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Addicted to Unpredictability

James Wood: Knut Hamsun, 26 November 1998

Knut Hamsun. Selected Letters. Vol. II: 1898-1952 
edited by Harald Næss and James McFarlane.
Norvik, 351 pp., £14.95, April 1998, 1 870041 13 5
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Hunger 
by Knut Hamsun, translated by Sverre Lyngstad.
Rebel Inc, 193 pp., £6.99, October 1996, 0 86241 625 6
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... he received a Festschrift, with tributes from Thomas and Heinrich Mann, Musil, Schoenberg, Herman Hesse, Gorky, the first President of Czechoslovakia, Tomás Masaryk, and Gide. Five years later, in 1934, he received tributes only from Goebbels and from a crowd of lesser German writers who are now forgotten outside Germany. In 1939, for his 80th ...
Still the New World: American Literature in a Culture of Creative Destruction 
by Philip Fisher.
Harvard, 290 pp., £18.50, May 1999, 0 674 83859 9
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... extensively on realist prose and painting, and his new book is a commentary on Emerson, Whitman, Melville, James and Twain, among others, with significant asides on Thomas Eakins and Winslow Homer. It aims to look freshly at these artists and to ask again why their originality matters. Names like Stevens, Eliot and Ashbery are frequently dropped and ...

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