1. It’s not available to be read online but James Wood’s The Broken Estate has an excellent essay on Hamsun that sent me off in search of his work. (Actually, all the Wood essays are top-flight, but I am a fan.)

  2. Start with “Hunger.” It’s one of the finest depictions of self-sacrifice and the downsides of sticking whole-heartedly to a universe of one. Particularly with the way that Hamsun captures the narrator’s desperation and self-delusions.

    And is this the Wood essay you’re referring to?


    If so, it’s interesting that Wood puts “Hunger” in the same classically comical canon as Don Quixote. Hamsun’s dark edge is fascinating in the way he paints the narrator’s struggle as both absurd and all-too-tragic.

  3. No, that’s not the essay, although it hits some of the same marks. The essay in Broken Estate is New York Review of Books length – but it focuses on Hunger, which is on my shelf.

    You can find lots of copies of B.E. on half.com – can’t recommend it highly enough.

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