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3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  3,183 ratings  ·  183 reviews
Pan by Knut Hamsun who won the 1920 Nobel Prize in Literature, is a multi-layered psychological masterpiece of human perversity & pride in the face of love & sensual attraction.
Romantically awkward hunter, fisherman & nature-lover Lieutenant Thomas Glahn lives in a cabin away from society-- alone, except for his dog & occasional interactions with the loca...more
Published March 1st 2007 by Norilana Books (first published 1894)
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Aug 21, 2012 s.penkevich rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: The lovers, the dreamers, and me
Recommended to s.penkevich by: Bukowski
-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.

With his succinct 1894 novel, Pan, Knut Hamsun once again displays his prowess of capturing the human psychology and detailing the internal conflicts that arise through the sudden rise and fall of moods. Through Glahn, the capricious man who has taken up residence within the northern wilderness and the socialite Edvarda, Hamsun demonstrates how even the slightest romantic collisi...more
As if you needed to revisit it, friends, yet here it is: Hamsun's excruciatingly true-to-life depiction of the exaltation and despair of young love. In his later years, the novelist Anthony Burgess had a pat blurb for certain novels he liked. Of them he would say: "Almost unbearably moving!" That blurb applies perfectly to Pan. This novella is so emotionally affecting! It is so on the money! The reader goes through the entire exhausting emotional cycle here. From initial lusting, to growing inte...more
Emilian Kasemi
Oh, how I loved this book. I read it being sick with fever, chills and dizziness...that mixed with the dreamy and beautiful writing was for me an amazing literary experience. Yeah, amazing, isn't it? or was just I in a state of euphoria? Anyway, I enjoyed Pan, especially the epilogue, the bitter epilogue! I don't like spoilers in reviews so just read it! This is just my first impression after reading, maybe I'll add a better review when I recover my mental ability and get well...

Never has the No...more
Pan is the book that made me understand why Bukowski, Fante, et al revered Knut Hamsun. I don't have the background necessary for pinning Mr. H. on the literary timeline, but I can see, I think, why he's such an important link in the chain.

Pan's narrator is a weird, isolative woodsman with fewer social skills than...than me, even. He extols the joy of his solitude but locks horns, socially and romantically, with a couple town girls. Hamsun's portrayal of the narrator's progression through the to...more
A beautifully written novel detailing the collision of the natural world and the civilized world over a period of a few seasons in the forests of Norway. Hamsun's prose is at times poetic and magical; several dream-like chapters read like a lyrical mystery. The story keeps you on your toes: a couple of unexpected turns in the narrative had me flipping pages to discover the "what next?". Also: the epilogue (I don't want to call it by its true title in order to not inadvertently divulge a spoiler)...more
Loved this -- 4.33 stars. Like a cross between "Hunger" and the more serious/solid/steady Growth of the Soil. Unrealiable narrator in the northlands. One with nature. Loved descriptions of the moon and caterpillars. Super-clear dramatization of romantic tilt-a-whirl caused by trying to anticipate manipulative flipflopping of an attractive capricious lover. Loved the insane, surprising actions -- read them through the filter of Knausgaard's insane actions in My Struggle: Book Two: A Man in Love....more
J Frederick
It's 1853 and animal-eyed Lieutenant Glahn roams, with dog Aesop and gun, hunting ptarmigan in the Nordland. He lives in a hut. Flora and fauna burst around him during endless summer days and still iron nights.

I found wintergreen and yarrow in the fields, and the chaffinches had arrived; I knew all the birds.

A rousing toast to the wild-cat crouching with throat to the ground and preparing to spring on a sparrow in the dark, in the dark!

Yet like wild god Pan's, Glahn's woods are incomplete with...more
I wish I had read it a little quicker. I put this down about half way in, some other reading got in the way, and so it took a while to read and the momentum was kinda lost. Nevertheless... a great book, he has a way of creating the strangest voices that are not simple parodies, but are very funny and effective at the same time. There is a lot going on in here beyond the voice, much more going on here than in Hunger actually (though it might take more patience than that book, as there are many pa...more
Aric Cushing
A strange tale of a huntsman in Norway whose odd, sick behavior seems revelatory in light of his brief love affair with a local girl. Few books ever touch on this kind of character, or this kind of depiction of human actions brought on by uncontrollable emotin. Reminds one of Death in Venice. DEFINITELY worth the read.
A neurotic in obsessive love with an almost equally twisted vixen, set in the wilderness. What's not to love?

I have a soft spot for literature that delves into the darker aspects of the mind, and yet I was underwhelmed by Hunger. Thankfully Pan was more than redemptive.

Lindu Pindu
I would call Glahn, our narrator, a capricious wanker-- but then he really is very human and pitiable, like the rest of us. His mind always seems to be nested in what he lost rather then what he has before him. The story leaps as his mind does, between the female characters who, either physical or in dream form (Iselind), are the bane of his tortured existence.
The setting is interesting - during summer in Norway, the further north you go, the more light there is during night-time, I imagine the...more
I recently reread this classic a few months back and it still amazes me. It's been called one of the first modernist novels and Hamsun is touted by respected writers like Paul Auster.
Luís Miguel
Difícil de pousar, foi tão cativante como brilhante. A sua emulação do mito de Pã é orquestrada, como uma peça de teatro. Através dos papéis descobertos após a sua morte, o caçador Glhan conta-nos a história do seu Verão na Nordland. Tal como no mito, Pan começa na Primavera, onde conhece Edvarda. O caçador Glahn vive como um eremita na natureza e Edvarda pertence à sociedade, pelo que, o peso dos seus mundos diferentes transforma o seu amor numa batalha.

Hamsun percorre rectamente os caminhos de...more
Alex V.
Of all the stuff I read in college, nothing lasted longer with me than Knut Hamsun's Hunger, and with stops and starts over the years I've tried his other books without ever finishing them. Then I read somewhere that John Fante got the title or the idea for Ask the Dust, one of my favorite books ever, from Hamsun's Pan, and that was enough for me.

This is a spectacular little book, a hair over 100 pages in the lovely edition I got form the library complete with woodcut illustrations, documenting...more
Mamdouh Abdullah
لو فكر ديفيد ثورو بكتابة رواية، لن يجد أكثر من كنوت هامسون ورواية بان معبراً عنه وعن هذا الغزل والرهبانية في أرجاء طبيعة غابة نورلاند.أتذكر عند قراءة كتاب والدن لثورو ذلك النوع من الحياة، وجمال الطبيعة، بحيواناتها وأشجارها وأنهارها وأصواتها. يكتبها كشعر، كصلاة.كنوت هامسون- ولا أظنه اعتكف في الطبيعة كثورو- كان أكثر شعرية من ثورو في بان: وثني يتحاور، ويتأمل، ويستنطق أسرار طبيعة نورلاند. رواية بان أقل قوة من رواية أسرار، لكنها أكثر شعرية. بتأملاتها ولغتها. ويكفي صفحات بان فصول الليالي الحديدية: أفض...more
Gertrude & Victoria
In Pan Knut Hamsun depicts, so persuasively, one man's cosmic struggle against nature, as well as, himself. Like many of the characters in his novels, an irreconcilable antagonism exists between a male protagonist, Glahnn, and nature, represented by a young woman, Edvarda. Hamsun portrays man as confused and at odds with himself, and yet, at moments rational, and even calculating. This inner conflict, reflects man's conflict against nature and invariably leads to tragic consequences. This may be...more
Tra i pochi scrittori a tematica nordica che ho letto ( vedi Krakauer e Hoeg), Hamsun con "Pan" è sicuramente il migliore.
Quello che affascina di questo libro è la natura, una natura che non è solo cornice del paesaggio, ma parte integrante, come se fosse un personaggio che permea la storia. Una natura umana, la natura nordica, con i suoi colori, la natura tipica delle regioni nordiche che diventa un tutt'uno con i personaggi. Una natura quasi umana nella quale si rifugia il protagonista, un em...more
Marat M. Yavrumyan
Համսունից երկրորդ գիրքն էր, Երկրի հյութերից հետո։ Հայերենով՝ առաջինը։ Էն էլ ինչ առաջին։ Թարգմանությունը Իսահակյանինն էր, ու թեև գերմաներենից, բայց ասես իրականում Իսահակյան կարդաս։ Ու չես էլ հասկանում, որն է Համսուն, որը Իսահակյան։ Լիրիկա։ Սիրուն (ոչ գեղեցիկ), այլ իսկականից սիրուն հայերեն, սիրուն պատմություն, սիրուն հերոսներ, սիրուն զգացմունքներ։ Արժեր, անպայման արժեր։ Գրքեր կան, որ իգական սեռի ներկայացուցիչները շատ կհավանեն, անչափ կհավանեն (խտրականությունից հեռու)։ Հավատացնում եմ, գրազ կգամ, սա...more
Ugh, 2.5 stars maybe. The beautiful scenery descriptions were pretty good I think.

Edit: I hate this book.
PAN. (1894). Knut Hamsun. ****.
One of Hamsun’s most popular novels, this relates the story of Lt. Glahn while he was living in the wilds of Norway. He had resigned his commission and wanted to live off the land. He had a dog, Aesop, who was his only companion. He avoided contact with people and spent his time hunting and fishing. He developed superior powers of observation and became very close to nature, being able to tell time and direction by looking at nature’s signs. All is upset, however,...more
☽ Moon Rose ☯
Pan is a love story on a different take---dark, tragic, strange and twisted. It shows a peculiar knack of Knut Hamsun to discern the capricious, often unstable human personalities in its most intrinsic fashion as it collides with one another, giving form to the abstract aspects of the human experiences, thus creating uniquely drawn characters and a story that bursts with originality, which give further definition to his already profound talent as a writer. Hamsun's vivid depiction of human expe...more
Chon Mkliiry
In my opinion the best of Knut Hamsun's novels. The story centers on both the beneficial and detrimental connections in one's life- to nature, to vice, to one another.
The novel centers on a man in love with nature and a woman in love with city-life. They find it impossible to love one another. We cannot/should not deny our inner identity, not even for something as noble as "love." It is another work of Hamsun's which is at times, intentionally, both romantic and neurotic.
It seems as if the psy...more
Pedro Martins
Análise à versão Portuguesa da Cavalo de Ferro

Pan, antes de mais, foi "escrito para passar o tempo", tal como o tenente Glahn admite nos capítulos finais da obra. Como exercício de estética é bela. A narrativa flui naturalmente, com alguns elementos místicos, mas transpondo geralmente os ornatos veros do mundo de Glahn, a povoação de Sirilund e todos os locais que a compõem. O enredo que gira à volta dos amores e desamores de Glahn e Edwarda já não é tão belo. Inverosímil, inútil e infantil. Se...more
Strange.but when Hamsun is strange it can only be beautiful.

"A secret stillness fell upon people; they pondered and were silent; their eyes awaited the winter."

"She loved a lord. Why? Ask the winds and the stars, ask the God of life, for there is none that knows such things."

"The other he loved as a slave, as a madman and a beggar. Why? Ask the dust of the road and the leaves that fall, ask the mysterious God of life, for there is no other that knows such things"

"Hail, men and beasts and birds,...more
Hamsun's Hunger was a book of transcendent weirdness, and I read it at the exact right time-- I was winding down a summer of abject poverty, living in a rundown Minneapolis apartment building routinely tagged by the local Crips, failing to sell anything I'd written, and not eating. Knut would have been proud.

And Pan is in the same vein-- it's also a story of a loner wandering through a surreal landscape-- although rather than the dockyards of Oslo, our "hero" is in the forest. Think "Into the Wi...more
Lt. Thomas Glahn is one of the most awkward men I've ever met. When he threw her shoe into the river I thought I had discovered a kindred spirit. I am convinced that Knut Hamsun would have been welcome in the strategic games club. Any man who rides on the top of a locomotive is welcome indeed. And did he wear a cape? If he is reincarnated I recommend keeping both Knut Hamsun and Thomas Glahn away from any semi-automatic weaponry. Counseling would do the trick, but these are not men who crave cou...more
Hamsun's unreliable narrator in this novel of northern beauty and mystery is a sympathetic figure whom you just have to like. Except...there's a puzzling epilogue which changes everything...or does it? Filled with numerous paeans to nature it avoids any real maudlin tones. This novel will transport you to the northern forest, beyond the Arctic Circle, to the land of "summer nights and still waters and endlessly still forests" where its effects on sexual desire and mental stability are not necess...more
Shawn Lynch
I actually read the 1922 translation by W. W. Worster.

My only other experience with reading Hamsun's writing is the novel Hunger, one of my favorite pieces of fiction. It is because of my limited exposure that I was surprised to find out that Pan was written a few years after the publication of Hunger. Perhaps it is the result of superior translation, but Hunger seems to me to be the work of a more experienced and adept writer, Pan seeming to be an experiment of an author trying to find his voic...more
I didn't enjoy this book as much Hunger or Growth of the Soil, but it was still very interesting. The narrator was just as neurotic and moody as the protagonist of Hunger. My favorite aspect of this novel is the accuracy with which Hamsun depicts the capriciousness of psychological states. Glahn's moods, thoughts, and decisions are so disjointed and mysterious, they defy our conventional view of characters as conscious agents who somehow control their own behavior and thoughts.
May 27, 2008 Adam rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: you, him & her
Imagine a borderline sociopath, a manic personality driven both by testosterone and by a lust for the outdoors, a combination of Hemingway deprived of Montparnasse and Hunter S. Thompson without his drugs. That is Hamsun's protagonist in Pan--he's a man perfectly at home in the woods, but put him within earshot of civilization and soon he'll come apart, most spectacularly, at the seams.
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Awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1920 "for his monumental work, Growth of the Soil." He insisted that the intricacies of the human mind ought to be the main object of modern literature, to describe the "whisper of the blood, and the pleading of the bone marrow". Hamsun pursued his literary program, debuting in 1890 with the psychological novel Hunger.
More about Knut Hamsun...
Hunger Growth of the Soil Mysteries Victoria The Wanderer

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“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.”
“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?” 31 likes
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