Hamsun has experienced a bit of a resurgence recently. But it seems mostly that his early novels, and particularly Hunger, are the works receiving attention. And that’s fine, and makes sense – early Hamsun is uncertain, unfocused, obsessed, obsessive, maniacal, violent, harsh, passionate. Aligned with our times? Perhaps. And yet he wrote all of these books a century ago.
These stories are, well, stories. He wasn’t a story writer. He wrote novels. I would say, though, that his particularly brand of alienation – where characters deliberately push themselves away from other people in a manner that surprises themselves, too, rather than just be edgy or mean or nasty.
Overall, good stories. I preferred the first half of the book, but I would say that this could be a good place to start with Hamsun. If you read three stories and like two, then try a novel. If not – stay away.
The Books, Read page contains a list of all of the books I have read this year.