Knut Hamsun between cultural Germany and political Germany

Crina Leon
Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, Email: crina_laurentiu@yahoo.no

Acknowledgements
This paper is based on the presentation made at the Fifth international conference on Baltic and Nordic Studies in Romania A piece of culture, a culture of peace, re-imaging European communities in the North Sea, Baltic Sea and Black Sea regions, hosted by Valahia University of Târgovişte and the Romanian Association for Baltic and Nordic Studies, August 17-19, 2014. Supported by EEA Grants, contract no 4/22.07.2014.

Abstract:
Knut Hamsun (1859-1952) is a Norwegian writer who managed to win a place in world literature by the side of the playwright Henrik Ibsen. Hamsun was a complex figure: he was the Nobel Prize laureate in Literature of 1920 but he was also charged with treason after World War II; he wrote stories drawn from Nordland (in Northern Norway), but he also supported National Socialism. That is why, we will make a distinction between culture and politics, between Hamsun as a literary writer and Hamsun as the author of a series of articles in favour of the Nazis. Beyond the controversial side of his life, which started in the 1930s, our aim is to analyze the role Germany played on the cultural side. Germany was the first country where Hamsun became a successful writer in the 1890s due to a wide readership and the support of the publisher Albert Langen, among others. In turn, Hamsun was an admirer of German culture and of the German nation that gained power in the 20th century.

Rezumat:
Knut Hamsun (1859-1952) este un scriitor norvegian care a reuşit să-şi câştige un loc în literatura universală alături de dramaturgul Henrik Ibsen. Hamsun a fost o figură complexă: el a fost laureatul Premiului Nobel pentru Literatură în 1920, dar a fost, de asemenea, acuzat de trădare după al doilea război mondial; a redat întâmplări desprinse din ţinutul Nordland (în nordul Norvegiei), dar a sprijinit, de asemenea, naţional-socialismul. De aceea, vom face o distincţie între cultură şi politică, între Hamsun ca scriitor de literatură şi Hamsun ca autor al unor articole în favoarea naziştilor. Dincolo de latura controversată a vieţii sale, care a început în anii 1930, scopul nostru este de a analiza rolul jucat de Germania din punct de vedere cultural. Germania a fost prima ţară în care Hamsun a devenit un scriitor de succes, în anii 1890, fapt ce s-a datorat printre altele unui public cititor larg şi sprijinului acordat de editorul Albert Langen. La rândul său, Hamsun a fost un admirator al culturii germane şi al naţiunii germane, a cărei putere a crescut în secolul al XX-lea.

Keywords: Norwegian literature, Knut Hamsun, Germany, culture, politics, identity

https://balticnordic.hypotheses.org/files/2018/12/06.Leon_.pdf