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Growth of the Soil

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  5,368 Ratings  ·  435 Reviews
Knut Hamsun was a major Norwegian author who received the Noble Prize for Literature for Growth of the Soil in 1920. Hamsun writing makes excellent use of symbolism. The essential elements of this novel are expressed in the words of the English translator W Worster in his footnote in December 1920 "Jt is the life story of a man in the wilds, the genesis and gradual develop ...more
Paperback, 360 pages
Published November 8th 2007 by Book Jungle (first published 1917)
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Mustafa Ali Saba Very romantic book, human essence, the connection between man and nature. I really recommend this, it would change your life.
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Lisa
“Growth of the soil was something different, a thing to be procured at any cost; the only source, the origin of all. A dull and desolate existence? Nay, least of all. A man had everything; his powers above, his dreams, his loves, his wealth of superstition.”

Having spent most of a weekend driving through the woods in Värmland, close to the Norwegian border, reflecting on the strange way in which time seems to have stopped there in the remote countryside, I remembered my phase of passionate Lagerl
...more
s.penkevich
Sep 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nature enthusiasts and those willing to look into the eyes of a master
'Then comes the evening.' Those who have seen the film Hamsun, starring Max Von Sydow, will recall seeing several scenes with Marie Hamsun finishing a novel with this line at book readings. Growth of the Soil, Nobel laureate Knut Hamsun’s 1917 novel widely regarded as his masterpiece, is that novel. Powerful in its sublime simplicity, Growth is the life and times of Isak, following him as he cuts his legacy from the untamed wilds of Norway.

I would recommend anyone with an interest in the autho
...more
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
Get this edition. On the front cover is a young man walking on plowed ground. Above is the book's modest title, "Growth of the Soil," and in smaller case "Knut Hamsun's Greatest Novel." Open it and you'll see the book's title again, the author's name and the information that it was translated from the Norwegian by W.W. Worster. From there, at once, as if it is a crime to make pleasure wait, you go straight to its first chapter. No introduction. Absolutely nothing about who the author is, or his ...more
Meghan
Jul 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Despite the fact that this book won Hamsun a Nobel Prize in Literature, it is often Hamsun's most misunderstood novel. Not much seems to happen in the 400+ pages of Isak (a mysterious, near god-like figure) building his farm. Even when things do happen, Hamsun's writing is surprisingly calm despite the possibility of disaster. What I believe it comes down to is this: This books is not so much about Isak changing as it is about the "modern world" encroaching on Isak's life. From the strange secti ...more
João Carlos
6 Estrelas Épicas



”Aquela vereda comprida, compridíssima que atravessa os pântanos e a floresta: quem a abriu ao percorrê-la? O homem, um ser humano, o primeiro que aqui surgiu. Antes da sua chegada, não havia caminho.” (Pág. 7) – assim começa ”Os Frutos da Terra”, esse homem, esse ser humano é Isak; ”Um homem caminha vindo de norte. Transporta um saco – o primeiro saco – que contém um farnel e alguns apetrechos. O homem é forte e rude, e tem uma barba de um vermelho-ferro e pequenas cicatrizes n
...more
Sidharth Vardhan
It started off greatly. Great setting, close to nature and a farmer as protagonist. Isaac is a tiller of soil and loves his job passionately. And continues doing it, refusing better opportunities and while a whole town develops around him, he still continues to look down upon anything industrial. There are a couple of powerful scenes scattered around as well - such as one where he can't dig out a rock because of his ageing body and is embarrassed or where he must seek the legal ownership of land ...more
Aubrey
3.5/5

I'd like to say the controversy of the author's political beliefs does not affect my rating in the slightest, but that is almost certainly a lie. Saddening as it is, the knowledge made me a little more mindful and a lot less forgiving of the fundamental differences of opinion between the author and myself. Ultimately, it was the glorious reception that the book has been met with that made me decide on a lower rating. This is not one of those tomes that require my defense.

What I enjoyed was
...more
Teresa
Apr 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5

The rugged man stood there with a miracle before him; a thing created first of all in a sacred mist, showing forth now in life with a little face like an allegory.

The writing style of Hamsun’s ‘epic’ is quite different from the other two (earlier period) Hamsun novels I've read, and in some ways it reminded me of Buck's The Good Earth, though Hamsun is much more intrusive as a narrator. The above sentence is from early on in the novel and is easily my favorite, though it is with the allegoric
...more
Edward
Introduction
Suggestions for Further Reading


--Growth of the Soil

Explanatory Notes
Textual Notes
Lee
Jul 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Expected proto-Nazi narrative propaganda. Instead found a mythic Norwegian backwoods agrarian Winesburg, Ohio emphasizing the virtue of hardwork/productivity for its own sake, cultivation (of soil and spirit), necessity over frivolity or desire for something more than nature provides, and literal/figurative rootedness. Loved the steady tone, how the tense switches within paragraphs (present tense for scenes, otherwise simple or continual past). Like in Tolstoy, POV able to access thoughts of so ...more
mai ahmd
May 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
واخضرت الأرض الرواية التي حصل بعدها كنوت هامبسون على نوبل عام 1929
وهي الرواية التي حريّ بكل نرويجي أن يتفاخر بها

لا أعرف إن كان يالإمكان اعتبار هذه الرواية هي رواية تاريخية ولكنني أظنها كذلك فهي ملحمة تبين تاريخ استصلاح الأراضي في شمال النيرويج تحديدا في المنطقة الواقعة على الحدود وهي تحكي قصة رجل أراد أن ينشأ مزرعة في السفوح البرية مع زوجته أنجر والتي التحقت به وهي تعاني من شفة مشقوقة فلم تجد أحدا يتزوجها غير رجل يسكن في البرية ينتظر أن تلتحق به إمرأة تستطيع أن تتخلى عن الحياة المدنية وتعيش معه
...more
Teresa
May 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: n-noruega, e4
"... — nascera e, agora, morrera..."

Os Frutos da Terra conta a história de um homem que numa floresta norueguesa, onde nada existe, constrói, ao longo de anos e à força de braços, um lugar para viver e constituir família.

A primeira parte do romance foi muito emocionante, mas a partir de um determinado episódio, que me pareceu inconsistente, pus o coração ao largo e li o restante apenas com a cabeça, apreciando a escrita e o desenvolvimento do enredo. E foi bom...
Apenas uma personagem - Geissler
...more
طَيْف
Jan 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
description

القراءة للحائزين على جوائز نوبل في الآداب كانت سببا في قراءتي هذه الرواية، للكاتب النرويجي كنوت هامسون الملقب بـ "الطفل المتعب"، والحائز على تلك الجائزة عن ذات الرواية عام 1920، والذي شكلت كتاباته إلهاما للعديد من الكتاب من أمثال: بوكوفسكي وميللر وكافكا...لأكتشف فيها على مدى 500 صفحة عالما شكله هامسون في عمق الأرض البكر


كانت الفقرة الأولى في الكتاب محرضة على اكتشاف ما بعدها، ولكن الأحداث سارت برتم سردي هادئ حتى آخر الرواية، رغم تلك الأحداث التي شكلت منعطفات في حياة إسحق وإنجر بطلا الرواية..كقتل إ
...more
Elena
Mar 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An effort to uncover and tell anew, with the technical means provided by the modern novel, the primal story that underlies all our partial stories. Leithauser's words from the introduction are apt here - this book has something to do, in its core theme, literary technique, and epistemic orientation alike, with "the most fundamental story in the world": it explores what it is, and how we might come to tell it. In the telling are involved a joint act of remembrance, but also of discovery, of pushi ...more
Rob
Aug 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-classics
This is what made me want to read this book:

From My Reading Life by Pat Conroy (pages 163-164):

“On this day, Norman removed a book from its shelf. Whenever he presented me with a book, it had a ceremonious feel, as though he were laying a sword on my shoulder inducting me into an ancient brotherhood.

The book was Growth of the Soil by the Norwegian writer Knut Hamsun. The copy he gave me had once belonged to Norma M. Saylor, who lived in Palmyra, New Jersey.

‘It’s an essential book. A necessary
...more
Hadrian
Jul 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm descended from farmers, as far back as our genealogy can tell. Potatoes and grain on one side, and rice on the other. I grew up in this kind of place, too, and seen the tough self-reliance that these people value.

Which is why, despite my thin veneer of urbane culture, I feel something like nostalgia for some aspects of this rural existence. Modern life encroaches on them.

The author later became a fascist reactionary - highly critical of this modern lifestyle. As a general rule, people don't
...more
João Fernandes
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nobel
As much as a reader may want to come before a book with an open mind, there are always at least three barriers to an unadulterated read. First and most obviously come the reader's circumstances, his history, his beliefs, his lack of time or his state of mind at any one point of the reading experience. The other two are optional and vary depending on the book: the cover (with all its contents, from the pleasant or poor title, the famous or obscure author, its possible synopsis on the book flap an ...more
Josh
Feb 18, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
(3.5) Such a simple novel, Hamsun's 'Growth of the Soil' is known as his greatest novel (at least that's what the cover says!). Having read both 'Mysteries' and 'Hunger', it might be hard for me to say this is better than either/or. This one reminds me a lot of the simplicity of John Williams's "Stoner", but with a lot less emotion. I sometimes feel a sense that this is more of an allegorical work in regards to the biblical Garden of Eden, Abel/Cain parable. I never felt bored, but I don't see t ...more
Jorge
Feb 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Me parece que este libro no contiene una de esas historias que nos llenan de emoción o que la trama llegue a tocar extremos estimulantes, esto lo atribuyo básicamente a que el personaje principal es un personaje un tanto especial: tranquilo, impasible, que siempre está ahí, en apariencia inerte, que no sufre alteraciones, que no nos habla y que llega a parecer rutinario. El personaje principal está constituido por la silenciosa pero tenaz naturaleza, por los bosques y ciénagas de algún remoto e ...more
Bettie☯
Nutty NUUT read

To find Project Gutenberg provides:

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/10984

Translated from the Norwegian by W.W. WORSTER
[ORIGINAL TITLE "MARKENS GRØDE"]

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. Afterward, some beast or other, following the faint tracks over marsh and moorland, wearing them deeper; after these again some Lapp gained scent of the path,
...more
Karen
Jan 09, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
At the beginning I enjoyed the ambitious, epic scope of the book and the compelling narrative. But as I read I became increasingly uneasy with the way the omniscient narrator lines up all things male and agrarian with virtue and wisdom, while female and town are equated with vanity, shallowness and corruption. I found myself more and more skeptical of his romantic glorification of a life without doctors, dentists or indoor plumbing--let alone books or art. It sounded like a familiar myth, someth ...more
Animesh
May 23, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A book of profound and epic scope, it is a story of a lonely man who with his own hands builds a house, a family and ultimately a whole township in the bleak north of Norway...it is a story of the essence of man, of simplicity and stubbornness in the face of nature's ravages, it is a story of the essential character of man himself.

When I see a potter lovingly shape a bowl out of earth, a tiller in a lonely field who leaves behind an endless track on the soil, or a jogger on his lonesome quest, I
...more
Ahmed Oraby
أنا الرجل الذي يعرف ما ينبغي عمله، ولكنه لا يعمله.!

to be reviewed.
Maha
May 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
الرواية تستحق بين الثلاثة والأربعة، ولكن لان كنوت هامسون من أكثر الكتاب النرويجيين المظلومين بذكر سيرتهم بسبب أرائه خلال الحرب العالمية الثانية، وبسبب انني شعرت الرواية كثيرًا أعطيتها ٥!
أخبرتنا معلمة الأدب النرويجي ان كنب كنوت هامسون لم تجد رواجًا في البداية لأنها حزينة وعن الواقع، والناس كانو يريدون شيئًا خياليًا ، قصص حب أو ما شابه! ولكن هامسون كان يعكس واقع الفقر والطبقية بمجتمع إستطاع الان أن يلغي الطبقية تقريبًا!

من الممكن ان نقول ان الرواية تصور النرويج في العصر الجليدي وبدأ الحياة بها.
أو
...more
Pedro
Jan 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Al leer Bendición de la tierra uno entiende porque Knut Hamsun, según Wikipedia, fue admirado e influenció a tantos escritores. Con justicia, su novela debut, Hambre, le hizo famoso, pero fue ésta, la que algunos consideran su obra monumental, la que lo llevaría a ganar el premio Nobel de literatura.

Isak, en algún despoblado nórdico, camina buscando el lugar perfecto donde asentarse. Lo encuentra y construye su cobertizo, comienza a trabajar la tierra y a criar animales. La tierra no tiene dueño
...more
James
Dec 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite novels from my teen years was Giants in the Earth by Ole Rolvaag. I first read it as outside reading for my eighth grade English class and enjoyed it as much as My Antonia which I read at about the same time. More recently I read Pat Conroy’s memoir My Reading Life, in which he writes about his agent who gives him a copy of Growth of the Soil by Knut Hamsun, telling him: “It’s an essential book. A necessary one. It’s the most important book I’ve ever read. I named my farm Sel ...more
Ken
Wasn't sure whether to shelve this as "classics newly read" or "classics read anew." I could swear I read this during my "Hamsun phase," brought on by the high praise of the Lost Generation writers (circa 1920s). In any event, if I did read this in my own "circa 20s" (gee, was I once 20-something?), I've since forgotten every and thing. It doesn't transcend Pan: From Lieutenant Thomas Glahn's Papers, but it certainly transcends most books. One hundred and ninety-five years later, it has staying ...more
Sara
Jan 04, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Beautifully written and tedious. I never want to hear about potatoes again unless they're fried in the delectable trans fats of civilization. Oh civilization, you are so bad. Like the devil, or a moose, or a corrupting bottle of Devil Moose ale.

For all of the detail Hamsun puts into Isak's farm work, we rarely get such dappled descriptions of how the women are making those cheeses or raising enough kids to make the Quiverful movement proud. I wondered if Oline and the sheriff's wife's wheedling
...more
Tony
Jan 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
GROWTH OF THE SOIL. (1917). Knut Hamsun. *****.
The plan is that I will ultimately read all of Hamsun’s novels in translation; my Danish isn’t good enough to read in the original. I’ve cheated a little. This is a book that I have previously read – but it was back in the dark ages, maybe forty-years ago. At the time, I was literally bowled over. It was one of the best books I had ever read. I was amazed at how well Hamsun told the story of Isak and his wife Inger as they settled on land in rural
...more
Richard Stuart
Feb 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A book of humble means and beginnings that transforms itself into the complex tapestry of human beings conspiring with nature to at first, just exist. Then, if all is diligent perseverance and hard work, secondly, to succeed and grow not only the land but themselves as well. Well written, with characters that range from the steadfast and quixotic to the conniving... glorious characterizations that are truthful and yet not condemning, but understanding that life creates an infinite array of circu ...more
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Around the Year i...: Growth of the Soil, by Knut Hamsun 1 11 Apr 16, 2017 11:17AM  
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Voice 1 48 Nov 02, 2008 05:31PM  
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“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.” 19 likes
“A man comes walking north. He carries a sack, the first sack, containing provisions for the road and some implements. The man is strong and rough-hewn, with a red lion beard and little scars on face and hands, sites of old wounds--were they gotten at work or in a fight? Maybe he has been in jail and wants to go into hiding, or perhaps he is a philosopher looking for peace; in any case, here he comes, a human being in the midst of this immense solitude. He walks and walks, in a silence broken by neither bird nor beast.” 10 likes
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