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» » Look Back on Happiness
Look Back on Happiness e-book

Author:

Knut Hamsun

Language:

English

Category:

Fiction

Subcategory:

World Literature

ePub size:

1508 kb

Other formats:

lit mbr mobi lrf

Rating:

4.9

Publisher:

HardPress Publishing (January 29, 2010)

Pages:

192

ISBN:

1407648829

Look Back on Happiness e-book

by Knut Hamsun


Knut Hamsun was in his prime when he wrote this strange book.

Only 8 left in stock (more on the way). Knut Hamsun was in his prime when he wrote this strange book. Hamsun reports on all things importantly human: human conduct, human emotions, human relations, human society, human culture. Each note he strikes rings true. I never heard a false note in this symphony played under Norwegian skies.

Look Back on Happiness has been added to your Cart. Knut Hamsun was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1920, for his epic "Birth of the Soil. I found this strange book, written twenty years afterwards, in 1940, even more rewarding. Flip to back Flip to front. Look Back on Happiness Paperback – May 10, 2016. by. Knut Hamsun (Author). But until recent years it has never been distributed or much read outside of Norway.

Knut Hamsun (1859-1952) was a leading Norwegian author and recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature for 1920. He was born as Knud Pedersen in Lom, Gudbrandsdal, Norway. He grew up in poverty in Hama. At 17, he became an apprentice to a ropemaker, and at about the same time he started to write. He spent several years in America, travelling and working at various jobs, and published his impressions under the title Fra det moderne Amerikas Aandsliv (1889). Hamsun first received wide acclaim with his 1890 novel Hunger.

Look Back on Happiness.

Top. American Libraries Canadian Libraries Universal Library Community Texts Project Gutenberg Biodiversity Heritage Library Children's Library. Look Back on Happiness.

Knut Hamsun (August 4, 1859 – February 19, 1952) was a Norwegian writer who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1920. Hamsun's work spans more than 70 years and shows variation with regard to the subject, perspective and environment

Knut Hamsun (August 4, 1859 – February 19, 1952) was a Norwegian writer who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1920. Hamsun's work spans more than 70 years and shows variation with regard to the subject, perspective and environment. He published more than 20 novels, a collection of poetry, some short stories and plays, a travelogue, and some essays.

Look Back on Happiness book. It's short, 180 pages my Kindle says. This is a pre-1923 historical reproduction that was curated. Then I found out he's also a Noble prize for literature, 1920, for his title Growth of the Soil. And I know those who have no interest on Nobel prize authors. There are two of us in the hut, that is if you regard Madame as a person; otherwise there is only one. I. I have gone to the forest.

Knut Hamsun (August 4, 1859 – February 19, 1952) was a Norwegian author, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1920. Hamsun's work spans more than 70 years and shows variation with regard to the subject, perspective and environment

Knut Hamsun (August 4, 1859 – February 19, 1952) was a Norwegian author, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1920. Last updated Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 14:15. To the best of our knowledge, the text of this work is in the Public Domain in Australia. One fee. Stacks of books.


Leceri
Look Back on Happiness, a novel by Nobel laureate Knut Hamsun, was originally published in 1912 under the Norwegian title Den sidste Glæde, and is also known in English as The Last Joy. Some critics place this novel as the third book in a “Wanderer Trilogy,” following Under the Autumn Star (1906) and A Wanderer Plays on Muted Strings (1909), but I don’t know if Hamsun ever designated it as such. Though the three books are similar in style and subject matter, there’s no concrete evidence in the text that the narrator in this book is the same character who featured in those two earlier novels, and Hamsun wrote a lot of books with wandering protagonists.

Here the unnamed narrator, a writer in his early seventies, is successful enough and wealthy enough to live his life as he pleases. Though a man of means, he chooses to leave city life behind and live a nomadic existence in the country. When the novel opens, he is spending the winter in a primitive hut and living off the land like Henry David Thoreau in a Norwegian Walden. The solitude gives him time for philosophical reflection and gives Hamsun the opportunity to indulge in some truly beautiful nature writing. Like Thoreau, however, the narrator is not a total recluse, and he does occasionally entertain visitors in his humble abode. The novel thus becomes less about his life in nature and more about the people he encounters in his travels.

When Spring arrives, the wanderer walks to a farm that operates a country inn for tourists who come to enjoy the mountain scenery. Here he gets to know the staff and the guests and becomes intimately involved in their affairs. From this point, very early on, the narrative veers away from the narrator’s personal journey to focus on these other characters’ lives. This is very much in keeping with Under the Autumn Star and A Wanderer Plays on Muted Strings, in that the narrator is almost more of a passive observer than a participant in the narrative. Even after he leaves this tourist retreat, he continues to coincidentally and unrealistically run into the inn’s guests wherever he roams. One woman in particular, a Miss Torsen, strikes his interest, and although he is too old for romantic involvement, he concerns himself in her affairs almost to the point of stalking her.

The picture Hamsun paints of this female character is not very flattering. At first she is depicted as a coquette who toys with men to boost her own self-esteem, though she does grow and become a more sympathetic character as the book goes on. As a schoolteacher, she is an educated woman, but the narrator denigrates her education, and Hamsun indicates that she can only find fulfillment through marriage and childbirth. Sexism should hardly be surprising in a century-old book, however, and Hamsun may just be espousing the joys of simpler family values, as his male narrator likewise represents an ignorance-is-bliss and back-to-nature attitude towards life. There is no doubt a fair amount of social and political commentary in the book that a Norwegian in 1912 might have found very insightful, but much of it was likely lost on this 21st-century reader. For example, one character goes off on an anti-Switzerland tirade that falls somewhere between good-natured ribbing and an international incident.

Look Back on Happiness is one of Hamsun’s less successful works. The fact that he so soon abandons the natural and nomadic aspects of the story in favor of a sort of modern novel of manners is a disappointment. He keeps the reader interested enough to want to move from one chapter to the next, but in the end one wonders what the point is and whether it was all just a waste of time.
Innadril
One of the four best books I have read in my long life. Two of the others are also by Hamsun, the fourth is by Hemingway.
Snake Rocking
LOOK BACK ON HAPPINESS
KNUT HAMSUN

Knut Hamsun was in his prime when he wrote this strange book. He plowed a new field and sowed it with seeds which grew from his deeply penetrating observations of people. Hamsun reports on all things importantly human: human conduct, human emotions, human relations, human society, human culture. Each note he strikes rings true. I never heard a false note in this symphony played under Norwegian skies. But I dare say it would ring as pure and true under the skies of Berlin or Beijing or Moscow Russia or Moscow Idaho. Knut Hamsun was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1920, for his epic "Birth of the Soil." I found this strange book, written twenty years afterwards, in 1940, even more rewarding. But until recent years it has never been distributed or much read outside of Norway.

The protagonist at first lives in solitude, in a peat hut, near the sea. He remains nameless throughout the book.

The story starts out:

"I have gone to the forest. Not because I am offended about anything, or very unhappy about men's evil ways; but since the forest will not come to me, I must go to it. That is all... Really, I could make quite a song and dance about it. For I mean to roam and think and make great irons red-hot."

In the final chapter he writes of his irons: "They were planned so big and so red; yet they are small irons, and they hardly glow." He does not write this out of self-pity. He says simply. "This is the truth."

The protagonist is the narrator throughout. But he is not just a passive reporter. He is fully engaged with all the people and their life situations. He is deeply immersed in their lives. Sometimes others tell him of observations made through their prism eyes. He in turn reports to us what they said through his own prism eyes.

Soon enough, the next character appears.

"One day a man comes to the hut. . . . `I didn't expect to find anybody in the hut,' said the man. His manner was at once forceful and discontented; he flung down the sack without humility."

[Later we learn that the man's name is Solem, and the contents of the bag are stolen goods.]

"Have you lived here long?" he asked. "And are you leaving soon?"
"Is the hut yours, perhaps?" I asked in my turn.
. . .
"Because if the hut is yours, that's another matter," I said. "But I don't intend like a pickpocket to take it with me when I leave." I spoke gently and jestingly to avoid committing a blunder by my speech. But I said quite the right thing; the man at once lost his assurance. Somehow I had made him feel that I knew more about him than he knew about me.

Solem is invited to eat with the narrator, and he accepts. The men have much telling and interesting conversation. Solem winds up staying the night and leaves the next day.

Two law men come to the hut the next day and asked: "Did you see a man pass by here yesterday?"
"No," I said.

Solem is woven into the story and appears throughout the book. After abandoning his hut the narrator walks to a mountain resort. There an odd assortment of characters appear; but Hamsun does not just describe them for us. He uses vivid brush strokes to show them to us, how they bump together and against the world, how they interact, what motivates them, what gets them up in the morning. Hamsun allows us to reach our own conclusions about the kind of person we ourselves are observing.

Arriving at the resort the narrator tells the reader: "Good days, nothing but good days: a suitable transition from solitude. I speak to the young people who own the homestead now, and to the husband's old father and young sister Josephine . . . Josephine, the daughter . . . is young and plays the piano for me. . . her feet are like a breeze under her skirt . . . It is pleasant to watch Josephine crouch down to milk the goat. But she is only doing this now to charm and please the stranger. Josephine received in her gray, young-girl's fingers" [some small change handed to her as a gratuity]

The bustle of spring season had already started. "Now they'll be coming," he [the old father] said. "If only they would leave us in peace." He added.

Mrs. Brede, the young wife of a wealthy business man arrives at the resort with her small children. She meets Solem. All the women are after Solem. "One evening when she went down to the men's hut and asked Solem to do her a service, I saw that her face was strange and covered with blushes. Would Solem come to her room and repair a window-blind that had fallen down?" We learn later that the young Mrs. Brede had deliberately caused the blind to fall down.

Many other men and women gather at the resort. All the women, young and old, are interested in Solem and he is interested in them, all of them. The men seem to be more interested in hiking the mountains then becoming involved in any social entanglements. When summer ends the visitors return to town. Their paths continue to cross in town with surprising and interesting consequences--some good, some not so good. Alliances are made. Relationships are shattered; some take the broken pieces to the grave with them; others knit the pieces back together resulting in a stronger more satisfying union. As the years pile up one on top of another, the lengthening shadows allow us to see the people in differing light. One becomes exultant in old age, and faces death with equanimity. Another sadly tumbles into the grave still holding tight to their bosom their treasure chest filled with bitterness and remorse.

The final chapter is a rant. It curiously starts out "I have written this story for you." . . . "I have written about human beings. But within the speech that is spoken, another lies concealed, like the veins under the skin, like a story within a story."

The closing paragraph is very unusual indeed. It is:

"Why have I written to you, of all people? Why do you think? You refused to be convinced of the truth and integrity of my conclusions; but I shall yet force you to recognize that I am close to the truth. Not until then shall I make allowance for the fool in you."

I've read about ten other Hamsun books, and have viewed the movie HAMSUN. I found this jewel of his to be the most rewarding. I am 81 years of age and what time I have left has become a very precious commodity. I have absolutely no regrets spending the many hours I did reading this book. (I'm a very slow reader). In fact, I think I'll go back and read it again.

Neil Bezaire, Carlsbad, CA, Author of "First Empty Your Cup"
Quttaro
This is the second book by Hamsun I've read -- the first being 'Pan'. This one (Det Siste Glæde was the original title in Norwegian) I enjoyed more. Like Pan, the book is based on the character of an outside observer, who one suspects has a love interest -- and like Pan, the love interest doesn't quite pan out. But the tone of this book is a bit kinder, and has more of a happy ending; and as it is longer, there is more description of country life and town life in northern Norway in the late 19th century. The stream of consciousness style of writing Hamsun often uses in places in this book does not get in the way of the story. It was an excellent read.

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