki.
1899 Meets Albert Engstrøm and Jean Sibelius.- In May lecture at Helsinki University on "Digterliv" (Life of a Poet) - In summer: Travel through Russia, Caucasia, Turkey.
1900 Lives in Copenhagen.- April: Travels to Hamarøy, where he works on "Munken Vendt".-In autumn back to Copenhagen.
1901 Lives in Kristiania and Copenhagen. Works on the papers from the orient travel.
1902 The daughter Victoria is born.- "Munken Vendt" is published.- Hamsun’s homage to Bjørnson is published.
1903 He publishes "I Æventyrland" (In Wonderland), "Kratskog" (Short Stories) and "Dronning Tamara" (Queen Tamara).- Gustav Vigeland makes a bust of Hamsun.
1904 Collection of poems "Det vilde kor" (Wild Choir-Island of the coast) - Articles in Forposten.- "Sværmere" (Dreamers) is published.- Hamsun is awarded Houens Legat. Stays in Kristiania, Drøbak and København.- Meets Johannes V. Jensen. First performance of "Dronning Tamara" 15 January at Nationalteatret i Kristiania".
1905 Builds a house and settles in Drøbak.- Participates in the independence struggle with articles and poems.- Publishes the collection of short stories "Stridende liv" (On the Island).
1906 Divorced.- Hamsun stays in the boarding house "Utsikten" in Nordstrand. Works on the first vagabond books. "Under høststjærnen" (Wanderers – Under the Autumn Star) is published.
1907 Hamsuns father dies March 17th.- Lecture "Ærer de unge" (Honour the Youth)- In summer stay in Kongsberg.
1908 April: Meets Marie Andersen.- "Benoni" is published.- In summer again stay in Kongsberg.- June 17th speech in Kristiania on Wergeland’s 100 years celebration.- In autumn "Rosa" is published.
1909 Hamsun marries Marie Andersen June 25th. They settle at Sollien.- In autumn "En vandrer spiller med sordin" (A Wanderer Plays on Muted Strings).
1910 January: Article in Morgenbladet: "Teologen i Æventyrland" (The Theologian in Wonderland) - 26. April Bjørnson dies. Hamsun’s homage.- Moves to Elverum and Koppang.- Articles in Verdens Gang: "Landets sprog" (The State’s Language) and "Et ord til os" (A Word to Us).- The play "Livet ivold" (The Grip of Life) first performed at Nationaltheatret, Kristiania November 16th.
1911 Settles on Hamarøy as a poet and a farmer.
1912 The son Tore is born March 6th.- In autumn "Den siste glæde" (Look back on Happiness) is published.
1913 Lives partly home and partly in Bodø.- In autumn "Børn av tiden" (Children of the Age) is published.
1914 The son Arild is born May 3rd..- Hamsun lives at home and in Bardu.- August: First World War starts and Hamsun is on Germany’s side. Fight in the press with Professor Collin and W. Archer.
1915 16. January the article "Barnet" (The Child) in Morgenbladet.- Hamsun works in Harstad on "Segelfoss by" (Segelfoss Town), which is published later in the year.- Birth of the daughter Ellinor 23. October.
1916 Moves from place to place in Nordland to gain peace to work on "Markens grøde" (Growth of the Soil). Lives mostly at the farm Kråkmo.
1917 Spring: Hamsun sells "Skogheim" on Hamarøy and moves to Larvik, Jegersborggatan 10.- The daughter Cecilia is born May 13th.- Essay in Aftenposten 12 July: "Nabobyen" (The neighbouring Town).- In autumn "Markens grøde" is published.
1918 Still looking for a farm in the country.- Publishes the leaflet "Sproget i fare" (The Language in Danger) - In autumn: The Hamsun family moves to Nørholm.
1919 Hamsun’s mother dies 6. January.- He is now a farmer on Nørholm.
1920 Spring: Works mainly in Arendal.- In autumn "Konerne ved vandposten" (The Women at the Pump) is published.- December 10th. Hamsun is awarded the Nobel Price in Stockholm.
1921 Rebuilding of Nørholm.- Works in Arendal. "Dikte" (Poems) is published.
1922 The poets cottage at Nørholm is build.- Works in Arendal and on Nørholm.
1923 In autumn "Siste kapitel" (Chapter the Last) is published.
1924-1925 Hamsun works in his poet's cottage and in Lillesand. A difficult period, where nothing will succeed.
1926 Winter: Lives in Victoria Hotel in Oslo and consults a psychiatrist from January to July.- Summer: Back to Nørholm, where he writes first part of "Landstrykere" (Vagabonds).- In autumn Hamsun moves with his family to Bygdø, Museumsveien 5.
1927 Moves in spring back to Nørholm.- In autumn "Landstrykere" is published.
1928 Works in the poets cottage and in Lillesand.- In Aftenposten 12. December the article "Festina lente".
1929 All the world is celebrating Hamsun on his 70. Birthday August 4th.
1930 The winter is spent in Aurdal, in spring back to Nørholm.- Hamsun is taken ill in autumn and goes through an operation at Arendal Hospital.- "August" (August) is published.
1931 Long convalescence. In January he travels to the french riviera for a couple of weeks and in summer to Aurdal. Tries to work.
1932 Still convalescent, but works in the poets cottage and in Egersund.
1933 In autumn "Men livet lever" (The Road leads on) is published.
1934 In April he visits France. Summer in Lillesand and on Nørholm.- He refuses the 10.000 German Mark Goethe-Price, but accepts the Goethe-Medal.
1935 Works in Oslo and on Nørholm.- Article in Aftenposten 22. November on "Ossietzky".
1936 In summer "Ringen sluttet" (The Ring is closed) is published.
1937 Occupies himself entirely with farming on Nørholm., approaching deafness.
1938 March - June: Stays in Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia. Tries to write a continuation of "Ringen sluttet", but has to give up.
1939 Hamsun is 80 years old on 4. August and is again celebrated by all the world.- September: Second world war starts and Hamsun’s sympathies are again on German side.
1940 9. April: German troops occupy Norway. Hamsun is in opposition to his compatriots.
1941-1942 Lives quietly at Nørholm. Writes German friendly articles, but takes actions to help compatriots in German captivity..
1943 Tempestuous meeting with Hitler in Berchtesgaden, where Hamsun complain about the German Commissioner in Norway, Terboven..
1944 Lives quietly and withdrawn on Nørholm. Tries constantly by applications to save Norwegians from death penalties.
1945 8. May: All German troops in Norway surrender.- 26. May: Mr and Ms Hamsun under house arrest on Nørholm.- 14. June: Internment at Grimstad Hospital.- 23. June: Hamsun before the magistrate in Grimstad.- Makes notes for "Paa gjengrodde stier" (On overgrown Paths).- 2. September: Hamsun is moved to the nursing home in Landvik.- 22. September: Again before the magistrate in Grimstad.- 15. October: Transfer to Psychiatric Hospital, Oslo.
1946 11. February: Released from Psychiatric Hospital and transferred to Landvik nursing home. Heavily impaired after the treatment at the psychiatric hospital, but tries to work.- The court case is postponed several times.
1947 16. December: Hamsun before the court in Grimstad. He is fined 425.000 kroner (though chief judge konst.Sorenskriver Eide dissented and acquitted Hamsun). After the verdict Hamsun returns to Nørholm.
1948 Hamsun finishes "Paa gjengrodde stier", which is published the year after.- Midsummer Day: The Supreme Court reduces the fine to 325.000 kroner and Hamsun stops writing.
1949-1951 Lives quietly and retired at Nørholm.- Vision and hearing fail.
1952 19. February: Knut Hamsun dies in his bedroom on Nørholm. He is buried on Nørholm.

© Kirsten Hedvig Rasmussen www.hamsun.at