«This year will probably be a good one for berries. Mountain cranberries, crowberries and cloudberries. True enough, you can’t live on berries. But it’s nice to have them in the fields, looking so pleasing to the eye. And they’re refreshing to come across when you’re thirsty and hungry. Yesterday afternoon I sat and thought about this.»

2017-04-2613:15 Viktor Håkonsen

A Wanderer Plays on Muted Strings (1909) is the second volume of the wanderer trilogy.

Six years have passed since the events described in Under the Autumn Star, and Knut Pedersen is once again back on the captain’s estate, Øvrebø. He notes a general decline both in the buildings and the people, and both the Falkenbergs are having affairs. Knut Pedersen tries to combat the decline by inaugurating a number of projects around the estate, but to no avail. Finally Lovise Falkenberg, pregnant with her lover’s child, drowns. Along with its passages of lyricism and melancholy the novel offers some barbed criticisms of the spirit of the times.

A Wanderer Plays on Muted Strings marks the start of that element of social criticism and polemical intent that is characteristic of some of Hamsun’s later novels.

Front cover of En vandrer spiller med sordin (A Wanderer Plays on Muted Strings) published in Samlede verker. Ny utgave 2007–2009 (Collected Works. New edition 2008–2009). Gyldendal Norsk Forlag.