Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/15

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ix
Prefatory Note

and gives rein to every mood. To quote Herr Gerhard Gran—"Knut Hamsun gives the impression of being a downright sportsman in this territory. He hunts through the soul with a kind of jocund eagerness; and if he finds the 'spraint' of a troll, he sets after it with the halloo of a hunter. They are precious finds to him, these seemingly irresponsible divagations off the beaten track. And it must be conceded to Hamsun that he is an indefatigable hunter. When he is in full cry he does not quit the scent."

This year he has completed his fine Trilogy, composed of three distinct plays, dealing with the life and development of one man: "On the Eve of Fortune" ("Ved Rigets Port"), "The Game of Life" ("Livet's Spil") "Sunset," ("Aftenrödet"); besides an exquisite love-story, in which his art is at its finest, called "Victoria." One lays these books down, and says: "Hamsun has served his apprenticeship; he has come into his own; and his own is a distinguished place in the estate of letters."

It must be remembered that "Hunger" was his first book, and that the style of the original is necessarily sacrificed. None the less it emains a shriek of hunger in all its moods,