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STRIDENT LIFE

«Among the many island fishing stations is a small island called Blåmandsø (Blue Man’s Island), home to hardly more than a hundred people. The neighbouring island is a lot bigger, with something like three or four hundred inhabitants. The church is there, so are the authorities. This one is called Kirkeøen (Church Island). Since the days of my childhood Kirkeøen has also acquired a post-office and a telegraph. (”On Blåmandsø”)»

1905
2017-04-2613:11 Viktor Håkonsen

Strident Life (1905) is Hamsun’s third and final collection of short stories. There are seven tales, varying in length.

Two of them, "Vagabond Days " and "Beneath the Crescent Moon", are novellas, with divisions into chapters. They are set in, respectively, America and the Orient.

"In the sweet Summer Days" is subtitled ”a little novel". The setting is a sanatorium in which deceit and the switching of roles are elements of the plot. The story anticipates the two novels The Last Joy and Chapter the Last (1923), which is likewise set a sanatorium.

"On Blåmandsø", "Alexander and Leonarda" and "Among Animals" are all set in Nordland.

Front cover, first edition of Stridende Liv (Strident Life). Photo: The Hamsun Centre.