In old age we are like a batch of letters that someone has sent. We are no longer in the past, we have arrived.

— Knut Hamsun

The most fantastic Knut Hamsun quotes that are new and everybody is talking about

Truth is neither ojectivity nor the balanced view; truth is a selfless subjectivity.

35

I love three things," I then say. "I love a dream of love I once had, I love you, and I love this patch of earth." "And which do you love best?" "The dream.

27

Earth and sea merged, the sea tossed itself in the air in a fantastic dance, into the shapes of men and horses and tattered banners. I stood in the lee of an overhanging rock and thought of many things.

20

No worse fate can befall a young man or woman than becoming prematurely entrenched in prudence and negation.

18

And the great spirit of darkness spread a shroud over me.

..everything was silent-everything. But upon the heights soughed the everlasting song, the voice of the air, the distant, toneless humming which is never silent.

13

Love is every bit as violent and dangerous as murder.

12

But things worked out. Everything works out. Though sometimes they work out sideways.

9

Today riches and honours have been lavished on me, but one gift has been lacking, the most important one of all, the only one that matters, the gift of youth.

7

I can't even make up a rhyme about an umbrella, let alone death and life and eternal peace.

7

Do you know what constitutes a great poet? He is a person without shame, incapable of blushing. Ordinary fools have moments when they go off by themselves and blush with shame; not so the great poet.... If you really have to quote someone, quote a geographer; that way you won't give yourself away. (p 44)

5

The whisper of the blood and the pleading of the bone marrow.

5

You are welcome to your intellectual pastimes and books and art and newspapers;

welcome, too, to your bars and your whisky that only makes me ill. Here am I in the forest, quite content.

4

About Knut Hamsun

Quotes 49 sayings
Nationality Norwegian
Profession Author
Birthday October 16

No, what I should really like to do right now, in the full blaze of lights, before this illustrious assembly, is to shower every one of you with gifts, with flowers, with offerings of poetry - to be young once more, to ride on the crest of the wave.

3

Heaven knows that there are plenty of opportunities in later life, too, for being carried away. What of it? We remain what we are and, no doubt, it is all very good for us!

3

A few days back someone sent me two feathers.

Two bird's feathers in a sheet of note-paper with a coronet, and fastened with a seal. Sent from a place a long way off; from one who need not have sent them back at all. That amused me too, those devilish green feathers.

3

There was a rock in front of my hut, a tall, gray rock.

By its looks it seemed to be well-disposed toward me.

3

The intelligent poor individual was a much finer observer than the intelligent rich one. The poor individual looks around him at every step, listens suspiciously to every word he hears from the people he meets; thus, every step he takes presents a problem, a task, for his thoughts and feelings. He is alert and sensitive, he is experienced, his soul has been burned.

0

The other one he loved like a slave, like a madman and like a beggar.

Why? Ask the dust on the road and the falling leaves, ask the mysterious God of life; for no one knows such things. She gave him nothing, no nothing did she give him and yet he thanked her. She said: Give me your peace and your reason! And he was only sorry she did not ask for his life.

0

Language must resound with all the harmonies of music.

The writer must always, at all times, find the tremulous word which captures the thing and is able to draw a sob from my soul by its very rightness.

0

For I mean to roam and think and make great irons red-hot.

0

A word can be transformed into a coulour, light, a smell;

it is the writer's task to use it in such a way that it serves, never fails, can never be ignored.

0

The long, long road over the moors and up into the forest - who trod it into being first of all? Man, a human being, the first that came here. There was no path before he came.

0

It is as well perhaps that this is not the first time I have been swept off my feet. In the days of my blessed youth there were such occasions; in what young person's life do they not occur?

0

There are some people who cannot help giving.

Why? Because they experience a real psychological pleasure in doing so. They don't do it with an eye to their own advantage, they do it on the quiet; they detest doing it openly because that would take away some of the satisfaction. They do it in secret, with quick trembling hands, their breasts rocked by a spiritual well being which they do not themselves understand.

0

I was conscious all the time that I was following mad whims without being able to do anything about it … . Despite my alienation from myself at that moment, and even though I was nothing but a battleground for invisible forces, I was aware of every detail of what was going on around me.

0

What if one were up there, drifting about among suns and feeling the tails of comets fan one's forehead! How small the earth was and how puny the people; a Norway of two million provincial souls and a mortgage bank to help feed them! What was life worth at such a rate? You elbowed yourself ahead in the sweat of your face for a few mortal years, only to perish all the same, all the same!

0

When good befalls a man he calls it Providence, when evil fate.

0

Were I more conversant with literature and its great names, I could go on quoting them ad infinitum and acknowledge my debt for the merit you have been generous enough to find in my work.

0

Do not forget, some give little, and it is much for them, others give all, and it costs them no effort; who then has given most?

0

One must know and recognize not merely the direct but the secret power of the word.

0

I have had much to learn from Sweden's poetry and, more especially, from her lyrics of the last generation.

0

What will I do when I can no longer dig?

0

Great men are excellent topics of conversation, but the superior man, the superior men, the masters, the universal spirits on horseback, have to stop and search their memories merely to know who these so-called great men might be. And so the great man is left with the crowd, the worthless majority...for his admirers.

0

I have gone to the forest.

0

The writer must be able to revel and roll in the abundance of words;

he must know not only the direct but also the secret power of a word. There are overtones and undertones to a word, and lateral echoes, too.

0

But what really matters is not what you believe but the faith and conviction with which you believe.

0

...I will exile my thoughts if they think of you again, and I will rip my lips out if they say your name once more. Now if you do exist, I will tell you my final word in life or in death, I tell you goodbye.

0

There is nothing like being left alone again, to walk peacefully with oneself in the woods. To boil one's coffee and fill one's pipe, and to think idly and slowly as one does it.

0

Small jerks began to appear in my legs, my walk became unsteady precisely because I wanted it to be smooth.

0

In my solitude, many miles from men and houses, I am in a childishly happy and carefree state of mind, which you are incapable of understanding unless someone explains it to you.

0

However, I must not indulge in homespun wisdom here before so distinguished an assembly, especially as I am to be followed by a representative of science.

0

But now it was spring again, and spring was almost unbearable for sensitive hearts. It drove creation to its utmost limits, it wafted its spice-laden breath even into the nostrils of the innocent.

0

The heavy red roses smoldering in the foggy morning, blood-colored and uninhibited, made me greedy, and tempted me powerfully to steal one--I asked the prices merely so I could come as near them as possible.

0

Rather than admire the mediocre great men over whom passersby nudge each other in awe, I venerate the young, unknown geniuses who die in their teens, their souls shattered - delicate, phosphorescent glowworms that one must see to know they really did exist.

0

No, I don't admire the genius. But I admire and love the result of the genius's activity in the world, of which the great man is only the poor necessary tool, only, so to speak, the paltry awl to bore with.

0

Keep it, keep it!" I answered. "You are very welcome to it! It is only a couple of small things, doesn't amount to anything—about everything I own in the world.

0

And love became the world's origin and the world's ruler, yet littered its path is with flowers and blood, flowers and blood.

0

And love was creation's source,creation's ruler;

but all love's ways are strewn with blossoms and blood, blossoms and blood.

0
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