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Knut Hamsun

Growth of the Soil

The novel describes the development of the site at Sellanraa from primitive smallholding to fully working farm.

Isak is the novel’s main character, and the description of the taciturn man’s experiences of work, love and old age are done with empathy and pathos. At Isak’s side stands Inger, with whom he has two sons. The third child, a daughter, is born, like Inger herself, with a harelip and she kills it at birth. When Inger returns to Sellanraa after serving her prison sentence the conflict between town and country becomes clear.

With its social criticism and its questioning of civilisation in the shape of industrialisation, urbanisation and the decline of values the novel touched a nerve in post-war Europe. Hamsun was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1920 for Growth of the Soil.
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  • bookishahat Zitat gemachtvor 5 Monaten
    ove makes a fool of the wise. Isak felt he must do something grand himself, and overdid it. "What I was going to say; you've no need to bother with hoeing potatoes. I'll do it myself the evening, when I come home."
    And he took his ax and went off to the woods.
    She heard him felling in the woods, not so far off; she could hear from the crash that he was felling big timber. She listened for a while, and then went out to the potato field and set to work hoeing. Love makes fools wise.
  • Maxim Dubrovinhat Zitat gemachtvor 7 Jahren
    Its dominant note is one of patient strength and simplicity
  • Maxim Dubrovinhat Zitat gemachtvor 7 Jahren
    complaining about life, raging against life! Each to his own taste; some may have ground to complain, others not, but there's none should rage against life. Not be stern and strict and just with life, but be merciful to it, and take its part; only think of the gamblers life has to bear with!"

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