"Knut Hamsun: "Hunger" Roman.

Wir errinnern uns nicht, unter der Großen unzahl von Werken, welche wir in der lezten Zeit eines kritischen Beurteilung unterzogen haben, eines gefunden zu haben, welches wir dem obengenannten als gleich wertvoll an der Seite stellen dürfen. Es ist keine Geschichte im alltäglichen Sinne, welsche uns Knut Hamsun vorführt, und doch etwas ganß Alltägliches. Ein armes Menschenkind, das Hungert. Und darüber 240 Zeiten. Nur darüber! Wie ist es möglich, ein so einfaches Thema so ausführlich zu behandeln?...
Würde es uns der Raum gestatten, wir versuchten den Leser eingehender mit dem Inhalte des Romanes bekannt zu machen...und wir glauben, daß niemand, der diese Zeiten liest, versäumen wird, auch den Roman kennen zu lernen. Er wird, wenn er ein Kunstwerk zu würdigen versteht, sich damit einen hohen Genus bereite.

Max Ofterberg-Beratoff."

(We do not recall to have found amongst the numerous works, that we have thoroughly reviewed, one single piece that can be mentioned in the same league as the above. It is not a story in the common sense that Knut Hamsun here presents to us and yet it happens every day. A human being is starved and that through 240 pages. Well! How is it possible to treat a theme so elaborate?...
Were we given sufficient space at our disposal to present to the reader the content of this novel...we were certain, that no reader would miss the opportunity to read the novel itself. If the reader recognices a piece of art, he would here allow himself the highest pleasure. Max Ofterberg-Beratoff.)

This could be read in "Die Gesellschaft" Monatsschrift für Litteratur, Kunst und Socialpolitik 1891. 115 years have passed, but Hamsuns word are still equally fascinating.

What has not been said and written about Hamsun in those years in german newspapers, magazines and books and still you find Hamsun in the bookshops and at the antiquarians. To collect just a fraction is a task in itself.

What is maybe not common knowledge: A german Knut Hamsun Society existed. Founded February 19th 1955 and closed in 1978. Initiator was the author Hilde Fürstenberg, Mölln in Lauenburg. A warm and dynamic personality, who lived to disseminate knowledge on Knut Hamsun and his works. From April 1964 to 1978 the Society published a periodical "Die Waldhütte". I have with great interest read all 48 issues. If you are interested, all issues can be borrowed from the university library in Kiel. A pity that nobody was able to continue the work when Hilde Fürstenberg had to stop due to age. Hilda Fürstenberg died in January 2005 a few weeks before her 103rd birthday.

The Society's large collection and archive were donated to Hamarøy in Norway, where it is still to be found.


© Kirsten Hedvig Rasmussen www.hamsun.at